Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Masterchef paying dividends


Tuesday 5 May 2009

It may be too early to call it, but I think we can assume that Masterchef is starting to pay Ten dividends.

Last year viewers were actively tuning out from Ten with the bloated corpse of Big Brother stinking up the place, once all the viewers had gone, even burying Big Brother wasn’t enough to entice viewers back, people needed a reason.

Of course, that reason was The Biggest Loser, a reality contest that still has life left in it and gave viewers a reason to switch on Ten and stick around, but these reality shows only last a certain number of weeks so whatever was coming to replace Loser had to not suck.

So far Masterchef is doing the job, holding its ground in a competitive 7pm timeslot and even getting a bit of watercooler buzz (someone yesterday told me they watched, and this morning I got a text from someone else asking me to identify the theme song, the joke’s on them cuz I haven’t watched a complete episode!)

The payoff for ten is not so much the 7pm performance but the stability of their Prime Time schedule, witness a good launch for Recruits on Monday and a great launch last night for the new quiz/game/panel show thing Talkin ‘Bout Your Generation. It has to be one of the best starts ever for a Shaun Micallef project, the lawyer turned comedian was always the most original and funny in the Full Frontal cast and his shows The Micallef Pogram and Newstopia are among the funniest Australian Television of the last ten years, it’s nice to see the man have some success.

This success was all the more extraordinary given the performance of a doco on Seven about a Lion (???!?) there was about 5.1 million viewers watching free to air at 7.30 last night – an excellent result for the industry.

Then again, what the hell happened at 9.30, putting aside that the universally panned Kitchen Nightmares did better in Melbourne than an Underbelly (season 1) rerun did in Sydney (surely Gordon Ramsay’s Full Throttle F***fest would be a better fit with the mind in the gutter antics of Sheen and Cryer, but I digress.

The bigger problem at 9.30 was the spectacular fall of Ten Years Younger in Ten Days! The metaphorical arse has fallen out of this makeover show. Debut attracted 1,348,000. Second Week 1,226,000. This Week down to 990,000 that’s 358,000 viewers (26%) gone in the space of two weeks, has to be the most rapid haemorrhage since Aussie Ladette to Lady.

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