Saturday, January 31, 2009

Primetime Preview: Wednesdays

7.30 - 8.30
Australia's Got Talent vs Farmer Wants a Wife vs The Biggest Loser/Guerilla Gardeners

Hmmm, clearly no-one was happy with their Wednesday performance last year as all this stuff is new to the timeslot, also no-one thought to include comedy in the slot as Two and a Half Men worked marvellously for Nine on Wednesday nights last year.

The first few weeks will see an extra installment of So You Think You Can Dance over on Ten before it is replaced by a gardening show (unusual for Ten) which is an unknown quantity.

The Hot Tip...
I don't expect Got Talent to do anything special here, Red Symons is good value but the presence of Danni Minogue and Tom Burlinson keeps it from being entertaining - frankly on the strength of it's previous seasons and Nine's summer campaign I'd tip Farmer wants a Wife as the winner of this slot. Only problem is do they have more than six weeks in the can?

8.30 - 9.30
Criminal Minds vs The Mentalist vs House
For the first few weeks House will be pushed back to 9pm, this may advantage it over the other shows in the slot as it won't have to directly face the ABC's Spicks and Specks - a perrenial contender in this slot.

Out of the commercial channels, Criminal Minds has The Mentalists' measure and I expect that to continue

The Hot Tip...
Criminal Minds still the timeslot winner, though a lot will depend on whether Ten's extended Dance sessions act as effective spoilers in the early weeks and deliver an aud to House - I'm not holding my breath...

9.30 - 10.30
Gangs of Oz vs Flashpoint vs Life
It's hard to know what Nine are thinking here, Flashpoint has been doing reasonably well in an 8.30 slot but they have had trouble pinning down a night with all these sneak peeks - now they pull a random night out of their collective arses and it's Wednesday at 9.30??? Whatever.

I predict some initial interest in Gangs of Oz (the seven factual publicity machine is a loud beast) but I wonder exactly how many criminal gangs are out there for them to profile.

The Hot Tip
After an initial interest for Gangs of Oz, Flashpoint will take over the slot, I don't see Life troubling either 7 or 9, which is unfortunate because it is one of the best shows on TV.

Primetime Preview: Tuesdays

7.30 – 8.30
RSPCA Animal Rescue/Find My Family vs Wipeout vs The Biggest Loser/Bondi Rescue

OK, now we’re talking competition. Seven is wasting no time and is bringing back their mega-Tuesday without delay. Both the pet show and Find My Family were big drawcards late last year and Seven is looking to keep the buzz going. Both Nine and Ten are reviving their Tuesday success stories from last year to compete with an Australian version of Wipeout and ten’s Bondi Rescue returning for a fourth season.

The hot tip…

Seven will win, but they will be strongly challenged by Wipeout which has a suitable hosting team (James Brayshaw and Josh Lawson) and is one of the few fun family shows on TV (sorry seven watching sick pets or families in despair is not fun). Bondi Rescue is likely to falter with the factual aud disappearing up seven’s fundament.

8.30 – 9.30
Packed to the Rafters vs TBA vs NCIS

Do I even need to analyse this? Nine is competing at first with an Adults Only Two and a Half Men but no word on whether that will continue beyond one week.

The hot tip…

Rafters first, NCIS second, Nine third.

9.30 – 10.30
All Saints vs TBA vs Lie to Me

Again no idea what Nine is screening in this slot - but I'll hazard a guess and say that a retooled All Saints will romp home the winner, Lie to Me may be good or whatever - but we seem to be chock-a-block full of quirky weird dude procedurals right now, plus Tim Roth - he may be in movies but he ain't no star.

The hot tip...
All Saints, until Ten put NCIS reruns back in the slot, then they are frakked!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Primetime Preview: Mondays

7.30 – 8.30
How I Met Your Mother vs Two and a Half Men/The Big Bang Theory vs So You Think You Can Dance

Ouch – we have so few sitcoms on TV right now – why do the networks insist on pitting them against each other.

