News

TVNZ
NZI Business (6–6:30am) 64,600
Breakfast 176,060
ONE News Midday 158,280
ONE News 463,980
Close Up 309,570
Tonight 107,340

TV3
ASB Business (6:30–7am) 7,400
Sunrise 14,990
3 News at Twelve 25,870
3 News 272,020
Campbell Live 146,400
Nightline 155,730

It promised so much and yet delivered so little.  Cinematically gorgeous but just not appealing enough to viewers as the ratings declined, ending with season finale matching its worst ever rating and ultimately being beaten by repeats of Outrageous Fortune over on TV3.  And that’s in the 5+ ratings.  In the 18-39 demographic, TV3′s repeats had close to twice as many viewers.

45% of the audience that saw the pilot were gone by the time it came to the finale.

So what went wrong? The premise seemed fine.  The show was incredibly well shot.  Was it the characters?  Were they just not like-able enough? Was it the storyline?  Was it just not compelling?

There have been two other suggestions which I think deserve comment.  Firstly, the lead in to the show was hardly a brain stimulant.  The fact that TV2 shed up to half of its audience the minute the show started suggests that those already tuned in were not in the mood to sit through something that required them to think.

The other suggestion is that perhaps it should have been on TV One.  The older demographic who haven’t discovered the channel buttons on their remote controls would probably have been better suited to a show where the characters don’t have the “cool/young” factor that TV2 tends to ooze.

It’s really unfortunate because the pilot held out so much hope and promise of being one of the best TV series New Zealand has produced.  Such a shame that its ended like this.

In a statement released on their official site, Bret & Jermaine have announced that there will not be a third season of Flight of the Conchords.

We’ve noticed the less we say about the future of the show, the more people want to talk about it, so in an effort to reverse this trend we are today announcing that we won’t be returning for a 3rd season.

We’re very proud of the two seasons we made and we like the way the show ended. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the show and also everyone who watched it.

The duo have assured fans that Flight of the Conchords are still together.

While the characters Bret and Jemaine will no longer be around, the real Bret and Jemaine will continue to exist.

Ratings

Glee ended its first run in the US with tied highest season ratings, Criminal Minds had its biggest audience since its season premiere and The New Adventures of Old Christine had its biggest audience in a year. Season 8 of The Biggest Loser just finished in the US with its biggest viewership in four years. MTV’s premiere of Teen Mom was their highest rating new series launch since August 2008.

Renewals

Comedy The League (FX) has been renewed for a second season.

Cast and Directing

Broadway star Indina Menzel (Wicked) is joining the cast of Glee as coach to rival club Vocal Adrenaline.

Hugh Laurie will direct his first episode of House: “I am thrilled, daunted and honoured – with a ‘u’ – by this new responsibility,” Laurie. “’House’ scripts are Fabergé eggs, and I will try my very hardest not to drop this one on a stone floor.”

Coming Soon

It’s the final of Season 6 of The X Factor in the UK this weekend. The show hasn’t yet been renewed for another season. 2006 winner Leona Lewis has been the biggest star to date.

Susan Boyle is said to have caused problems during filming of I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story which airs in the US and UK this weekend. Apparently she twice broke into disco dancing while singing a ballad.

The UK’s Top of the Pops Christmas special will include performances from Lily Allen, La Roux, Dizzee Rascal, Muse, Sugababes, Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity and X Factor stars JLS and Alexandra Burke.

The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty reality TV show starts this weekend in the US on A&E channel. The brothers insist this was going to be a show before Michael died and aren’t cashing in on his death. The jury is out.

ABC’s new legal drama, The Deep End, premieres January 21st. The show centres around five young first year associates fighting to stay afloat in a top LA law firm.

In Development

JJ Abrams new lighthearted TV project is Undercovers – about a husband and wife who are spies by night and caterers by day. It’s not meant to be a Mr and Mrs Smith – they’ll be a happy couple this time.

ABC is adapting What? Where? When?, the #1 Russian game show which has run for 35 years. It’s tentatively titled The Six – a wheel is spun with viewer questions on it for six experts to try and answer.

Tonight’s season finale (or possibly the final episode ever) of The Cult didn’t generate as much hype on Twitter and elsewhere online as did the highly anticipated premiere.

Viewers most commonly said they were utterly confused watching the show, some saying even more so than even watching Lost.

The ratings started with a 6.3 (averaged at 5.2 for the first hour) and ended the second hour with a 4.6.

KiwiBede: “what a shit and tame finale … no apocalypse, no shooting, no hitting. CCTV of small claims court more interesting!.  the only ‘cult’ was the duped viewers who hung on in the vain hope of a decent ending to a crap series (including my brainwashed self)”

mossnz “awesome and confusing. glad i taped it cause i’m going to need to draw diagrams to understand it.”

sammaHOOD “2 hours of this bullshit ‘Cult’ crap”

kiwitech1: “Only about 5% of ‘eligble’ TV viewers are watching the program! It only had around 9% for the first episode, and crashed in ratings virtually straight after that! The series cost more than any before (apparently), so it’s an expensive turkey!”

