ABC chases off Wednesday winner

traceyWithout The Chaser’s War on Everything on air last night, the ABC audience took a dive.

Spicks and Specks still soared with a big crowd for its “50’s Special” including Pete Smith, Toni Lamond, Frankie J. Holden and Hamish Blake. It packed them in with 1.42m viewers. But instead of retaining the crowd with Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, it saw the figure drop to 696,000 -about half The Chaser.

Had the Chaser been in play, it could have expected most of the audience to stay put.

As a result ABC’s Wednesday share was 17.3%. Two weeks ago (last week it was against the State of Origin) it fared better at 19.5%.

Wednesday saw some decent wins for Thank God You’re Here, MasterChef Australia and Today Tonight which just edged ahead of A Current Affair (which won on Tuesday). Unsurprisingly, ACA is enjoying bumper figures this week, 1.35- 1.45m.

Nine News‘ Ramsay apology topped the 500,000 mark in Melbourne. Seven News still won nationally.

Week 24


  1. Hopefully this will encourage them to get the show back on the air. I usually watch all of ABC’s line up on Wednesday I didn’t even bother this week.

  2. @ Richto-TB. I say its better written, thats my opinion but Tracy is very popular with critics hence her Emmy award winning work. I dont listen to talk back radio so that point is unrelated. Tracy’s show has actual writing while a blimp in The Vatican that fizzled as a stunt is hardly good writing or a clever sketch.

    My points are unrelated to the recent children related sketch. I think this program is lacking for some time. The writing and performing is not as tite as CNNNN or the first season of War. I think they still have the potentual to do a good program but direction is important. It may be the visible and non-visable team that will make or break the quality of the show. Everyone thought the first ep tanked this season. I missed the second but saw the sketch on TVT.

    No I dont read every critic but I avoid talk back. I may come off as arogant, I have strong opinions. One and the same mabee.

    @Jason You may be right, ratings analisis not my best asset but when I look at contravsersy on the Footy Show(s) it has lately gone too far and viewers are down. You can argue the same thing has happened here but the break will surely create antisipation.

    It will get some dgier views sure, but that is a fringe. I just care about it being a good show which it sometimes is. Bring back TT and ACA segments!

  3. Mike, there may be viewers that would have boycotted the Chaser if it were on last night. But on the flip side, I think it would have attracted just as many (if not more) ‘edgier’ viewers who would tune in to see what the Chasers would come up with this week and how far they would go this week.

    That’s not necessarily a good thing of course, but I think controversy is more attractive than playing by the rules when you are promoting a show. Look at Underbelly freely promoting it’s nudity and language, or look at basically anything channel Ten promotes in their breathy voices. They are trying to stir up controversy to attract those fence sitters.

  4. Tony. Tracey Ullman was doing this sort of stuff, way before Little Britain. If anything Little Britain has taken lead from Ullman and French and Saunders.

    I’ve always loved Tracey, but this series failed to get me, unlike the superb “Tracey Takes on…” series.

  5. The Tracy Ullman show was appalling, not that she’s ever been all that amusing, but it was bad even for her. A bit like a Little Miss Jocelyn ripoff, only you cringe rather than laugh.
    The ABC should apologise for subjecting us to fail-humour, not apologising to a vocal minority of prudes suffering a sense of humour failure.

  6. I love your hypocrisy Mike. You take issue with the article saying its a silly point to make that the Chaser’s ratings are double what your beloved show is getting, yet continue making “silly points” throughout your post.

    “The fact is Tracy’s show is a better written and performed show than the Chaser”, I love how you’re so certain that your opinion constitutes as fact. You are but one person, and believe it or not, the arrogant opinion of someone who ‘paints television’ couldn’t be further from a real fact.

    And which critics are you speaking of? Your pals you listen to on talkback radio that call and complain about shows they don’t watch? Do you watch every single show a critic enjoys? You’re a bigger “fanboi” than anyone here.

  7. Very satisfying to finally have our ABC represent those of us with a sense of humour that goes beyond the ridicule and humiliation of dying children and religious figures.

    If I never see Chaser it won’t be too soon 🙂

  8. I think it is a silly point to make about Tracy’s show not rating like the Chaser. Chaser firstly has an pre-existing audience from years of watching and possibly a protest vote would have come if it continued un-sin-binned.

    To think that this obscure program would win in its first episode is an unfair expectation and redundant point. The fact is Tracy’s show is a better written and performed show than the Chaser. A one woman Chaser doing her own thing.

    The program is rating just as well as many other import comedies Aunty gets so its just not news that it didnt do what one of Australias biggest comedies does. I think critics would agree that this little alternative during the break from the lads is witty and stimulating. I say critics not fanbois with network avatars and a belly full of softdrink. A better quality product despite the ratings. That is just as important a point to make as its numbers. Would have cost next to nix to purchase too.

  9. i was actually looking forward to the Ullman show, but it utterly sucked. She’s great as always, but the jokes simply weren’t there. It was just a series of sketches without any setup, punchline, or point. And the ABC deserves the low ratings for its total cowardice in the Chaser affair.

  10. Not that the ABC will be concerned as they “don’t care about ratings”. Expect huge ratings though when Chaser returns June 24 incidentally against the next State of Origin.

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