Part of me feels that after a successful summer at 7pm, How I Met Your Mother will have the chops to take on the Charlie Sheen laffer, but then I saw the promo for the first new episode next Monday – look how big Jake has gotten!!! The fact that puberty has finally hit that kid will have me and every other sitcom fan tuning in next Monday night

The hot tip…
Two and a Half Men in first place with So You Think You Can Dance in second, How I Met Your Mother in third and The Big Bang Theory bringing up the rear (it deserves to be a timeslot winner but it still hasn’t fully caught on yet)

I’m very interested to find out what Seven will schedule after How I Met Your Mother, or if they’ll be showing hourlong installments (which would burn through them awfully quickly)

8.30 – 9.30
Desperate Housewives vs Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities vs Good News Week

So Nine really wants that Monday win and they’re going about it well too – Underbelly in 2008 was a megahit even without viewers in it’s home state – the new version should have a big turnout for the premiere – what happens after that depends a lot on the quality of the series and the intrigue of the storyline.

Desperate Housewives jumps forward in time by 5 years which sounds like a cool idea for a fifth season but it will struggle to garner attention against Nine’s local spectacular.

Finally Good News Week returns after a year of decent performances (but never setting the world on fire) given the competition this is Ten’s smartest move leaving the drama to others and offering a fun alternative/

The hot tip…
Underbelly, for 12 weeks anyway, then Housewives when it vacates.

9.30 – 10.30
Brothers & Sisters vs Aussie Ladette to Lady vs Dexter

At least you can say there’s something for everyone here, Brothers & Sisters which is a soap opera I guess should hold enough housewives viewers, the Underbelly audience may split up with those interested in violence heading over to Dexter which is a US premium cable serial about a police forensic/serial killer who only kills criminals (that’s one way to keep the prison population low), and those interesting in T&A moving on to Aussie Ladette to Lady. If ever there was a reality show that I didn’t expect a local version of – this was it!

The hot tip…
I’d like to think that the more conducive timeslot and better promotion would get Dexter over the line but something tells me that this local version of Ladette to Lady will be a minor hit, Nine have shown the nous to use the British instructors from that show which will help them immensley as their starched demeanour provides an excellent source of comedy against the louts that come through that finishing school!

All shows will benefit from the absence of Andrew Denton who retired his Enough Rope program late last year.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Primetime Preview: Sundays

You may have noticed I haven't posted any updates for a few days, I decided a few days back that the info coming through this week (the second week of the tennis) was pretty sparse and would be distorted due to the sports, whereas next week (the first week of February and the last week of non ratings) would be the first major test for a lot of new and returning shows.

So lets go through what we know about returning shows in the new season - what's coming and when it'll be and most Importantly what the match-ups are...

Let's start with Sunday Nights

Sunday Night vs Domestic Blitz vs The Biggest Loser

The Unknown quantity on this night is Sunday Night a new newsmagazine from Seven. To be co-hosted from Nine defector (or is that retiree) Mike Munro, the show has an impressive roster of reporters and a one hour jump on 60 minutes foreshadowing a possible upset on this night, which has long been Nine's to lose.

Nine are slotting in Domestic Blitz, a 'feel good' renovation program (an offshoot of onetime hit Backyard Blitz) which had a successful run in this slot last year and an even bigger Monday night special late last year.

Ten, for it's part returns with the mega successful Biggest Loser with a new innovation, the contestants are all in couples which is sure to pack even more emotional punch for a show which is equal parts reality contest and maudlin tearjerker.

The hot tip...
Every show has an equal chance here - there will be a curiosity factor about Sunday Night, but ultimately that show will succeed or fail on the choice and presentation of it's stories. Without another gardening show to dampen it's aud, Backyard Blitz could run away with the slot and yet I still feel that The Biggest Loser has another big season in the tank, it will be the first show out of the blocks (this Sunday) and has a habit of building over the course of the season - however Sundays are typically it's weakest night.

