So just what is wrong with The Renovators? Why is Ten’s latest big budget reality competition series not capturing the audience the network would have hoped for?
In the first week the show aired without Masterchef as a lead in, numbers have dived. Down from a series high of nearly 1.3 million last Sunday, the night of Masterchef’s finale for the year, to a scary 661,000 on Thursday night and a low on Friday’s How To episode – The Renovators’ version of Masterchef’s MasterClass – of just 405,000.
The fact Ten premiered The Renovators during Masterchef’s final two weeks did more harm than good overloading viewers with more reality than they can digest. With The Block on Nine doing so well, another renovation based program – described by Ten as “The Block on steroids” in promos prior to launch – simply became too much.
Then, there is the point, made by many who have given the show a chance, that The Renovators have contestants and judges that people just don’t connect with. Challenges are difficult, unrealistic and generally not able to be related to by the average viewer.
Unlike Masterchef where most people can relate to the idea of cooking and preparing recipes, renovations do not have the same broad appeal. The Block on Nine succeeds because the renovation side of the show does not dominate the series. We see the couples live and breathe their home make overs and all the drama that goes with it.
The Renovators just seems to be challenge after challenge with little chance to connect with those involved in the show. The show, like has been the case with Masterchef’s third season, appears to be going far too much for the WOW factor, at the expense of keeping the show watchable and appealing to the masses.
The figures say it all. While Ten continue to say they are happy with the demographics and will give the show a chance to build, overall prime time ratings below 700,000 on weeknights, and close to 400,000 on a Friday night are not sustainable, and bring down the network as whole.
Ten have had one of their worst weeks of the year in ratings shares – in a week where they should have been bolstered by the Masterchef Finale last Sunday. The situation is not helped by an extreme last minute programming change which saw Tuesday and Thursday night’s episodes of The Renovators switched with Modern Family from 7.30pm to 8.00pm.
It is clear that The Renovators is not doing as well as it should, but what should Ten do?
To be continued.