Guard jumps over The Border

The battle of domestic action dramas has, so far, gone to Global and its new series, which debuted ahead of CBC's counterpart.

The premiere episode of Global’s coast guard series aired to 813,000 viewers (2+) on Tuesday at 10 pm, besting the debut of CBC’s much-publicized The Border, which launched Jan. 7 to 710,000 viewers, and dipped slightly to 659,000 by its third week.

The $20-million 13 x 60 The Guard follows the lives of a search and rescue team, and stars David James Elliott (JAG), Steve Bacic (Andromeda) and Jeremy Guilbaut (Edgemont). The series averaged 464,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demographic.

The two domestic action dramas, and other homemade mid-season series, arrived this month as broadcasters, and viewers, remain in limbo because of the US writers’ strike. ‘This is an exciting time for Canadian drama, and our support of original programming remains steadfast,’ says Canwest SVP Christine Shipton. ‘The Guard is a reflection of the excellence found within our production community, and we’re so proud to be a part of it.’

Meanwhile, CBC trotted out the first episode of its latest reality program, the eight-part The Week the Women Went (pictured), to a solid 770,000 viewers Monday at 8 pm. The show generated more than half its audience in the 25-54 demo, according to the network.

Set in Hardisty, AB, the series focuses on a town whose women leave their families behind and take off for a week’s vacation. It fared well despite airing opposite CTV’s comedy block featuring a new Corner Gas (1.2 million viewers) and a fresh episode of Two and a Half Men (869,000). The Week the Women Went also faced competition from a new Prison Break, which garnered 1.1 million for Global.

The Week the Women Went looks like another strong showing from our factual entertainment group, following up on the success Sunday evening of Test the Nation, which drew 858,000,’ notes CBC programming boss Kirstine Layfield.

Over in daytime, lifestyle series Steven and Chris has averaged 157,000 viewers since its debut on Jan. 14 at 2 pm on CBC. Hosted by original Designer Guys Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman, the show bested by far the numbers for the failed Ceeb talker The Gill Deacon Show, which garnered only 25,000 viewers in its first week. Deacon, which also aired in the 2 pm time slot, was cancelled last spring.

From Playback Daily