On balance though - I'm going to say Backyard Blitz

7.30 - 8.30
Border Security/Triple Zero Heroes vs 60 Minutes vs So You Think You Can Dance

Again it's seven taking a leap into the unknown moving one of their proven hits (Border Security) into the path of ongoing freight train that is 60 minutes.

Put aside the dancers for a minute - that show has it's own young audience which will probably eclipse the other shows on the night - the actual timeslot battle will be between 60 minutes and Border Security - each fighting tooth and nail for the old curmudgeon audience, joined in the battle no doubt by the ABC and their endless reams of old skewing Sunday fare.

Seven has taken Border Security out of the frying pan and thrown it into the fire and I'm not sure which viewers are going to choose - my instinct says BS, which frankly could mean either show!

After the customs thing Seven goes to reality playbook and looks up rescue 911 to produce Triple Zero Heroes - I expect this to be huge - there has been a lot of pre-show buzz and this may even pick up viewers that Border Security does not have as this kind of ordinary folks in every day jeopardy stuff will skew a lot more female than people getting cavity searches.

The hot tip...
I think So You Think You Can Dance will dominate but even it could be shaded by Triple Zero Heroes which will probably exploit an untapped vein of this reality programming. The more interesting test will be whether Border Security can be a stayer against the ultimate marathon runner: 60 minutes. Me thinks that ticking clock is going to have to sing for it's supper this year...

8.30 - 9.30
City Homicide vs CSI Miami vs So You Think You Can Dance

This is weird Nine and Seven have just moved their Monday night fight to Sundays - Nine will come a close second to Seven on this one (although Seven will get a scare on William Peterson's last ep) This paves the way for Dance to cut through as the alternative but something tells me it'll be City Homicide with the other two fighting over second place.

The hot tip...
Yep City Homicide in a rerun of late last year's 8.30 monday battle.

9.30 - 10.30
Bones vs TBA vs Rove

Bones will follow its previous lead in all the way to Sundays pitting it against Rove on Ten and whatever Nine pulls out of the cupboard. Smart money is on Nine debuting Eleventh Hour in this slot (given the Bruckheimer pedigree a CSI lead in is on the cards) but Bones has been a dominant force wherever it goes in the last few months and with the City Homicide lead in I expect it to continue pulling a crowd.

The hot tip
Bones - mediocrity always wins!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Waiting out the summer - Thursday 23 - Saturday 25 January 2009

That's a bit what it's like at the moment, waiting for something exciting to happen on TV, being assaulted left right and centre by Tennis and Cricket (and Beach Cricket for good measure).

Pay TV continues to provide real gems among the endless reruns of Judge Judy and Law & Order, like tonight Bio has a Final 24 special on the death of Tupac Shakur (Bio 8.30pm), TV1 has the next installment of TVLAND Moguls - Aaron Spelling (TV1 9.30), E! has the funniest show on TV - The Soup (E! 7.00) and SciFi is playing 'E.T. The Extra Terrestrial' (10.30pm)

But FTA is stuck in a rut, the promos are getting nicer as they promise all sorts of great new shows (or shows we saw last year due to fast tracking) but who is even watching to see these promotions.

Well here's the deal - if you need to promote your Prime Time lineup - sport helps.

Obviously due to the broad appeal and multi media coverage - a big sporting event can draw the spectators to the television regardless of lead in or a channel's reputation, and every summer for years has devolved into a tussle for sporting supremacy between Seven and Nine for top dog while Ten brings up the rear of the pack.

Nine's Cricket is always a massive draw but in recent years Seven has managed to parlay their 2 week tennis fiesta into a major promotional drive for their new season.

So putting those two aside for a moment - how is Ten doing?

Well on Thursdays - really well, Ten's Law & Order night has been dominant over all comers this summer and although bettered by the Tennis on Thursday it was still strong enough to leave Nine's lineup in the dust. This bodes well for the return of SVU in two weeks and the premiere of a big new skein Life on Mars.

