Last night saw the premiere of Hung on TV ONE – a show which has seen billboards downtown proclaiming something like “He’s got a big one”.  Yes, that’s right, a show about a teacher who becomes a male prostitute.

The HBO show seems more suited to PRIME than TV ONE but fits with TV ONE’s new promise to be “edgier” in 2010.  The show started out with 297,000 people watching but ended losing over 30% of its audience.  Overall it only pulled in 261,000 Kiwis.  It was up against the final episode ever of ER, which won the timeslot with 361,000 tuning in, followed by TV3′s Die Hard movie with 301,000.

In other words, TV ONE came third in Hung‘s timeslot.  Not a good sign for the show.

Campbell Live returned for 2010 with 213,000 Kiwis while Close Up had 541,000.

Two other new shows on ONE, Dog Squad and The Inspectors rated highly.

Most watched:

  1. Dog Squad: TV ONE 654,000
  2. The Inspectors: TV ONE
  3. One News: TV ONE
  4. Close Up: TV ONE
  5. The Mentalist: TV2

Most watched on TV2:

  1. The Mentalist
  2. Shortland Street
  3. E.R.

Most watched on TV3:

  1. Die Hard with a Vengeance
  2. 3 News
  3. Emergency Heroes

Most watched on C4:

  1. Family Guy
  2. Malcolm in the Middle

(Nothing else above 1% of viewers)

Most watched on Maori TV:

(Nothing above 1% of viewers)

Most watched on PRIME:

  1. Prime News
  2. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
  3. True Stories

Source: AGB Nielsen, 5+.

CBS has ordered two more seasons of Survivor and one more of The Amazing Race.

Billie Piper rules out a return to Doctor Who.

Liza Minnelli and Brian Stokes Mitchell are to guest star in a few episodes of Ugly Betty.

James Mitchell (All My Children) has died, aged 89.

Gary Coleman (Diff’rent Strokes) has been arrested for domestic violence reports TMZ

Todd Lasance (Home and Away) has plead guilty to a drugs charge and has been put on a good behavior bond.

The shows are a mix of old and new, with something for everyone.

Popular programmes set to make a welcome return include sports entertainment show Hyundai CODE, featuring guests – and hosts – from the world of elite sport. So too is Homai Te Pakipaki – the live karaoke show that attracts wannabe entertainers from all corners of Aotearoa, to sing live at Maori Television’s Auckland studio.

Double Qantas Award nominee, current affairs show Native Affairs, is back for a fourth season, and singing show, Maorioke, has a fabulous new face on the judging panel  – Anika Moa – who joins Brannigan Kaa and Victor Stent.

Pio Terei finds more fascinating tales from our shores and waterways in Tangaroa with Pio, and Qantas-nominated Hunting Aotearoa – one for the hunting enthusiasts – returns in the capable hands of Howie Morrison Jnr.

Te Pataka Korero once again raids the treasure troves of radio and picture archives to revisit important periods of this country’s history, with veteran journalist and broadcaster, Haare Williams.

Maori Television continues the tradition of devoting whole-day coverage to our two most significant national days – Kotahi Te Ra – Waitangi Day 2010, and ANZAC Day 2010.

Language learning show Toku Reo, based on the learning resources of AUT’s Professor John Moorfield, will go back to square one for beginners, before going on to launch a second series.

Two new Australian shows will appear in the channel’s schedule from 2010. The excellent documentary series First Australians is a moving, intensely honest account of the settlement of Australia, from the arrival of the first colonisers. The Circuit is a high-quality drama about the magistrates whose job it is to travel the vast Outback to dispense justice.

Other fantastic shows coming into the schedule next year include Willie Jackson’s NewsBites, which sees the outspoken Jackson probe the underbelly of media and the media makers. Kaitangata Twitch is a new family drama, about a carnivorous island, and the challenge, faced by heroine Meredith, to make it stop. Featuring CGI effects and a terrific New Zealand cast that includes Miriama Smith, Charles Mesure and newcomer Te Waimarie Kessell, it is based on a Margaret Mahy novel.

Beneath The Maori Moon, based on the critically-acclaimed book of the same name about Maori rugby greats, begins later in the year. The Nutters’ Club, based on Mike King’s radio show, has a mental health theme and will screen in the second half of the year.

