MOWs wow at CTV, hockey scores at CBC, TSN

Demonstrating there is still a market for TV movies in Canada after all, CTV aired its original MOW Eight Days to Live on May 28 at 9 p.m. to two million viewers.

Demonstrating there is still a market for TV movies in Canada after all, CTV aired its original MOW Eight Days to Live on May 28 at 9 p.m. to two million viewers.

Starring and executive produced by Canuck Kelly Rowan (The O.C.), the Shaftesbury Films picture – about a mother’s search for her son after a car accident in the B.C. mountains – is the highest rated CTV original movie ‘since the advent of electronic measurement,’ according to CTV and BBM. Exec producer Christina Jennings credits Rowan’s star power and CTV’s promotional effort for the big numbers, which exceeded even her expectations.

‘There is a lot of talk right now about the relevance of MOWs, so to have a movie that [drew] two million viewers was fantastic,’ says Jennings. ‘CTV made a real commitment to promote it. It’s not just putting the money in to make it.’

But lightning did not strike twice, as Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story, another CTV original MOW, produced by Screen Door and Massey Productions, aired one week later in the same slot to a smaller but respectable 712,000 viewers. The network was to air its heavily promoted Sudz Sutherland-helmed TV movie Doomstown on June 11, after Playback’s press time.

CTV also managed a strong 1.8 million viewers for the return of its Canadian Idol program, up by about 30,000 viewers from last season. The series’ fourth season premiere – the first of its audition shows – aired only five days after a stunning 3.8 million tuned in to the American Idol finale, also on CTV, peaking at 5.2 million. The series averaged three million on CTV this season.

Meanwhile, at CBC, hockey is still the big draw, as the first game of the NHL’s Stanley Cup series between the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes drew three million viewers – very strong, but down from the first game of the 2004 Stanley Cup final featuring the Calgary Flames, which scored 3.6 million.

According to CBC, the Western Conference final between Edmonton and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks averaged two million viewers – up 6% from the third-round series between Calgary and the San Jose Sharks in 2004. CBC also carried games three through five of the Eastern Conference final between the Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres, drawing a 990,000 average.

TSN handled the balance of the Eastern final, averaging 974,000 viewers for games one, two, six and seven, 9% higher than was achieved during the conference finals in 2004. Its highest rated single game was the seventh, which managed just under 1.5 million, making it TSN’s highest rated playoff game ever.