'Big Bang Theory' Beats 'American Idol' in Canada

11:07 AM PST 03/21/2011 by Etan Vlessing

CTV has seen big pay off from splitting American Idol between networks to retain Big Bang Theory simulcast Thursday nights.

TORONTO -- Splitting Fox's American Idol between its main and secondary A Channel networks has paid big dividends for CTV after CBS' The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights became Canada’s top-rated TV show.

CTV’s Big Bang Theory simulcast on Thursday at 8 p.m. was last week pre-empted by CBS’ NCAA coverage.

But the March 10 simulcast for the CBS sitcom drew 3.13 million viewers to win the week for CTV, according to BBM Canada data.

In second place was the latest elimination round of American Idol, which drew 2.77 million viewers for its Wednesday night performance episode.

Against Big Bang Theory on March 11, 1.4 million Canadians tuned in to the American Idol results episode on the A Channel.

CTV airs both popular series north of the border, which forced the broadcaster to air Idol's performance episode Wednesdays on its main network, and then shift Idol's Thursday results show to its secondary A network.

Sharing Idol enabled CTV to retain Big Bang Theory on Thursday as a simulcast, after CBS shifted the sitcom from Monday nights last year to Thursdays this season in the former slot at 8 p.m.

Big Bang Theory in turn quickly became the top-rated show among total viewers on Canadian TV, starting with the recent fall TV season.

And American Idol is the top-rated show on the A Channel network, making it tentpole destination programming that promotes the rest of the secondary network schedule for CTV.

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