U.S. sitcom consistently hits No. 1 spot
Canadians, it turns out, can’t get enough of “The Big Bang Theory.”The California-set sitcom about nerdy physicists and their waitress neighbor is the No. 1 show in the Great White North this fall, the only show in the land to pull in more than 3 million viewers every week. Its average rating so far this season on CTV is 3.4 million. And it’s even hotter north of the border than it is in the U.S. “Big Bang” is the undisputed No. 1 show in Canada while on its home turf it usually lands somewhere between No. 8 and No. 14 on the ratings chart. The U.S. has a population that is roughly nine times that of Canada, yet the average audience for “The Big Bang Theory” in the U.S. is only four times the audience in Canada (13.2 million in the U.S. vs. 3.4 million in Canada). So what’s the deal? Per Virginia Thompson — one of the producers of the longtime hit Canuck sitcom “Corner Gas” and the upcoming CBC laffer “InSecurity” — Canadians simply relate remarkably well to nerdy genuises Leonard and Sheldon. “I think we are geekier than Americans and I think we’re proud to be geekier,” says Thompson. So why is it Hollywood and not Canadian producers who’ve come up with the ultimate geek sitcom? Thompson’s not sure. Her new show, which debuts on pubcaster CBC in January, is decidedly non-geeky. It’s a comedy about Canadian spies in Ottawa that spoofs U.S. procedurals like “CSI” and “Law & Order.” There’s not an academic geek in sight.
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