Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thankyou MasterChef Australia
I've haven't watched more than 5 minutes of it, but I'm going to miss Masterchef.
For a ratings nerd like me the results of the past several weeks have been unadulterated fun.
Because Australia's ratings system put emphasis on the whole of prime time rather than the core 7.30 - 10.30 period, nights are often won on the strength of the 6pm hour, which for Nine and Ten means a local news bulletin followed by tabloid current affairs.
Almost two decades ago, Ten bowed out of the 6pm race preferring profit over glory, so ever since the 90s, television ratings in this country has been a two horse race, Seven and Nine. Dull, dull, boring and dull.
But not this year. Amazingly Ten's 6pm hour is unchanged for almost a decade, but this show, Masterchef, has become such a viewer magnet, a watercooler show, an all ages crowd please, it has caused all sorts of upheaval all over the schedule from one end to the other!
Ten has had successful 7pm shows before - but nothing like this, among the shows which will be glad it's over next week you can count
Better Homes & Gardens
Has seen it's aud fall away by approximately 200,000 viewers as it clashes with Masterchef's Friday Masterclass - an ingenious idea which stands apart from the competition proper as a cooking class for the masses. I knew this was a good idea when I was invited by my mother-in-law (not in ten's target demo) to try a dish she learned on the Friday night show!
Nine's Factual/Reality department
Masterchef brought a quick death to such unforgettable fare as Missing Pieces and You Saved My Life forcing Nine to fall back on their current crutch - Two and a Half Men, a show repeated so often this year it's starting to look transparent.
What an embarrasment, Masterchef has proven revenge is a dish best served hot! At the end of last season all looked lost for Ten as its one remaining hit show, Thank God You're Here, defected to the Seven network for more money, the expected crowds for the lazy laffer were at first subdued as the first half hour butted heads with Masterchef, later Thank God was almost totally subjugated by some strategically placed 90 minute episodes! Seven didn't buy that show to run interference, they bought it expecting a big number which never came!
Home & Away
In recent years the departure of The Biggest Loser was the signal for people to flock back to Summer Bay, not this year - the venerable soap has endured an unremittingly harsh climate for the past 7 months, first with Loser, and now Masterchef culminating in the ultimate insult for the show - the first time (in my memory at least) that it has ever been outrated by Neighbours!!!
So thankyou Masterchef, whatever your actual entertainment value, it has been fantastic to see this kind of upheaval to the status quo - wishing you all the success in the future!