Friday, August 28, 2009

Slo-Mo Comedy Train Wreck

Wow - a bit of a turnaround for Ten last night with sophomore drama Rush lifting to it's best audience yet and yet another timeslot win but the lift for Rush also spelt the best result all week for Idol.

Looking past these results this blogger is gratified that Burn Notice seems to be catching on, a nice 80's style action drama there really is nothing else like it currently on TV, so it's good to see it getting traction.

More worrying is the numbers for Seven's TV Burp and Double Take now in no-mans land with both under 700,000 viewers, oddly despite the urging of several in the blogosphere that Burp was the superior show, swapping the two around has actually hurt both in the ratings, this looks like being the most painful slo-mo local comedy train wreck since David Tench/Ronnie Johns and those shows had their fans as well so it's sad to see.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Despressing Stuff

Somedays you look at these charts and get depressed, I mean look at it...

Two and a Half Men, a rerun at that, is pulled out for it's 10th showing in the space of a week and equals the new hit World's Strictest Parents

This stellar performance does nothing for the lead out which more than halves the audience, if Australia's Perfect Couple teaches us anything - it's that no-one likes perfection.

The Librarians and Tara stumble badly - in fact the trend this week seems to be audiences deserting post 9.30 shows left right and centre, a worrying trend given there's no holidays, good weather or ashes to pin the blame on.

Law & Order UK continues the hex on Ten's Wednesday night - remember when Ten owned Wednesdays with The X Files, and then again with The Guardian, and then again with House? They desperately need a boost on this night - Celebrity Masterchef at 7.30 might do them some good - but as we can see in various spots on the grid - the lead-ins mean nothing.

Over at 7pm - the 7pm Project seems to have settled on a stable number now - though there's problems with it, mainly the beating it's taking in demos against Seven and Nine in the slot - Ten needs to find a hook to promote the show because despite the content having improved the ratings have not (although they have at least stabilised).

Criminal Minds is one of a handful of shows doing well whether it's new or rerun, also NCIS and Two and a Half Men fit this bill, but check back in two years for the inevitable erosion when not even new fasttracked eps will break a mill - that's my prediction

See - it's easy to look at the results and get depressed...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fake Hair is preferrable to Hot Hair

That's one of the many conclusions I can draw from last night's ratings where 20 to 01 trounced Australian Idol. I wonder (aloud) whether Idol is still profitable with a million viewers and 16-39 wins only - it seems to be on the decline - Mathison's departure and Sandilands' exit haven't helped it much and there's little to no buzz about the show at the moment.

20 to 01 meanwhile is a show that is totally reliant on it's competition if it's up against two good shows there's no hope, but if there's a weakness, a gap somewhere - it just soaks up the remaining audience - such is it's watchability.

Whether you're watching to catch the seams in Bert's hairpiece or trying to guess how they'll work a Heath Ledger reference in this week - you know it's easy entertainment - TV junk food as it were.

Elsewhere Nine has problems at 9.30 - I have no idea why, surely with a choice of All Saints and NCIS there's an under-served audience somewhere in there - whoever they are aren't willing to commit 2 hours on a weeknight to a rerun movie. Honestly aside from the odd Friday/Saturday movie I cannot think of any other night suited to two hours viewing of anything - there's so much 'else' to do, internet, videogames, hell even sleep! Speaking of which...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday!

A return to Monday nights is just what City Homicide needed after being put under the pump on Sundays earlier this year.

Seven's cavalier attitude to scheduling sometimes does more harm than good, Homicide at one time owned Monday nights before Seven decided to move it to Sundays out of the way of Underbelly, probably a shrewd move but given that Homicide's core audience is over 50 that sort of timeslot juggling doesn't go down well with that crowd.

At any rate after the ill fated Sunday experiment the show is back and returning to prominence on Monday nights, more importantly it is reviving the fortunes of Seven's Crime Investigation Australia ripoff - Beyond the Darklands, itself a victim of a catastophic Sunday sojourn earlier in the year!

Ten, riding low at the moment thanks to the slow-burning 7pm slot (yes I'm being generous here) almost, almost had a good night with Idol and Good News Week both doing nice numbers.

I say almost because the whole thing was brought undone with Dexter. This show has an admittedly clever premise (the hero is a serial killer who only kills bad guys - yay!) but it has three strikes against it:

a) It comes on after 2 hours of family friendly light entertainment, the endless pile of carcasses of high-brow shows after Rove on a Sunday night should be an indicator of what happens to this kind of show on Ten
b) It's already aired on (Premium) cable
c) It's already out on DVD - you only have to witness the buzz about True Blood, a violent, sexy vampire epic from HBO which was unleashed on DVD barely a month ago to realise that people who want to see these shows are seeking them out and not waiting for the networks to get around to it.

Even more baffling is that Ten decided to schedule it 9.30 Mondays after it failed earlier this year also at 9.30 Mondays!!! There's just no excuse!

Nine was engaging in some state to state weirdness last night - the show Drop Dead Diva has been dropped in some (read WIN) markets in favour of The Mentalist (like that hasn't been repeated enough!) while Adelaide inexplicably dropped The Big Bang Theory for a reality show called Animal Emergency - what on Earth were they hoping to gain from that?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Midsomer Massacre

Earlier this year the ABC had some great Friday night success with the British Mystery series Midsomer Murders, the show pulled a consistent million each Friday against Football codes, chick flicks and Ten’s Law & Order so it makes sense that they have returned the show to a better timeslot – Sunday’s no less, with outstanding results.

