Was Warnie really a flop?

Reviews were not too kind, but viewers still wanted to check out Nine drama for themselves.

According to media articles the Warnie miniseries was anything from a “flop” to a ratings “loser”, suffering a “ratings decline” or a “ratings dive.”\

It’s fair to say the critical reviews were not kind to the two-part series. Social media commentary was even worse, aside from some who appreciated the nostalgia factor and kind words for Alex Williams.

But viewers did tune in to check it out for themselves, particularly on night one.

While there were 515,000 metro viewers in linear broadcast, that rose to 840,000 in Total TV, which includes Regional and BVOD.

It still trailed Dancing with the Stars at 979,000 but was second in entertainment for its premiere -hardly a ratings flop.

Night two saw the decline at 423,000 metro overnight rising to 679,000 in Total TV. That puts it behind 7:30 (962,000) and MasterChef Australia (742,000) but ahead of Million Dollar Island‘s 474,000.

Numbers will rise higher still with 28 Day Consolidated.

Nine claims to be happy with the ratings numbers (there was no indication if happy with reviews) and cites it as the highest rating new drama of the year… not a lot to compare with there alas, so the statement is correct.

You’d hope their enthusiasm is an encouraging sign for drama screening in an early evening timeslot. Whether that can happen on a more permanent basis, or is kept for “event drama” remains to be seen.

Nine’s next local drama, crime series Human Error, is expected in Q3.

11 Responses

  1. Quotas means Nine had to make something, Warnie’s total viewing numbers for ep 1 were as good as drama gets these days, and they could advertise their Ashes’s coverage during it. Budgets for Drama are a lot less than they were in the 1990s in real terms. So not a flop but not a hit. Nine are returning to True Crime Drama next.

  2. The series was so short it could of gone for 2 hours without adss that’s the length from both nights… Alex did look like a warnie back then with the hair etc… however howzst Kerry packer war was much better with better casting….narrative however is still connected to underbelly feeling….

  3. That’s the thing. They knew it would rate well, so they didn’t need to put a lot of effort into it…

    I doubt those are the numbers they were hoping for though

  4. Probably not a flop, maybe a disappointment? Given the love most Australians have for Warnie, I was surprised it didn’t do a little better and hold more of the lead in audience from 9 News and ACA. No idea what these things cost to make but guessing it didn’t break the bank given it was a mini series and would have got generous government subsidies. Might sell overseas right? Hard to define flop , I think if it’s a new format they’re trying to get to take off and it’s losing timeslots by big margins then it’s easy to label it a flop. One off dramas seem less flop prone.

  5. I believe this was commissioned before Shane’s death. Channel 9 et al had probably steady invested too much money to can it. Still, it felt too recent to watch it.

    I actually taught Alex (not drama) but remember him doing a monologue in Year 8 and he was amazing. Like he stopped the room. He was great as Julian Assange and in the INXS biopic. I just sent like this material was a little crass to be successful.

    It seems strange as dramas like After the Verdict don’t do well, so a biopic seems safe but obviously didn’t really work.

    Has streaming taken over the drama space because they can show/discuss scenes and themes that FTA can’t? Also a multinational corporation like Netflix can afford to soak up failures of risky shows and reap the rewards like Stranger Things more than Aussie networks can.

  6. Perhaps everyone was relating it to previous telemovie numbers, used to go massive, last was Molly (Pt 1) I think, over 2.2m metropolitan (consolidated) that night, including some 700k in Melbourne and a 2m lead-in from MKR that same night. Early 2016? Really the last ‘good’ period of FTA TV before it really headed south due to SVOD services.

  7. I watched both episodes and enjoyed it for the nostalgia. Did I think it could be better, sure, but I still enjoyed seeing Warnie’s life from a different perspective. I hope the low ratings don’t stop other projects from happening going forward.

  8. I notice that HYBPA? got higher audience (including BVOD, etc) than Warnie on Monday night.
    I’m guessing the production costs (and publicity) of Warnie would be much, much more than the panel show.
    So I don’t executives will think twice about investing in drama again – this excludes ABC and all those productions that get government subsidies.

Leave a Reply