Well – this would be the clipshow Seven were reported to be working on earlier this year – but thankfully not another countdown as previously reported.
The point of difference was that the show was done in a style pitching country against country in “rounds” comparing movies, songs, sports people and the like but not actually counting down like Nine’s 20 To 1 and the flopped Spearman Experiment seen on Ten last year.
Australia Versus, like all clip shows, shows footage of the feature being compared, followed by a number of celebrities or personalities discussing their thoughts on the subject. The first episode was billed as Australia Versus the UK.
In movies for example, they compared Australia’s Crocodile Dundee to Britain’s Mr Bean, and discussed. Each round of comparison was awarded a win to one of the sides, with one country being declared the winner at the end.
It is no secret that clip shows are cheap for networks to produce, and, if done well, can rate well enough to justify. Because they are less expensive to make, a lower rating figure can sometimes be acceptable, but that also depends on the timeslot.
Australia Versus aired after Packed to the Rafters at 9.30pm Tuesday on Seven. Last night – on its first episode – it rated around 600,000, just one third of the 1.8 million watching Packed to the Rafters. By 10.30 – when the Apprentice followed – the audience on Seven had dropped to one third of that again – 200,000.
Usually, the first airing of a show would do a lot better than that, and being after Rafters, there would have been plenty of viewers aware it was coming up. Competition in that timeslot was the finale of NCIS: LA on Ten and either Two and a Half Men or the AFL legends game on Nine.
With a figure of just 600,000, following 1.8 million for Rafters, it is not likely the show will survive at that timeslot, or even on Seven at all. The figures suggest that the audience are perhaps over clip shows, and the pitch of country versus country would appear no incentive to tune in.
Yes, Australia Versus does have a point of difference over other clip shows like 20 To 1, but, at the end of the day, it’s just a clip show and does not make for compelling viewing, as the ratings figures have reflected.
Ratings figures 5 city OzTam.