New Neighbourhood for Soap Icon

TVNZ is shifting Neighbours from TVNZ 2, where it’s aired for more than 30 years, to off-peak on TVNZ 1.

As regular contributor Sheldon reported, programmers feel the soap has done its dash on the younger skewing network and is now more suited to the older TVNZ 1 audience, where it will air 4.30 weekdays from January 10 as the lead-in to The Chase.

There’s no doubt that Neighbours has lost its lustre in primetime, with last night’s episode averaging just 0.5% of 25-54 year-olds vs 2.3% for lead-out Home and Away and 4.0% for Shortland Street.

In TVNZ 2’s target demographic, 18-49s, it averaged 0.4% vs 1.8% for Home and Away and 3.4% for Shortland Street.

Obviously it faces tougher competition, up against the opening half-hours of the flagship news hours on TVNZ 1 and Three.

At 4.30, however, it could prove to be effective counter-scheduling against Three’s 4.30 news bulletin, which has been out-rating TVNZ 1’s cooking shows in this slot, most recently Extreme Cake Makers.

TVNZ 2 won’t be replacing Neighbours with another soap. Instead, it looks set to relocate Friends, which has been rating competitively at 4.30, back to 5.30, and The Big Bang Theory from 5.30 to 6.00.

If the network’s advertising rate card can be believed — and often it’s an inaccurate guide to what’s coming up — TBBT will air Tuesdays-Fridays and new episodes of The Simpsons will fill the slot on Mondays.

The Simpsons will continue to repeat 5.00 weekdays, with Brain Busters replacing Friends as its new 4.30 lead-in.

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One Response to “New Neighbourhood for Soap Icon”

  1. Neighbours had been on TVNZ 1 in multiple occasions before ranging from afternoon repeats in early 90s, airing new episodes in early 1996 before being dropped which now defunct TV4 picked it up next year, and again in first half of 2007 to trail experiment for struggling One News at Six to boost audience which ended up shunted back early afternoon and eventually back on TV2 (now TVNZ 2). Shortland Street is more younger-skewed than Neighbours which was unexpectedly replayed on TVNZ 1 when 1 News Tonight is off air due to Level 4 restrictions.

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