Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nine, Ten up, Seven, Two down - Monday 30 March 2009

A very good Monday for Nine and Ten with both channels increasing their average aud in Prime Time while Seven and the ABC fell backwards week on week.

Save for How I Met Your Mother, the rest of Seven’s primetime took a hit with Scrubs losing 26k, Desperate Housewives losing 85k and Boston Legal shedding 21k week on week.

None of those losses looked that bad when put next to the ABC with Australian Story, Four Corners and The Cut all shedding in excess of 100,000 viewers from last week.

Nine’s biggest improvers were Customs (up by 108,000 viewers) and Crime Investigation Australia (up 99,000 viewers), Underbelly went up after several weeks of decline clawing back 52,000 viewers

The biggest gains however were at Ten with their special broadcast of stand up comedy from Melbourne (where most of the viewer increase was) netting an impressive 1.1 million and pushing the late news into the top 30.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Twilight Phenomenon - Sunday 29 March 2009

Ten made off like a bandit yesterday recording only second nightly win of the season, again thanks to sport.

The network’s coverage of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix ran into prime time in Melbourne and Sydney resulting in a later start time for the Biggest Loser and a boosted audience to boot!

TBL was up 131,000 week on week hitting a season high 1.4 million viewers, So You Think You Can Dance also found favour with 1.3 million watching over the two hours.

Nine’s best was 60 Minutes which has settled at the 1.2 million mark so far this season – while City Homicide matched the Dance audience and pushed CSI into third place.

Border Security was the night’s top show (screening at 8.30 in Perth) with 1.5 million viewers. Sunday Night, seven’s newsmagazine went head to head with 60 Minutes in Perth (due to an AFL twilight match), it came third in that market with 60 minutes first in the slot for Western Viewers.

Overall it was a very close night with no discernable turkeys, there was barely 100,000 viewers between first and third place all night, a testament to sound programming from all quarters.

Least Watched - Friday 27 & Saturday 28 March 2009

Sometimes an idea looks good on paper but doesn't turn out so swell in practice.

Channel Nine provided us with a case study this weekend by splitting the premiere of Happy Feet across state lines as counter-programming to the AFL on Friday and Saturday night.

As a counter programming strategy, I've heard of worse ideas, and certainly the strategy helped them out somewhat, but the overall result really came up short.

In the 5 OzTAM cities Happy Feet averaged 970,000 viewers, a acceptable figure, but given the pedigree and genre of the movie, a really flat result.

Thinking back on the week that was from my own observation of the Melbourne market, I don't recall seeing one single promo for the network premiere of this movie, not one.

You have to wonder what would have happened had the movie been shown (and promoted) across the network on a Saturday (perhaps away from opening round) whether it's audience would have been greater - I reckon in excess of 1.1 million at least, instead we had a fragmented promotion and presentation for an increasingly fragmented audience, written off as cannon fodder against the football.

What should have been a national premiere was reduced to local programming and unfortunatly the individual stations in the network don't seem to have the promotional mojo of the network as a whole.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hype Works - Thursday 26 March 2009

If Thursday's ratings prove anything - it's that hype works. The Melbourne audience was assualted for two solid months by almost every media outlet in the city with wild speculation and anticipation over the first in-season match for current AFL bad-boy Ben Cousins and his "showdown" with former team-mate Chris Judd.

In the end the game itself was a little lopsided but with over 700,000 melbourne viewers tuning in - for television it was a rousing success.

For Ten as well it provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the new OneHD an all sport all the time digital channel and the first significant effort at multichannelling since ABC2 all those years ago.

Elsewhere Nine was taking the biggest damage with Getaway dropping by over 200,000 viewers week on week and Adults Only 20 to 01 losing 92,000 viewers.

Although comparing their 9.30 slot with last week is a little useless (the AFL Footy Show was replaced by CSI Miami, it should be noted that in Sydney and Brisbane the Footy Show came third in its slot behind Private Practice and Life on Mars.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Nothing major happening last night with most shows maintaining from last week

Ten seems to be having the hardest time on Wednesdays with House slipping by 43,000 viewers and the Gardening show falling behind The New Inventors on ABC1 getting mired on fourth place.

Beyond the Darklands improved week on week by 32,000 no doubt aided by its much more familiar subject matter. Nine split their night in order to get the Melbourne Footy Show out of the road of Ten's AFL match tonight but overall the change made no appreciable difference to their night.