Add to that a new wrinkle this week in that finally Don't Forget The Lyrics (a summer staple for the net) has lifted it performance above 800,000 for the first time - not dominant, but much better than normal - perhaps picking up a few stray Ugly Betty viewers.

On Fridays though the picture flips - although The Simpsons at 7.30 typically does well (though not so much this week with sport soaking up much of it's audience) Law & Order (the original in new eps no less) has been struggling all summer.

It has been a brave decision to put a long running (and generally well rating) cop series on Friday nights (a night bereft of solid entertainment for years) I have my fingers crossed that the addition of Paranormal/Cop Show hybrid Medium will be enough to bring non sport watchers to the tube on Fridays because the payoff from a regular series versus one shot movies is much greater for the network which can guarantee an aud for advertisers (with movies no such guarantee can exist)

Saturday was a bizarre surprise, Tennis, of course, was the dominant game in town, but a movie which has been rerun so many times that every teenager in the country has seen it and memorised it (Billy Madison) pulled an impressive aud versus the more family friendly lineup on Nine (Funniest Vids/Superman III), afterward another rerun movie - The Jackal continued the decent numbers despite a long history of adult movies airing on this night.

As far as I can figure the family aud was watching the Tennis leaving barely anyone left to see Nine's family lineup, that leaves anyone not interested in sport watching the Bruce Willis movie and perhaps the teens watching the ultimate guilty pleasure film before they go out. Whatever, in a few weeks it won't matter much - ten will have the Saturday sport, Nine will have the family movies and Seven will pick over the oldies and the natural order will once again be restored!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dreams of her father - Wednesday 21 January 2009

Tennis again dominated last night with a Jelena Dokic match producing the biggest audience yet for this year’s tournament and whipping everything else on the night. There ain’t nothing like a comeback and if this one-time defacto Aussie keeps winning expect the audience to get bigger and bigger as the tournament progresses.

Brings back memories of Damir – ah that crazy crazy man, I’m happy for her that she’s rid of him, but perhaps Tennis is poorer for him absence. (OK maybe not!)

After last week’s hopeful result for House, the show found itself the victim of better options. After 7pm CSI Miami was the only show on either 9 or Ten that did any kind of Business against the tennis.

Hope was also the theme early on Wednesday morning as thousands (approx 417,000 across the 5 capitals watching FTA) rose early to witness the inauguration of Barrack Obama as the new American President. Rarely has an event of this nature attracted such a crowd – even the swearing in of Kevin Rudd last year only brought a 3 minute on the news, then again getting the keys to the commonwealth doesn’t have anything on yesterday’s spectacle

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ten is a four letter word - Tuesday 20 January 2009

NCIS may roll over for the cricket, but not for Tennis, the long running Naval procedural was in fine form last night winning it’s two hour span with ease and lifting the rest of Ten tent along with it.

The day on day lift for the rest of Ten’s sked was extroadinary:

Neighbours up 40,000
Friends up 89,000
The Simpsons up 276,000
Rules of Engagement up 261,000

Seven can still be happy with a stellar performance all night long though only taking a 100,000 hit to Home & Away and the Night Session of the Tennis in the face of Ten’s resurgence.

Nine too was doing alright until their 8.30 movie – Paycheck. Not sure what it got but I know it’s under 640,000, they likely clawed back some share late in the night with the start of a marathon inauguration coverage after the movie.

Its baaaack - Monday 19 January 2009

As you would expect channel Seven romped it in on Monday night with the Tennis posting a very decent opening night rating for the network. This two weeks is seven’s turn at sporting dominance – couching their news in wall to wall tennis coverage and delivering a guaranteed audience to Home & Away for it’s first two weeks back.

Indeed Home & Away’s ratings marked a solid improvement over How I Met Your Mother reruns and put the show well ahead of it’s 7pm competition with Temptation taking the biggest hit to the groin.

