Canadian Flashpoint No. 1 Ranked Show in U.S. and Canada
It started off with a bang - CTV's Friday night Canadian-made series Flashpoint blew away the mold for ratings. And not just in Canada.
In fact, the Toronto-based show, which follows a team of Special Response Unit (SRU) tactical police officers working the streets of the Greater Toronto Area, was #1 in both the Canadian and American rankings. Over 8 million viewers in the US and 1 million in Canada.
But to anyone who caught the Friday night premiere, it should come as no surprise at all. The show skillfully weaves the flashy, slick editing that one would expect from a major broadcast show, with a sense of humility and realism that is the hallmark of Canadian programming.
Instead of going the gung-ho approach for American viewing, Flashpoint follows the personal and professional lives of a team of people who are trying very hard to be good at their jobs. And sometimes that job involves killing another human being.
The show gives a very real sense of professionalism that is almost scary in its implementation. For instance, when an officer fires his gun in the course of duty, doing his job %100 correctly, he is instantly cut off from any communication with his teammates or other officers and is placed under investigation. His firearm, equipment, even clothing are taken and catalogued. This harsh treatment, while necessary in the course investigating a shooting, seems shocking from the perspective of the audience, who feel as though the character is being punished for doing nothing wrong.
This is a far cry from the 'shoot anything and count the lives later' style that shows like '24' deliver, and even the reality shows such as 'Dallas Swat' fail to impart the seriousness of the situations they find themselves in.
And with a #1 rating, it looks like doing things their own way is paying off.
I'll certainly be tuning in next week.
More than eight million Americans tuned in for the season premiere of the Canadian-made police drama Flashpoint on CBS Friday night, making it the night's top-rated program in overall U.S. households. This far surpassed the expectations of the network and its Toronto-based producers.
"It's just totally crazy. Nobody predicted this," the show's co-producer Bill Mustos said yesterday from the editing suite. "I'm as shocked as everybody else. I'm just numb."
The 13-part series about a SWAT-like team of elite cops drew 8.13 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, and also ranked first with adults aged 25 to 54, and adults 18 to 49.
The network said Flashpoint - which stars Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars), Hugh Dillon (Durham County) and Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity) - was its best showing in the time slot since May 16 for the season finale of CBS's popular Numb3rs, starring Judd Hirsch.