After
its second episode last night, the Seven Network’s plodding new drama series Headland needs help.

It
started Tuesday night with a comfortable 1.326 million viewers, thanks to a good
lead-in with Home and Away and a Dancing with the Stars special following
it.

But the
second episode last night was disasterville. It lost
around half a million viewers to average just 830,000 people. Now that’s a
plunge straight into desperate waters.

Home
and Away
was again the lead-in and averaged 1.255 million people and a new
episode of Forensic Investigators was scheduled on behind it at 8.30 pm to try
and boost the audience.

As soon
as Home and Away had finished, viewers abandoned it for
Getaway.

When
the new episode of Forensic started, they switched back to Seven and as a result, its audience rose by more than a
quarter of a million. That’s a pretty strong vote of no-confidence by viewers for Headland, which will
not make Seven happy.

There
are another 52 episodes to go. So with a
second series ordered and expectations at
Seven that it will gain more traction from the third episode onwards, Seven are
going to have a nervous Christmas/New Year.

Leading
the nervous ones at Seven will be Tim Worner, the Network programming chief who was a strong
proponent of the program and did a deal in Britain for
funding (it’s a co-production with Channel Four). That
partnership has already seen Last Man Standing come and go.

With no
Home and Away over summer the hope at Seven is
that younger viewers starved of soapie entertainment,
will start watching in rising numbers simply for a fix.

That’s
the hope, anyway.