When CBC's Battle of the Blades debuted Oct. 4, nearly two million viewers tuned in to watch the novel and sometimes awkward pairings of figure skaters and hockey stars. It was second highest premier for a homegrown CBC series since Little Mosque on the Prairie, and the ratings held strong throughout the show's seven weeks, averaging 1.7 million viewers each episode.
It's the latest in a string of reality hits for the publicly funded broadcaster, which has found past success by poaching reality concepts from Britain and selling them to Canadian audiences.
Dragons' Den, premiered in 2006
Entrepreneurs and starry eyed inventors pitch business ideas to a panel of moguls in the Canadian version of a BBC series of the same name (although the idea originated in Japan). The program recently drew 1.3-million viewers.
The Week The Women Went, premiered in 2008
In this BBC import, women leave a small town for a week as the men fend for themselves with the children and household chores. The CBC version was set in Hardisty, Alta., and debuted with 770,000 viewers before peaking at more than one million. The show was renewed this year and set in the fishing village of Tatamagouche, N.S.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? 2008
An elimination-style show based on a British series of the same name, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria sought a fresh face for the role of Maria von Trapp in the Toronto stage production of The Sound of Music. Elicia MacKenzie, a self-described Vancouver tomboy, won the title role, while CBC won an average 700,000 viewers in the program's last two episodes.
Battle of the Blades, 2009
Two-time Stanley Cup winner Craig Simpson and Olympic gold medalist Jamie Sale took top prize Monday night in this indisputable CBC hit. There's already talk of renewing the elimination-style series and exporting it to other markets.
- Brodie Fenlon with files from The Canada Press