Monday, May 4, 2009

Monsters before bedtime

Monday 4 May 2009

The final episode of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities last night and a massive turnout for the event, let down however by the performance of everything else around it, although Eleventh Hour won its timeslot it still lost over half the audience from the Underbelly lead in.

This raises a question – why on earth did Nine screen a double episode of Underbelly 3 weeks ago, when they could of used that first week back to debut Eleventh Hour (clear of Biggest Loser) and have an extra week next week to cement an aud for the show? Just a nonsensical decision really – and that first week back they really took a bath on the audience, only recovering to it’s median level this week.

Next Year if there is indeed, another story, I’d advise the geniuses at Nine to hold off screening it until after the Easter break to make the most of the available Audience and have an unbroken run. Also I’d advise against double-eps – you get the most bang for your buck in the 8.30 hour, which with a 2 mill aud is enough to win you the night, there’s every reason to stretch those shares out to 13 weeks rather than compress them into eleven.

Also for f***’s sake next year figure out what you want to do with the 9.30 hour before you bow – this year was a dog’s breakfast, Ladette to Lady (a completely unrelated reality skein), Crime Investigation Australia (a Cable repurposing) and now Eleventh Hour (should have put it here from the start)

The new Nine 7.30 hour reality skeins are not as popular as that Custom Mash-Up that preceded them with Ten actually winning the 7.30 hour with a great debut aud for The Recruits, which along with Masterchef was their bright spot for the night.

The return of Supernatural, though, was less lively, managing only a paltry 633,000. The problem for Supernatural is pretty simple really in my estimation – it’s aimed squarely at teenagers most of whom probably have to be at school the next day and therefore can’t stay up to watch it.

The other point is it’s a genre show, mixing sci-fi and horror. We’ve seen year after year high-concept shows thriving at 8.30 (think Lost, 24, Prison Break, Heroes, yes Supernatural, Charmed) and the second they’re moved to 9.30 the audience dwindles, Supernatural is the only one here holding onto a 9.30 slot by the skin of its teeth!

So what kind of shows are suitable for 9.30? Well lets look at what works, procedurals – Lie to Me, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, Bones, CSI Miami, light entertainment – The Footy Show, Enough Rope, 20 to 01, and soaps like All Saints, even Brothers and Sisters looks respectable this week!

Essentially I don’t think these kinds of shows work at 9.30 – Ten has the perfect out, they can swap GNW with Supernatural, that will give more people the chance to catch GNW (getting it out of the way of Desperate Housewives and Four Corners) and give the kids a chance to watch Monsters before bedtime!

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