Thursday, March 31, 2011

Waving and drowning

Ten have all but given up on Wednesday nights.  They tried valiantly for a while with the cop drama Blue Bloods, that faltered so they wheeled out reruns of Modern Family a sitcom that in just over a year on the air feels like its been run to death.

Now they're slotting in Just 4 Laughs specials which is the equivalent of waving your white flag and surrendering the night.

Expect lots of super sized specials from Masterchef when it returns.  As well as a concerted promotional push behind whatever drama they throw behind it.

Once again we were kings

Winners & Losers continues on from its strong debut with winning ratings. Seven is just dominating this early part of the year and there's almost nothing the other two nets can do to stop them!

Ten must be counting down the days until Masterchef - but at this point I wonder whether the audience for that show will have already gotten their fill for culinary action by the time My Kitchen Rules bows.

Over on digital television Survivor puts in an excellent performance, just like The Amazing Race there are still decent audiences for these shows and while they might not look too spectacular on the analogue channels, on digital they are kings.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pricing yourself out of the market

In Mediaspy today there's an interesting report about the impending AFL rights negotiations with Citigroup warning that the asking price of 1 billion dollars is too high.

You can read that story here Citigroup issues AFL TV rights warning: $1bn is too high

Increasingly I think the commercial networks would be mugs to pay $1b for AFL rights. The ratings for AFL keep sliding down the slope each year and you have the added logistical headache of finding alternative programming for Sydney and Brisbane. Last Thursday’s match was beamed live into Sydney on channel One, only 9,000 people watched! How the AFL thinks they sustain 2 teams in that city let alone justify a billion dollar price tag for the rights is beyond me.

Ten will want to be involved again because they have the sports channel (I believe they’re also going after Rugby League which they had during the 80s), current Seven is suing Ten so I’m not sure that they’ll work together, but Seven needs a partner and I don’t think it will be Foxtel, unless Foxtel just partners up with Ten (I don’t think Nine will be a player in the negotiations)

You only have to look at the (non) performance of One HD which regularly nets only 1 or 2% of the Audience vs channels like 11 or GO! which get up to 5 or 6% to see that live sport is no longer king in this country.

Dead in the water.

Ooh that's not good.  Not only did Million Dollar Drop come a distant third in its slot, but it also got 36,000 less viewers than its lead-out CSI: Miami!

Consider this show axed.

All in all it was a great night for the ABC which saw a good turnout for 4 Corners.

Seven also continued its Monday hot streak with the unstoppable My Kitchen Rules.

Finally some common sense

Check out the dismal figure for ten's NCIS: LA only 387,000 people tuned in for a show which has a long future ahead of it in its home market but looks like it's headed for oblivion over here.

I've been saying for weeks that ten needs to move this behind its more popular sibling but its taken them until now to act.

Let's hope the show's impending move to Tuesday nights pays off.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

One way to get viewers

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Is there even a point now to taking ratings Surveys, just tick the box marked 7 and move on. My Kitchen Rules is a steam roller for Seven, so much so that its worth asking whether anything they have in the winter that can match it.

7TWO's british dramas have a similar hegemony over the digital spectrum. Posting big total audience numbers with shows aimed at older viewers while the rest of digital scraps over the under 49s.

On Thusrday we had Ten broadcasting the first match of the AFL season. Almost 1/3 of the total audience watched the match in High Definition giving OneHD one of its biggest audiences so far this year.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Losers for Seven

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A very big debut for Seven's new series Winners & Losers ensures the best possible start for the Packed to the Rafters substitute.

It doesn't hurt either that My Kitchen Rules is now a major hit with 1.5 million metro viewers.

Over on Digital TV, GO! had a big night with Survivor: Redemption Island pulling a respectable 260K over 2 hours.

Million Dollar Flop

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Monday, 21 March 2011

The debut for Nine's new gameshow - Million Dollar Drop did alright numbers-wise, coming second in it's slot, but I can't help but think it would've been better had they not used such bad actors for their pilot. The concept of the gameshow is decent enough, although I'm not keen on them constantly inventing formats designed to let Eddie MacGuire waffle on at length. But the "couple" who were in the opening show were excruciating to watch.

Also who the hell doesn't know that Australia only has 5 million-plus cities?? How did they find people THAT stupid?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Scandal-Free Practice

14 March 2011

Q: What is 11 years of Australian TV heritage worth in the ratings these days?
A: 37,000 viewers

That's how many more people watched ACA over Today Tonight on Monday. The reason, an A Country Practice retrospective with the series' creator - James Davern.

Frankly it was refreshing to see a retrospective on an Australian television without the requisite scandal attached, although Nine has been plowing this groud a LOT lately, a few weeks ago it was the cast of Young Talent Time.

At the rate they're going it can only be a matter of time before we see ACA track down the cast of Bingles.

