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…

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