MasterChef Australia fans had their angry pants on in force last night. How dare Channel 10 split the finale of their favourite cooking show into to parts and wedge an episode of it’s replacement The Renovators?!?!?!
It stood to be either the most stupid or most gobsmackingly brilliant move ever to pick up ratings for Ch10’s new long-form reality renovation show. In then end, it was at little bit of both.
While The Block – Room Winner Revealed (1.82m) & the start of 60 Minutes (1.203m) picked up the win on average across the 7:30pm timeslot, the ratings for The Renovators (1.269m) at the same time were the highest the show has seen and are likely to build now that it can settle into 7:30 as it’s regular slot for the rest of it’s season.
The vitriol from viewers last night was wide and varied – at one point leading a pundit to suggest “can’t people read the TV Guide?” The split MasterChef finale had been scheduled that way for at least two weeks, and was in all TV Guide listings including that of Freeview and IceTV. It would seem that hell hath no fury like a MasterChef fan’s schedule disrupted.
While the ratings results were strong for MasterChef, the most disappointing part for David Mott & the Channel 10 programming team will be that the highest rating portion – the Winner Announced (2.56m) – didn’t eclipse the Australia’s Got Talent Winner Announced (2.855m), and didn’t improve on previous year’s ratings (2010 MChef Winner Announced – 4.02m; 2009 MChef Winner Announced – 3.72m).
The production of the 2012 MasterChef series now moves from Freemantle Media Australia to Shine Australia (Elisabeth Murdoch’s company), and much is expected by fans and Network alike. Shine Australia are responsible for the 2010 season of Junior MasterChef and are working on the 2011 season currently.