History TV takes off with Ice Pilots NWT

The original 13-part series about Arctic pilots launches on the Canwest channel, home of Ice Truckers, which reached one million viewers in three airings of its 10th episode.

Facing blizzards, breakdowns and the prospect of flying WWII propeller planes over icy tundra, the stars of History Television’s new 13-part documentary series, Ice Pilots NWT, have a life not many of us would envy.

Debuting Nov. 18 at 10 p.m. ET, Ice Pilots NWT is a Canwest original series depicting the professional lives of a group of elite pilots from Yellowknife, NT-based company Buffalo Airways. The pilots face all adversities of weather while flying vintage planes in and out of mining sites in the Canadian north. The 12 episodes following the premiere will air Wednesdays at 7 and 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Targeting 25- to 54-year-olds, skewing male, Ice Pilots NWT will be supported by a countrywide campaign, with media buying handled in-house, across on-air, radio, print and interactive program guides (IPGs), including Canwest assets. The show also has its own website, launched this week, featuring profiles of the people and locations in the series, full episodes, trailers, maps, trivia and interviews. Sponsorship opportunities for the series are still available.

The network also had reason to celebrate this week as it released the latest viewership numbers for Ice Road Truckers, a similar-style reality show about trucking life in the Canadian north. Now the second-highest rated series on specialty television, the show pulled in its highest audience ever on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, when over one million viewers tuned in: 516,500 in the A25-54 bracket and an impressive 549,000 among A18-49s.