Solid second place for Mayerthorpe

CTV's drama about four slain RCMP officers stood up admirably against Global's broadcast of the biggest night in the music biz.

Mayerthorpe – the heavily promoted story of how four Mounties lost their lives in the Alberta town in 2005 – averaged 1.3 million viewers and peaked at 1.5 million, putting the copro in line with recent CTV MOWs including In God’s Country (1.6 million) and Shades of Black (864,000).

But the Grammys were the most-watched program of the night with nearly 1.7 million viewers, down slightly from last year’s 1.8 million average. The three-hour broadcast nabbed 954,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demographic.

Elsewhere, CTV has dominated the charts with returning series including American Idol and Lost, which are averaging 2.8 million and 1.7 million to date, respectively. New series are also posting satisfactory numbers for the network, most notably the Fox pick-up Moment of Truth (1.5 million), the legal drama Eli Stone (1.1 million) and the sitcom Welcome to the Captain, which premiered after Corner Gas on Feb. 4 to one million viewers.

Over at Global, the reality show Celebrity Apprentice – the latest installment in The Apprentice franchise – has been averaging nearly 1.2 million viewers since its debut last month. That marks a 50% increase in the total audience from last season’s show, according to Global. The net also saw an 18% audience increase over last season for the premiere of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites, which aired to 2.5 million viewers on Thursday.

Global’s HBO pick-up Big Love, however, managed only 350,000 viewers for its premiere on the same night at 10 pm. The controversial show stars Bill Paxton as a polygamous father trying to manage three households, three wives and seven children.

In CTV’s corner, perennial favourites Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy and rookie series Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice and Pushing Daisies received full season orders for the 2008/09 season. Series likely returning to Global’s schedule include Brothers & Sisters, Numbers and The Office, though there’s no word on the legal drama Shark and the Jimmy Smits-starring Cane. The comedy Ugly Betty, which airs here on the Citytv stations, also got a full-season order from ABC.

From Playback Daily