On what was a pretty stable night a rerun of Two and a Half Men recorded the biggest week on week increase with an extra 156,000 viewers tuning in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Packed to the End

Now that it's finished its first season here are the ups and downs (mostly ups) of Packed to the Rafters.

High Points for the series include episode 2 (Playing a Googly), ep 11 (Away from it all) and the finale (Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone)

The lowest rating ep was episode 16 (Having it all) which was the show's second week back after the summer hiatus.

Now that Packed to the Rafters will vacate Tuesday nights for a while the interesting thing will be to see what effect that has on other shows, will Two and a Half Men or NCIS receive a boost, Will All Saints shoot up now that it moves to 8.30 and is lead-in Find My Family's big aud all it's own making or a product of viewers tuning in for the show about to start.

A lot of questions are gonna get answered this time next week...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Some big movements last night but very little change in the rankings as Seven brought the season of Packed to the Rafters to a close, the show gained 147,000 viewers on last week to close out over 2 million, a sign that the show is an entrenched hit.

Similarly Find My Family found another 132,000 viewers this week, while it’s main competition Bondi Rescue lost 176,000 viewers week on week.

Wipeout improved on last week dismal number to keep itself in the game, while another finale, this time Ladette to Lady saw an extra 66,000 people tuning in (for what exactly I’m not sure – it was a reunion special)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spac Filler of the week - Monday 23 March 2009

The ABC had a big week on week improvement with The 7.30 Report booking over 1 million viewers (which doesn’t happen often), Australian Story recording what must be it’s biggest aud so far this year with a reportedly thought provoking case examining the aftermath of euthanasia.

The spotlight on idiotic Judge Marcus Einfeld (a speeding ticket ffs!) gave a boost to Four Corners lifting it by 210,000 viewers, in turn struggling drama The Cut lifted by 72,000 viewers to something approaching a daytime audience.

Good News for Scrubs fans the show rose 36,000 viewers into respectable territory which should keep the wolves at bay, rising too was Desperate Houswives (by 24k) Seven seems to be digging in to keep viewers interested in the show, running weekend marathons, putting the episodes online, you name they’re doing it.

Meanwhile Underbelly dropped to its lowest aud ever with 100,000 less viewers than the previous week, that is still a good audience but it has been in decline for several weeks now.

Time to give out the spac-filler award, much like the putty you would use to repair holes in plaster walls, network programmers occasionally have to resort to cheap reruns to paper over holes in their schedule, occasionally these changes produce very good results like today’s award winner NCIS…

NCIS was moved to this timeslot 3 weeks back to sub for Serial Killer drama Dexter which had sunk to the unsustainable low number of 506,000 viewers, NCIS improved week on week by 151,000 viewers, building an additional 393,000 on Dexter’s last primetime figure to outrate it’s lead-in and Brothers and Sisters! Outstanding!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday 22 March 2009

Sunday again continues to be close struggle for all the nets with only the 7.30 hour putting Seven out in front. Viewers have well and truly put aside 60 minutes for the more visceral experience of Seven’s factual offerings.

Meanwhile Dexter’s ratings last Sunday looked to be a mirage, either the show dropped by 342,000 viewers week on week or it was initially timecoded wrong resulting in an inflated rating for the first week.

The tussle at 8.30 continues to be tight with less than 3,000 viewers separating the crime shows. Backyard Blitz, now rumoured to be axed lost 84,000 viewers week on week while The Biggest Loser picked up an extra 94,000 and Sunday night brought in another 129,000 (the night’s biggest increase)

Saturday 21 March 2008

Saturday’s Free to air Ratings Chart will be up this evening, again the night saw a win for Seven on the back of their early evening lineup with ABC doing well as always and Ten saving face with a rerun of Home Alone 2.

Nine flopped with two poorly chosen movies, although their localised schedule in Brisbane performed well in that city (though not well enough to justify phoning it in for the other markets)

In the meantime let's look at the top PAY TV series for last week by Audience Reach....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Slight Reprieve - Friday 20 March 2009

Well we had a Friday with no AFL (save for an AFL documentary on channel seven entitled Essence of the Game), Rugby League broadcast in Melbourne and a resurgent Medium/Law & Order double certain to be kept alive on this night for another week at least.

