TV’s biggest turkeys

Reno Rumble is not alone in having an inglorious launch. Remember these....?


Yasmin’s Getting Married is often touted as TV’s biggest flop, axed by TEN in 2006 after just four episodes of a planned 9 week run.

Shows such as Excess Baggage, The Renovators, The Resort and Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth were also notorious fails. Others we think of as flops actually launched above the magic million: Celebrity Splash, Tricky Business, Gallipoli, Canal Road but tumbled thereafter.

Some such as House Rules in 2013 managed to be salvaged after dismal starts, which is what Nine will be hoping for after Reno Rumble pulled a disastrous 395,000.

Of course in any ratings comparisons there needs to be some context:

  • 2016 ratings can barely be compared to those of 2 years ago let alone anything earlier.
  • timeslots are a significant factor, as are days of the week.
  • a low number for Nine or Seven may be a strong number for SBS etc.

Nevertheless, everyone loves a list….

With that in mind here are some of the more inglorious launches on primetime, where a show launched on the primary channel in 5 metro cities (Overnight figures only).

This list is not complete, but it does acknowledge some of the more spectacular ratings fails on Free to Air.

Please Like Me (2015) ABC, 129,000
Bollywood Star, SBS. 179,000
Living with the Enemy, SBS. 182,000
Room 101, SBS. 206,000
Reef Doctors, TEN. 357,000
Reno Rumble (2016), Nine. 395,000
Jonah from Tonga, ABC. 414,000
Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth, Nine. 441,000
The Gods of Wheat Street, ABC. 458,000.
I Will Survive, TEN. 506,000
The Verdict, Nine. 522,000
Celebrity Dog School, TEN 527,000
How Not to Behave, ABC. 536,000
Kyle and Jackie O’s A Night With The Stars, Seven. 560,000
Celebrity Apprentice (2015), Nine 566,000
Don’t Tell the Bride, TEN. 583,000
Everybody Dance Now, TEN. 597,000
Sleuth 101, ABC. 644,000
Bringing Sexy Back, Seven. 654,000
Restaurant Revolution, Seven. 676,000
The White Room, Seven. 678,000
Crownies, ABC 706,000
The Farmer Wants a Wife (2016), Nine. 763,000
Yasmin’s Getting Married, TEN. 774,000
My Kid’s a Star, Nine. 780,000
Australia’s Got Talent (2016), Nine. 785,000
Australia’s Perfect Couple, Nine. 798,000
House Rules (2013), Seven. 803,000
The Resort, TEN 822,000
Conviction Kitchen, Seven. 825,000
Warnie, Nine. 854,000
The Renovators, TEN. 858,000
The Mole (2013), Seven. 864,000
Excess Baggage, Nine. 885,000
Greed, TEN. 910,000
The Shire, TEN, 913,000
Being Lara Bingle, TEN. 924,000
Let Loose Live, Seven. 900,000

There were several other notorious titles I researched but was unable to ascertain by deadline:

The Mick Molloy Show, Nine.
Shafted, Nine.
The Hothouse, TEN.

This post updates.

38 Responses

  1. Some shows tank because of the concept and or execution of that concept. Others tank because the Network is not giving it enough of a chance of promotion. Maybe OneHD could be added to the list David because it only lasted about 2 or three years before being axed cause of poor ratings.

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