TVNZ Pulls Doctor Who and World on Fire

Doctor Who turns out to be a time traveller who doesn’t travel well to this part of the universe.

TVNZ 2’s Friday night re-run of the episode that first screens 9am Monday has been pulled and replaced with Best of Travel Guides, starting from 7.30 tonight.

The Monday broadcast and midday Saturday re-run will continue.

I haven’t seen season 12’s peak-hour ratings but clearly it’s faring worse than the 11th.

It’s not surprising given the on-demand and Monday morning exposure but the series never has been the crowdpleaser here that it used to be in the UK, where the latest season has been poorly received.

Reported The Sun earlier this month about the Jodie Whitaker incarnation:

Her debut season in 2018 kicked off with more than nine million viewers but steadily fell to around six million a week.

But Wednesday’s [season premiere] peaked at just over five million viewers and, at one point, fell to just 4.88million.

A TV insider said: “Beeb bosses were hoping the downturn in ratings towards the end of the last series was just the novelty of Jodie’s arrival wearing off a little.

“But the fact that the new season seems to have fared even worse will have them worrying whether it has less to do with who plays the Time Lord, and signs of a greater problem with the show.”

And the third episode in the UK dropped 410,000 viewer to an estimated 4.19 million.

Meanwhile, TVNZ 1 is preempting Sunday night drama The World on Fire for another Harry and Meghan special, Thomas Markle: My Story, in which Meghan’s father reveals the story behind his fall out with his daughte

The Telegraph summed up the 90-minute Channel 5 interview, which aired Wednesday in the UK, as “ugly tittle-tattle about Meghan’s ‘handouts’ and a father’s grief”.

It will air 8.45 Sunday instead of World on Fire and Motorbike Cops; both will resume the following weekend.

Meanwhile, Prime is replacing a scheduled repeat of Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road (February 1, 8.30) with Hellfire Heroes:  In the untamed wilderness of Central Alberta, where seasonal wildfires can destroy a town in a single day, two firefighting crews risk their lives to serve and protect their community.

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18 Responses to “TVNZ Pulls Doctor Who and World on Fire”

  1. I’m actually loving season 12 of Doctor Who, it’s brilliant 🙂

  2. Not on topic, Star Trek Picard is up and it’s a brilliant first episode.

  3. Thanks, Darren. I see Trevor also was impressed and it’s been highly acclaimed in the US, averaging a 78% approval rating on MetaCritic.

  4. This season of Dr Who is a bit hit and miss, I think. The fourth episode was good, wouldn’t bother to see reruns of the first two and the third should never be seen again. If they can’t think of new storylines, either give the series a rest, or bring in Daleks to sort things out. As for TVNZ’s programming ‘strategy’, there was no point repeating it on Friday. Monday night on Duke would have made a lot more sense, but I think I said that last year too.

  5. Destined to happen ever since TVNZ decided it wanted the rights to Doctor Who, I’m afraid. Was never a TVNZ-style show and more suited to the niche nature of Prime (or at least in its former guise). TVNZ 2 also seemed like an odd home for it too, rather than the older nature of TVNZ 1. Good that they will still fast-track it, but I’m surprised TVNZ thought they could make it work in primetime.

  6. Hopefully the powers that be pay attention this time Malx! I think the Duke strategy’s a great idea — the only problem is it would disrupt the 7.30 weeknight Simpsons hour, which works well for the channel.

  7. I agree, Clint. Now more valuable as an OnDemand property than broadcast, for which there was never a mass audience in this market. Prospects not helped by it seemingly being particularly patchy creatively.

  8. Time for the Doctor to retire or reincarnate. The latest season fails in every area. Star Trek: Picard looks and sounds amazing off Amazon. It makes up for the mediocre Discovery. Philip – the comments need further fine tuning, user names are missing from the posts.

  9. Thanks, thx1138. The ongoing comments snag is a consequence of my site’s age. To fix it may require a complete overhaul and I’m not sure if I’ve the time or resources to invest in something more ambitious. It may be time for not only The Doctor to retire …

  10. I have been visiting your site for quite a few years now, it also seems you’ve got a loyal following too. Would a ‘crowd fund’ help and possibly introduce advertisements help?

  11. Thanks for your support and suggestions, Darren. I’ve considered both but readership is probably too modest for advertisements and I’m reluctant to seek crowd funding or donations because of the uncertainty over how much time I can commit to the site. Currently it’s not even running at half-speed because of more pressing priorities. I also wonder if the site is as relevant to readers, given I set it up to promote HD when it was in its infancy here and now 1080’s largely the norm.

  12. WOW, just watched the latest episode of Doctor Who and feel mind blown. One of the best episodes ever, of all time. Don’t dare miss it 🙂

  13. Thanks for the heads-up, Trevor! Den of Geek agrees with you (spoiler alert).

  14. It’s my pleasure Philip. It looks like the history of Doctor Who is going to be rewritten which won’t please everyone but I love it. It’s definitely a episode that’s going to be talked about for years 🙂

  15. I’m sure it goes without saying that your site would be missed by a lot of people but I fully get where you’re coming from Philip. Thanks for all your work over the years!

  16. We are now up to ep. 5 I think and there have been some questionable episodes … I prefer to download the 1080 version without the ad breaks of Freeview NZ … so tonight I’ll be seeing what Judoon are up to. I hope the standard improves … I am quite close to giving up … but kind of enjoyed the Tesla episode …

  17. Thanks for your kind comments, Kevin. We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep posting in the meantime …

  18. That’s right, Rosco, five down, five to go …

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