The Walking Dead Limps Towards Late-Night

TVNZ 2 appears to be taking the first steps towards relegating The Walking Dead to late-night.

After Monday’s disastrous ratings, where it averaged only 0.7% of the key 18-49 and 25-54 demographics, TVNZ is pushing back the remainder of season 10 from around 9.30 to post-10.00.

Taking over the 9.30 slot will be repeats of Motorway Patrol.

The Walking Dead has struggled against S2 of Three’s Kiwi thriller The Gulf, which gets a half-hour head-start on the zombie apocalypse drama and benefits from a much bigger lead-in from top-rating Married at First Sight Australia.

Competition’s also been softer on TVNZ 1, where the variable appeal of documentaries and docudramas, like Monday’s The Tender Trap, may have prompted more people to tune into Three.

Of course, it’s also likely that TWD has been around the block once too often. “Age and the digital media landscape have led to continual, sharp ratings declines for the series, which has dipped under 3 million viewers for the first time,” Forbes reported this time last year.

And viewership has continued to erode this year, which makes it even more likely that S11 will wind up post-10.30 on TVNZ 2.

In another programming change, Prime has rescheduled its repeat of Diana: The Interview That Shook the World from 7.30 on April 1 to 8.45 on March 30, where it will pre-empt FBI.

Both FBI and stablemate FBI: Most Wanted have been rating poorly, with this week’s episodes averaging only 0.1% and 0.3% respectively of Prime’s 25-54 target audience — and that was on the back of a relatively strong lead-in, with The Great British Bake Off averaging 1.2%.

However, Prime is sticking with FBI: S2 will resume the following week and it looks as if the Diana pre-emption is due to Prime not wanting the repeat to clash with TVNZ 1’s belated premiere of The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind the Scandal.

Replacing Diana on April 1 will be a re-run of The 2000s.

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