Sunday, October 26, 2008

Consolidation Prize – Sunday 26 October 2008

All three commercial networks were in tactical retreat last night, rather than launch into something bold or new all three have (in recent weeks) fallen back on safe and predictable.

Channel Nine
Nine has been consolidating for two weeks now, extending their flexible nostalgia series 20 to 01 to a second hour in the 6.30 slot in order to stop the haemorrhaging caused by Battlefronts a widely criticised gardening show which I never personally bothered with on the sole pretence that it was a gardening show and we shouldn’t be (as a nation) encouraging this cheap trash on the airwaves. Nonetheless the show failed to fire even with the ample hordes of people who normally go for this sort of program (look at the millions transfixed to Seven on a Friday night) and Nine swiftly booted it subbing in a more broadly appealing hour.

The move paid off for Nine which now rides in first place in the timeslot

Channel Seven
Seven dropped to disastrous numbers with the US adaptation of Kath & Kim and wasted no time subbing with reruns of the original. They were duly rewarded for their diligence pushing back into second spot ahead of Ten

Channel Ten
Poor Ten, their initial move at consolidation (ie: reruns of Thank God You’re Here at 6.30) looked great until Nine put them in check with 20 to 01 a similar light appeal show which has the advantage of being able to seem fresh even when it’s not. For ten the recalcitrance of producers Working Dog is a thorn in their side with a knock down concept sitting on the shelf while a bunch of overpaid and over-respected producers whine about having to recharge their creative juices – it’s not the Sopranos people – it’s a fucking cheap concept, just make some more already!

To add to Ten’s woes they took a second tactical retreat this week, pulling back their niche comedies (Californication and The Office) to 10.30 and putting up a second hour (repeat) of NCIS, generally reruns of NCIS have done exceptionally well but the bubble may be starting to burst with last night’s instalment pulling similar embarrassing figures to it’s timeslot predecessors.

In other news
The other big thing last night was Nine’s Rugby League world cup which didn’t really set the world on fire, one wonders if it will do any better next week with a match to be staged in Melbourne, the Main Beneficiary was Dancing with the Stars which saw huge gains from stranded viewers of The Mentalist and CSI Miami to become the night’s third most watched show.

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