Ten gets foodie

Ten is planning a veritable smorgasbord of food-related programming
in 2006, with up to half a dozen programs involving food to
varying degrees to air next year. There’ll be two series from Jamie Oliver: his Escape to
Italy

in the first eight weeks and later in the year the local version (based
in Melbourne) of his Fifteen restaurant series where out of work youths are
taken into the kitchen and taught to cook, as well as the daytime
cooking show, Ready Steady Cook, with Peter Everitt, (the interior designer from Nine’s Renovation
Rescue
and Changing Rooms).

The Biggest Loser, which
did OK numbers for the network this year, will also return, along with a local version which will be screened in
the 7pm timeslot over the first eight weeks of ratings from February
12. Ten
also has the potent Honey We’re Killing the Kids, a local version of a BBC
program. The
importance of food to Ten as a programming option was
seen last Friday night when the Network had a pretty good outing in the
ratings, with more than 1.2 million people
watching the “reunion” episode of this year’s Biggest Loser. That’s
a sign of what’s to come.

And
there’s a nice pot of gold around for Ten and the other
commercials as the Federal Government is planning a multi-million dollar
campaign to fight obesity, especially childhood obesity. That
would provide a ready made sponsor for say, The Biggest Loser or Honey We’re
Killing the Kids
and make the program much easier to sell to diet-conscious
advertisers. Having
Coke or Maccas as a program sponsor sort of
defeats the purpose.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Another night won by Nine, though Seven had a good start with Today Tonight (1.271 million) and then Seven News (1.219
million) running one and two respectively on the most watched
programs. Nine News (1.208 million) and A Current Affair (1.148 million) were next, underlining the dearth of interesting programming for the rest
of the night – except for the ABC where the Grumpy Old Men Christmas Special
averaged 1.038 million, along with Dynasties (1.063 million) and
the ABC News (1.146 million). And if you
needed further proof of how boring last night’s commercial TV was, Ten’s 5pm News was ninth nationally with 980,000. Mythbusters on
SBS at 7.30pm (965,000) ran second to the 7.30 Report (1.029 million).
The Losers

Seven hit a speedbump called Headland last night at 7.30pm with the audience
dropping again to an average 743,000 (lower than any episode last week). It
picked up a smidge for That 70s Show at 8pm and the repeat of Grey’s Anatomy at
8.30pm, but that was the night. Ten just pottered along: the News audience was
its peak, while Neighbours did OK as did The Simpsons, Veronica Mars and the movie
American Pie 2.

News & CASeven won the News battle narrowly because of a solid
win in Sydney and the usual big margin in Perth. TT beat ACA nationally and
Sydney, Adelaide and of course Perth. The 7pm ABC News had a solid night beating Nine in Sydney and
matching Seven’s audience in Melbourne.
The Stats Nine on with 27.3%, Seven with 22.7%, Ten with 20.8% just
ahead of the ABC with 19.4% and SBS with 9.8%. Nine won everywhere bar Perth
where Seven won, of course.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
The highlight for me last
night was the Grumpy Old Men putting a somewhat predictable spin on Christmas,
but the moaning was worth watching and listening. The most
interesting program was the NSW Schools Spectacular re-union on the ABC where
some of the success stories from this amazing event talked about their
histories. So much better than Idol, even if there is a strong Idol tinge with
John Foreman (the musical director of Idol) a prominent success story.