In fact Medium's performance is most interesting - it increased its viewership by 229,000 people week on week with almost all of that surge coming from Melbourne where non-sport viewers given a choice between sports doco on seven or sport on nine flooded over to Ten making it the sixth most watched show in Melbourne last night with 327,000 viewers.

Channel Nine continue to splinter their schedule beyond recognition with Postcards in Perth, Motorway Patrol in Melbourne and Big Momma's House 2 in Adelaide all doing single city duty last night, tonight they'll be dropping Brisbane out of the network to celebrate QTQ's 50th Anniversary.

Happy Election Day Queensland

Tonight two big nerd events will be competing for my attention on Cable TV, the final episode of Battlestar Galactica due to start on SciFi (132) at around 9pm and the Queensland State Election which is also notable for sci fi geeks because the Borg is one of the candidates...

Here's a very dumb video I made back when they formed the LNP

All obtuse sci fi references aside the end result of the Qld election will be fascinating - is Qld destined to be a one-party state (much as it was under Sir Joh all those decades ago) or will we see one of the biggest come from behind swings in the history of elections in this country!

Anyone in Queensland reading this blog remember to vote well and vote often, I hope your chosen candidate gets up!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday 19 March 2009

Just a quick post - Life on Mars continues to slip down 28 grand while it's lead in SVU was up 44 grand and pulled off a timeslot win against a much weaker 20 to 01 (down a massive 176,000 viewers)

The other thing to note is Bondi Vet, up into safe territory with 962,000 viewers (up 56,000 week on week) and not at the expense of other shows either with all 7.30 skeins up on last week. Perhaps there is a place at ten for dull factual shows after all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Advertising on the ABC - Wednesday 19 March 2009

Well for a while myself and others in the blogosphere have been shouting at Ten to move House back to 9pm where it saw some early success this season clear of the ABC’s Spicks & Specks, well as much as I hate to admit it – moving it won’t do anything now.

ABC has filled the 9pm timeslot with the equally successful Gruen Transfer a sharp, funny show about advertising and how it works, which ironically can probably only be made on a commercial free pubcaster like the ABC. Both Shows held over 1.1 million viewers for the hour bettered only by Criminal Minds which stands at the top of Wednesday’s growing procedural pile.

Guerrilla Gardeners seems to be growing very slowly on people and had the night’s biggest lift with an additional 80,000 people watching week on week, accordingly an extra 79,000 people saw House, while The Mentalist lost 80,000 viewers and Criminal Minds lost 94,000 week on week, I guess that’s an actual Gruen transfer at work.

Less amusing is the situation with Lost which dropped back again by an alarming 80,000 viewers, the series itself is perhaps better than ever, although firmly now in the realm of science fiction rather than the action drama it masqueraded as in it’s first 3 seasons.

Even given the general antipathy towards Science Fiction in this country I cannot explain the low numbers, the show is airing only 3 weeks after the states (surely not worth wasting your broadbrand limit on) the only thing I can figure is that people are recording it to watch later, I myself watch + record the show but I do pass it along to my neighbour the next day, is it possible that this show is being taped (given the attention one needs to pay whilst watching) rather than watched live, or have Australian’s given up on the mystery?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bondi to the Rescue – Tuesday 17 March 2009

Sometimes you wonder why ten, a network focussed on youth demographics and differentiating itself from its opposition would continue to bother churning out factual programs and then you see a result like last night where Bondi Rescue put on a healthy 279,000 viewers week on week

Non fiction programming also fared well elsewhere with Find My Family adding 15,000 viewers, RSPCA adding 87,000 strays and The Biggest Loser putting on 93 kilos week on week

Perhaps the family pitched Wipeout will soon have to front up to Find My Family as a further 42,000 people quit the obstacle course, it’s a pity because the show is getting a lot slicker several weeks in than on its stilted debut.

For Fictional Programming it was more of a mixed bag, NCIS, Lie to Me, All Saints and Two and a Half Men all lost viewers week on week while Today Tonight actually gained an extra 107,000!

Nine’s new 10.30 entrant Bridezilla’s (an old cable staple from Arena) turned out a disappointing 379,000 while Ten’s News and Eli Stone both had marginal increases.

Hope for the late night dustbin - Monday 16 March 2009

A little late to the blog for Monday’s ratings but sometimes the real world takes priority over your internet world! As far as I can see the story of Monday is not the mega lift given to Customs (up 123,000 viewers on weeks) or the relatively insignificant slide for Underbelly (down 93,000 viewers) but between 8.30 and 10.30 Ten is improving – Good News Week was up 85,000 viewers week on week and has seemingly beat 4 corners (which was once the monkey on its back) into submission in 4th place.

