Will Broadchurch Be TVNZ 1’s Salvation?

TVNZ 1 programmers will be praying Sunday’s season three premiere of Broadchurch lifts its weekend ratings in the core commercial demographics.

The crime drama’s UK premiere was British TV’s most-watched programme of the evening with 7.5 million viewers and a 34 share in Live+1, which Deadline Hollywood reports was only a “tick down” on the season two premiere.

“That’s the biggest drama score for ITV since the last episode of the regular 6th (and final) season of Downton Abbey in November 2015.”

They’re the kind of ratings TVNZ 1 desperately needs to resurrect its weekend appeal, after last week’s new-look Saturday night line-up was a flop and its Sunday night mini-series, One of Us, tanked two weeks in a row.

Episode two of Outback Pilots averaged only 1.3% of the network’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, while lead-out Te Radar’s Chequered Past managed only 1.0%.

Both series were down sharply on their premieres: the previous weekend Pilots bowed with 3.9% and Te Radar with 2.3%.

The next casualties in the domino collapse were the final of the loathsome Travel Guides (0.8%) and the 9.30 broadcast of Coronation Street, which averaged only 1.6% compared to 3.9% for the 9.30 Friday airing.

TVNZ 1’s shows were crushed by Three’s movies, with re-runs of Garfield and Hot Fuzz each averaging 3.3%. TVNZ 2’s Inkheart averaged 2.0% and Kill Bill Vol. 2, 1.9%, with even lower ratings in the channel’s 18-49 demo.

Three had a head start of TVNZ 2 with its 6pm news hour averaging 4.0% of 25-54s, making it unusually competitive with 1 News (4.2%).

TVNZ 1 is missing having Hyundai Country Calendar as its Saturday night anchor but shifting the warhorse to 7pm Sunday has harvested top returns, with last week’s episode averaging 9.1% of the 25-54 demo against The Simpsons’ 4.8% and The Block’s 6.0%.

But lead-out Sunday dropped to 5.9% opposite My Kitchen Rules’ 7.5% and also lost to The Block.

But 8.30 was when both TVNZ channels were hammered by Three’s network movie premiere of Kingsman: The Secret Service. It won in three of the four key demos and averaged 5.6% of 25-54s compared to Tammy’s 3.8% and One of Us’ 2.6%.

Meanwhile, viewership of 24: Legacy in its new 10.30 Sunday slot scarcely wavered. The late-night re-run of the episode that screened 8.30 Tuesday earlier in the week averaged 1.7% of the 25-54 demo (compared to 1.5%) and actually improved its 18-49 rating: 1.7% versus 1.2% in primetime.

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