Another phenomenon when one net has sport, is that other shows can unexpectedly benefit, here the main benefactors were The Big Bang Theory (up 169,000) and Crime Investigation Australia (up 135,000)

The Simpsons proved it still has devotees pushing the 6pm slot over the 500k mark for Ten for the first time in weeks and Neighbours got off to a solid start (742,000) though this decent effort was undone by every successive show on the lineup with a little known movie, The Contender, dragging Ten into SBS territory.

Monday, January 19, 2009

When Disaster Strikes - Sunday 18 January 2008

Owwwwwwww, ouch.

Short disclosure - I don't watch it - couldn't care less as it's a soap and have better ways to waste time, but still, I expected it would do better than it did.

I'm talking about Out of the Blue which will soon be 'Back on the Shelf' how at least some of it's 10.30pm devotees didn't follow it is beyond me, it doesn't help them that both Seven and Nine's Sundays will be sport heavy in the next few weeks, will it even be back next week - given tens's itchy trigger finger of late (In Plain Sight anybody?) I doubt it.

Cricket and it's entourage (ie: Nine's Primetime lineup) was the victor on Sunday night. Special mention goes to Flashpoint which posted a good overnight figure last Sunday (1,030,000), but this was mostly due to cricket overrun (it was pushed from 10.30 to 11pm), the real figure (561,000) was much less impressive. Now with another week of promotion and a better timeslot the series posted a much healthier 1,112,000 - Nine can be happy with that result.

Seven, knowing they wouldn't win, chose instead to fuck with channel ten, matching ten's Hugh Grant movie (About A Boy aka the most repeated movie on earth) with a much less seen (and more upbeat) Hugh Grant comedy - Nine Months!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Extra Viewers No Reason - Thursday 15 January 2009

It seems a lot of OzTAM families are back from Holidays...

The only change to the night was move of Sudden Impact to Thursday Night (due to the Tuesday night Cricket)

This paid a dividend for Nine with an extra 100K tuning in, although that could have just reflected the additional numbers tuning into television last night, Eli Stone, Temptation, Seven News, Cold Case, How I Met Your Mother, Secret Millionaire – week on week all of these shows were up by around 100,000 viewers.

The biggest improvers were Today Tonight up Ugly Betty, up 293,000 viewers week on week and Ugly Betty which drew an extra 167,000 viewers for the season finale.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crowded House - Wednesday 15 January 2009

Sometimes television forces you to choose between three good shows facing off against one another.

It gets interesting when the shows are of a similar genre and the viewers have to make a difficult viewing choice.

There is a truism about television – you don’t want your really big shows to go up against your opposition’s really big shows because you might hurt your own show in the process.

All the same, it’s extremely difficult to knock off strong competition without using a really big show to do it.

Late last year this game of ratings chicken moved to Wednesday nights as Viewers had to chose between long time champion House, high rating freshman Criminal Minds and newcomer Fringe

Viewers decided that House beats Fringe but Criminal Minds beats House

Eventually nine got sick of losing and subbed in fellow newcomer (and the biggest new show in the US) The Mentalist.

Right there in one slot we had three shows which, on their own, are capable of drawing 1.6 million viewers all fighting for the same block of prime time ad space.

Nine’s move with The Mentalist was a blow to the show (it aud going from 1.4 to 1 million) but it repaired their share in that slot and took the edge of timeslot leader Criminal Minds. House meanwhile, as the oldest kid on the block, continued to dwindle as viewers checked out newer, shinier shows.

This summer has seen a continuation of this 3-way jam with House again suffering at the hands of it’s competitors, the timeslot winner has been CSI Miami, which is an older show than House but has spent the last two years with erratic scheduling and a waning audiences – it looks as if people are rediscovering the series, the runner up has been Las Vegas which seems to have a core fanbase willing to see out the series despite it being cancelled in America some time ago.

