Party Tricks down ahead of TEN Upfronts

2014-11-04_1008Next week TEN will announce its Upfronts with plenty of interest in whether Party Tricks will be renewed and clarify if Offspring is over. Presumably that’s a decision that has already been made, and based on industry chatter and producer comments it appears to be the most probable outcome.

But based on overnight ratings Party Tricks is not meeting the mark, last night at 430,000 viewers despite its 618,000 lead in. It is pulling around another 100,000 in Consolidated viewing and has its first season final next week.

No doubt Cup Eve in Melbourne, Daylight Saving and current viewer disinterest led to another night of soft numbers on Monday, resulting in just two titles clearing the one million viewer barrier.

Nine network won the night with 28.3% then Seven 27.9%, ABC 21.8%, TEN 17.5% and SBS 4.6%.

The Big Bang Theory (1.12m / 984,000) was best for Nine then A Current Affair (999,000) ahead of Nine News (930,000 / 929,000),  Big Brother (671,000), Hot Seat (496,000) and 2 Broke Girls (405,000 / 280,000).

Seven News (1.02m / 945,000) topped Seven’s night then Home and Away (873,000), The Big Adventure (643,000), The Blacklist (626,000), Million Dollar Minute (506,000).  Agents of SHIELD was just 306,000 and The Goldbergs was 171,000.

Australian Story continues to score for ABC amid few alternatives, pulling 868,000 viewers. Next for ABC were ABC News (750,000), Four Corners (740,000),  7:30 (707,000), Media Watch (638,000), Q & A (541,000 / 95,000) and QI (410,000).

Territory Cops again gave TEN its best figures for Monday at (618,000). TEN Eyewitness News was 589,000, The Project was 531,000 / 400,000, Gold Coast Cops was 522,000, Party Tricks was 430,000 and Homeland slumped to 156,000.

Michael Mosley: Should I Eat Meat? (281,000) was well ahead of other SBS titles The Island with Bear Grylls (173,000), SBS World News (109,000), Housos (97,000) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (90,000).

7TWO’s Judge John Deed (329,000) led multichannels.

Sunrise: 339,000
Today: 259,000
ABC News Breakfast: 80,000 / 38,000

OzTAM Overnights: Monday 3 November 2014


  1. Medical dramas, Cop shows, Reality foreys!..A conundrum every commercial television broadcaster has to juggle on the cusp of another year of ratings. Take into consideration what already floods the market with the same content, and what stands alone, regardless of it’s premise. So what does it take to be entertaining?…A stellar cast of veteran and awarded actors, unique and insightful copywriting, thoughtful time to consider interesting locations? And then theres the subject matter, politics and indiscretions. Politics spends more time in the media and in our faces than any other topic. The public crave political rivalry and scandal more than they do the basics of policy. With the present writers, producers, directors and cast on board, just think where this political, social and private mind field could go in a second season!….I knowI’ll be waiting; don’t disappoint channel 10!

  2. I don’t think the success of Party Tricks rested on Kate being happily married. An idea about a cheating politician who wants to win an election was never going to work. We all expect Politicians to lie about politics but her lying about her marriage was a step too far. Really surprised no-one involved picked that up. Aside from that, the acting has been top notch.

  3. I tuned out of Party Tricks after two episodes. Found they took way too long to get to the main plot. From what I’ve read on other comments on this site I haven’t missed anything

  4. For Party Tricks to work the first episode needed Kate and her husband to be blissfully happy, sharing deep and meaningful moments. I watched the first episode, realised it wasn’t going to work and gave up.

  5. I really enjoy Party Tricks. I assumed it was a mini-series, but would enjoy it if it came back. I’m never going to complain about Roger Corser and Asher Keddie on my screen together. They nail the tension in the present day scenes.

