Nine’s last quarter crap-tacular

The Herald Sun this week reported on Channel 9?s end of year line up, under the somewhat humorously banner: Nine?s Rating Charge. It referred to a mess of new Nine shows including the ridiculously over the top Damages, Burke?s Backyard Spring Special (I assume Nine are hoping Burke has somehow traversed the divide from old and past it to retro cool in his time away), Surprise, Surprise Gotcha (hohum, a celebrity prank show), The Singing Bee (karaoke) and a bunch of lifestyle rubbish including: Girl?s Of The Playboy Mansion (already screened on Pay TV), RFDS (about the Flying Doctors), The Gift (about organ donation), and Dirty Jobs (about crap jobs people do).

With the exception possibly of Damages that group has the freshness of week old garbage at best.

To borrow a bit of football parlance I think it?s about time Nine started ?tanking?. 2007 is over, start thinking about 2008. In the meantime, try some different ideas, blood some new players.

Here are some things they could try:

*Give shows more than one of two eps to find their audience. ER has disappeared from our screens already. It was always going to struggle up against Californication.

*Weeds is funnier and more irreverent than Californication and could easily be just as much a hit here. Nine could give it a proper run, showing an entire series or two, unedited, in a consistent timeslot with a bit of promotion.

*Why not use the HBO output deal to give Flight Of The Conchords a run? (Same rules apply as for Weeds) Or the new relationship drama Tell Me You Love Me.

I know none of these ideas will help Nine win the rating the rating but neither will this steaming pile of guff they are serving us.

EDIT Channel 9 are apparently going to screen series two of Weeds from Oct 1st at 10:30pm… Whether this means consistent, unedited and promoted screens remains to be seen.


  1. Yeah, but is a top-to-bottom shake up at Nine even on the cards? Wouldn’t that take someone with oh, I don’t know – Vision?! Unfortunately, I think the ‘vision thing’ is in short supply right now. Like it or not, until Browne goes, I can’t see Nine making any real gains on Seven…
    Funny thing is, it’s not like Seven is even winning the ratings by all that much – but they’re definately more together and focussed.

    More interestingly, if Nine continues to go down, expect to see them shed some talent – question is, who would Seven want to draft right now, if they could?

  2. I agree regarding Weeds. An amazing show that could really do well here (or anywhere). I’d rate it in my current top 5.

    Haven’t seen Tell Me You Love Me or Flight Of The Conchords, but I’ve heard good things about both.

    No blog post about the new Ten HD channel?

  3. Daniel G says:

    Ten has picked up Flight of the Conchords, so it’ll be 50/50 whether it stays in a good timeslot, or gets put down in the Friday Night Death Slot.

    And the new Ten-HD channel that’ll be launching in December sounds excellent! Hopefully this’ll mean that season two of Torchwood will get a better run on Ten-HD than it did on the main channel! Seven’s planning to launch a multi-channel, too.

    Exclusive/differing/compelling content (like ABC2, and Seven and Ten’s upcoming channels) will be the *only* way to significantly drive up conversion to digital TV.

  4. I just want to know who came up with the title “Surprise Surprise Gotcha” Christ, thats the lamest name I have heard with the possible exception of…. no wait. There isn’t anything that bad. The whole concept is ridicules. Its nothing but a cheaply vialed channel 9 “Star” promotion for its talent. Singing Bee ???!!!! Not only is this crap reality TV its scraping the bottom of the Reality bin just for an idea.

    On other news… “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” (why are we using an Americanism for the title?) is another lame duck designed to appeal to the lowest of base audiences. I wonder if they realise that the kids all get the questions before going on air so they actually know all the answers where as the “contestants” get nowt.

  5. I could be wrong here but I think “Surprise Surprise Gotcha” is an amalgamation of two different titles – “Surprise, Surprise” being the old show and “Gotcha” being radio bore Matt Tilley’s prank phone call stunts (He and Jackie O uggh co-host).

    See? It’s actually a *clever* title.

    I agree about the name with “5th Grader”, but what are they going to do? “Are You Smarter Than A Kid In Grade 5?” isn’t as catchy, plus I assume the format is sold all inclusive – title, music etc.

    I didn’t mind the one ep of 5th Grader I saw a few months back. Much better than the crap they have tried with quiz shows this year, especially the ones where contestants try and psych each other out.

  6. Just read the Conchords article. I assume this must mean Nine passed, as they have first look of all HBO stuff.

  7. So when did Bob Shanks join 9? And will Bert or Eddie host Family Double Dare?

  8. David Boxcutter says:

    Ross, do I have to give you a spelling and grammar lesson?

  9. Can’t we have one thread which doesn’t result in a discussion about grammar?

  10. ActualChad says:

    Double negative.

  11. I started two sentences with conjunctions and got off somehow.

    Having received so much bad press, is it likely that Eddie isn’t the viewer magnet he once was? Now that he’s synonymous with sleaze and boning?

    Also, that line-up would have been shit five years ago. What are they thinking?

  12. Re: “are you smarter than….” – on the west coast of this little island of ours, the primary school year levels are called “year” instead of “grade”, so the title would probably have to change for every state anyway.

  13. ActualChad says:

    Maybe they had to leave the name as it was so they could use the theme tune, which reminds me a lot of the movie “Screwballs”.

    “are you ready for the Summer?
    Are you ready for a good time?…”

    Ahh, the memories…

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