However last night we got a rare look at the drama pecking order in this country, with House moving to 9.30pm for a second rerun – it audience increased! Seems that people still like the doctor, they just also like the other things that are on, but when it gets to 9.30 and the other options are ER (an aging drama whose entire cast has been replaced) and The Unit (a violent Action/Soap with seemingly limited Aussie appeal) then a rerun of House wins!

There’s still life in the old show yet I guess…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Revealed - New Primetime Schedule - Network Ten

Please note that most of these shows ease their way in and some slot will be different in the initial weeks - but this is how Ten's sked will look in a few weeks...

Nine puts cart before horse and kills news but wins night - Tuesday 14 January 2009

If there’s one thing that Nine won’t be looking forward to in the 2009 television season, it is Tuesday nights, with Seven’s behometh Packed to the Rafters and channel ten’s one successful show NCIS squeezing them out of this valuable night

Well last night I think they hit on the solution – a weekly Twenty20 cricket match every Tuesday should be enough to see off the competition!

If only Cricket wasn’t a summer sport because last night Nine racked up a 44 share across prime time so far being the only program to take down NCIS this summer with the drama losing 286,000 viewers week on week (although recovering 63,000 of those in it’s second hour.

Strangley Eli Stone actually slightly improved – suggesting that although it has a smaller audience, they are much more loyal.

Whatever Nine is doing right in the cricket – it is struggling in the news department, after a week of good news ratings on the back of a cricket lead in, this week they are under the hammer – with Seven maintaining their share while Nine’s news goes backwards, ACA was beaten by Ten News FFS! Since when has that ever happened!?

Week 2 - Pay TV

Thought I was done with last weeks ratings? Well there was one more lot to wheel out - the Pay TV ratings.

These charts show the top ten by genre in Audience Reach. Audience Reach shows the total number of viewers who catch a particular program during any of it's airings over the course of week - it's useful because most series and movies have multiple screenings over a week, some are rerun at late night or the next day, others are timeshifted on the two hour channel and others still played again days later.

This measure supposedly doesn't double up on viewers so if I watch Family Guy tonight, and again tomorrow, then apparently I'm only counted once, which is good because then we get a picture of total numbers who may watch the program.

One thing you can marvel at from this list is the sheer dominance of 3 channels - FOX8, UKTV and Fox Classics. It's also interesting to see that despite Arena's switch to reality TV, it's biggest rater is one of it's old comedies, Sex and the City whereas another of it's old sitcoms, Friends, is introducing viewers to the new 111 Hits!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Note to Seven: Hitler is dead - Monday 12 January 2009

Well Monday saw an increase in overall viewers on the previous week, a lot of that was no doubt helped by Ten scheduling something that people wanted to see with the Ashley Judd thriller (one of many Ashley Judd thrillers) Double Jeopardy proving a big switch-on for the net with an almost 100% lift in viewers!

Even the soon to be departed Out of the Blue got a 50% week on week boost beating Scrubs!

Scrubs was a victim of Seven’s idiotic scheduling – removing a proven second hour of Bones for a documentary about Hitler… WTF?? First of all haven’t there been enough documentaries on Hitler? Those in the viewing public wanting their WWII fix are probably already hardcore subscribers to the Hitler, err History Channel.

I’d love to find out (and I guess we will next week) how many watched The Golden Globe Awards, in years past Ten used to draw over a million viewers to the January spectacle – making it a good platform for promotion, but after last year’s writers strike it seems to have fallen into the hands of cable TV, which, although better equipped to telecast it live, has a much smaller audience base.

The Rich List rebounded with no cricket to distract it’s followers and How I Met Your Mother is doing quite nicely – it is probably summer’s top rating sitcom and will no doubt be launching new episodes right out of the gate unlike last years haphazard start.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flasher at the cricket - Sunday 11 January 2009

That wheezing sound you can hear is the last gasp of test cricket as it struggles for air, deprived of viewers while it’s upstart younger sibling Twenty/20 cricket grabs the limelight.