Youth-orientated shows in the 2010 schedule include old favourites Pukana and Miharo. Phunk Nation is a new show that follows dance crew Prestige as they get around and perform for the rural heartland of Aotearoa. Bring It On and Search4Stars, both programmes that feature teenaged performers, kick off the new year.

Finally, stay tuned for details on one of the biggest promises made to a boxing-hungry nation: Maori Television’s three-fight deal with David Tua, exclusive and free-to-air.

NZI Business (6–6:30am) 28,070
Breakfast 112,400
ONE News Midday 99,560
ONE News 563,360
Close Up 448,520
Tonight 179,660

ASB Business (6:30–7am) 18,930
Sunrise 31,830
3 News at Twelve 31,460
3 News 265,220
Campbell Live 201,630
Nightline 138,440

TV’s hottest new comedy, Modern Family, debuted last night on TV3 with only 4.4% of Kiwis tuning in (11.4% share).  In the coveted 18-49 demographic, Modern Family grabbed just 6.3% and a 17.9% share.  Sunday and the movie Enchanted took in the bulk of viewers.

In recent weeks, TV3 has run movies in the timeslot which have had almost double the audience Modern Family pulled in.  This time last year, TV3 screened The Simpsons which had about 50% more viewers than Modern Family.

So why the low numbers?  The show itself is fantastic and it doesn’t use up all the gags in the first episode.  It’s been nominated for lots of awards and named by Time as the second best show of 2009. It’s been heavily promoted, with TV and bus shelter campaigns.

The show aired in the US back in September.  Could viewer downloads be linked to the low ratings, or was this type of rating always to be expected on a Sunday night slot on TV3?

Screen Actors’ Guild Awards 2010:

Best Male Actor – Drama: Michael C. Hall – Dexter

Best Female Actor – Drama: Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife

Best Male Actor – Comedy: Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Best Female Actor – Comedy: Tina Fey – 30 Rock

Best Drama Acting – Mad Men

Best Comedy Acting – Glee

Best Stunt Acting – 24

New Lost Season 6 promo:

Over 100 complaints came in after Gordon Ramsay’s latest show in the UK, Gordon’s Great Escape, mainly over his swearing but also because he compared an Indian guru to “Father Christmas”.

NZI Business (6–6:30am) 24,040
Breakfast 116,300
ONE News Midday 81,510
ONE News 599,670
Close Up 539,670
Tonight 113,620

ASB Business (6:30–7am) 15,830
Sunrise 31,980
3 News at Twelve 22,500
3 News 281,600
Campbell Live 216,370
Nightline 202,920

The Screen Actors Guild Awards screen later today.

New shows:

This Little Piggy (NBC): two adult siblings who, after falling on hard times, are forced to move back into their childhood home with their eldest brother and his family.  (Sounds a little like Packed to the Rafters?)

Nathan vs. Nurture (NBC): an overachieving heart surgeon reunites with his biological parents and underachieving siblings.

Pleading Guilty (Fox): an ex-cop-turned-attorney.

Traffic Light (Fox): three male friends in different relationship stages, adapted from the highest-rating comedy in Israel.

Breakout Kings (Fox): procedural about a team of marshals and ex-cons who work together to catch criminals who break out of prison.

Edgar Floats (ABC): police psychologist who becomes a bounty hunter.

Guest appearances:

Sam Page (Mad Men) is to join Desperate Housewives for series of episodes.

New show news:

Carter MacIntyre has joined the cast of J.J. Abrams’ Undercovers.

Cutthroat (ABC): drama/comedy about an ambitious single mother running an international drug cartel and courting Beverly Hills’ high society.

Generation Y (ABC): documentary style drama about a group of people who have flashbacks to high school ten years ago.

The Whole Truth (ABC): chronicles building of a legal case from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution.

NZI Business (6–6:30am) off-air
Breakfast 129,640
ONE News Midday 80,290
ONE News 469,300
Close Up 406,540
Tonight 189,060

ASB Business (6:30–7am) 10,250
Sunrise 17,760
3 News at Twelve 57,540
3 News 300,540
@Seven 164,421
Nightline 182,740