The Ratings Behind TVNZ 2’s Weekend Wreckage

As reported earlier this week, TVNZ 2 is abruptly overhauling its weekend line-up, shifting Sunday’s The Amazing Race Australia to 7.30 Friday and dumping its Saturday comedy block.

One look at last weekend’s ratings shows why, with the network distantly trailing TVNZ 1 and Three on both nights.

Viewers are creatures of habit, and tossing the traditional 7.00 family movie slot for back-to-back comedies was reminiscent of TV2 jettisoning its Sunday movies in the mid-’90s for one disastrous season of ER.

If a slot ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What made TVNZ 2’s decision to triple-bill The Simpsons, Young Sheldon and Mom on a Saturday even more puzzling was the live-action comedies’ popularity as mid-week staples.

Similarly, the only slot where TV’s longest-running ‘toon has consistently rated well since its TVNZ 2 resurrection is 7.30 Fridays.

Yet the network persisted in taking it off the air after only a short run and then shuffling it around Saturday and Sunday nights.

It will now air 6.00 Saturdays, ahead of a new 6.30 family movie slot that will get a half-hour head start on Three’s family movie.

Similarly, TVNZ 2 will be banking on its 7.30 Sunday movie double-bill overlapping Three’s 8.30 movie and squeezing it of viewers.

Last Sunday’s TVNZ 2 movie Ocean’s Eight averaged only 2.0% of 25-54 year-olds compared to 3.4% for Three’s The Bourne Legacy.

The latter had the advantage of a 5.1% lead-in from Married at First Sight Australia whereas The Amazing Race Australia could muster only 1.5% on the back of A Current Affair’s abysmal 1.1%.

TVNZ 1’s Hyundai Country Calendar and Sunday dominated from 7.00-8.30 while the premiere of lead-out National Treasures averaged 3.1% of 25-54s.

The news was even worse for TVNZ 2 on the Saturday, when The Simpsons averaged 2.2%, Young Sheldon 1.8% and Mom 0.8% against 2.6% for Three’s premiere of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

TVNZ 1’s line-up was tops, with Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (4.5%), Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad (3.9%) and The Hotel Inspector Returns (3.4%).

Tomorrow night should be even more competitive with Three re-running CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan and Harry after its Tuesday premiere blitzed the opposition with an extraordinary 12.1% of 25-54s — an audience share of 53.7%.

Compare that to a rating/share of 4.8% / 21.7% when MAFS screened in the same slot the previous week.

Three also struck ratings gold with the Newhub Special that followed averaging 5.2% — vs 2.8% for NCIS a week earlier.

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