Just a quick note that Combat Hospital, the latest in the line of Canadian shows that are also summer replacement series on U.S. networks, got almost 2 million Canadian viewers for its premiere last night. How the viewership will hold up is another question (the reviews have been mixed), but the evidence is pretty clear that Canadians will watch a Canadian-made series if it’s promoted right.
It does seem like a U.S. simulcast helps with promotion. Even though these shows don’t get a huge amount of build-up in the States, the U.S. partnership increases the build-up they get over here. And perhaps the U.S. simulcasting (or in the case of Flashpoint, U.S. whenever-the-network-feels-like-it-casting) increases the chance that it might get an extra promotional boost even after the premiere. These shows aren’t dependent on the U.S. connection for their viewers. But the connection may increase the chance that networks will do, in terms of promotion and scheduling, what arguably should be done for all Canadian shows.