Monday, January 31, 2011

Splitting the difference

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I'm not sure what Seven has planned for their Thursday nights, but so long as they manage to avoid breezy reality docos and headline US Dramas they should do fine.

Now there is an audience out there for these type of shows, on Thursday there was about 1.2 million folks eager to see them, the problem was they were split evenly between Nine and Ten whose schedules were eerily similar.

I wonder whether the audience for these series will increase as the season kicks in or if these shows are doomed to languish in each other's shadows - differentiation has never seemed so important as nowadays.

While were at it what is with Getaway becoming a half hour show - when did that happen?? They just can't get rid of it altogether can they!

And what was the ABC smoking? Lets see, "there's this show about a Vet, it's popular, has been on for 3 years it's called Bondi Vet, we have a show called Bionic Vet - lets put it DIRECTLY OPPOSITE."

Well done ABC, I know the ratings don't matter but those numbers are appalling for Aunty.

Aging Weapon 4

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Out of all the things going on Wednesday night - the most startling was - see if you can spot it...

That's right, Lethal Weapon 4, a 13 year old film starring Hollywood Persona Non Grata Mel Gibson found over 1.1 million viewers in an age where new release films routinely struggle to get half that.

There's hope yet for Mel even if Hollywood has turned their back on him. I myself am skeptical of the weird American double standard that sees Gibson sidelined while Chris Brown is making a comeback after punching a woman in the face.

Elsewhere the show that runs forever, Heartbeat (surely they must be in the 80s by now!) is the top digital draw while the heavily advertised Bob's Burgers has a mild debut with 120,000 viewers

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Still being served

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Tuesday night mostly belonged to Seven which at 8pm commanded some 1.3 million viewers across it's 3 channels.

Even though individually after 7pm no show pulled over 800,000 viewers there was still about 4 million metro people overall watching in the 7.30 hour, it just that they're now split over 15 channels rather than 5 like in the old days!

The netlets too are starting to have breakout performers, for a long time on GO! The Big Bang Theory has been the star performer on the network, whereas Family Guy and American Dad! are routinely the best on ground for 7mate. Eleven also has early breakout hits with The Simpsons and Neighbours but 7TWO's best of British mantra is paying dividends in total viewers, look t the ratings for Are You Being Served? A britcom from the 70s (and 80's - man alive it ran long enough!) that even had a sucessful repeat run on Ten back in 1992/93 has been ressurected on 7TWO with stunning results - proving the audience for these old shows is still around

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Deciding on a Level of Success

Monday, 24 January 2011

I remember a time when Sitcoms were an endangered species on Australian television, now they're everywhere - often in the same damn timeslot - look at the 7.30 hour - no less than 4 channels are competing for the same Audience: How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Two and a Half Men and Futurama. You'd have to think the audience for these shows is pretty interchangable, I wonder how many Monday's we'll see this before either Nine or Ten blinks. 789,000 for Two and a Half Men is pretty sad even in summer and demonstrates the diminishing returns of pumping this show to death and wider variety of alternatives on offer now.

One thing that stands out on examining the schedule is Seven's acumen in programming their second digital channel - 7TWO. 7TWO has been around for a while now but in the last year it has morphed into a repository of old skewing British fare. It gives them a clear point of difference from the more youth-appealing GO! and ensures there's always a crowd turning up to watch - look at the numbers, all three shows over 300,000 which I think I will nominate as the level for multichannel success.

Outta Control

Sunday, 23 January 2011

I'm back folks!

I was never really gone, but I've had a busy year between welcoming a fantastic new member to my family, dealing with an increasingly hectic day-job and rediscovering my passion for Video Games which kept me away from the television for a good part of 2010.

What little TV I did watch was mostly via Foxtel so I lost touch with the world of Free to Air (FTA). But recently I'd begun to notice that FTA has done some catching up in the past year.

Two new channels (7mate and GEM) virtually sprang up out of nowhere and while there's a certain irony in 80's 4:3 reruns and Lifetime movies taking up valuable HD bandwidth - they still add to the variety and the main selling point of digital television.

Then we had ABC News 24, Launched in time for the snap election earlier this year - again taking up valuable High Definition real estate in a weird attempt to recover lost ground from Sky News which in 2010 had come into it's own with the outstanding Agenda and Paul Murray programs.

Finally this month we've seen the launch of 11, using the number (whoever at Ten got No's one and eleven reserved is a legend, far better than 72 or 23!) gives a sense of importance and more importantly the netlet's schedule is a huge throwback to the way Ten was back in the 90s, before the dark times, before Big Brother.

Back when I was still doing this blog on a regular basis I was covering the 3 commercial nets and the ABC, now look at it!

I've excluded SBS, the ABC netlets and OneHD (because it's a failure in my eyes) but even then - there's 9 channels - the colour scheme is getting a little crowded - so I'll appreciate any suggestions on how to present the chart going forward.

But here's the first new one anyway - the most striking thing about it is the number of shows under a million, almost everything. Sure it's still summer - but I suspect in the future anything above 800,000 viewers will be considered a rousing success!