HD Ratings: Word Up More Popular Than Word Has It

Viewers were quicker than critics to give TV1’s new panel show Word Up the thumbs up.

Thursday’s premiere averaged a solid 4.3% – 6.3% of the commercial demographics and 7.1% of the country.

Its launch was helped immeasurably by being sandwiched between a 90-minute edition of Britain’s Got Talent (4.3% – 9.3% of the key demos) and the first BGT results show (3.7% -5.2%).

In each of the key demos, Word Up’s viewership increased over the half-hour when typically a programme’s ratings decline.

But critics were unimpressed by the panel show.

“I wanted to like it. I really did,” Stuff’s Pattie Pegler said. “But the contorted format, the weirdly dated-looking set and the lack of any real pace or momentum, meant that everyone involved had an uphill battle to squeeze any laughs out of this. Including the viewers.”

Echoed the NZ Herald’s Rebecca Barry Hill: “I’d desperately wanted to like Word Up, secretly hoping its title might allude to nerdy board game-style fun that we could play along with at home.

“But Word Up, in its first outing at least, roused only a few forced laughs.

“Although there was so much laughter coming from the studio audience, I feared one of their number had become hysterical any time someone uttered anything remotely close to humour, as though they too couldn’t handle the sight of bemused comedians listening to odd noises.”

While Word Up and its BGT bookends were no match for TV2’s untouchable The Undateables in the key demos (7.2% – 10.6%), they did out-rate TV3’s competitive Lost & Found (4.2% – 5.5%) and yo-yoed with the season finale of Bodyshockers ( 3.9% – 5.0%), which won the 9.30 hour in the 18-39 and 18-49 demos.

Despite its lead-in from The Undateables, Agents of SHIELD averaged only 2.9% – 5.7% but did win the 9.30 hour among household shoppers with kids.

Shortland Street suffered another low-rating night, with only 8.4% – 12.5% and topped 10% only with HHS/k, but still commanded massive channel shares of 28% – 35%.

TV2 ended up winning the night in three of the four key demos:

Wednesday’s edition of the soap rated similarly but the rest of the night was rock-solid for TV2, with My Kitchen Rules (8.9% — 11.9%), The Big Bang Theory (8.0% – 12.6%) and 2 Broke Girls (5.2% – 9.5%).

Only with Once Upon a Time  did TV2 run out of steam (1.9% – 3.1%), when TV1’s The Kids Who Can’t Stay Awake (3.4% – 5.0%) and the second half of TV3’s Jumper (3.6% – 6.0%) seesawed for supremacy.

TV2 also dominated Tuesday with Shortland Street (8.3% – 14.1%), MKR (10.1% – 16.1%), Empire (5.7% – 8.9%) and Grey’s Anatomy (3.4% – 6.2%).

TV3’s crime combo of NCIS (4.6% – 5.7%) and NCIS: LA (2.5% – 3.9%) proved more competitive than the finals of TV1’s Person of Interest (2.3% – 4.8%) and Unforgettable (1.4% – 5.0%), except for the latter’s share of HHS/k.

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