The big problem with TV right now

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 02 November 2014 | 23.08

The NCIS team investigates the crash of an armoured transport bus carrying Naval brig detainees after four prisoners escape, including a black market broker who is one of the country's biggest national security threats. Courtesy: NCIS: New Orleans

AUSSIE TV networks are in a slump with hardly any shows getting above the crucial one million viewers in recent weeks.

Channels Seven, Nine and Ten are struggling to find any hit shows after the finales of The X Factor, The Block: Glasshouse and The Bachelor.

Instead, people are abandoning the main channels and flocking to repeats of A Touch of Frost, New Tricks and The Big Bang Theory on the digital channels.

Nothing looks likely to stop the rot even though there is more than a month left to go until the end of the ratings year.

It can't come quick enough.

Daylight saving is part of the reason for the low viewing levels, as people choose to use the extra hour of daylight for activities that don't involving sitting on the couch. But that can't shoulder all the blame.

Not interested ... Shows such as Party Tricks on Ten haven't been the ratings winners networks had hoped for. Source: Supplied

The bottom line is that viewers simply aren't interested in many of the shows being served up by the Aussie TV networks.

"The ratings are in a slump and there is nothing on the horizon to rescue it," Fusion Strategy's Steve Allen says.

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Ten's big hope was Party Tricks but the Asher Keddie/Rodger Corser political dramedy has been a huge ratings disappointment despite strong reviews.

Party Tricks debuted to 710,000 viewers across the five capital cities on October 6. A week later it crashed to 476,000.

Seven had high hopes for The Big Adventure but the Survivor-like reality show debuted to 945,000 viewers and quickly slipped to between 600,000 and 700,000.

Game of survivor ... Jason Dundas hosts new reality game show The Big Adventure. Source: Supplied

New US dramas including Gotham (626,000), Scorpion (608,000), Madam Secretary (525,000), and NCIS: New Orleans (483,000) are all underperforming.

"Last year Seven got lucky with high ratings for the fast-tracked launches of The Blacklist and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," Mr Allen says. "There is nothing like that this year from anyone."

Big Brother (600,000-plus), Recipe to Riches (575,000) and Beauty and the Geek Australia (593,000) are local shows that have failed to ignite the ratings.

Many disenchanted viewers are happier to watch repeats of A Touch of Frost (362,000), The Big Bang Theory (331,000), New Tricks (257,000) and Escape to the Country (252,000) on digital channels such as 7Two and GO!

"There is a willingness by viewers to go to the digital channel offerings if the main channel fare doesn't whet their appetite," Mr Allen says.

Not catching on ... Viewers seem content to watch re-runs of old favourites than take up new shows such as Gotham. Source: Channel 9

The only programs to crack the magic million are The Big Bang Theory (1.127 million) and The Force (1.125 million).

Seven's Dancing with the Stars, Home and Away, Border Security and The Blacklist are hovering about 900,000.

"Networks have traditionally wound down programming in the last four to eight weeks of the year but this year, especially, viewers are switching off in droves," Mr Allen says.

Underperforming ... Madam Secretary draws about 525,000 viewers a week, far below expectations. Source: Channel 10


1 60 MINUTES 1,056,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,024,000

3 NINE NEWS 980,000

4 THE EMBASSY 882,000

5 ABC NEWS 859,000

Total: 4.8m



2 THE BLOCK - AUCTION 2,327,000

3 SEVEN NEWS 1,990,000



Total: 10.2m


1 THE BLOCK 1,664,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,225,000

3 NINE NEWS SUNDAY 1,220,000

4 60 MINUTES 1,211,000

5 THE X FACTOR 1,131,000

Total: 6.5m

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