At 9.30 NCIS is slowly resuscitating what was a disaster hour for ten with the timeslot up another 93,000 week on week, as you know Dexter’s move back to late night proved a weird success also retaining most of the show’s fan base, so all in all it was a positive move and Ten’s Monday share is now at 20% which is a pass mark more or less.

Of course Dexter started out as a late night show on Ten (after a cable run on the top-tier Showcase) and was trialled this season in Prime Time eventually flopping, another show, Scrubs which started out during Summer, underwhelmed Seven’s programmers and found itself in all manner of late night timeslots eventually found traction on DVD where it’s season box sets have become some of the best selling entries for the medium.

Last summer Seven decided to move it from the no-man’s land of 11.30pm to 10.30 and the result was phenomenal with episodes pulling upwards of 500,000 viewers in the slot, hence a show which for all intents and purposes was dead has been restored to prime time by Seven in its final season

The result was that Seven took a hit week on week of roughly 89,000 viewers but considering the episode they bowed with (where main character JD was absent save for a voice over) it’s a pretty good result, hopefully it can pick up and allow this often ignored series to go out on a high note.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Catch a Killer (in a later timeslot) Sunday 15 March 2009

Uh wow, I never thought I could declare Dexter a timeslot winner, but I guess moving to 11pm does wonders for a show, what’s more bizarre is its against the show which consigned it to late night to begin with!! Most of its followers having followed it to Sunday Night

Rove too had an impressive night for a late start. Starting after 9.30 doesn’t tend to favour that show but somehow he pulled off a nice win, perhaps an increase in younger viewers confined to the house in light of bad weather in the nation’s two largest cities is to blame.

City Homicide sunk beneath CSI both of which are far away from their series’ peaks, meanwhile Border Security continues to go from strength to strength and in a surprise result Domestic Blitz had a revival after looking very poor the previous Sunday.

With so many shows inexplicably up or down on the previous week the only trend that seems to be emerging on Sunday nights is a very close contest from all networks, Programs are winning timeslots with barely a hair’s breadth between them.

Unlucky - Friday 13, Saturday 14 March 2009

Just some quick notes for the weekend just gone. Seven and Nine were the main beneficiaries on Friday night with the AFL preseason ending and the NRL season starting - in fact Nine's NRL absolutely blitzed the opposition in its home markets, if only I could get hold of figures for Suddenly 30, or Perth's Postcards which continues to occupy the 7.30 slot in the west.

Ten's alternative lineup was squeezed out by the sport but also, worryingly, by the alternative movies as well coming third in most markets, I doubt they'll let too many more weeks go by with these sorts of poor results, then again they could stand to promote these shows which are way under the radar.

On Saturday I have no doubt that we'll find out Pay TV was the dominant player, yours truly's obsession with Battlestar Galactica notwithstanding, I'm sure the Sound Relief concerts on [V] and Max would have drawn a decent crowd.

Over on FTA Seven's idea of splitting movies by markets may work but only when they're good movies. Meanwhile Nine puts on a Robin Williams film nobody had heard of with zero promotion and look at the brilliant results! You know its bad when you're beaten by 'The Core'

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Truth about Vets and Plants - Thursday 12 March 2009

Nine stormed in with a huge audience for their Adults Only 20 to 01 which seems to be a better fit with The Footy Show than with cop shows. The Return of the Footy Show also garnered a healthy aud as it always does but look for it to fall away in the coming weeks as the season settles in.

Thursdays seem to be one of The Biggest Loser’s better nights, improving by 50,000 viewers week on week as did Bondi Vet though its still a long way from being considered a success.

The truth is with the Vet show and the Gardening show these are not the kind of programs that people expect to find on Ten, this is mainstream channel Seven and Nine stuff through and through, mostly watched by people who haven’t retuned their set since 1961, they just aren’t watching Ten to begin with.

Speaking of old, Ten’s trip to the 70s is really starting to fall away, although it added 20,000 viewers week on week it’s still lagging behind Private Practice which itself must be waiting for one of those 10.30 slots to become available.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A House built on eroding foundations - Wednesday 11 March 2009

Another night of week on week drops across the board though nowhere near as drastic as Tuesday. Today Tonight posted the biggest loss of 148k week on week, while its rival A Current Affair gained 69,000 viewers from last week, Neighbours however was down 73,000 so overall viewing was down.

