Friday, May 29, 2009

Worst (part of Ten's) Week

Thursday 28 May 2009

Biggest Disappointment
Private Practice
Down 164,000 week on week

Biggest Improvement
Rules of Engagement
Up 84,000 week on week

So there you go, Rules of Engagement, ten's only foray into multicamera comedy is doing better while it's companion - the single camera Worst Week is trending in the wrong direction, while Rules gained 84,000, Worst Week lost 84,000 - there's some weird symmetry at work there.

I see two explanations here.

1) People are lukewarm on single camera sitcoms. Television critics may crap on ad nauseum about how a laugh track is insulting to their intelligence but the numbers tell a very different story

The top rated comedy shows over the past seven days have been
Talkin' 'bout Your Generation 1.6 million viewers
Spicks & Specks 1.6m
The Chaser 1.5m
Thank God You're Here 1.5m
Two and a Half Men 1.3m
Funniest Home Videos 1.1m
Scrubs 1.1m
Good News Week 1m

See a trend, all except Scrubs are filmed in front of a studio audience thereby featuring that dreaded laugh track. Perhaps the average viewer actually likes the live audience feel and is self assured enough not to feel their intellence is being insulted by the program's producers.

It's also a given that multicamera sitcoms tend to rely more on wit and timing while single camera coms fall back on sight gags and non sequiters.

2) Australian viewers are not so much in the dark anymore, it wouldn't a genius to work out that Worst Week is already toast in its home market - why get involved with something where there's no prospect of a future?

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