HD Ratings: TV3 Reverses Rose Scheduling Blue

TV3 has done a flip-flop over The Blue Rose and will screen the HD series as planned.

The network was going to run out the remainder of the season in double-episodes from Monday, to limit its low ratings in primetime.

The Blue Rose’s Antonia Prebble, left, and Siobhan Marshall

Such a strategy would have raised screen industry ire because of NZ On Air’s $7 million stake in the 13-hour commission.

Although NZOA can’t dictate where broadcasters schedule programmes with agency funding, it would be a brave network that prematurely wrote off a series with The Blue Rose’s powerhouse pedigree.

It was produced by the country’s biggest drama house, South Pacific Pictures, and many of the talents that made Outrageous Fortune the benchmark for NZ TV drama.

Regardless of industry politics, Rose’s ratings have revived in the past month, with its share of adults 25-54 improving from 10.4% on March 4, when it averaged only 3.1% of this demo, to 19.6% this week, when it averaged 5.8%.

That’s still scarcely a ringing endorsement for renewal but does make the show competitive with TV One’s The Following (5.8 rating/16.9 share) and TV2’s Kitchen Nightmares Revisited (6.5 rating/21.8 share) in the demo that TV3 targets.

There’s also good news for fans of The Americans who don’t record the enthralling spy drama: it will now screen earlier, reverting to its post-Nightline slot of 11.15.

Meanwhile, in the see-saw competition between Tuesday HD dramas Revenge and NCIS, the latter regained the upper hand on Tuesday.

The TV3 crime show averaged 5.1% – 10.1% of key demos against 6.2% – 8.8% for TV2’s soap, which quickly lost the advantage of having My Kitchen Rules as its lead-in.

NCIS appears to have gained from season-low viewership for TV One’s Kingdom of Plants, which bowed out with only 2.8% – 4.8%.

NCIS: Los Angeles also beat Rookie Blue in every key demo except adults 18-39, averaging 3.7% – 8.2%.

Earlier, Modern Family had one of its best nights with 6.5% – 8.9%, which was well ahead of RPA on TV One but no match for MKR on TV2; lead-out Go On averaged 5.6% – 6.3%.

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