Midsomer really put the cat among the pidgeons after causing consternation for Nine’s Rescue Special Ops diping below 900,000. Whilst Rush experienced similar humiliating figures last season, that was on Ten in a 9.30 slot, this is Nine in an 8.30 slot, not to mention the beating 60 minutes is copping lately.

The Ashes seemed to also impact the commercial nets after 8.30 last night with only Bones putting in a respectable number.

Rove had a minor relaunch without Hughsie and Carrie (on other duties at 7pm) after several weeks away and it landed with a thud taking in only 832,000 viewers, worse was the performance of follow-on Rules of Engagement - if Ten is trying to turn this show into Two and a Half Men by running it everywhere - it ain't catching on!

Last night also gives us the first ever figures for GO! Nine’s new foray into multichannelling and a largely successful one at that with flagship show The Big Bang Theory netting 207,000 – impressive given that this channel is only cleared in approximately 45% of homes (households with digital receivers independent of Foxtel)

The chart is right here...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Break in transmission...

Just a short note to let you know that the rant is taking a break due to the man behind the curtain (ie: me!) injuring himself which knocked me out for a week and this week is pretty much catching up on my day job.

So full ranting will start again on Monday August 24 for the previous night's ratings - apologies for the break.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The way back to prominence

Three days in one shot due to yours truly being flat out on his day job :D So what can we learn from Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Mostly they've been pretty consistent for a few weeks now, Nine tanks on Tuesdays, Ten tanks on Wednesdays and Seven tanks on Thursdays.

The Librarians took over the 9pm Wednesday slot from the Chaser and posted it biggest Audience ever on Wednesday sandwiched between Spicks and Specks and United States of Tara (now a bonafide hit I think).

Commercial clip shows are well and truly dusted, Nine's pathetic attempt to induce an audience to watch commercials in between more commercials never got off the ground, despite the best efforts of the host to cram in as much unneccessary swearing as humanly possible into each cross.

Jamie Oliver, once the ABC's (and then Ten's) golden boy - is also dusted, with an even smaller aud than Nine's lackluster commercial show the night before! I don't know whether Oliver is still popular back in Britain but in Australia at least he's well and truly out.

There's always a way back to prominence though - as illustrated by Axle Whitehead, the host of World's Strictest Parents, a BBC format which has bolted out of the gate to become the current hot show, a few years ago Whitehead was on the outer having disgraced/pwned (depending on your age group) during the 2006 ARIA awards, he got fired from his Video Hits hosting gig and it looked like the end of the road - but since then he's stormed back with top ten singles, a role on Home & Away and now this show - who woulda thunk it! Reflecting on this - I don't think we'll be counting old Kyle out just yet!

Double Take and TV Burp are still in the doldrums but Seven is likely to support them for a while yet - on Thursdays they're interested in young viewers and seem more willing to take a knock on this night compared to other nights.

Not sure how long Nine will be supporting Australia's Perfect Couple for though, when you're only marginally more popular than Commercial Breakdown - you have real problems, I should also point out this is umpteenth show featuring Jules Lund that seems to have fizzled out - maybe you need to work on him, he's a bit too cheerful and nice - maybe have him look to the career path of the now successful Whitehead - Nine has the AFI's in December and god knows they could use the publicity...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Farmer Wants a Wife, City Homicide wants a Miracle

Well - the combo of Knocked Up in the northern states and Desperate Housewives' season finale in the southern states was a winner for Seven, as was Brothers and Sisters and a special about the amazing landing of a commercial airliner on New York's Hudson River earlier in the year.

The schism in Seven's schedule was caused by a monday night AFL match a while back, next week they return City Homicide - back on Monday nights after a failed venture onto Sundays. I wonder whether the show will hit it highs of last year (flying around the 1.8 million mark at one stage) or just maintain a firm 1.2 million aud.

Farmer Wants a Wife also returned, also to a different timeslot (it was on Wednesdays 7.30 earlier in the year - consistency is not a buzzword at either of the private equity nets) to a decent rating but was incredibly bettered by The Big Bang Theory which was up after a disastrous week last week where people flocked to Australian Story instead (it may be that when OzTam start measuring Time Shifting - Big Bang will probably be one of the big benefactors)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Secret Sunday Scheduling

Launch last night for Rescue: Special Ops - a show which not only apes the look of Rush - but also the audience size with 1.13 million sampling - that's not too bad really - more worrying is the turnout for CSI Miami at 9.30! Did anybody even know that it was on? I don't recall any promos, how the hell does Nine expect folks to follow this kind of ridiculous mystery scheduling!

Of course the story of the day is Australian Idol, due to return next Sunday in direct competition with Seven's Dancing, dumping judge Kyle Sandilands after the now infamous incident on his radio show last week.

It's not constructive for me to add anything to this in the context of a ratings blog - except to say that the fact that Sandilands will be on Idol for at least the first 3 weeks (during Auditions and the workshops) will make for some interesting results ahead...