Both eps of Cold Case were down week on week but still respectable, Gangs of Oz’s final instalment kept above 1 million declining by 48,000 viewers from last week, conversely Lost, which has been on the slide, lifted by 36,000 viewers.

The 8.30 slot seems to have settled somewhat with Criminal Minds boasting a comfortable lead over the competition, the (remarkably less exciting) procedural The Mentalist has grown back to late 2008 levels, no where near its Sunday episodes but on par with its Wednesday outings last year and helping Nine to a strong second place on the night.

Over on Ten, House has incredibly stabilised, and although a 4th placing at 8.30 is not ideal, 900k against two other (newer) first run US dramas is passable.

Less inspiring is the lacklustre performance of its lead-in Guerrilla Gardeners which has slipped below the 700k mark, Ten says they’re going to stick with it but I cannot see the point, on one hand it’s Thursday counterpart Bondi Vet posts less than spectacular numbers, but those numbers are stable and do not hamper its lead in, the gardening show, on the other hand, is declining from an awfully low base (from which that vet’s numbers look like lofty heights) this show may be bound for the midday Saturday death slot! (Previously occupied by such Ten luminaries as Celebrity Dog School and Teen Fat Camp) maybe Ten should do a straight swap with current occupant Star Wars: The Clone Wars, that show is a fine way to pass 30 minutes!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Biggest Losers - Tuesday 10 March 2009

Viewing was down across the board last night with all networks losing audience week on week, the biggest losers were (in order):

Bondi Rescue down 183k
Two and a Half Men 7pm rerun down 171k
Seven News down 155k
Home & Away down 132k
Lie to Me down 130k on last week’s NCIS rerun
Neighbours down 124k
Wipeout Australia down 110k

Phew – and that’s just the big losses! The only show to gain viewers in any meaningful way were the 8.30 episode of Two and a Half Men which 41,000 folks from last week, and Ladette to Lady which also had an extra 40,000 watching.

Special Mention to All Saints which stayed relatively steady week on week to eek out a timeslot win.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Auntie takes a beating - Monday 9 March 2009

Another Monday, another large body count and another channel nine victory.

Underbelly actually grew week on week by another 34,000 viewers while Desperate Housewives dropped by 39,000! Meanwhile timeslot also-ran Good News Week built an extra 44,000 people onto its base registering over the 800,000 mark and back out of danger, 4 corners was hit hard with 85,000 viewers tuning out week on week.

In fact the ABC has taken quite a pummelling on Monday nights in recent weeks – especially considering their relative strength last year, case in point is 9.30pm:

There were more people watching TV at 9.30 last night than were watching at the comparable hour last week, Brothers & Sisters was up 22,000 viewers, Crime Investigation Australia lifted a whopping 193,000 week on week (the night’s best improver) and a rerun of NCIS brought an additional 149,000 people who couldn’t be stuffed with Dexter the previous week, yet ABC’s 9.30 entry – The Cut actually lost 81,000 viewers week on week??? This is after losing 83,000 viewers the previous week – there’s not a lot of people left to lose here!

Now I haven’t seen it so I cannot judge whether it’s a turkey or not, but bleeding viewers at a regular rate is not exactly a vote of confidence.

In fact thinking about it – I don’t even know what its about, I’ve never seen a promo and I watch the ABC sometimes for 7.30 report and Lateline - perhaps the ABC’s lack of in-show breaks is hurting their ability to promote new shows, we’ve become so trained to hit the remote the moment a program finishes that we no longer stick around for the coming attractions.

I watch even less SBS but I can tell you more of what they have on just by virtue of promos during the programs. Sounds like a tricky problem for the ABC for the years to come.

Introducing Television Rave

It's not all negative - sometimes I have good things to say as well - especially about the shows that get f*cked around by those idiots in programming!

I'm starting with Star Trek The Next Generation - which is a personal favourite - providing reviews of individual episodes of the show but eventually I'll cover other classic shows on there as well as first run stuff where appropriate.

A few rules - I'll only review something if I've watched and I'm not interested in synopsis only comment - if you want to find out the story check out wikipedia or TV.com or any number of other resources.