For those who don’t know already Twenty/20 shrinks the one day 50 over per side cricket match down to a fast 20 overs per side, meaning the whole game can be played out in one evening – perfect for television and spectacle with the play less strategic and more ‘go for broke’

I’m reminded of a quote from an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where one of the characters laments the demise of Baseball several centuries earlier…

"Once, centuries ago, it was the beloved national pastime of the Americas. Abandoned by a society that prized fast food and faster games. Lost to impatience.”

That quote came to mind when I saw the ratings for last night’s Twenty/20 match – quite different to the middling ratings achieved by the test cricket just a week ago, the difference was – those ratings (because of the timeslot) provided a real benefit to Nine’s News, last night Nine’s News was off the radar and it’s 6.30 showing of The Secret Millionaire (honestly, how many timeslots are they going to trial this in?) was a disaster even being beaten by Ten’s also-ran movie.

Better for Nine though was the opening of Flashpoint which held onto half the cricket’s aud – not bad for a show running through to midnight, I didn’t catch it but judging by the previews it looked like ‘Rush: Toronto’ (or perhaps Rush is ‘Flashpoint: Melbourne’) but this initial turnout bodes well for future airings.

Seven suffered the most by Nine’s cricket dominance with the Rich List taking a dive and their movie being beaten into a close fourth place in the slot.

Ten’s decision to air movies was vindicated – although ‘Aquamarine’ was a non-starter it still did better than last week’s reality double, ‘Die Hard with a Vengance’ however did much better for them, it seems in summer when it comes to showing movies, the back catalogue and name recognition is a better guarantee of good ratings

2009 - Week 2 - The Crap

Yep, finally lets look at the rubbish, err, unscripted TV success stories for the past week...

2009 - Week 2 - The Shows

Here's a breakdown off everything scripted for the 6th week of summer, as usual NCIS and a handful of sitcoms are dominant across the cities

2009 - Week 2 - The News

Week two of 2009 has come and gone and thanks mostly to a cricket lead-in, Nine News had a great week, though most of that strength was centred in Melbourne and Sydney with Nine still struggling in the west.

A Current Affair also had a big week thanks to an interview with Magda Szubanski re her new year weight loss resolution.

Here's the breakdown of how the news rated - city by city...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crime Pays - Thursday 8 January 2009

Even through summer – the audience for crime drama continues to be strong – witness the figures for the Law & Order reruns and Cold Case, hell even SBS’s Carla Cametti PD pulled an impressive (for them) 457,000 viewers.

Nine, however, has made a terrible misstep this summer with their handling of Cold Case, the show won it’s timeslot against Ten in the first few airings – then someone at Nine had the bright idea to use the timeslot to promote The Secret Millionaire, one of their many lukewarm ideas which they’re trying to push in these “troubled times”

I wonder whether it was worth displacing one of the few shows actually firing for them this summer, since it’s return it has struggled against the more regularly scheduled SVU. Last night was the show’s 6th season premiere and yet it only managed 859,000 – pretty woeful for a new ep of an established rater – thing is though – if you keep moving a show all around the map people will give up and watch something else.

Another case in point was Heroes – I didn’t even know it was on last night, it hasn’t been on for weeks and now it comes back to a 9.30 timeslot after months at 10.30, with next to no promotion, and they wonder why they’re in last. No doubt next week I’ll tune in at 9.30 looking for another episode and instead find “Out of the Question” or some other rubbish.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Physician Heal Thyself - Wednesday 7 January 2009

Not much going on for what is a pretty standard Wednesday at the moment - that is to say - Lacklustre all around.

Two notable points, neither of which make me happy are the failure of Old Christine, losing 200,000 viewers from your lead in (the ordinary 10 to 01) is not a good look.

Even more woeful was the performance of House, to which ten is adding another hour next week - good luck there folks, House looks like it's officially dead - or maybe that's Ten...

Go with what you know - Tuesday 6 January 2009

Reruns and factuals are the order of the day, Tuesday night once again belonged to NCIS with reruns of the veteran drama pulling the best audience post 7.30. Next Week Ten ditches In Plain Sight (which has shown some growth but not enough) in favour of a second hour of NCIS.

