Canadian sitcoms, reality TV outdo dramas

'Hiccups,' 'Mayor' draw roughly 1.9 million viewers each

TORONTO -- The funny thing about Canadian TV nowadays are sitcoms and light reality fare are outperforming edgy homegrown dramas in primetime.

The March 5 two-hour series premiere of the CTV police drama "The Bridge" from E1 Television debuted Friday night with 998,000 viewers, just shy of the 1.009 million viewers that tuned in to the recent series premiere for the CBC's P.I. drama "The Republic of Doyle."

The Friday night audience for "The Bridge," which CBS acquired and has yet to commit an airdate, peaked at 1.25 million, according to BBM Canada data.

Still, "The Bridge" fell short of the viewership for the back-to-back March 1 premieres of two new CTV sitcoms, "Hiccups" (1.915 million viewers) and "Dan for Mayor" (1.89 million viewers), which were both heavily promoted during the Vancouver Olympics.

"Hiccups" and "Dan For Mayor" at roughly 1.9 million each also provided impressive lead-ins to CTV's next two Monday night comedies: "Two and a Half Men" at 9 p.m. and "Big Bang Theory" at 9:30 p.m., which had around 2.3 million viewers each.

And the CBC is drawing an average 1.7 million viewers to its investment reality series "Dragon's Den," which ends its season run on March 17.

The public broadcaster last fall also drew an average 1.75 million total viewers for the seven performance episodes of its ice-dance competition series, "Battle of the Blades," on Sunday nights.