On a side note they mentioned that Joyce Jacobs, who played Esme Watson, is still alive and in a retirement home, my jaw was on the floor when I heard that, especially given the roll call of former cast members who had passed away, they should totally interview her if its possible.

In other news, the news dominated proceding with every news program receiving a boost, including George Negus and his 6.30 lead out which both posted over 400,000 and Ten's 5pm news got over 900,000 which is its biggest aud in a while.

Q&A which featured the PM, Julia Gillard actually increased on Four Corners' audience - the first time I can remember something like that happening

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sea of Procedurals

13 March 2011

A great audience for 60 minutes edging in front of the 7.30 hour for the second week in a row, at 6.30 Biggest Loser again is top dog and Miss Marple hold the prize post 8.30. All the same as last week which means this is the pattern for Sundays going forward so the onus is on Nine or Ten to shake up their post 8.30 sked.

Nine has helped themselves somewhat with the new Harry's Law - a new drama from the insanely prolific David E Kelley.

Ten have nothing but despair with an underperforming Five-O and a moribund NCIS: LA. LA's problem is that its the most bland drama in a sea of procedurals. Its amazing that Ten have not as yet put this show on after the original. I suspect a lot who would ever watch this also watch O.G. NCIS on the Tuesday. Ten should (here I go again) move LA to 8.30 Tuesdays against the all-powerful Rafters leaving an all new original to clean up at 9.30.

On the digital spectrum it was all about The Amazing Race. Top Gear on GO! also did incredible figures.

You might have noticed I've changed around the format of the grid, its always a work in progress but this method gives me the opportunity to clearly display the pecking order in each timeslot without resorting to colour coding - which although cool, was becoming confusing with the mass of channels involved

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Laid over Lie

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I thought Ten might have had some success with thier plan to sub in Modern Family reruns on a Wednesday night. Seems like I was wrong, viewers can indeed tell the difference between fresh and stale episodes.

The real casualty though is Lie To Me which was in the cushy 9.30 Tuesday slot but is now out on its own in the wilderness on Wednesdays. Why Ten didn't think it could anchor 8.30 is beyond me but leaving it with an incompatible and unpopular lead in is too much punishment. It was beaten by the largely unknown Laid FFS!

You might have noticed I've been experimenting with adding new digital channels ABC2 and now One, I'm not sure that it's worth it - ABC2 has a LOT of programs getting over the 100K mark but they are mostly daytime kids programs (by contrast Kid-Centric ABC3 is a non-event, partly because its catering to an audience - Tweens - that doesn't like what its selling.)

One HD - Ten's all sport all the time channel is now less sport and more manly stuff like Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch and action movies, its interesting that these diversions rate better for One than anything else on the channel!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This is what it has come to... a Sour Cream Grandma

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

That's right, and dammit it worked! Talkin Bout Your Generation has struggled all month since its return, subjugated by Seven's all conquering MKR (which is still the top performer I might add) but stunt casting with the regular's family members helped Your Gen over the all important million mark.

The big loser from this was Big Bang Theory which is proof that two comedies cannot stand against each other in the same slot. I'm not sure what Nine should do here really, Tuesday has been its weakest night for years simply because of the strong offerings on the other nets.

The other thing which was weird about Tuesday night was the effect of two big shows (MKR and Rafters) on Digital TV, nothing after Neighbours broke 170,000 viewers, it was digital's lowest night in quite sometime.

What turning a blind eye gets you

Monday, 7 March 2011

Now here's an interesting twist. A Current Affair, which has been languishing in the ratings since the season began, decides to wheel out a story from last year that captured national attention, the so-called "Hey Dad Scandal" so named for the old Channel 7 sitcom (yes it was as bland as it sounds) where it seems the youngest cast member was allegedly sexually abused by her TV patriarch.

Nothing particularly new was added to the story - police are still interviewing people and are yet to file charges, but the victim has decided not to wait for them and to bring civil action against her abuser and the folks who enabled this travesty.

Why I have nothing particularly enlightening to add to this case, from a television perspective its interesting to note that Hey Dad is one of the longest running shows ever on TV, at 291 episodes there's an awful lot of material in the can and yet its barely ever been rebroadcast, and now with this history unearthed which just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the chances of it turning up in reruns anywhere are nil.

What broadcaster would buy rerun rights to this now? A series with this kind of success should normally expect a pretty decent post-release income from reruns and DVD sales, that's all gone for this show, done.

Maybe in future producers will report this kind of on-set behaviour to the police rather than turn a blind eye.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Rigid Formula

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Well 60 Minutes' foray into the ongoing Dicki-Leaks saga proved a ratings winner, coupled with an American interview of Charlie Sheen it was train-wreck television.

Still there seems to be some conjecture at the moment as to whether they were actually legally allowed to name the girl at the centre of this whole furore and the fact that they have (and continue to) has made all sorts of talking heads and TV lawyers nervous.

I wonder if it was worth to only beat Seven in the slot by 130,000 viewers and still lose the night due to the poor performance of The Mentalist.

