So far, Nine have not issued any amendment in relation to Ben Elton: Live from Planet Earth – which means, at this stage, it is still in the schedule for next Tuesday. This week, figures dropped further, to below 400,000.
No doubt Nine and Ben Elton will be in talks to decide what to do about future of the comedy hour.
UPDATED: Ben Elton remains for now.
But they have made one change to the night. The Big Bang Theory.
UPDATED: The Tuesday night episode of the Big Bang Theory, from Tuesday February 22, will now be a repeat. Was to be from March 1. So now we are down to one new ep per week from next week.
Given we are 8 episodes behind the US, they could have kept two on per week for a while longer – the idea of having a repeat one night, and a new one the next, I think will just confuse viewers further, and certainly won’t help in ratings.
The real problem Nine faces with Tuesday nights is the awkward length of Top Gear. It ends up going for at least 90 minutes, on one of the most competitive nights on Australian TV. They make it start at 8 now, so it can finish at 9.30pm, in line with programming on other channels. If they were to start it at 7.30, it finishes at 9, leaving the dilemma of putting something on at 9pm – preferably a half hour show – maybe they would be better off with Top Gear at 7.30, and the repeat Big Bang at 9pm, then something at 9.30.
Another idea is to move Top Gear to another night – like Monday – that way, it is not against Rafters and NCIS and should do better. It would be easy to start Top Gear on Mondays at 8pm, right after new Two and a Half Men – which itself follows a 7pm repeat, then follow perhaps with new CSI: Miami or New York at 9.30
As for Tuesdays, maybe this could be their comedy night – load up the night with sitcoms and give viewers a real alternative to the other channels. Afterall, the Ben Elton experience aside, aren’t Nine trying to be the Home of Comedy in 2011?