Thursday, May 7, 2009

Abusing the fans

Thursday 7 May 2009
Lots of big changes on the Ten sked last night and not the same level of success.

Rules of Engagement, a sitcom which has had two curtailed seasons (it was a midseason launch then ran head on into the WGA Writer’s Strike) returned to less than spectacular numbers allowing Nine and Seven to divide the hour amongst themselves with Bondi Vet falling away on the back of a poor lead-in.

Criminal Intent returned to SVU like ratings, but beaten handsomely by a 20 to 01 rerun, the 8.30pm hour was hotly contested last night with 4,322,000 people tuned in across the hour, the ABC benefiting from a retrospective special on Media Watch, a 15 minutes a week that tabloid journalists dread and a show whose attention from the news media is inversely proportional to its miniscule running time! The special pulled 911,000 viewers, one of Aunty’s best performances in this slot all year.

Medium moved nights to Thursdays, dropping from last week’s occupant (an SVU rerun) by 154,000 viewers but improving on Life on Mars’ sliding ratings and improving on its own ratings which were stuck under 700,000 on a low viewing Friday night. After last night there are 7 episodes left in the current season, after which they could virtually rerun the show in this slot for the rest of the year and it would probably produce a similar, if not better, number.

Medium’s debut adversely affected Private Practice. Last night I actually sat through an episode of Grey’s Anatomy to see whether I was missing anything (and no I wasn’t) but a new disturbing trick I noticed was that Grey’s Anatomy faded to black (no logo, or EP credit or anything) and then bang, right onto Private Practice, there was no promo for next week’s episode just a jarring jump to the next show.

To whoever is in charge of playout at the Seven network – this is abuse of the fans of this show – and I hasten to add, I am not one of them, but if my favourite show ended on a dramatic note and I didn’t get that space of the credits, or a promo to decompress and reflect on what I just saw, well that’s just low.

I get accelerated flow, In fact I’m a big fan of the kind of accelerated flow that American Networks practiced in the 90’s, back then the credits were all uniform (and yes off to one side, but legible) a promo for a related show would play and then you’d get a quick bumper to flag the next program, none of this jumping straight onto the next show – that is just arse.

So faceless Seven executive, just think about what you’re doing, by denying Grey’s Anatomy fans their show as a whole, you’re not only turning them away but you’re also hurting the prospects of the show you’re trying to promote, just look at the ratings (especially for Private Practice) it isn’t working!

Finally congrats to the AFL Footy Show had a big victory at 9.30 mostly thanks to some sort of heavily publicised stunt where Sam Newman got tarred and feathered! Meanwhile one of the stars of the NRL version seems to had serious allegations made against them to be aired at a future date on Four Corners – would somebody just can the Rugby League version already!

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