HDTV Ratings: August 18-21

Billy T James had the last “tee-hee” last night when an HD dramatisation of his life demolished the competition.

Billy drew at least triple the viewership of TV3’s HD movie, The Happening, with 18% of 25-54 year-olds, 15.2% of 18-49 year-olds, 13.5% of 18-39 year-olds and 19.6% of household shoppers with kids.

In total, 730,000 viewers tuned into the Sunday Theatre premiere.

Critics, though, were divided over its merits.

The Dominion Post’s Linda Burgess said it was “well-written and well-performed” but “also left holes that were unsatisfactorily filled” while Herald on Sunday’s Deborah Hill Cone thought it “over-egged and earnest” and “a bomb” as a love story.

TV One’s other HD drawcard, Global Radar, also scored highly, with a 25-54 rating of 14.2% compared to only 5.5% for TV’s Raising Hope, which also was down sharply in other key demos – a pity as last night’s episode was the funniest since the premiere.

There was more bad news for TV3 on Saturday, when TV One’s Hyundai Country Calendar again trampled HD rival ITM Fishing Show.

But the network won Friday night, with its mix of SD comedies and HD anchor The Graham Norton Show, with the latter attracting 12.1% of 25-54 year-olds compared to MasterChef UK’s 6.5% on TV One.

Even with TV2’s demographic, 18-39 year-olds, it was more popular than HD competition The Vampire Diaries (10.9% versus 8.2%).

The last episode of Nikita to air 9.30pm Friday was watched by 6% of 18-39 year-olds, compared to Family Guy’s 7.8%.

While Nikita’s ratings aren’t good enough to keep it in primetime, they’re not much worse than Chuck’s, which limps along 8.30pm Thursdays with only 6.1% of 18-39 year-olds, 6% of 18-49 year-olds and 6.7% of 25-54 year-olds — barely enough to beat TV3’s Meet the Parents.

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