36 TV’s year of the flops

Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

ASLEW of TV stinkers thrust upon un­sus­pect­ing Aussie view­ers in 2018 hob­bled the rat­ings sea­sons of chan­nels Seven, Nine and 10. More than 20 duds, in­clud­ing Aus­tralian Spar­tan and Game of Games, came as the com­mer­cial net­works con­tinue to bat­tle Fox­tel and the stream­ing ser­vices for view­ers. The bright light for the year was the royal wed­ding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

It was the sin­gle most-watched tele­vi­sion event of the year, with more than four mil­lion view­ers spread across chan­nels Seven, Nine and the ABC. The AFL Grand Fi­nal be­tween West Coast and Colling­wood av­er­aged 2.615 mil­lion view­ers across the five cap­i­tal cities.

Seven was the most watched net­work for the 12th con­sec­u­tive year, win­ning 35 out of 40 weeks and claim­ing vic­tory in “all peo­ple”, as well as view­ers aged 25 to 54 and 16 to 39.

Fox­tel screened ac­claimed Aussie dra­mas Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock and Fight­ing Sea­son.

Love it or List It and Gog­gle­box Aus­tralia had best-ever sea­sons.

But the list of bombs in­cluded Dan­nii Minogue’s Dance Boss, com­edy Street Smart, quiz shows Think Tank and Point­less, and dat­ing shows Blind Date, Sin­gle Wives and Back with the Ex. The sec­ond sea­son of Fam­ily Food Fight stiffed.

Other rat­ings dis­ap­point­ments in­cluded Olivia New­ton-John: Hope­lessly De­voted to You, Take Me Out and The Men­tor.

“The pain of fail­ure was truly shared around — no one was spared,” me­dia an­a­lyst Steve Allen said.

The AFL Footy Show had a hor­ror year — beaten by Seven up­start The Front Bar and now set for a ma­jor re­vamp for 2019.

To­day (235,000, five cities) is another show on the ropes, well beaten by Seven’s Sun­rise (265,000).

Nine has promised a re­fresh for its be­lea­guered break­fast show, and there con­tin­ues to be chat­ter that Karl Ste­fanovic will be re­placed as co-host.

“It has un­doubt­edly been a hor­ror year for To­day, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons,” Allen said.

Mar­ried At First Sight (1.45 mil­lion) was the high­est-rat­ing reg­u­lar pro­gram, fol­lowed by My Kitchen Rules (1.227 mil­lion).

Big-rat­ing events in­cluded match one of the Rugby League State of Origin (2.347 mil­lion), the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games Open­ing Cer­e­mony (2.037 mil­lion) and the Melbourne Cup (1.908 mil­lion).

The Good Doc­tor (1.032 mil­lion), with Fred­die High­more (as sur­gi­cal res­i­dent Dr Shaun Mur­phy), was the best of the overseas shows. The Block (1.032 mil­lion), The Voice (982,000) and The Bach­e­lor Aus­tralia (965,000) were other reg­u­lar se­ries that per­formed strongly.

“Seven is the only net­work to grow share across all key de­mo­graph­ics,” a Seven spokesman said.

“It is a stun­ning re­sult af­ter the poor back-half of 2017.” THE US Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity yes­ter­day asked the Pen­tagon to ex­tend its de­ploy­ment of troops to the US-Mex­ico bor­der into 2019.

About 5600 ac­tive-duty troops are now sup­port­ing bor­der agents as part of a con­tentious mis­sion or­dered by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The bor­der de­ploy­ment was sup­posed to wrap up by De­cem­ber 15, but due to an “on­go­ing threat” may now be ex­tended un­til Jan­uary 31, Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity spokes­woman Katie Wald­man said in a state­ment.

“This re­quest re­fines sup­port to en­sure it re­mains aligned with the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, the na­ture of the mis­sion and CBP op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments,” she said.

Pen­tagon Lieu­tenant Davis said spokesman Colonel Jamie the De­fence De- part­ment was still re­view­ing the re­quest and did not have an im­me­di­ate re­sponse for the DHS.

In ad­di­tion to the 5600 ac­tive-duty forces, another 2100 or so Na­tional Guards­men have been de­ployed to sup­port op­er­a­tions at the bor­der.

Their mis­sion is to as­sist bor­der pa­trol agents deal with the ar­rival of large groups of mi­grants in so-called “car­a­vans”.

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