This means (TV) war!

Today begins the biggest battle for eyeballs since the start of the ratings year.

Nine, Seven and TEN are in an assault on television viewers in an attempt to kick-start the second half of 2012.

The Olympics officially end tomorrow morning Australian time, but the war begins tonight as TEN unleashes Everybody Dance Now.

Nine will be hoping its multi-million dollar investment in the Olympics pays off with its rejuvenated slate. They are hoping the Games will do for them what the Australian Open does for Seven. Is there anybody in the country who doesn’t know that Big Brother, Underbelly: Badness, Howzat, House Husbands are coming? Throw in The Farmer Wants a Wife, Anger Management and Dallas and (as irritating as the promos were) it was a job well done by Nine strategists.

All of this could implode if Big Brother does not fire. There is a huge buzz about the series return, so it will undoubtedly launch well. But as Excess Baggage proved, casting is everything in Reality. Will we want to return to these housemates night after night? Can the show reinvent as a “family friendly” series? No live streaming, no UpLate, no Uncut -Nine is reinventing the series at a huge risk, and the series is a huge production investment.

Elsewhere for Nine Underbelly begins well, Howzat will be a hit, Anger Management is rubbish (unless you thought Two and a Half Men was gold), and The Farmer Wants a Wife: Love Bites will probably go the way of The Celebrity Apprentice: hanging on in an oversaturated Reality market. Dallas will serve a purpose but it’s hardly likely to sustain and Nine has sensibly given this a later timeslot. House Husbands is still too much of an unknown but expected after the rush.

Seven has much staked on The X Factor. After this year’s Australia’s Got Talent, it knows how crucial it is that viewers connect with contestants (and those damned “journeys”). They’ve strategically avoided the first week of Big Brother to give the show every assistance. But the echoes of The Voice still linger. Promos suggest there are some talented discoveries, but the bar has been raised conceptually by Nine’s talent series. Also on their radar are GCB, Smash (a fabulous if niche musical drama), Killing Time (also replayed after its Foxtel run), Kath & Kim: The Souvenir Editions (a cheap repackaged ploy when we were effectively promised more). But unlike Nine, Seven is always underpinned by a depth of schedule across its week.

TEN is throwing everything at the box with some brash concepts that will likely create some standout successes and some potential bombs. Puberty Blues is the pick of their bunch, a quality drama series that is light-years away from The Shire and Being Lara Bingle. Who knows whether Everybody Dance Now will work? We loved the exhilarating dancers of So You Think You Can Dance, but this is an untried format with a cast of thousands. Then there’s I Will Survive, with a backdrop appealing to potentially an even smaller audience.  Don’t Tell the Bride is hopefully more entertaining than Yasmin’s Getting Married, the premise sounds workable. Can of Worms is revamped with Chrissie Swan -great choice. But TEN is entering unchartered territory by not having one single brand across is 7pm timeslot. Didn’t they commission a show before to address that very question?

Oh and just to cover my arse …..I’ll be completely wrong on some of these!

19 Comments:

  1. Craig, Channel 7 have been promoting “GCB” for weeks because they knew they wouldn’t be getting a large audience during the &l%mp#cs to do it then. It may well be only 10 episodes but they have little else to show at the moment.

    People will at least check GCB out. If it does well with women against “Underbelly” then good and it will keep the slot warm until Channel 7 put “Revenge” back on. If it fails they will have gotten a couple of weeks ratings then they will move GCB to a later timeslot and try something else. This is an old Channel 9 trick (in some cases 9 waited months before actually putting the show on, and in a couple of infamous cases never did).

    Seven will be desperate to boost their ratings to keep their advertising rates high so they have also picked up and heavily promoted “Smash”. A show that was not picked up by FTA and ran on cable has never been a hit before but there is always a first time. Liz Lemon demonstrated her faithfulness to lost causes on Monday night by testifying that she watched Smash “all the way through to the end”.

  2. @MillerT1 – one of your predictions is already correct (BB got 1.6 million) and Underbelly won it’s timeslot so I think the rest of your predictions will be the same!

  3. @ stevie g

    I hate to break it to you but unless they change their mind Nine are putting Dallas on next week on Wednesday at 9pm. It’s not too late for them to change their mind and put it on at 8.30pm. I did see an ad tonight mentioning next Wednesday but not a timeslot. So they can decide not to give up on the show before it even airs. Also as stated try to maximise the viewers. Don’t know if they will though.

  4. whatever did happen to 10 at 7pm.It was Hinch later Alan Jones Live,Roseanne,Echo Point/The Simpsons,Seinfeld,Will and Grace,Friends amongst a whole heap of others things that existed before Taken Out,Project and Masterchef all came along in recent years.

