Will the Walking Dead-vs-Sons of Anarchy Shootout Be Fatal for Underbelly NZ?

How Underbelly NZ fares 9.30pm Wednesdays could be determined by tonight’s season-three finale of Sons of Anarchy.

After months of dominating this slot, Anarchy last week took a big hit from episode two of TV2’s new HD rival, The Walking Dead.

With males aged 18-39, The Walking Dead rated 10% versus Anarchy’s 5.8% and with all people this age, it rated 10.5% vs Anarchy’s 6.3%.

In TV2’s demographic, the zombie drama is up sharply on its time slot predecessor, Drop Dead Diva.

With TV3’s demo, 25-54, Dead rated 8.4% and Anarchy 6.2%; with 18-49 year-olds, the gap was wider – 9.4% vs 6.7%.

Unless tonight’s finale reverses this trend, the prospects of Underbelly NZ: Land of the Long Green Cloud becoming a hit in the same slot will be much diminished.

At least at 8.30pm, where the spin-off originally was scheduled, there would have been a clear choice between Underbelly NZ’s male appeal and the female emphasis of TV One’s drama, Nothing Trivial.

But an hour later, the two dramas going head-to-head will both be male-driven and given Dead’s head start, confusion over just when and where Underbelly NZ will debut won’t make it easier for the local drama to gain momentum.

Moreover, women who may have been drawn to Underbelly NZ because of Dead’s post-apocalyptic grisliness are more likely to tune into TV One’s Real Life documentary, Born Without Arms.

Last week’s heart-tugging disfigurement doco, Love Me Love My Face, drew more 25-54 viewers than Anarchy and rated 9.1% of household shoppers with kids vs Anarchy’s 6.3%.

Meanwhile, season one of Anarchy will be released here on Blu-ray on August 24 – a week ahead of season three coming out on Blu-ray in the US.

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One Response to “Will the Walking Dead-vs-Sons of Anarchy Shootout Be Fatal for Underbelly NZ?”

  1. Now if only TV2 would then be able to show Game of Thrones following the short season of The Walking Dead. They’d blow anything out of the water. Pity no one in NZ TV programming seems to see how good this show is.

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