'Deal' Canada's top new show

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CanWest MediaWorks Inc.'s "Deal or No Deal Canada" has emerged as the top-rated new Canadian show of the season.

Toronto-based CanWest MediaWorks said that an initial five-episode run of the Canadian version of Endemol USA's "Deal or No Deal," hosted by Howie Mandel, secured an average 2.02 million viewers on Global Television, according to BBM Nielsen Media Research.

Barbara Williams, senior vp of programming and production for CanWest MediaWorks, said it was too early to consider ordering more episodes of "Deal or No Deal Canada" for the 2007-2008 season.

"It (Deal or No Deal Canada) did very well for us. We're just not at the point to be making decisions about renewal," Williams said.

"Deal or No Deal Canada" beat out rival CTV comedy "Corner Gas," which averaged 1.42 million viewers this season, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Little Mosque on the Prairie," which grabbed an average 1.07 million viewers, according to BBM Nielsen Media Research.

Global Television, one of two parallel networks operated by CanWest MediaWorks, already was drawing big numbers simulcasting NBC's "Deal or No Deal" series, and opted to air a Canadian version as part of a pact with Endemol USA and Toronto-based Insight Prods., which produced the homegrown series.

The first episode of "Deal or No Deal Canada" averaged 2.88 million viewers in the 18-49 demo when it debuted Feb. 4 after the Super Bowl game on Global Television, and ended its five-show run with an average 1.17 million viewers, according to BBM Nielsen Media Research.

The Canadian TV market is about 10% the size of its U.S. counterpart. So homegrown TV series that secure 2 million viewers are considered popular primetime hits.

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