CBC crime drama enjoys impressive debut

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. may have hit ratings paydirt with “The Border,” touted as Canada’s answer to “24.”

The newest drama from the public broadcaster drew an impressive 710,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data, when it bowed Monday night against ABC’s “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” on rival CTV.

In a domestic TV arena roughly one-tenth the size of the U.S. market, homegrown dramas are considered a hit when they reach 1 million viewers.

“The Border,” which stars James McGowan and Sofia Milos, revolves around an elite force of Toronto-based immigration and customs officers battling the threat of terrorism and human trafficking among other challenges along the Canadian-U.S. border.

The CBC got a leg up with its launch of “The Border” when “24,” which has traditionally drawn big numbers on rival Global Television, was pulled by Fox as a result of the writers strike.

But Global is gearing up for the March debut of its own border security drama. “The Guard,” which follows four offbeat Canadian search and rescue officers. And CTV is developing “The Sniper,” an ensemble drama set in the world of the Strategic Response Unit, an elite Canadian police force.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter