New Season: TV3 Backs Off Backstrom

As expected, TV3 has dumped new cop show Backstrom from its primetime beat after only two weeks.

The move came after Thursday’s ratings showed no improvement on the premiere.

TV3 is replacing and stablemate Motive with action movie as of next week, starting with an SD re-run of The Jackal and continuing on March 26 with an HD repeat of Death Race 2.

It follows TV3 having to patch up Wednesday nights with movies after burning off Gallipoli in double-episodes.

TV3’s confidence in Backstrom was surprising given it didn’t excite viewers or critics in the US.

But it continued a weakness in programming judgment that also saw the network come undone with Motive, which it originally aired 8.30 Thursdays and soon demoted to 9.30, and State of Affairs, which is bombing on Monday nights.

This week’s episode averaged only 1.2% – 2.4% of the commercial demographics on the back of The Blacklist’s 4.4% – 6.7%.

SoA was beaten in virtually all the key demos by TV1’s Forever (1.9% – 4.1%) and TV2’s The Walking Dead (5.3% – 7.7%), with the latter benefitting from the lead-in of the increasingly popular The Mysteries of Laura (6.7% – 9.2%).

It out-rated The Blacklist in all the key demos but TV3’s drama was more popular than TV1’s Stalker (3.0% – 6.6%) except among 25-54 year-olds.

TV3’s Gallipoli ended its run Wednesday by winning the 9.30 hour and being competitive at 8.30 but the week’s biggest surprise was TV1’s Shed of the Year (2.4% – 6.6%) winning the 7.30 hour in the 25-54 and household-shoppers-with-kids demos while TV2’s Police Ten 7 and TV3’s Top Gear were neck-and-neck across the board.

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8 Responses to “New Season: TV3 Backs Off Backstrom”

  1. Thank goodness for ScreenScribe. I was enjoying Backstrom and I like Motive and was perturbed to find The Jackal scheduled in their place this week. Why don’t networks put programming changes on their websites? Is it because they don’t want to admit their programming failures? Do repeats of frequently-screened movies really draw a bigger audience than episodes of a series that has a current (if albeit small) audience?

  2. I agree with Squid. I too along with my Dad and brother really like the humour. TV3 is useless…..could have given some explanation!

  3. Thanks for your appreciation, Squid. One of the reasons I set up ScreenScribe is because most media do a lousy job of updating readers about significant scheduling changes, other than to update their daily listings. The networks vary in how they keep viewers abreast of programming news — TVNZ is big on social media — but all send out media alerts advising of the changes. It’s surprising TV3 pulled Backstrom as quickly as it did, given it’s persevered with other low-rating series for much longer. But it probably would have been worried about the flow on effect to Motive, which was rating badly at 9.30, and rather than waste two shows with potential, will probably hold them until it can find less vulnerable slots (although, imo, Backstrom was always a 9.30 drama at best). The viability of re-running movies depends on how carefully they cherry-pick for the slot. Some movies still have amazing life — some of Four’s and Prime’s bargain bin titles rate remarkably well — but it’s a bad sign for any major network so soon into their new season to be replacing shiny new series programming with relics as dusty as The Jackal.

  4. This is such a pity. My wife loves Motive, I love Backstrom (even if some of the episodes are out of sequence). The result is that dirty word torrent gets bandied around the home. Why not, instead of broadcasting it, pop it onto the online/on demand servers?

  5. I watched the first season of Motive last year, and was thrilled when season two started, then after two episodes it disappears! I taped Backstrom, as I had no info on it and didn’t know if I would like it … watched episode one and loved it! It too disappeared! TV3 did absolutely no build-up to either of these shows, so no wonder “ratings” weren’t as good as they hoped. And what was with removing NCIS on Tuesdays for weeks!!!!! Thank God it’s back this week, but again no warning or explanation (let alone apology) …

  6. All valid points, Lisa — and partly why I set up this site. Not only are the networks poor at communicating pre-emptions and last-minute changes but so are most of the media. So keep visiting here to keep up to date …

  7. When events like the Cricket World Cup are on, I can forgive the broadcasters for suspending their higher rating fare for the duration. Which I think is what happened with NCIS and Blacklist (which conveniently skipped a week in the US).

  8. Backstrom now on TV3 late on Saturday night. S1E1 12/03/2016.

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