Will Innocent Unlock Bigger Ratings for TVNZ 1?

TVNZ 1 is banking on new seasons of I Am Innocent and The Missing to lift its Tuesday night ratings.

They go to air tonight from 8.30-10.30, when they will square off against the movies that have restored TVNZ 2’s popularity after 24: Legacy flopped and Three’s new season of NCIS.

The latter began last week, when it averaged 3.7% of the network’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, versus 2.6% for The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds and 2.0% for A World With Downs Syndrome, the TVNZ 1 shows it overlapped.

The results were similar among 18-49 year-olds.

In both demos, the series were beaten by TVNZ 2’s re-run of the 33-year-old movie, Police Academy, which rounded up 4.7% of 25-54s and 3.8% of 18-49s.

Season one of I Am Innocent, a documentary series about Kiwis who haven’t been given a fair go by the justice system, rated strongly when it aired two years ago, either winning its slot against comedies and movies or proving competitive.

Season two’s already streamed as a box set on TVNZ OnDemand, so it will be interesting to see if this online exposure hinders or helps its on-air popularity.

Season one of The Missing was also a hit on Sunday nights, when it had Broadchurch as a lead-in.

And when season two debuted in Britain six months ago, it drew six million viewers and bowed out with five million, although the series was still shy of the original. (Nonetheless, the prospects of a third season seem remote.)

Double-billing documentaries like its Secret Life Of and Truth Files franchises was a disaster for TVNZ 1.

But its new stablemates will struggle to claw back viewers from TVNZ 2’s My Kitchen Rules and Three’s Married at First Sight Australia, which rate 2-3 points higher than Border Security International and The Force.

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