Perhaps The Mentalist has reached that point where the existing audience is eroding but no new viewers are sampling it. Still the new drama Harry's Law did exceptionally well at 9.30 retaining more of its lead in than Castle (though coming second in the slot)

NCIS: Los Angeles continues to underwhelm, its not well promoted, I don't know why I would watch it (I gave up on NCIS back at the end of Season 2 - it was good but there was a formula to it which had started to feel stale)

Indeed, perhaps that is the downfall with procedurals; They follow such a rigid formula that they become stale after a time and there's very little that happens in them that is so out of the ordinary they can draw new Audiences to them, at this point unless there's some sort of major cast change I think NCIS LA will stay in the doldrums for now.

On Digital it was 4 programs, The Amazing Race, Escape to the Country, Big Bang and The Middle. Two older movies: Pulp Fiction and Alien also posted very good numbers last night

Friday, March 4, 2011

Charlie Sheen and Justin Beiber

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hang on - what's this? An actual post 7.30 show scraping past a million on a Thursday night? Wow, that honour goes to The Biggest Loser which improved week on week by 50,000 viewers.

CSI grew by a whopping 117K week on week (was it the episode where Justin Beiber got killed because I could see that drawing a crowd)

Meanwhile just about the only show which slumped week on week was, surprise surprise, Two and a Half Men, down more than 50,000 week on week. I think the problem with it may be that it just pales into comparison with the real deal which has been far more entertaining!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

City Homicide is D.O.A.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

If there's a story on Wednesdays its the slow agonising death of City Homicide over on Seven, that this once 8.30 show is now drawing less than half the audience of its first two seasons is a crying shame. I suspect its already been confirmed as the last season for the show - but even so that's kind of depressing.

Still its not as bad as Ten, holy mackeral all their shows sucked last night, Biggest Loser posted one of its lowest auds yet, Blue Bloods is surely on the way out and Lie to Me would probably be doing a lot better were it not for Blue Bloods.

I do notice that Eleven has dropped Bob's Burgers, but closer examination shows that the show took a week off in the US so maybe it'll be back, at any rate a second episode of Cleveland did better in its place!

Kitchen Dramas

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Another Tuesday, another total domination by Seven, except curiously, the 9.30 showing, Conviction Kitchen. It's doing well for a 9.30 slot, but given its lead in it should be doing a whole lot better. Perhaps the audience has got their fill of cooking from Seven's powerhouse MKR (which continues to impress three nights a week) Perhaps an audience raised on Border Security and The Force has very little sympathy for prisoners trying to reform.

Nine shufled around their sked moving Top Gear to 8.30 and reaping the benefit of a more stable Tuesday, though 20 to 01 may as well have been at 10.30 it did so poorly.

Talkin About Your Generation is having an abysmal run, it doesn't help that all three 7.30 competitors (MKR, Big Bang and Your Gen) are probably chasing the same crowd, as is How I Met Your Mother, The Simpsons and the Britcoms on 7TWO, maybe Ten should try out a drama early on Tuesdays, just sayin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not like the old days

Monday, 28 February 2011

Hmmm. There was a fair bit of speculation at the weekend that Nine had axed the weeknight rebroadcasts of Two and a Half Men, it seems that they've only done so in Brisbane - so the figure you see for 9 at 7pm is for four markets only. Even so - excluding Brisbane, that figure is not up to Nine's usual standards. They need to take some action on 7pm and soon.

This is your Life had a successful debut for Nine at 8.30, the Academy Awards though didn't do too well for the rerun - it doesn't help that everyone spoils it and if you're anywhere near a media outlet between 4pm and 9.30pm you'll hear who won. The Daytime Live broadcast pulled 196,000 for a total of 701,000 viewers, not like the old days anymore.

Big Bang and the Big Hitters

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The 7.30 hour on Sunday nights is turning into one of the most competitive of the week, the week 60 minutes was the timeslot winner and Bondi Rescue posted its best audience of the year so far (for a well promoted episode I'll note).

Last Week Modern Family was the victor at 7.30 whereas the week before it was The Force. Every one of the shows at 7.30 is attracting a healthy audience. If only the same could be said about 8.30.

A few weeks ago you could point to Seven's Bones and see how they're dominating the timeslot - then ABC had to wheel out that old bitty Miss Marple, I'm guessing it's not the same Miss Marple I remember seeing as a kid (yes it's been going that long) but 1 million viewers is a very good audience for the ABC and proof that while every other demographic in TV is eroding the old folks are sticking to their free to air TV.

Maybe it's time to address television's cult of youth where every show is tailored to 25-54 or 18-49, then again, this same Audience targeting allows us to have multichannels these days.

On the multichannel front the main news was Ten bumped Smallville to a 10.30 slot replacing it with a movie which did way better and liften Ten's share. NZ Next Top Model is still struggling - but so does everything against Big Bang and the big hitters on the main channels at 7.30