  6. Ronnie is spot on about there being nothing at stake in Kate’s marriage. It’s a fatal flaw, and it’s staggering that nobody spotted it before the series progressed beyond the concept stage. But I think I can guess why. Like so many Australian dramas today (and Time of Our Lives was another egregious example), the emphasis is all on the female characters, presumably based on the wrong-headed notion that relationship dramas appeal mainly to women anyway. So we get another “role model” heroine, with only the most adorable, daffy “flaws”. The object of her romantic affection will be a hunk, and “dreamy” – no further characterisation required. And all other men will be obstacles and a**holes – “bloody men – sigh”. The sexism underlying this approach is appalling, but you can see it in virtually every Australian drama now, even where the writer or producer is a man. Every…

  7. I’ve been hearing whispers about a longform medical drama for a while now. Ten and Seven meet quota already and don’t need it. Nine have avoided meeting their Australian drama obligations by screening NZ drama. However, if Nine does proceed with a studio-based medical soap and if the ABC cuts their drama budget the independent drama sector is in dire straits.

  8. I’m quite enjoying Party Tricks. The pacing is a bit patchy, but is hitting its strides just as its winding up. I hope Ten persists with it, but it’s not looking very promising.

  9. Medical dramas (like cop shows) are a kind of default genre for commercial free to airs as you can build the set and if they slowly build they become hard to kill. Probably cheapest genre to make. But I suspect that Ten is not the only local commercial broadcaster who is considering a medical drama. Ten needs to think a bit more laterally with its dramas and take a bit more risk with a couple of short form ones to see if any of them have legs. Otherwise they get stuck with multiple episodes of turkeys like Wonderland. Party Tricks didn’t work because the Ten audience cares little about politics, the writing and ideas were ordinary and the central relationships dull.

  10. I enjoy Party Tricks, it’s a bit wobbly at times storyline wise and last night kinda felt uninspired given the build up to where the story is at

    Homeland has been awful this season, it’s lost it’s shine and feels like a poor spinoff from the original series

  11. Actually really enjoyed Party Tricks last night. I always thought of it as a mini series, and I don’t really see how they could continue the story into a second season.
    If neither Offspring or PT are renewed, then Ten really needs to create a strong drama- if it’s a medical drama which is darker then it would probably work. Something along the lines of Knick maybe

  12. Party tricks is slow and dowdy and been done before.It shouldn’t be renewed and I get the feeling that Asher is somewhat type cast now. Still I miss Offspring,it was such a fresh breath of air for at least 3 seasons.

  13. I’ve enjoyed watching party tricks and if it does get renewed I will continue watching. Party Tricks is a much better show than wonderland which has similar ratings but Wonderland is still supported by ten. Wonderland was supposed to improve by season 2 but I think its worsened. This weeks “secret box” promo has sucked me in and the limited Australian dramas on tv means I will continue watching on an episode by episode basis but I’m close to giving wonderland the flick.

  14. Surprised to read today that John Edwards does not know why this series has flopped. There is a fatal creative flaw – like The Time of Our Lives the audience is simply not invested in the central marriage – in this case, Kate’s marriage to Jeff. The sooner this mismatched couple move on from this doomed marriage, the better. Did they not learn from Borgen – the audience despairs as we watch a good marriage between (very likeable) equals crumble? We feel very sorry for Jeff – but he’s not a strong enough obstacle – Roger Corser has all the charisma. Ergo – no stakes, no drama. The Ten audience does not care (that much) about the political machinations or the moral and ethical media dilemmas.

  15. MDM starting to chalk up more and more wins over Hot Seat lately. Seven are getting away with murder in regards to TBA. It’s ratings are so bad yet they’ve only just lost both nights this week which is probably why it will stay in the schedule even though it is a massive flop.

  16. TasTVcameraman

    I tend to watch Party Tricks on its repeat as I watch Judge John Deed on a Monday night usually.

    I am enjoying Party Tricks but could be a little stronger in story and maybe Monday night is not the night for it. You look at Rush that did well for Ten of a Thursday night.

    Maybe just maybe that audiences will gert sick of MKR type and turn onto drama ?

  17. Interesting article on the Inside Film website about a new 40 part medical drama being pitched by John Edwards & Mimi Butler. Can’t see it happening but Ten would be the most likely network if it does.

  18. Or they could just say nothing about Party Tricks and Offspring. The up fronts are about what is shiny and pretty for 2015.

    Party Tricks will become just a “mini-series” that they never considered renewing. Offspring they did a final 2 seasons for which they won’t be able to top.

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