For Seven the start of Tennis cannot come soon enough - Eli Stone has been a flop - perhaps if they played it back when they promoted it last year.

Seven's move of more factuals at 7.30 has turned that hour from Nine dominated into a level pegging contest, that this many people in summer, are interested in this sort of television either says a lot about the tastes of the viewing public - or a lot about the lack of any viewing alternatives.

The Arnie flick Collateral Damage did alright for Nine with their Tuesday movie keeping them in the game, perhaps with the take no prisoners opposition of Packed to the Rafters and NCIS, Nine will stick movies on this night as a defensive position, which is frankly - not a bad way to go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dem Bones - Monday 5 January 2008

Just a quick one for Monday because there’s not a lot happening, Nine is paying the price post 8.30 for it’s Ten like scheduling, taking out CSI and subbing in The Mentalist on what is that show’s third timeslot thus far, in repeats no less.

In this day and age where people are watching less Free to Air TV than ever – you cannot afford to be moving shows all around the map. Just pick a night an stick with it.

As for Ten – well if you’re following TV at this time of year then you’ll already know that this Monday night line-up is history – replaced by a rerun of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (I wonder if Grant Blackley has taken that quiz?) and Movies. Bye Bye models – don’t let the door hit your boney arses on the way out!

Speaking of Bones – that show is in purple patch for Seven – what you’re witnessing right now is new viewers who are just discovering the show and enjoying the reruns – similar to what occurred with Two and a Half Men in 2008.

Based on this information I expect Bones to put in some really big numbers and be somewhat timeslot-proof for seven in 2009.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ten's Answer = More Tyra - Sunday 4 January 2009

Hey everyone

Even though the networks are still asleep at the wheel it’s time to get back into the fray and bring forth some ratings analysis – the first for this bright shiny new year and what can we see…

Ah yes – people like Cricket! Very good, good stuff people. After some middling ratings for the earlier test outings, Cricket seemed to get it’s game on yesterday with a gargantuan daytime audience of 1.1 million, even The Cricket Show a half hour time filler (they used to play sitcom reruns in that lunch break when I was a kid!) did spectacular business. All of this crickety goodness help Nine News to the No. 1 spot on the ladder last night

Seven News was still impressive though – given it’s lead in was the embarrassingly titled “Does My Bum Look Big?”

Seven got another big shot in with their reality shows, but the Rich List lost 100,000 viewers from lead in Hot Property and while it didn’t do badly (channel ten would kill for that number) – it was not a very confident performance from Seven’s perspective.

Channel Ten is in distress – I’m not sure how they’re keeping the lights on over there this summer because there’s an awful lot of PSA’s taking up commercial breaks on that channel right now which is a sad situation.

Don’t Forget The Lyrics seems to be a show that’s very dependant on it’s lead in, ie: you’re not going to seek this show out, it’s not appointment television the way that you will make a point to catch The Big Bang Theory, rather it’s the kind of show that you’ll watch if its on when you’re watching.

This is bad news if your lead in is the centre of the known universe: Tyra Banks. Tyra’s modelling quest now has less viewers on free to air than it does on Cable (the series’ weekly reach on Foxtel is 831,000 viewers) So what does ten decide to do? Axe the series you say? No – they’re adding another hour! This time 7.30 Mondays to replace the failed How to Look Naked.

Whilst I’m happy they’ve taken out that particular low rater – why replace it with another one. Of course this time tomorrow I could be eating my words and Model could be a big hit back on Mondays – but don’t hold your breath…

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Return of the Rant

Television Rant will be cranking up again from Monday Jan 5 with fresh new ratings analysis as my holidays finish and TV starts to get interesting again.

In the meantime feel free to amuse yourself over at my other blog List 22 where I forensically examine 22 of 2008's worst TV disasters.

See you all on Monday!