ABC drama dip

Ratings: Pulse & Cleverman down, Bachelor wins slot and Nine gets a bigger crowd with James Bond than Sam Newman.

ABC will be hoping for a “J curve” for their new medical drama Pulse which fell from 512,000 last week to 478,000 last night. The trend is nothing new in television where a show slips in its second week, so the test now becomes if it can slowly rebuild.

No such luck for Cleverman which was down to just 118,000 for its penultimate episode. At those figures next week is likely to be the last we will see of the ambitious show.

The Bachelor won at 7:30pm against staggered scheduling at 739,000, down from its 846,000 premiere, but enough to top the demos.

Taking off the AFL Footy Show did not diminish Nine’s audience -quite the opposite. The Skyfall replacement lifted from 227,000 for last week’s footy outing to 253,000 for James Bond. It’s cheaper and better for Nine to run movies than have Sam Newman & co. Seven’s Front Bar increased from 232,000 to 303,000.

Nine network won with 28.3% then Seven 26.8%, TEN 21.0%, ABC 16.6% and SBS 7.4%.

Nine News was 908,000 / 899,000 for Nine then A Current Affair (817,000), Hot Seat (514,000 / 312,000), RBT (366,000 in 3 cities) and Thursday Night NRL (349,000 in 2 cities). Movie: Skyfall was 253,000 in 3 cities and NRL Footy Show was 161,000 in 2 cities.

Seven News was #1 for Seven with 1.02m / 952,000 then Home and Away (714,000), The Chase (604,000 / 416,000), Make You LOL (498,000), All Round to Mrs. Brown’s (409,000) and The Front Bar (303,000 in 3 cities).

The Bachelor (739,000) led for TEN followed by The Project (516,000 / 339,000), TEN Eyewitness News (446,000), Common Sense (354,000) and Family Feud (326,000). Law and Order: SVU was 189,000.

ABC News (663,000) topped ABC’s night followed by 7:30 (546,000), The Checkout (516,000), Pulse (478,000), and Restoration Man (193,000). Cleverman was just 118,000.

On SBS it was Great British Railway Journeys (379,000), Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook Melbourne (177,000), SBS World News (165,000), River Cottage Australia (117,000) and Versailles (106,000).

ABC2’s Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom ruled multichannels with 245,000.

OzTAM Overnights: Thursday 27 July 2017

23 Responses

  1. I have to say I am loving series 2 of Cleverman ….. but the way the storyline is going it was never going to have a series 3 even if it did rate …..

  2. Our household didn’t even switch the TV into FTA mode last night due to nothing of interest being on, caught up on some recordings and went to bed early.

  3. The reason that ABC drama is struggling and considered by many to be so bad is that it is run by a department that operates similar to the one featured in Utopia….!!!!

    just switch NBA for ABC…

  4. Thedirtydigger is right to call for an ABC drama doctor. These are expensive shows cobbled together with ABC money, Screen Australia, tax rebates, distributor advances, presales and other financing. Put Cleverman and Pulse together and you have an ABC investment alone of around $1.2 million for two hours of drama, the most expensive programming produced by the ABC. Nobody watches because amongst other problems the ideas are not compelling enough and the writing is poor. I feel sorry for the actors and technicians too. The buck stops with the ABC commissioning and development.

  5. Versailles was excellent last night. It’s like Downtown Abbey on whatever powder they were all getting into. Really enjoyed the double ep and would be happy if that continued.

    Unfortunately I found the first two thirds of Outlander to be dull and plodding. The last third was more interesting but involved an unconvincing establishment of this season’s antagonist. Just in case it wasn’t obvious to the viewer, the writers had Jamie tell Claire that she had made another enemy. And here I thought she was just making an ass of herself again.

    1. You can expect the first half of this series of Outlander to feel slower, because there is a lot of intrigue and politics to convey. While it might seem strange, believe me it is all relevant to the story. The second half returns to the swashbuckling feel of the first series.

        1. Thanks guys. Slow is fine, dull is not. Happy with political intrigue in general (and that was clearly where we were headed at the end of S1). I’ll be back next week so we’ll see how it goes.

  6. Pulse has reached a transcendental level of awfulness. It’s a smorgasbord of tone-deaf, cliched dialogue daisy-chained together in a conga-line of buttock-clenching embarrassment. From last night’s episode I heard such gems as:

    “You can’t afford to get too attached to your patients…one day you’re going to have to tell someone there is nothing more you can do for them, and if you’re too emotionally attached you will not be able to.”

    “You’re out of line.”
    Reply: “I guess we both crossed a line we shouldn’t have.”

    Wow. Just wow. My head is still spinning. I really feel sorry for the actors who are saddled with these lines.

      1. At least he’s watching!!
        I’m always wary about the criticism levelled at writers. Is their writing cliched or are they reflecting characters who often speak it cliches? In the real world people rarely speak in a concise, classically correct manner.

        1. No, that’s just bad writing. Seriously bad writing. The sort of writing that obviously now passes for acceptable in Australian screenwriting courses (ouch!).

          And yes, I am watching the show, but in the same jaw-on-the-floor way I watch a so-bad-it’s-good movie like The Room. I find that I can play “cliche bingo” when watching Pulse. You just know that once every few minutes a massive cliche is going to pop up. When that happens I jump off the sofa and yell “bingo” as loud as possible.

    1. I’ve gotta say, I don’t disagree…

      I hadn’t seen it before I caught a glimpse of it while changing around last night, but:
      – Within 30 seconds, we were predicting the next line of dialogue with about 90% accuracy.
      – Within a few minutes I was quoting the Dead Parrot sketch at it (you can probably which scene that was!)
      – Well before the end, we were predicting the setting, dialogue, plot point, and outcome of the next scene with about 95% accuracy.

      (And the hospital is strangely empty – though I can understand why…)

      Look, it’s great the ABC is giving new Australian drama a chance. But Pulse is such a stilted, clichéd, join-the-dots-and-paint-within-the-lines example that I’ve got to disagree with David – I can’t think of another Australian drama in the last 40 years that’s quite so embarassingly bad.

      Soaps, yes – but not drama…

  7. Wow that Cleverman certainly resonated with ABC viewers didn’t it ? And Pulse looks like its heading for a flatline too. Someone call a Drama Doctor !
    Here’s an idea ABC Drama Genius Department… how about some real Australian stories that your viewers can relate to? Real Aussie stories made into real drama series. You might have well have paid every Cleverman viewer $10 and not bothered to waste your time making that “ambitious” pile of nonsense.

    1. That’s pretty harsh. ABC Drama makes a range of shows, not everything is going to appeal to all viewers. Pulse is actually inspired by an actual case of transplant patient becoming doctor. I’ve noted that a dip in week 2 is standard, which you’ve chosen to overlook. I get there is room for improvement but you need to let a show find its audience.

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