Strong start for CBC’s mid-season

The Border drew 710,000 viewers to its Monday night debut - the first of several cards the network is playing this week in a bid to trump its strike-addled competitors.

CBC got its mid-season off to a strong start on Monday with The Border, while its strike-plagued commercial competition aired a dance show and a movie. The drama drew a solid 710,000 viewers to its 9 pm slot, taking over from Intelligence. By comparison, the Chris Haddock crime drama averaged only 263,000 over its second, most recent run.

‘We’re thrilled so many Canadians turned out for this new hour-long drama. Drama is a hard genre to crack in Canada, so it’s gratifying people enjoyed it,’ says CBC programming boss Kirstine Layfield.

The Border (pictured) aired in part opposite the two-hour premiere of CTV’s reality series Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, which drew an average 1.2 million viewers. Global ran the feature Kingdom of Heaven, since its sci-fi series Heroes is on hiatus and freshman show Journeyman was cancelled last month by NBC. The network will be back on the field when Prison Break returns next week.

This week is busy for CBC, which is facing less than the usual competition from the private networks because of the US writers’ strike. The Ceeb is also rolling out – and looks to have put considerable promotional push behind – its office series jPod on Tuesdays, the Quebec comedy redux Sophie on Wednesdays and the hockey drama MVP on Fridays.

Meanwhile, CTV saw two of its US series return on Monday, when The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report returned to their posts on the network’s late-night schedule and on Comedy Network. Both series are making do without writers, however, and returned as expected with episodes made up of clips, some ad-libbing by the hosts and interviews with non-Hollywood guests.

From Playback Daily