Who makes the grade?
A brutal start to the 2012 ratings war has claimed its first victims, writes Colin Vickery
THE TV ratings war is less than two months old and there have already been some highprofile casualties. Channel 9 reality show Excess Baggage, with a reported budget of $15 million, bit the dust after two weeks — shunted to digital channel GO!
Last week, Channel 10 booted Young Talent Time, one of the linchpins of its ‘‘ Super Sunday’’, into the less challenging 7pm Friday slot.
The ratings for Ten’s morning show The Circle have also crashed. The drop comes after the firestorm of controversy surrounding remarks by Yumi Stynes and George Negus about Victoria Cross recipient Cpl Ben Roberts-smith.
The three commercial networks are set to unleash a swag of new shows after Easter to boost their ratings performance.
It is time for Switched On to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the year so far.
AChannel 7 used its traditional springboard, the Australian Open tennis, to promote new shows Revenge and Please Marry My Boy as well as an expanded My Kitchen Rules. The constant stream of on-air promotions paid off big time. Revenge grabs about 2 million viewers each week, Please Marry My Boy has consistently scored more than 1 million viewers and MKR — with a New Zealand team plus baddies including Peter and Gary — has averaged about 1.7 million viewers an episode. ‘‘Seven has ramped My Kitchen Rules up to five nights a week and it is posting doubledigit ratings increases,’’ Fusion Strategy’s Steve Allen says. The success of My Kitchen Rules has allowed Seven to hold back the second series of ratings champion Downton Abbey until at least June. It has the AFL football, a second series of Winners & Losers and several new US dramas including Missing and Once Upon a Time still to come. But the ratings suffered a downturn for US series Castle, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.