The Jury’s Out on The Traitors NZ

Three’s homegrown take on global water cooler hit The Traitors made a tepid ratings start on Monday, despite all the ballyhoo about Paul Henry’s return to primetime.

It averaged 58,970 viewers aged 25-54 to post a 2.87 rating/16.42 share of this core commercial demographic.

That was well below the last two series to screen in the slot. The NZ-made Tracked averaged 67,843 viewers (3.31 rating/19.71 share) for its May 22 premiere and a month later Million Dollar Island opened to 65,270 viewers (3.18 rating/18.65 share).

However, last night’s free-to-air competition was stronger from an unlikely quarter, Prime, which aired live coverage of the FIFA World Cup at the same time.

While Traitors NZ easily out-rated TVNZ 2’s The Summit at 7.30, it was no match for TVNZ 1’s Fair Go and Border Patrol.

The Summit averaged 25,533 viewers (1.24 rating/6.60 share) whereas Fair Go rounded up 90,366 (4.40 rating/21.87 share) and Border Patrol 70,140 (3.42 rating/18.08 share).

Next week will be a keener test for Traitors, when it goes up against TVNZ 2’s season premiere of Taskmaster NZ.

In the meantime, the reviews have been positive.

The Traitors’ fun and vibrant – yet somehow serious – episodes is proof that reality shows don’t need to be nasty to be good,” The NZ Herald said while Stuff asked:

Will The Traitors NZ become as much of a water-cooler topic as the UK version? I don’t know but I am sure Three will be doing everything in its power to make it one. I can say though, for myself, I am very much a “faithful” for this version.

Traitors’ appeal helped lead-out 9-1-1 to beat TVNZ 2’s The Rookie (although the former had a 20-minute head-start on the latter) but was pipped by TVNZ 1’s Endangered Species Aotearoa.

The season final of 9-1-1 narrowly led The Rookie: Feds while TVNZ 1’s Inside the Superbrands out-rated both.

It was a bad night for TVNZ 2, with only Shortland Street featuring in the top 10.

The night’s most-watched programmes in the 25-54 demo were: 1 News, The Chase (5.30), Seven Sharp, Newshub Live at 6pm, The Project, Shortland Street, Fair Go, The Chase (5.00), Border Patrol and The Traitors NZ.

The biggest free-to-air peak-hour demo shares were: TVNZ 1, 24.90; Three, 18.23; TVNZ 2, 9.49; Prime, 6.97; Duke, 3.74; Rush, 2.27; HGTV, 2.05; Bravo, 1.94; Eden, 1.32.

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