Monday, November 24, 2008

90210 No – Monday 24 October 2008


I can’t even look – I’m just going focus on the other channels for the moment.

Nine, Seven and ABC all enjoyed a close tussle for control of the Night.

Nine kept their Monday buzz going with a retrospective on the old 90’s show Weddings, that show was quite popular in it’s hey day being one of the original fly on the wall series attempted in this country.

A rerun of CSI gained week-on-week beating City Homicide into second place with The Howard Years Part II a close third, Cold Case also showed a slight gain week on week but was still in fourth place with Enough Rope taking the slot for the ABC.

The Good News Week Awards did OK, no scratch that – in light of it’s lead in it did magnificently with over 200% retention!

The big stories of the night though were at 7.30. SBS which rides on 5-6% audience share, wheeled out a new season of the UK Top Gear (after several weeks of middling performance of the Australian version) and saw their numbers lift spectacularly – It’s easy to think that people just ignore channel 28, up there on the lonely UHF dial while everybody else parties on VHF, but when SBS get a hit going the people come running.

The Rich List saw a 200,000 viewer lift in their fortunes week on week, at first you think – good for them they’re picking up, but I submit to you a theory – if there’s nothing on that viewers want to watch then mediocrity wins out.

These were the Audience Shares for FTA in the 7.30 hour (by my reckoning)
9 25.74%
7 25.07%
SBS 22.11%
ABC 18.63%
TEN 8.45%

8 percent, 8… That is horrific. As Ten’s 7pm timeslot has lurched from disaster to even bigger disaster their 7.30 timeslots have taken a beating but this is the absolute worst 7.30 beating they have ever sustained.

Ten has shown some faith in the new 90210 by reintroducing it for summertime but where are the viewers? 7.30 is arguably a better timeslot for a teen drama than 8.30 but they just didn’t show up.

I’m not sure why – the new show is well made, it’s not embarrassing to watch, it contains a lot of continuity for fans of the original and it cracks along at a breakneck pace, so why aren’t people watching it.

Here’s my (crackpot) theory…

There’s no buzz, or rather, all the buzz is centred on what old 90210 star will next appear, does anyone know who the stars of this new series are? Let me put it another way…

Back in 1992/93 did anyone NOT know who Luke Perry and Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty were? They were megastars at the time, helped a long in large part by the behind the scenes feuding, but Ten rode out a year of poor ratings (1991) with the show on Friday nights before it caught on with kids here and (more importantly) in the US.

The next big Teen thing was Party of Five – Ten waited two years to bring it out – by the time they did Scott Wolf (remember him?) and Neve Campbell were on magazine covers everywhere.

Back in 1997 the WB Launched Dawson’s Creek – ten waited until 99 to introduce it here by which time Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes were fully on our radar even though we’d never seen them in anything.

In effect Fast Tracking (in the initial years) may be a teen show’s worst enemy. There’s no hard and fast rules of course some teen shows never take off or generate any buzz (One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl) my point is that although I don’t think it will go this low again (it’s moving to Sunday nights with a better lead in than Will and Grace and less competition) Ten is going to have their work cut out for them getting it to catch on with audiences.

The only thing that can help this show in the short term is for Rob Estes to take his young co-stars down to the Viper Room for a night out (with Paparazzi in tow) – or perhaps Lori Loughlin could introduce the kids to drunk uncle Jesse!


EO said...

Hey Nice blog, I was wondering where you got that rating information on the old 90210 and Dawsons Creeek. I am really interested to see how those shows rated on channel ten back in the 90's. Especially interested to see how Melrose Place rated.

H E Pennypacker said...

Thanks EO

I'm just drawing on memory here but with the original 90210 when they moved it to sundays (1993) it became a top ten hit and for a time (during it's third season) beat 60 minutes.

Melrose Place kinda hit big in the summer of 93 when they reran the first season on Tuesday nights (it started on Fridays 7.30 then moved to Wednesdays 7.30 but Tuesday 8.30 was where it took off) all through 1994 akll you would read about is people hosting Melrose Place viewing parties it was insane.

Party of Five was big straight outta the gate - remember they had that lineup in early 96 on Sundays The Nanny/Hudson Street/Party of Five - I don't know that they ever beat 60 minutes but they were one of Ten's biggest nights at the time.

EO said...

Wow!! Was that in total people or demos? I find that hard to believe.. What about Dawsons Creek was that ever really that big? Do you have any idea what type of numbers those shows did in total people?

H E Pennypacker said...

I don't think Dawsons Creek ever set the world on fire but it did well enough in it's initial run. But 90210, Melrose Place and Party of Five were hits in total viewers before trailing off after their peaks into good demographic performers and then finally obscurity

The life of a teen drama!