HDTV Ratings: Watching the Detectives

Monday’s premiere of the HD reality hour, The Detectives, gave another HD sleuth, The Mentalist, something to think about when the two went head-to-head in the ratings.

The Gibson Group commission drew 12.2% of TV One’s target demo, 25-54 year-olds, compared with 13% for TV2’s crimefighting juggernaut.

The gap widened with the one demo all channels crave – household shoppers with kids – but The Detectives still acquitted itself well: 11.8% vs 17.2%.

Moreover, it was up sharply in both demos on previous series in this slot, including Line of Fire, Are You My Tribe and Surviving Disaster.

It was helped by another HD reality hit, The Force, still going great guns at 8pm, where Monday’s episode easily won its slot with 15.3% of 25-54 to score a 34.8% channel share.

In this morning’s Dominion Post, Jane Clifton called The Detectives “the latest in a series of simple, high-quality crime documentaries which consist of downloading police experiences and illustrating them with re-enactments and old television footage”.

She questioned the choice of Robyn Malcolm as the narrator: “She just too well-known, both as the lawless character Cheryl West on Outrageous Fortune and as a right-on liberal political activist, to be an entirely credible choice to narrate crime stories.”

But she praised the show for not following the “overwrought formula” of many such series overseas. “The narration is low-key, innocent of hype, adjectives and repetition.”

Meanwhile, after weeks of being in the ratings doldrums, TV3’s Sunday combo, NCIS and CSI: Miami, out-rated TV2’s movie double-bill, RV and Semi-Pro, in both the network’s current target demo, 18-49, and the one it’s gunning for from next year, 25-54.

Both shows benefitted from TV3’s Wipeout winning the 7.30pm hour outright for the first time this season and helped the network to win the night.

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