Will Broadchurch Broaden TVNZ 1’s Sunday Attendance?

TVNZ 1 will premiere the latest series of Broadchurch within a week of the UK.

The David Tennant-Olivia Colman reunion will go to air on ITV on February 27 and screen 8.30 Sundays on TVNZ 1 from March 5.

The network will be hoping it succeeds in a slot where other high-profile crime dramas, like The Level, Sherlock and One of Us, have struggled.

One of Us opened to dismal ratings on Sunday, when it averaged only 2.5% of the channel’s target audience, 25-54 year olds, trailing the movies on TVNZ 2 (He’s Just Not That Into You, 3.8%) and Three (Let’s Be Cops, 3.2%).

While it faced tough competition from Sky’s live One Day International coverage, which peaked just as it was starting, the low turnout still reflects the challenges TVNZ 1 faces with its Sunday night drama strategy.

The season finale of Sherlock averaged a shockingly low 1.6% of 25-54s opposite Three’s FTA premiere of the movie Taken (3.6%) while the second episode was out-rated by TVNZ 2’s re-run of Ghost (3.4% vs 3.8%).

Sherlock’s January 29 premiere (3.0%) was beaten by both TVNZ 2’s movie Blended (4.5%) and Three’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (3.5%).

Episode one of The Level on January 15 averaged 3.6% but was pipped by another repeat of The Hangover Part II (3.9%) while January 22’s double-episode launch of 800 Words (3.0%) was squeezed by Hangover III (5.8%) and Fifty Shades of Grey (4.2%).

At least the movie competition won’t be as strong for the season three launch of Broadchurch, which writer Chris Chibnall says will be the last chapter.

“We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters,” he told Radio Times. “I hope it’s a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me.”

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4 Responses to “Will Broadchurch Broaden TVNZ 1’s Sunday Attendance?”

  1. Sunday was the ‘in thing’ for a while to go away from movies (thinking back to when TV3 made it their big night of the week with CSI and Criminal Intent in 2004 or so) but it seems people are now wanting lighter fare to relax to on Sundays or movies. Broadchurch should do well but it’s been 18 months st least since the last season.

  2. Yes, Clint, it’s amazing how well movies even as old as Ghost can still rate in primetime. Those who remember seeing it at the movies will also recall that it was only a few years later when the networks first tinkered with dropping Sunday movies. TV2 experimented with running its top-rating Monday staple ER on a Sunday in a far-sighted but disastrous move that cost it heavily in the ratings and soon led to the reinstatement of the Sunday Premiere Movie. Last year it ran Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist on a thematically fun but strategically misjudged Sunday night double-bill that paid off with the former but not the latter. And even Lethal Weapon’s appeal was short-lived, due to pre-emptions and the mind-numbing familiarity of the premise.

  3. The problem with quality dramas on TVNZ 1 is that TVNZ is doing a poor job in promoting these dramas off channel. Relying heavily through on channel promotion is not going to work with discerning viewers who don’t spend their lives channel surfing, be proactive and alert them in advance and whet their appetites. Amazing for a company that promotes digital viewing options TVNZ fails to embrace a digital strategy to attract newer audiences.

  4. Ah yes, I’d forgotten that ER went to Sundays for a short while, too! I think Sundays can still work with the right show.

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