Monday, June 15, 2009

The Shape of things to come

With Masterchef picking up all sorts of steam in the run up to it’s finale Ten is on an absolute roll with Good News Week posting great figures and extending from 75 to 90 minutes tipping the network over the edge for a rare Monday win (All people and key demos from 6pm – midnight)

Seven and Nine both must be hanging on for dear life waiting for this cooking show to end so their early evening shows can breathe again, How I Met Your Mother did only marginally better on Monday than in it’s 10pm Wednesday slot languishing in 4th place, pitting this show against Two and a Half Men (and now Masterchef) has been an absolute disaster for Seven, the network is still Number one by a comfortable margin but like Nine in the 90’s this is actually more by virtue of its News/CAF hour than anything happening after 7pm.

Seven has already made several moves this year remeniscent of Nine in it’s heyday – chasing diminishing ratings with big dollars (Thank God You’re Here), shafting series back to 11pm at the drop of a hat (Heroes, Lost) and counterprogramming for spite.

Oh yeah, spite, what the hell am I talking about? Well simply put spiteful programming sees a network take on a successful show with a show that would appeal to the exact same audience with the object of railroading the original timeslot occupant, Nine was a master at this tactic, one of the most famous examples was taking on Ten’s US Hit NYPD Blue with their own Megahit ER on Thursday nights, we all know who won that battle, but it’s a good bet that most of the people who watch ER would also watch NYPD Blue, Nine forced viewers to choose.

Seven has tried the same crazy game of chicken here this year with ‘Mother’ and they’ve flopped spectacularly.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Seven emulates Nine’s old tactics (the very tactics that used to piss viewers off and led to that famous label “Nein”) because half of the Nine Network is now on the Seven payroll but for god’s sake Seven please – you don’t have to become them to beat them, you’ve already won!

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