Wednesday, February 10, 2010

At least you have Steve Leibmann

Wednesday was a curiously low-viewing night across all the channels with only the bafflingly popular Customs and the milquetoast Spick & Specks making any real impression on the people meters.

The popularity of Customs was perhaps helped along by yesterday’s news story about Australia’s international terminals installing those nude scanners by next year

Only a few nights into the season and already I can see a trend emerging and a problem for programmers to solve.

Young viewers are mostly gone, at least large numbers of them are using the DVR or the internet or watching cable and the digital channels (Lost’s final season premiere was top of the digital pops last night with 216,000 viewers).

The ones that are left are spread so thinly that even youth magnets like So You Think You Can Prance are finding it hard to keep a million people in front of the box for two hours.

In their place the nets are trying to pitch to older viewers, notice how almost the hot young-skewing properties on Seven and Nine have made their way to 7TWO and GO! while people stuck with analogue TV feast on a morbid diet of docu-soaps and cop shows.

Now we have the situation where two cop shows can’t exist in the same space – look at the 8.30 aud for Cold Case, a veteran show for Nine was smothered in fourth place, suffocated by the more agile Criminal Minds – itself headed for veteran status in it’s fifth season and struggling to maintain a healthy figure.

The low, low audience for sophomore doco Gangs of Oz might suggest that people are starting to tire of this real crime stuff – seriously anyone who is way into this has an entire cable channel along with numerous shows on other channels to sift through day after day – Gangs has to be pretty special to make its mark and the problem is – it has no real hook – Crime Investigation Australia the CI series which is rerun on Nine at least has Steve Leibmann.

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