Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bachelor Canada Will Return --In 2014!

The news has been trickling out that Rogers Media has picked up The Bachelor Canada for another season.
But not next year! In 2014!
It's hardly a solid vote of confidence considering all the hoopla invented in this the latest Canadian spin off of an American hit.
Well, CTV once gave Canadian Idol the same treatment and that hunk of unreality TV has never come back at all.
CBC told me Hatching, Matching And Dispatching was going off for a spot of re-tinkering. It will never be seen again.
In the case of The Bachelor Canada one has merely too look at the ratings as the cause. Rogers plowed a lot of dough into this one and the average weekly audience was about 700,000.
Like all such series the show can't be rerun because we all know the outcome.
Foreign sales are dubious because many other countries have their own Bachelor franchise up and running.
Rogers is just discovering how expensive it is to make a Canadian series. After all a U.S. pickup can be purchased for something like $100,000 an episode --it is then simulcast for a double rating what with the Buffalo station blacked out and it also comes with tons of free publicity courtesy of all those U.S. entertainment series Canadians love to watch.
Cost is the reason Rogers already cancelled its dramatic hit Murdoch Mysteries --after five seasons this one found a second home on CBC. But that seems unlikely for The Bachelor Canada --CBC has its own reality outings like Dragon's Den.
And I'm willing to bet Rogers goes right out and purchases the next season of the American original --The Bachelor provided it gets an ABC pick up. Ratings are really drooping as the format becomes overly familiar.
Don't forget the Big Three commercial TV networks in Canada : Citytv, Global and CTV are all mere parts of larger conglomerates of various cable channels.
The ratings on the old line networks are slowly but surely ebbing away.
Talking to a Grade 6 class recently I was told they rarely watch TV anyhow --they download everything to other devices and watch later on with friends.
The TV universe I originally covered for The Hamilton Spectator starting in 1970 was a 10-channel universe.
Today there are hundreds of channels with the old networks experiencing the same problems print newspapers are having. Viewers are fleeing and so are advertisers.
I certainly wasn't among the admirers of The Bachelor Canada. It seemed so very pre-planned to me. Bachelor Brad Smith was very much in the mold of a nice, inoffensive guy and the long stemmed lovelies he supposedly romanced looked more than a little desperate at times.
But the accoutrements were lavish.  I'm not talking about the roses but the stretch limousines, the clothing, the makeup contingent, the luxurious  hotels. It's just that Canadians were watching American fare simulcasted on the competition, CTV and Global.
CBC is also sitting out Battle Of The Blades this year for financial reasons.
Times remain tough for all networks. And things certainly won't get better in the near future.
I can only wish Bachelor Canada's Brad Smith the best of luck. I hope he got to keep his wardrobe. And maybe he can get his job back in the CFL?

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