Channel 10 are notorious for being somewhat risky with their programming, sticking with programs well past their use-by dates and in the process giving them a chance to develop both themselves and an audience. Take The 7PM Project for example, which celebrated 500 episodes not so long ago. Or MasterChef Australia – who was going to watch a bunch of people cook and expect it to rate?!
With the move from a panel game show to a sketch comedy show, Good News World was taking a big risk. Australia hasn’t seen a whole bunch of good luck when it comes to any sort of local comedy of late. However with the pedigree of the performers, and it’s lineage in Good News Week, the network and producers were banking on the show to hit the right note with the audience. Sadly, it hasn’t.
With a premiere result of a mere 590,000 people watching nationally*, the show dropped to 354,000 for it’s second episode and last week’s third offered a near terminal 330,000. While the Monday night 9:30pm timeslot isn’t the most glamorous it certainly should pull better figures than that (by comparison: 19/09/11 a repeat of Castle won for Ch7 with 774,000 viewers; Ch9’s movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past averaged 552,000 across it’s 2 hours; and ABC1’s Q&A had 627,000 viewers).
Ratings only tell half the story. The other half isn’t so great either. Not enough laugh-out-loud funny sketches, wooden delivery, no real progression of the show since week 1. Given the show tapes on a Saturday night for a Monday screening there is absolutely the chance for the production team and writers to have continued to shape the show, to improve, to show the audience they are listening and want to make the program better. Respond. Give the people what they want. While other shows (for example, Can Of Worms) have shown they will listen and develop the show as it progresses week to week, GNW seems firmly rooted in the “this is what we’re giving you, so swallow it and enjoy” mindset.
A combination of poor ratings and even worse reviews will be what has led Channel 10 to “creatively” reschedule tonight’s episode of Good News World to 10:30pm. It’s a shame as there’s so much potential within the cast alone. Cal Wilson, Tom Gleeson, Sammy J & Randy (their ‘entertainment spots’ are pretty much all win) – all seasoned stand up comics with good timing and delivery, yet rarely get to shine with some less than average material most times. Catch it while you still can… if you can.
Good News World – Mon 10:30pm, Ch10.
* – all numbers quoted are total people, 5 capital city metro only; does not include regional figures.