Finally the Rant continues here but if you want to Rave then click...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday 8 March 2009

Sunday night saw another fine performance from Seven and Ten, though Ten's shows are considerably lower due to the public holiday today in Melbourne and Adelaide, lowering the proportion on under 40s watching the box.

This caused Ten the greatest Week on Week losses in Prime Time with Dance down 142k and Rove down 92k while CSI Miami on Nine took a hit with 137,000 people deserting, again the poor performance of 9.30 skeins illustrates an older skewing night than usual.

60 Minutes continues to slide at the expense of Seven's factual shows with Border Security adding 59,000 viewers from last week.

Ten is again persisting with the late night Sunday Movies but did anyone even know it was on???

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday 6 March 2009

Just a quick one for Friday's Ratings (Saturday's are not even worth discussing - only two shows over 1 million, the two big news bulletins).

Seven's decision to screen a movie up against Ten's Football broadcast paid off with the 3 hour movie winning it's timeslot giving Seven a clean sweep for the night with the top 5 programs and first in every timeslot.

Ten was forced into further fragmenting their audience with new eps of Medium and Law & Order skipped altogether in the southern markets, splitting your sked for AFL/Rugby League commitments makes sense when you can maximise your results - but when the end result is a washout like this - why even bother?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

News Travels Fast - Thursday 5 March 2009

I Don't know how else to explain the sudden drop in Life on Mars' numbers, either the general public has been clued on that it was canned in the US and have decided to ditch, or they just like CSI Miami waaaay too much.

If its the latter and viewers are hanging on for the pithy one liners from Horatio Caine then Ten can rest easy because H checks out in a few weeks to make way for an assortment of dickheads and boofheads on the Footy Show, but if its the former and viewers have decided not to commit to a show only destined to run 17 episodes then Ten has a problem.

No problems from Nine who seem to have managed to wring yet more juice from the dessicated 20 to 01 and Getaway seems to have settled nicely also.

The one puzzle on the night is Bondi Vet, why the audience dips after The Biggest Loser but recouperates for SVU, I have a theory - channel surfers, OzTAM's systems measure the number of viewers watching at any minute and then average that over the hour - I'm guessing that there's a lot of channel surfing during this show - folks are waiting around for SVU but they aren't just leaving it on Ten. Its a decent show, but its not really a Ten show and the figures bear that out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stuff Gardening, get back to the House! Wednesday 4 March 2008

Last night Nine saw improvement in all their skeins from 7.30 to 11.30 with Cold Case within striking distance of Seven’s soon to be gone Gangs of Oz and the 10.30 rerun dominating the timeslot.

Week on week the 9.30 Cold Case lifted 218,000 people, the week’s biggest gain, also performing well Farmer Wants a Wife added 67k, The Mentalist added 119k and the 10.30 Cold Case rerun added 106k

Seven suffered the biggest losses with Gangs of Oz shedding 101,000 viewers, still it scraped through to a timeslot win. Lost is floundering at 10.30 coming after an incompatible lead in it sunk a further 84,000 viewers to 380,000 which surely constitutes a series low for a new episode.

House lifted for Ten but still lost out to Spicks and Specks, while Life gained 105,000 viewers week on week but only managed a distant third in its timeslot for total viewers.

Interestingly The Biggest Loser and House seem to have similar numbers watching then in between 200,000 viewers disappear at the onset of Guerrilla Gardeners – it interesting to note that city by city the biggest lead in losses are in Melbourne and Adelaide the two cities with currently the harshest water restrictions where gardening is probably the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. Still at 700k against tough competition I see Ten toughing it out for a few more weeks yet but if it stays under 800,000 after Nine’s Agricultural show disappears then my tip is for a quick return from Rules of Engagement which has just returned in the US.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do you laugh or cry? Tuesday 3 March 2009

I’m sure Ten’s programmers wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry – laugh because a rerun of a five year old drama takes down All Saints, or cry because their acclaimed local drama Rush couldn’t do the same.

At any rate it’s wonderful that two dramas can bring over 1.2 million each to the screen at 9.30, in fact viewing across the 5 capitals was up week on week with an average of 147,000 additional people tuning in between 7.30 and 10.30.

Seven’s early evening benefited immensely with Seven News recording a whopping 238,000 gain week on week. Nine’s news also gained an extra 134,000 viewers.

