If channel 9 have the intention of keeping as many viewers away from their network on Tuesday nights, then they are doing a GREAT job of it.
Their Tuesday night line up has changed AGAIN, and at very short notice AGAIN.
Two weeks ago, they had Dance Your Ass Off at 7.30pm. That show was axed a few days later. Last week, they had Two and a Half Men on at 7.30, then the New Adventures of Old Christine at 8, followed by 20-1 at 8.30, then CSI: NY at 9.30 and 10.30.
This line up failed and gave 9 the worst Tuesday night ratings that I can remember. WHY? Simple: noone knew what was on. Printed guides wrong. EPGs updated sometime over the weekend. And out of those who did know what was on, many would have chosen not to watch any of the shows knowing full well that it is unlikely the same show will be on the following week.
Next Tuesday (Aug 4) sees 20-1 return to its original Tuesday night time slot of 7.30, with an hour of Two and a Half Men to Follow. At 9.30, it’s Commercial Breakdown – another show that noone watches, so expect it not to be on the following week – followed by Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares at 10.15.
If they would only settle on a line up and keep it the same for more than a week, they may actually have the very strange effect of the audience building. The 20-1 / 2.5 Men line up is tired as, and now the laughing stock of the industry. So much so, the line up was sent up on channel 7’s Double Take last Thursday, showing a channel 9 “coming up next” screen with 3 Two and a Half Men episodes, followed by – well, in the skit, they start typing 20-1 in, then change it, then change it again, then say we don’t even know! Maybe another Two and a Half Men?
And even TV Burp had a go at it, with a segment called “RIP Dance Your Ass Off – 15/7/09 – 15/7/09”, which started with Ed discussing the new show on 9 which is a cross between So You Think You Can Dance and the Biggest Loser. While he introduces the show, he takes phone call, saying the show has been axed already.
It’s fair enough to dump shows that are not rating, but it is sheer stupidity to change the line up of a whole night every week at the last minute with no regard for the fact that printed guides will be rendered useless, and many EPGs will not have up to date programming until some time on the weekend. Both channel 7 and 10 go through the same process but, these days, rarely change a show at such short notice.
It is time channel 9 started listening to their audience, and started allowing viewer loyalty to build up. Think back one year or so, channel 10 was in the same boat – chopping and changing the schedule at short notice and coming 3rd in the ratings. Now look at 10. What’s the difference? THEY LISTEN. They care. They try new shows, new ideas and aren’t afraid to go out on limb.
And as for channel 7, quality, stable programming is also their key. 7 allow shows to build. Look at Scrubs on Monday night for example – it ended up at around a million viewers, but started at 600,000. If that was channel 9, it would have been off after a week.
An interesting fact I read on TV Tonight – When 9 first aired Two and a Half Men, it rated so poorly, that they took it off one week later. The show returned one summer, built audience and has been on ever since.
Finally – there is a twitter account called twitter.com/fixchannel9 following me, and after checking who they are following, a lot of other TV based twitter accounts. Don’t know who or what it is, could be a promo even, who knows? But there’s one thing for sure – channel 9 definitely needs fixing. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of this twitter account which so far only has one update commenting on last Tuesday night’s performance.