  5. If the Olympics have taught the TV networks one thing; its that people want to watch then content they like on the device they choose at whatever time they want. With the lack of content on demand Nine has for BB, it will certainly be an interesting test case.

  6. For me BBs lack of adults only content, sort of defeats the fly on the wall aspect of the show. So they will have to have some really good characters to keep me interested.

    XFactor: I’d like to see some of the talent, but the judges coments and Ronan standing on the desk has really put me off.

    Underbelly : the main draw for me is seeing Aussie actors in other roles, otherwise the content dosn’t really interest me.

    Dallas : I love this show so much it feels a part of my own history, so I hope it works. But I would have been happier if it was on 7, who have had great success with night time soaps this year (Downton Abbey & Revenge). Hope 9 treat it well.

    Puberty Blues a must, and Howzatt maybe. Not a cricket fan, but love the 70s.

  7. Ahhh David… is that you??

    LOL! I’m loving all the (frank opinion taste buds) you’ve scattered within this article.

    I must say I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing what is going to work and won’t work across all 3 Networks.
    I hope Dance and Puberty Blues work well for TEN. Also hoping Big Brother works for Nine – I have zero interest in that show that cast the wrong actor to play Kerry Packer and even less interest in Farmer wants a shag.

    As for Seven… well the last thing i saw on that Network was the 2nd episode of Once Upon a Time. I will tune in for GCB… only because it appeals to me and I won’t have to put that much effort into it since there’ll only be the one season to watch.

    Thanks for listening…:)

  8. looking forward to house husbands. big brother isn’t a family show and will more than likely fail. the eviction show will be limited to 1 hour because of 60 minutes. with no up-late or live feeds we have to watch it when channel 9 wants us to and not so much when we want to.

  9. Could somebody please get rid of all of these old tv guides and have all the latest guides one next to the other instead of me having to arrow down to find each of the current guides, click on the guides and download them. The way it’s set up at the moment is totally confusing and it’s worse if you’re totally blind and you have to rely on a screen reader to tell you all the links. And what about a feature allowing me to add my email address so as the guides go into my inbox as pdf versions, that would be very nice too please.

  10. Things that I think are guarantees:

    -Big Brother will launch well (1.4m or more) on average, rate higher than the 2008 season.

    -The X Factor will not do as well as last year. There’s much more competition this year.

    -Underbelly will be the highest-rating aussie drama for the next eight weeks (not counting Howzat).

    -Pretty much all of Ten’s schedule is gonna fail except maybe Puberty Blues.

  11. Let the battle begin!
    With so many offerings coming our way,I can’t wait to see what will grab me the most(although I do already have a fair idea of which shows I’m interested in watching).Also can’t wait to see whether my own predictions of what will succeed and what will bomb,are right or not.

  12. I’ll be giving all the reality shows a big miss. Underbelly, Howzat!, Dallas, House Husbands, GCB, Smash, Killing Time and the only things that appeal on Ten Puberty Blues and Class Of, will be getting an airing in our household.

  13. I saw some of the ads Seven were playing for Smash and it actually looked great!!

    I think Nine will have a lot of strong content (at least ratings wise) but it won’t last for long…for example, Underbelly “Badness” is only eight episodes long, so will be done before the end of October

    I’ve seen the first two episodes of Anger Management and I agree with David, it is absolute trash. Horrible writing, Charlie Sheen is the only decent thing about the show.

  14. Yay comments are back!

    Okay I’m only interested in a few new shows, saw the Puberty Blues pilot on FaceBook, looks good. But nothing else on TEN apart from the return of NCIS later in the year.

    Howzat should be good but thank god its not a series, I do like Anger Management but lets just say it’s better than the last season of 2.5 Men, not thats saying much. UB might be good but I lost interest in that back in series 1.

    Seven must have more shows in the wings, while I liked GCB and wish it wasn’t cancelled I really don’t know why they are promoting it so much knowing they have but 10 eps to show, also Smash, great show but it’s already been on PayTV here and many fans will have gone else where for there fix, ditto for Killing Time which aired last year and had already aired in New Zealand due to local court action, not sure if these will rate here now on FTA.

    Hope they fast track Parenthood which returns Sept 11 in the US, Sept 10 in Canada.

  15. Interesting article David. I’ll admit as a viewer I’m interested in Howzat and in two minds about Puberty Blues. I’ll decide on the day.

    Interesting that you confirmed the lack of faith Nine has about Dallas. I thought a better strategy would be schedule it at 8.30pm. That way you don’t tip off viewers you have no faith in it. Then when or if the ratings slip put the reality show there and have it at 9.30pm. But I’m a viewer not a programmer.

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