If Channel 9 could have tried any harder in 2011 I’m not sure how. It threw everything it had at the opposition and while some of it worked, a fair chunk of it didn’t. It’s not like they didn’t go down swinging though. It’s just that lots of their programming either didn’t work at all or didn’t fit the timeslot it was given or [insert your valid reason here]. GO! had a better year, and showed it was a great place for recent release/re-run movies and it’s a great way to pass some time. GEM still hasn’t hit the mark and delivered on the female-skewed promise it was released at, though it found some success hosting replays of shows/episodes that were successful earlier in the week. Then there was Choppergate.
Consequently, the Ch9 schedule looks pretty battered & bruised…
The Block – After somewhat lacklustre ratings in its last outing, the decision to strip this program five nights a week (which quickly became six) paid massive dividends for Ch9. It saw off main rival Home and Away very quickly and reinvigorated interest in renovation reality television. Though the finale auction may not have worked quite how the network wanted all publicity is good publicity in TV land.
Underbelly Razor/Files – The 3 single episode Files at the start of the year performed admirably and kept appetites whetted for what was to come. Though the longer-form criminal drama started strong it did fall away early after being called too formulaic, even as a period piece. The last half of the series was very strong and ratings reflected the audience desire for a little more grit and nudity in their Sunday night dramas.
Celebrity Apprentice Australia – Rushed to the screen in 2011 and while not the saviour program of the Network it’s helped the fortunes somewhat. Already in production for an additional series in 2012, one has to wonder who is going to be crazy enough to be involved in a show that can develop the best bad guy in reality television history in the ever-insane Deni Hines. At least she was brand-aware.
Today – Karl Stefanovic proved himself to be a televisual force to be reckoned with after picking up the Gold Logie at this year’s awards (he also won an award at the Molkies too). Partnered on-air with a marvellous foil in Lisa Wilkinson the flagship brekky show for the Network won the east coast and is growing a sincere and devoted following. It’s got just the right amount of larrakin about it too. Sunrise vs Today is the new Holden vs Ford.
60 Minutes – A little too up and down this year – but when the program was up, it was up big. Criticised for the reporters inserting themselves too much into the story it countered with some big stories and interviews when it counted.
Qld Floods Coverage – While nobody wants to profit from a disaster, Ch9 delivered the strongest coverage of the Qld Floods and connected the community in a real and influential manner. All networks delivered great footage and stories – it’s just that Ch9 did it better all round.
Farmer Wants A Wife – People still love a wedding, even if the groom is a bit ‘battle weary’.
AFP – A long time coming, this was a great example of what factual programming can deliver when given great subject matter.
Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year – Australian entertainment’s latest millionaires didn’t muck around when given the chance to do whatever they want in the name of their TV show. They raced off to America and soon confirmed that they aren’t great interviewers but rather work best when let loose to show just how much cultures can clash when you’re the Aussie fish out of water.
The Joy Of Sets – Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee were never really given a chance to make this program succeed. Though scheduled after one of the biggest network premieres in the country this year they didn’t know when they’d be scheduled through most of the filming and as ratings slid for it’s lead-in so did theirs. Eventually buried at 10:30pm at night it was still a lot of fun… just not enough people connected with it.
Two and a Half Men – The removal of Charlie Sheen and introduction of Ashton Kutcher was a risk and while the first episode benefitted it hasn’t really paid off since. Talk of the show being reworked with a new set and additional regular cast members suggest it lost it’s spark when it lost Charlie.
Mike and Molly – Chuck Lorre’s other other other other other sitcom was hardly given a chance to bed in before being buried ona digital multi-channel, though it’s back on the primary channel now and will remain so through Summer.
A Current Affair – Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. If only everyone knew what it was so it could be fixed – while it does deliver some base ‘current affairs’,
Mornings with Kerri-Anne – One of the last of the old guard still on air, the show is suffering from a lack of freshness that is rumoured to be overcome in 2012 with the exit of the host. Time will tell.
Top Design – The little show that could, didn’t. The promo painting it as “Jamie’s Bunch” totally mis-pitched the show, causing it to start on the back foot. Didn’t matter how nice/good the cast were from there.
Top Gear Australia – Australia said no.
Million Dollar Drop – I have this great idea: no more game show franchises for Eddie McGuire.
This Is Your Life – Why was Eddie hosting what used to be one of the great franchises in Australian television history at Crown Casino?
Between The Lines – I have an even better idea: no more panel show franchises for Eddie McGuire. EVER.
Live From Planet Earth – You can’t say Ben Elton didn’t go down swinging. Looking at the scripts, that was about all he did.
Charlie’s Angels – Not camp enough to be cool; not serious enough to be interesting. Partially good movie reboots of a TV franchise do not a new reboot of a TV franchise make.
S#*! My Dad Says – Not even William Shatner could save this stinker.
Some good wins, but some sad losses as well. The Network are giving it a red hot go even though they sometimes seem to be firing blanks. The ones that hit their target have hit well though – Just not enough did.
Overall result: Solid C. Not looking at the big picture, instead spending too much time daydreaming & results reflect that. Must try harder.