ON TARGET: GLOBAL'S ROOKIE BLUE HAS BECOME THE MOST-WATCHED NEW CANADIAN
SERIES IN TWO DECADES

Inaugural Season Sets New Records
With 1.8 Million Viewers Each Week

Highly-Anticipated Two-Hour Season Finale Airs
Thursday, September 9 - 9pm ET/PT

For photography and additional press materials, please visit: href="http://www.canwesttvmedia.com/">www.canwesttvmedia.com

TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - As the first season of Global's smash hit Rookie Blue comes to a close with the gripping two-hour season finale tomorrow (Thursday, September 9 - 9pm ET/PT), this summer's hottest show has earned a new commendation: the distinction of becoming the most-watched rookie season of any scripted Canadian TV series in two decades - on any network.

Averaging 1.8 million viewers each week, Rookie Blue has now surpassed Due South's inaugural season in 1994 (1.7 million viewers). In the process, it has also become the most-watched Canadian program - scripted or unscripted - of the 2009/2010 broadcast year.

"While we were confident that Rookie Blue would captivate audiences, the astounding success of its record-breaking first season has exceeded our highest expectations," said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President of Content, Canwest Broadcasting. "With the calibre of talent in front of and behind the camera, we're looking forward to bringing fans more of the compelling characters and strong storylines they have come to love about this show in season two."

Some other key successes from Rookie Blue's first season:

  • Won its competitive Thursday 9pm timeslot nationally 10 out of 11 weeks
  • Every episode of Rookie Blue was in the weekly national "Top 10" in Canada
  • Rookie Blue was the #1 show in Canada during the weeks of June 21 and July 19 - a new first for a Canadian scripted drama
  • Rookie Blue was watched by a total of 8.5 million viewers in Canada and the U.S. each week this summer - more than any other Canadian show
  • Confirmed data for the series premiere indicates that a record-breaking 2.2 million viewers watched the pilot episode in June - the highest-rated premiere for a Canadian drama series on any network in over a decade
  • Season 2 was greenlit only three weeks following its ground-breaking premiere on Global and ABC

"We are over the moon that Rookie Blue has resonated with so many viewers," said Tassie CameronExecutive ProducerRookie Blue"Canwest's support of the show has been phenomenal from the very beginning, and it's incredibly gratifying to hear that the audience loves the series as much as we love making it."

Commissioned by Canwest and picked up by ABC during development last year, Rookie Blue was developed by Thump Inc. and produced in partnership with leading indie studio and distributor, E1 Entertainment.

Canwest's unwavering commitment to the series began as early as the pitching stage and has continued unabated throughout the season. Global's original production executives worked closely with the talented producers and creative team during script development, casting and filming. Canwest's support of Rookie Blue was bolstered by an extensive, national, multi-media marketing campaign - the most comprehensive of its kind for an original series airing on Global.

And after packing heat on the air all summer long, production on the second season is now underway. Shooting entirely on location in Toronto, the cast and crew will be filming new episodes this fall through early 2011. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on Global and ABC. In the season finale, "In Blue/Takedown" (Thursday, September 9), tension mounts as the rookies undergo make-or-break assessments by Staff Sergeant Frank. Then, Andy and Chris accidentally screw up a major drug bust when they arrest one of the players. In an effort to save the operation, Swarek and Andy go undercover. When Swarek's life is endangered, it's all hands on deck as the officers at 15 Division try to save one of their own. Wendy Crewson (The Summit) and Tom McCamus (Waking up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story) guest star.

The series features a dynamic group of Canadian actors including Missy Peregrym (Reaper, Heroes), Gregory Smith (Everwood), Charlotte Sullivan (M.V.P.), Enuka Okuma (24) and Travis Milne (My Green House). Rounding out the diverse cast are Ben Bass (Would Be Kings), Eric Johnson (Smallville), Matt Gordon (Rent-A-Goalie), Noam Jenkins (Flashpoint) and Melanie Nicholls King (The Wire).

Rookie Blue is executive produced by award-winning Tassie Cameron (Flashpoint), Ilana Frank (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings), Noreen Halpern (Hung, Haven), John Morayniss (Hung, Haven) and David Wellington (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings).

Viewers can catch up on all the entire first season of Rookie Blue at GlobalTV.com.

Source: BBM.  All data national English 2+ based on regularly-scheduled, non-sports programs.  Due South premiere season based on Sept 22/94-June 1/95.  Canadian/U.S. combined data based on BBM national 2+ and Nielsen U.S. national 2+ audience.

Global Television is a Canwest Broadcasting network.

About Canwest Broadcasting
Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and nineteen of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.

About Canwest Originals
Canwest is the proud home of the most diverse slate of Canadian Original programs across the Dramatic, Lifestyle and Entertainment genres. As a steadfast supporter of the Canadian production community, Canwest is dedicated to bringing the best of the country to audiences nationwide - including shows such as: Rookie Blue, Pitchin' In, Holmes Inspection, Ice Pilots: NWT, Lost Girl, 16:9, The Opener, Princess, William Shatner's Weird or What? and Canada's most trusted entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight Canada.

About Canwest Media Inc.
Canwest Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. ( href="http://www.canwest.com/">www.canwest.com) (TSX-V; CGS and CGS.A), one of Canada's largest broadcasting companies. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, Canwest operates 19 industry-leading specialty channels and more than 20 online properties.

SOURCE News - Media

For further information: For further information:

For media inquiries, please contact:                      
Sónia Brum, Publicist
Global Television
(416) 934-7071
sbrum@globaltv.com

Grace Park, Publicity Manager
Global Television
(416) 967-2484
gpark@globaltv.com


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