HDTV Ratings: November 8

One of TV3’s longest-running procedurals, NCIS, is reaching new heights of popularity.

Last night’s episode drew 11.1% of the network’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, which was up from 8.9% the previous week and well ahead of TV One’s 6.9% for Undercover Boss Australia and TV2’s 7.2% for The Celebrity Apprentice.

NCIS was helped by an exceptional lead-in from Missing Pieces, which rated 11.5% opposite TV One’s misjudged re-run of Intrepid Journeys, but still retained most of its audience over the hour.

HD sister show, NCIS: Los Angeles, also benefitted.

It averaged 8.5% but suffered more of a decline, from 10.1% at the start of the hour to 6.7% at the end.

Apprentice fared only marginally better with TV2’s key demographic, drawing 7.4% of 18-39 year-olds, but considerably more of this audience tuned into NCIS (11.6%) and NCIS: LA (8.5%).

It was a similar outcome with household shoppers with kids and 18-49 year-olds.

NCIS’s resurgence mirrors the show’s staying power in the US but also reflects the usefulness of being double-billed with LA, effectively giving TV3 a solid movie-length block, being the only drama amid a sea of reality TV, and the importance of a strong lead-in.

Missing Pieces always has been popular but would have been given a boost by TV One’s foolish Coronation Street strategy.

Having disrupted viewing routines for three weeks, it’s now usurped one of the serial’s long-standing slots for a re-run of a local show that rated two points lower in the 25-54 demo than the previous 7.30pm Tuesday instalment of Coro.

Meanwhile, TV One has responded promptly to its US version of Dancing With the Stars tanking so badly on Sunday and Monday.

It will reinstate Sunday Theatre from this weekend, opening with the 2008 Toni Collette, coming-of-age movie, The Black Balloon, and will resume HD re-runs of Criminal Minds’ fifth season in the 8.30pm Monday slot.

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