Kudos goes to Wipeout which built on its audience by 75,000 viewers and the new ep of Two and a Half Men increased it’s aud by 109,000. Although Ladette to Lady continues to disappoint in total people terms, at least its not going down, and I can’t see it doing much better given that the Tuesday night game is really between Seven and Ten.

Ten News won the battle at 10.30 – in fact the surge for news across the board indicates intense interest in this unexpected attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday 3 March 2009

Viewing on the whole was down on last Monday night with the biggest week on week hit going to Nine’s 9.30 hour which sunk, last week Nine followed their megahit Underbelly with a rebroadcast of the Oscar ceremony, this week forced to find a suitable lead-out for the country’s number one show they settled on Crime Investigation Australia, a doco series repurposed from the Crime & Investigation channel.

At first glance you would think that a true crime documentary would be a perfect fit with a true crime drama but it seems that it isn’t, the doco lost a whopping 1.161 million viewers (51.99%) from it’s lead in.

You would also think that Nine would want to use the most valuable real-estate on television right now to promote something that would continue on after the first 12 weeks of the season, what that would be exactly is unclear, the channel nine vault doesn’t seem to be bursting with hidden treasures lately.

Seven’s Brothers and Sisters got the predictable lift with the female skewing Oscars out of the way, while other 9.30 entries stagnated, The Cut can be considered a flop and Dexter, why Ten is persisting with this when surely there is an audience for them at 9.30, especially considering the sub-par competition, is beyond me. Call me crazy but if the mass-audience dropped Lost, Heroes and Prison Break, what makes Ten think they’ll pick up a violent, adults only serial a year into the storyline?

Some good news for Ten was that Neighbours gained while both it’s current affair competitors lost audience in the 6.30pm slot with ACA down 93,000 and Today Tonight down 121,000 – Neighbours was up 72,000 viewers and is tantalisingly close to that million mark – perhaps old Harold was holding them back!

So You Think You Can Dance appears to have fallen into a similar patters as Australian Idol last season where the Sunday show posts an acceptable figure of 1.2 – 1.3 million and the results show hovers around the 900,000 mark – given that this seems to be the pattern Ten needs to shake this up when Idol rolls around – maybe move the results show back a day or two (probably Wednesday their other struggling night) this would clear the decks and give ten the chance to develop something substantial for Mondays which could carry through the whole year, if they were game.

Meanwhile How I Met Your Mother seems to have also settled around the 900k mark which is not a disaster by any means but with Seven blowing two new eps a week they’ll run out of fresh stock before Nine run out of Sheen, that would be a massive miscalculation on Seven’s part – find a show to go at 7.30 and save the new Mother ep for 8pm, moving it out of the way of it’s main competitor – I guarantee it’s figures will look healthier – in fact I wager that if Seven split their reporting into two half hour eps we would probably see an improvement between ep 1 and ep 2.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I've gotta follow an act like that? Sunday 1 March 2009

Second Sunday with all shows on deck and Seven shows a big week on week improvement, with City Homicide recording a half hour win and an increase of 165,000 viewers, Border Security scared an additional 122,000 people, Triple Zero Heores was up 92,000 and won its timeslot, Sunday night added 103,000 people from last week and even Bones clocked an extra 116,000 living persons to its tally.

Over on Ten both Loser (-11,000) and Dance (-18,000) had negligible losses while Rove, half an hour earlier this week rakes in an extra 103,000 folks – I have no doubt Rove’s figure spikes for Petespace and the fake news segments they do at the start so the early start time is a clear benefit.

More troubling is what to do after Rove, cops shows don’t work (see NCIS), esoteric comedy flops (Californication), right now Ten is trying out movies with very poor results, after two years of Rove ten continues to have these woes in the 9.30/10pm slot, what is worse this year is than in two months they face an additional hour long hole in their Sunday night when Dance and Loser wrap up, Masterchef will only be filling one of those hours (place your bets now on whether it will be 6.30 or 7.30!)

Over on Nine they had one thing to smile about and a lot of things to worry about, first of all they can smile about CSI Miami up 158,000 viewers week on week and looking quite respectable for a 9.30 show, but their early evening lineup is floundering – Domestic Blitz has never faced the Biggest Loser before and it would seem that weight-loss comp is taking the shine off those renovators, meanwhile as the oldest thing on television 60 minutes is being hit by fresher competition – although still keeping its head above water it took a hit of 128,000 viewers the night’s biggest decline.