Reality TV Shows Duking It Out For End Of Year Ratings
I have just posted this article on The Punch.
The TV stations are in the final throes of the ratings year and over the past few weeks they have launched the shows to lead them into the Christmas break.
The big three stations have included some new reality TV shows in their arsenal to win over the viewers and therefore gain advertising dollars.
One of Channel Nine’s highly promoted new programs, made by reality TV gurus Fremantle Media. The show started off to very poor ratings of under 700,000, but this week it improved and look like it is gaining traction. The problem with attracting viewers may not be the show but people lacking faith in Nine not sticking with the program.
Channel Nine this year have had a history of not treating their reality TV shows very well, and not giving them time to gain traction with their audience. They have pulled programs after one episode, like Dance Your Ass Off, changed the time they have been shown, Home Made, or even just shorten the programs to 30 minutes like Australia’s Perfect Couple. Or in fact just haven’t shown programs at all, like Superstars of Dance, and Survivor Gabon.
Personally I think viewers were sceptical on whether to put the effort into watching the show when they think it will be pulled at a moments notice.
The Apprentice is an entertaining well produced reality show. Mark Bouris who is now settling into his role, is entertaining and charismatic. There is a good mix of personalities in the contestants, with perhaps my only criticism is the likeability of a lot of them is questionable. The challenges are diverse and fun, and the boardroom scenes have the requisite amount of backstabbing in them.
Beauty And The Geek:
Channel Seven premiered Beauty and The Geek last week, this is a take off of a US program of the same name. The premise is the Geeks (the guys) teach the girls “academic” subjects, while the Beauty’s teach the geeks about girls. One team is eliminated each week. For what is a fluffy premise it really is entertaining, particularly the geeks who are witty, both intentionally and unintentionally, and who will find themselves chased by girls once they are out of the house.
The girls most whom will be vying for Ralph photoshoots at the end of the series are not quite as engaging, and I seriously hope they are not at stupid as they are playing up to the camera. Oh and if anyone knows which airline, stewardess Jenna works for please tell, as I don’t want to be on her plane when an emergency occurs, as my confidence in her remembering the emergency procedures are low. I would guess she is playing dumb to get on the show.
The show is rating well with an opening audience of 1.05 million last week, and they are holding and gaining viewers with 1.067 last night, with a win in most demographics. Also following on from this show is the highly entertaining The Amazing Race which deservedly wins the best reality TV show at the Emmy’s each year.
Celebrity MasterChef was never going to live up to MasterChef Australia hype, but this Fremantle Media production is delivering solid, but not stratospheric ratings like the original did earlier this year. I think one of the reasons why Celebrity versions of shows are not as popular is because one of the great things about reality TV is seeing ordinary people breaking out of the everyday mediocrity or their lives, or discovering new personalities, and talent.
However it is a watchable once a week show, with a nice mix of celebrities to hit their key demographics. The entertainment is in watching the contestants tackle a difficult dish which is a signature of a well known celebrity chef this week was Kylie Kwong’s delicious duck recipe. Expect to see an Adriano Zumbo creation with a high degree of difficulty later in the finals to really ensure the celebrities are really under pressure. Who can forget the chocolate cake from the last week of MasterChef Australia? It will be interesting to see if Channel Ten do another Celebrity version next year.
Channel Ten traditionally finish their year with Australian Idol and it is not new and and is struggling with it not making the magic one million viewer mark. See a previous The Punch post on here on what has gone wrong on Australian Idol here and whether this is going to be the final season is currently the $64 million question.
Finally a new show that started a few weeks ago on Arena deserves a special shout out – Tabatha’s Takeover Salon. The reason it is hosted by Australian now living in USA, hairdresser Tabatha Coffey. It is like the Gordon Ramsay of hairdressing shows where she “takes over” struggling hair salons to make them a viable business again. Tabatha’s direct manner without the famous Ramsay aggression, and an Australian sense of humour actually makes her likeable and entertaining. It is not just a reality TV show for girls.
At this stage none of these Australian shows have been renewed and the stations will be watching viewer demographics keenly to see if they deserve another series.