Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Seven Steamroller - Tuesday 7 October 2008

This is becoming a familiar story on Tuesday night with Seven having locked in it’s audience for yet more doco-dramas at 7.30 and the all conquering Packed to the Rafters which jumped an astonishing 143,000 viewers in a week.

Pulling off a quadrella for Seven is the long running All Saints which hung on to 69% of it’s lead in to win the timeslot.

This is obviously a massive boost for Australian drama which since 2007 has been heavily invested in by both Nine and Seven with very few flops.

A different story is playing out over at Ten, having put all their chips in the reality pile at the start of the year their schedule has fallen apart and their one attempt at scripted Australian television this year, Rush, which is as good any cop show that you’ll see, has been scheduled – in a moment of breath-taking stupidity – against All Saints.

Ten’s programmers obviously judged that All Saints would be ripe for the picking, indeed it was been beaten regularly by reruns of NCIS, but nobody counted on the confluence of three factors – the promotional push given by Seven’s Olympic coverage in August, the lead-in delivered by the year’s most watched regular series and the tragic death of one of the show’s actors which focused media attention on All Saints in it’s first week back.

If the brains behind Ten are smart they will swap out Rush for Life and give their cop show the benefit of a better lead-in and a clear run on a Wednesday. But I don’t think they’re that smart…

Even more disastrous than the non-performance of Rush is the failure of The Simpsons at 7.30. With the Simpsons being the perennial Tuesday Family Hour occupant and having so many reruns on the schedule, viewers seem encouraged to check out the alternatives. For a while there the obvious alternative was Wipeout a show dedicated to people making fools of themselves on a giant obstacle course in the mold of a Japanese game show, but Wipeout’s last two instalments (last night was the season finale) have been clip shows which have not attracted the same audience, when Chopping Block returns next week expect a small dent in Seven’s reality hour and the remaining Wipeout viewers to flee back to The Simpsons.

The Simpsons has got to be losing ground to RSPCA/Find My Family also – especially with younger children and people in their 30’s and 40’s.

Finally the ennui over Wipeout has put the kibosh on Nine’s “Adult’s Only” Two and a Half Men, the romance isn’t over just yet because the 7pm strip still netted 1.15 million viewers and a second place in the slot but it indicates that the 8.30 competition is strong and perhaps viewers are beginning to look at the Charlie Sheen sitcom in a similar vein to the way they view The Simpsons – ‘it’s on all the time, so if I don’t catch it now – it’s alright’ Essentially Supply is beginning to outstrip demand!

A surprise of sorts was the good performance of 20 to 01 Greatest Movie Scenes, it was well promoted during the week and obviously provided a reasonable alternative to all the Australian drama on the other channels, but it’s still nowhere near it’s performance 2 years ago and it feels like the concept is on it’s last legs.

Looking forward to tonight the big question is: Will Jamie Oliver rescue Ten’s Wednesday Night?

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