'The Big Bang Theory' Still Most Watched Show on Canadian TV

Big Bang Theory Kevin Sussman - H 2012

Big Bang Theory Kevin Sussman - H 2012

The nerdy CBS comedy even gave CTV a rare Saturday night win as it airs in repeats as a comedy block against a diminished "Hockey Night in Canada" during the NHL lockout.

TORONTO – The Big Bang Theory remains Canada’s most-watched TV show, and earned domestic broadcaster CTV a rare Saturday night win.

An average 4.5 million Canadians have so far tuned into the CBS comedy each week during fall 2012, according to BBM Canada data, up 18 percent compared to fall 2011 when The Big Bang Theory also topped viewership tables here.

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And the nerdy comedy helped CTV win Saturday night last weekend when CTV scheduled a Big Bang Night on CTV comedy block opposite Hockey Night in Canada on the CBC during the NHL lockout.

The repeats of Big Bang Theory on October 13 drew 1.24 million viewers, well ahead of the 293,000 viewers that watched a repeat of the May 10, 1979 playoff game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens.

Hockey Night in Canada, a national institution on the CBC, routinely draws upwards of 2 million viewers when airing live NHL games.

But the hockey league’s work stoppage has forced the CBC to air repeat games to preserve its audience and ad revenue.

And that vacuum has produced an opening for CTV to command Saturday nights north of the border, when it otherwise dominates weeknights with its stable of U.S. network series.

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CTV’s other fall 2012 performers include Grey’s Anatomy and Two and a Half Men with an average 2.9 million viewers each, both up over last year, and Arrow, which debuted on CTV Two to 1.1 million viewers.

CTV also has the Charlie Sheen-starrer Anger Management on its schedule.