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The Apprentice – Looks Like Channel Nine Are Getting It Right

Mark BourisIn great news for the The Apprentice, and fans of the show will be happy again that the show is starting to gain traction with viewers. On Monday night The Apprentice again improved in ratings with 999,999 viewers  Australia wide. This is a huge improvement from their first episode, and the consensus is from fans that this show is really starting to hit its straps.

Also Nine will be pleased that Ladette To Lady had a good first episode with ratings of over 900,000. It appears Channel Nine are finally getting their reality TV formatting right.

Can we expect a MasterChef like rating figures for The Apprentice? Highly unlikely due to the late timeslot.

However regular commenter on this blog CG was spot on when she made these comments about The Apprentice:

One issue I think Ch9 needs to address if the availability of replays.

As I’ve said before, Monday at 9:30pm is not a great time for a reality show that is just getting off the ground. But what I really don’t understand is why the website for The Apprentice is so crappy.

Fremantle is behind both MC and The Apprentice, right? So you would think they would have some role or influence on the internet site supporting each show. MC was brilliant in that you could go to the website within an hour of each show and watch a replay without any problems. But I still can’t get The Apprentice replays to work. Just getting to the episode and trying to load it is really difficult. And once there, I’ve tried to watch the episode I missed last week several times but the video just won’t work. It spins and spins and spins and won’t play. And yes, I’ve got all the software and very high-speed BB.

They really need to think about changing the night of the week the show is played..or show it at a couple of alternative times.

I agree with all of the above. One thing I have noticed for sometime, with the exception of Channel Ten and sometimes Arena, is that the TV shows are not harnessing the potential of engaging their reality TV audience with an interactive website. Reality TV and the internet have a symbiotic relationship, and I am sure some smart person could put forward an arguement that the rise in reality TV coincided with the use of the internet.

The advent of twitter has also meant people are interacting about the show as it is on, something which must miff viewers in  different times zones. In fact Project Runway Australia judge Henry Roth tweeted throughout an episode under a Project Runway twitter account, and it was a great promotion for the show.

In fact I am considering applying for a research scholarship (Churchill Scholarship) to examine the relationship between Reality TV and other multimedia platforms, particularly examining how the US TV stations and production companies use these platforms to enhance the viewing experience, and how it attracts and retains viewers.  It would also be interesting to examine the role of reality TV bloggers and fansites in this context.

12 comments

1 sourkraut { 10.21.09 at 2:06 pm }

R R
good luck with the scholarship application.

Any chance of starting a keep the internett uncensored campaign? The way the present gummint is going and talking about censoring it is a worry, Wot if one of your bloggers was to write something unpleasant? Would your site be blocked out?

Admittedly there are some horrendous things floating around out there in the ether, but there must be better ways to control it. Then there’s also the problem of who decides wot’s horrendous or not.

Agree the apprentice should be on earlier.

How did you get the number 999999 and if i also had watched at the time as well would i have been showered with gifts, or at least a free video of the whole series?

2 David Rose { 10.21.09 at 3:25 pm }

Sorry RR, but according to both TV Tonight and Who are we, Ladette to Lady only had 693,000 watch the first episode, so someone has mislead you.

3 Scott { 10.21.09 at 3:31 pm }

I have different figures. Crikey publish the tv figures (from the official record, OZTam) every day and they report an average of 823,000 for The Apprentice on Monday night (it still won the timeslot however). No improvement from last week (but improvement from the two episodes before that)
Also the figures from “Ladette to Lady” were reported as 693,000, not over 900,000.
The SMH today publish a viewer figure of 950,000 for “The Apprentice” on Monday night (with no comment on the source of these figures). Be nice to know where everyone got their stats from.

4 Wurstsemmel { 10.21.09 at 4:20 pm }

Good luck with the scholarship application!

5 Reality Raver { 10.21.09 at 7:27 pm }

David Rose and Scott the irony is I usually get the stats from Crikey, but wanted them a bit earlier today, so todays figures verbally from Nine. Maybe I misheard. LOL.

Werstsemmel and Sourkraut thanks for the good wishes, but it will be a very small chance of getting it as they 1000’s of applications. Also you need a good project referee, which most of the time is someone’s boss who is in the industry. But with blogging there are no bosses, nor do I work in the TV industry.
So I am going to have to be think about that one.

Anyway glad to pump up The Apprentice ratings. I better rectify the error.

6 sourkraut { 10.21.09 at 11:17 pm }

Scott
wot do the statisticians do if some cad stops watching the show half way through? does it then become 950000.5?
I find the accuracy of the figures quoted in various mags quite amusing

7 CG { 10.22.09 at 12:18 am }

RR: given Ch10 is doing the best job of integrating/optimising reality shows and internet/multi-media..why not take a chance, contact whomever is responsible for Ch10’s internet/multimedia strategy and ask them to sponsor you for the scholarship? you’ve got nothing to lose. and doesn’t cost Ch10 anything to sponsor you (I assume) – and they could benefit from getting the results of your work first and/or to use their shows and platforms as your case study..? a win-win!!

8 Scott { 10.22.09 at 10:16 am }

sourkrout:
From what I have learnt from the OzTAM website, this is how I believe it works. They use a sampling technique. There are about 3000 peoplemeters out there (all states, all demographics) that record who is watching what (apparently they record tv watching every minute, every day). They then send that info back to the oztam head office who create an average audiance for each channel for each minute. They then sum up the total for say “The apprentice” (sum those that watched Ch9 between 9:30 Pm to 10:30 PM for at least a minute divided by 60 minutes). So if 20 people watched for the full 60 minutes, the equation would be 20*60/60 = 20 people. If 10 watched for 20 minutes and 10 watched for 60 minutes, it would be ((10*20)+(10*60))/60 = 13.33 people. In that way they get the percentages right. They then extrapolate that (based on the demographic data) and apply it to all those in Australia who have a TV…It creates the figures that are then published. Of course, because it is a sample, there is a sample variance (or error) which is conveniently left off the figures (dodgy).
Apparently, they are going to start with Timeshift reporting soon, which tries to pick up people who have recorded shows via PVR’s to watch later…they are left off the figures at the moment. Will be a little more accurate.

RealityRaver: Beware of PR flacks offering ratings data. If you are going to get into research, the key is no stats without sources.

9 dmc { 10.22.09 at 10:52 am }

The show is getting better. In fact, I think the editing during the tasks is quite snappy. I’m still a bit underwhelmed in the boardroom though and would like some more fire and brimstone. But overall, good job.

10 Reality Raver { 10.22.09 at 12:15 pm }

Scott it looks like I won’t be getting a job at Oztam any time soon.

DMC – I thought the board room was better this week. They appeared to be getting the hang of it. The pleading from Gavin was particularly entertaining.

11 sourkraut { 10.22.09 at 1:31 pm }

Scott
Thanks for that. Very Interesting.
Kinda reminds me of a book I studied at uni 100 years ago called “Lies, damned Lies and Statistics”. As you correctly point out, the numbers due to the variance are dodgey at best, but i guess it gives the great god advertising companys some idea of where they get the “best bang for their buck”……….PITY!

12 dmc { 10.22.09 at 6:24 pm }

I agree that the boardroom is getting better. At work we are currently analysing the boardroom scenes of the Apprentice UK and we are finding that there is a lot of interaction, provocation and humour. Sir Alan is actually really funny! Ideally I’d like a bit more of that in the boardroom here (and maybe we’ll get it…).