Numbers up and down for returning series

CSI bounced back while its spin-offs struggled to regain pre-strike ratings. And Global made big gains with Bones and Boston Legal.

As US series make their long-awaited return this month, following the WGA strike that put the brakes on shows such as the CSIs, Desperate Housewives, Bones and NCIS, Canadian networks are seeing mixed results.

The results are favourable for CTV’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, though perennial favorites CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, Housewives and Criminal Minds are down from their averages in the fall.

Miami was first out of the gate with a fresh episode that aired on March 24 to 1.9 million viewers, down from a season-to-date average of about two million. This mirrors the performance of New York, which took a dive to 1.3 million with its second episode on April 9, likely due to the start of the NHL playoffs (all numbers 2+ unless otherwise indicated).

The original CSI, on the other hand, continues to hover around the three million mark after two new eps, up significantly from its fall average of 2.2 million. Housewives and Criminal Minds are down, averaging 1.7 million and 1.3 million, respectively. (Minds was shifted back an hour to the 8 pm time slot on Wednesdays to make room for American Idol.)

Global has had better luck. The return of its Fox crime series Bones on April 14 generated 1.2 million viewers, despite airing opposite CTV’s Dancing with the Stars. The network says Bones increased its audience by 54% compared to the fall.

Other Global series, including Boston Legal, NCIS and comedies My Name is Earl and The Office, also managed increases with their return episodes. Boston saw the biggest jump, with nearly 800,000 viewers, an increase of 170% from the fall.

CTV and Global are set to roll out the two most-watched series from last year with Grey’s Anatomy returning on Thursday, while House settles into the 9 pm time slot on Global on Monday, April 28, following Bones.

From Playback Daily