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Media briefs and TV ratings

Nine aiming to fill a hole with new game show. There was a bit of publicity in the News Ltd papers over the weekend about how David Gyngell is looking to new game shows to help rebuild Nine. The stories pointed out how well game shows have been doing in Australia, but neglected to point out that Nine had canned its three major brands: Who Wants To be A Millionaire, 1 vs 100 and Temptation over the past 18 months, only to disinter Millionaire and then halt Temptation’s demise by cutting it back to four nights a week. At the big MIPCOM TV industry trade fair in Cannes last week Gyngell picked up a Japanese game show format on offer from Fremantlemedia (which produces Temptation). It’s called Hole in the Wall (watch through Crikey’s video of the day here). In a press release, Fremantlemedia’s Rob Clark said: “This is a great format, a laugh out loud comedy game show. Everyone who sees it ends up in stitches. Rather than big prizes this show is physical comedy, played for laughs. This will be a popular show and something people of all ages can enjoy” …  ”In the series, two teams of three compete against each other to make their bodies fit into a ‘hole in the wall’. The winners receive a cash prize, and the losers get pushed into a pool full of water.” No-one can accuse David Gyngell of being driven by quality.  — Glenn Dyer

Gratuitous plug for Crikey contributor’s new show. In his spare time between writing articles for Crikey, contributor Marcus Westbury (founder of the This is Not Art Festival and former director of the Next Wave Festival) has been working away on a three-part series for the ABC, Not Quite Art. On at 10pm tonight, here’s le blurb:

Why do we spend far more money building sterile palaces to dead artists and their artefacts than supporting living ones?

Presenter Marcus Westbury travels to Newcastle, Australia and looks at the vibrant art culture emerging from outside the art palaces. Marcus contrasts this with the Scottish city of Glasgow and its transformation from industrial age casualty to the hub of youth art in Europe.

Marcus asks whether you can buy culture by building an iconic building or even franchising a McLouvre or McGuggenheim? Or is culture a messy, dirty thing that comes from the bottom up, refuses to behave, is borderline illegal and breaks a lot of occupational health and safety rules?

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Monday night is the first of Seven’s “benefit nights” when Ten and Nine kindly donate their viewers to Seven’s fleet of strong performers. It was the same last night: a 14+ point win and the week is gone already. Seven has the first seven programs on the most watched list last night, starting with Border Security with 1.904 million, followed by The Force (1.877 million), City Homicide (1.695 million), Seven News (1.485 million), Today Tonight (1.425 million) and Criminal Minds (1.212 million). Then came Nine’s Temptation with 1.189 million, A Current Affair with 1.175 million and Nine News with 1.143 million. Ten’s verdict edition of Idol was next with 1.092 million, then the 7pm ABC News with 1.083 million and Four Corners with a solid 1.010 million. Ten returned Supernatural at 8.30pm and with 977,000 it was third behind Seven and the ABC.

The Losers: Nine from 7.30pm onwards… again. Its 8.30pm movie 50 First Dates (809,000) actually finished fourth at 8.30pm, beaten by the ABC’s Four Corners. It was also beaten by Enough Rope (886,000) at 9.30pm, but both were ahead of Ten’s Californication, which tumbled to 722,000 viewers, its worst so far. A couple of week ago it was second. The God botherers shouldn’t have bothered to complain: it’s going away because it’s boring. Nine’s Commercial Breakdown, 936,000 at 7.30pm, and Just for Laughs, 764,000 at 8pm: that’s the last we will see of them. The long Millionaire begins next week.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Brisbane. The 7pm ABC News in Melbourne with 360,000 viewers had more than Nine at 6pm (348,000), but not as many as Seven (395,000). The 7.30 Report averaged 822,000 with election coverage; Lateline, 336,000; Lateline Business, 141,000. Ten News averaged a low 799,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight 250,000. Nightline, 133,000 at 11.45pm. SBS News, 190,000 at 6.30pm. 7am Sunrise 384,000 (low); 7am Today, 256,000 (normal).

The Stats: Seven won with 35.9% (36.8% a week ago), from Nine with 21.5% (21.8%), Ten with 19.2% (19.6%), SBS with 5.8% (6.3%). Seven leads the week 32.6% to 24.4%. Ten beat Nine in commercial share from 6 pm to 10.30 pm in Nine’s key demo, 25 to 54. Seven wins all. In regional areas, a win to Prime/7Qld with 35.3% to WIN/NBN with 24.0% for Nine, Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.8% (the ABC with 15.2% and SBS with 7.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A feature of last night was the impressive audience for the Four Corners story on the Exclusive Brethren: It was a good result for new EP Sue Spencer after it was held over from last week to allow a Burma story to be shown. 4Cs actually got to within 2,000 people of the 60 Minutes audience on Sunday night (1.010 million vs 1.012 million). It shows the public will embrace a good, relevant current affairs story and the election and the contents of the story were a natural fit last night. Media Watch averaged 974,000 as a result and so plenty of people saw it take a well aimed slap at The Australian by using the paper’s own defence in a defamation case against it. ACA went the political route last night and caught the PM stumbling on interest rates; TT went the entertainment route and easily won the night. For a network that wants to use the election to rebuild its news and current affairs credibility, Nine is off to a slow start. Tonight its Dancing With The Stars, All Saints and a Seven win. Ten has repeats, Nine has new Surprise, Surprise, CSI Miami and Crime Investigations Australia. There’s not much on the ABC or SBS.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports

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