36 TV’s year of the flops
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”.