5hameless “the ending… was… lacklustre.”


It was another big year for Shortland Street in 2009.  The show started its 17th season with the conclusion of Ethan’s Pierce murder and Maia Jeffries’ mental breakdown before the return of Justine Jones for the Scott Spears trial.  Morgan had her triplets, Ben disrupted the hearts of two Jeffries women, Shanti died and Rachel McKenna returned to sink her claws back into Chris Warner while new arrival Oliver Ritchie continues to stir up trouble in Ferndale.

Viewers gave the show an average rating of 7.5/10, down from 7.8/10 last year. 13% scored the season a perfect 10; down from 19% in 2008.

“It wasn’t as good as 2007, that was the best. but it’s still really good.”

“I hope it gets better because compared to other years this year has been the worst in a couple of years, get some better storylines and have a few happy endings!!!”

“I love Shorty and we always talk about it at my school and we nickname ourselves after Shorty characters!!!”

“It got worse as the year went on. The Ethan thing was cool but then i just got a bit bored but Libby’s hair is SO pretty and curly”

“Still my favourite 2 hours of the weekend, snugg;ed up on the couch for the omnibus!!”

Gabrielle Jacobs, the woman who ruined Libby’s latest chance at marital happiness took out the favourite female character while Kimberley Crossman won favorite female actress.

Of the the winner or runners up in the Favourite Couple category only one remains on the show.

It’s the runner up position for the second year in a row for Kieran Mitchell as TK Samuels takes the Favourite Male Character award but it’s the other way around for the Favourite Male Actor award as Adam Rickitt wins for the second year in a row.

Viewers are fairly unified over the loss of Kip Denton and Alice Piper in 2009.  There were hundreds and hundreds of comments requesting the pair be bought back to the show.

“We are always interested to hear feedback from fans of the show,” says a South Pacific Pictures spokesperson. “ It is fascinating to see who has come out trumps in terms of favourite characters and what has affected viewers the most in terms of key storylines. 2009 has been a huge year for Shortland Street and we can guarantee that 2010 will deliver even more excitement for viewers of the show.”

Fans on New Zealand’s TV community website Throng (throng.co.nz) voted on 26 awards and results of winners and runners-up are as follows:

Favourite Male Character
TK Samuels
[Kieran Mitchell]

Favourite female character
Gabrielle Jacobs
[Libby Jeffries
Alice Piper
Sophie McKay] (all within 2 votes)

Favourite male character – recurring role
Grunter
[Luke Durville]

Favourite female character – recurring role
Shobna Kumari
[Helen Carson]

Favourite male actor
Adam Rickitt (Kieran Mitchell)
[Benjamin Mitchell (TK Samuels)]

Favourite female actress
Kimberley Crossman (Sophie McKay)
[Fleur Saville (Libby Jeffries)]

Hottest male
Adam Rickitt (Kieran Mitchell)
[Benjamin Mitchell (TK Samuels)]

Hottest female
Kimberley Crossman (Sophie McKay)
[Faye Smythe (Tania Jeffries)]

Best dressed character
Libby Jeffries
[Sophie McKay]

Worst dressed character
Yvonne Jeffries
[Aroha Reed]

Best hair
Libby Jeffries
[Tania Jeffries]

Worst hair
Yvonne Jeffries
[Tracey Morrison]

Most missed character
Alice Piper
[Shanti Kumari]
Kip Denton was a close third

Favourite new character
Daniel Potts (Ido Drent)
[Gabrielle Jacobs]

Character you’d most like to get rid of
Brooke Freeman
[Rachel McKenna]

Favourite couple
Shanti and Scotty
[Kip and Alice]

Worst couple
Ben and Yvonne
[Brooke and Callum]

Which (non-dead) character would you most like to bring back
Alice Piper
[Kip Denton] a very close race
Justine Jones was a distant third

Favourite major storyline
Ethan Pierce murder

Saddest moment
Shanti dying

Most boring storyline
Morgans pregnancy

Biggest letdown
Shanti’s Death
[Kip and Alice leaving]
notable mention – Aroha’s singing

Rate the 2009 season overall:
7.5/10

Your one wish for 2010
Overwhelming response to bring back Kip and Alice

Other suggestions:
Ben and Yvonne to get married
Have another serial killer suspense storyline
For someone to actually have a happy ending with a baby that lives
Have a couple that stays together
A Sophie McKay sex tape scandal

Best thing to happen in 2009
Ethan Pierce storyline
Notable mentions:
Sophie and Keiran storyline
Kip and Alice finally getting together
Rachel McKenna coming back

Funniest thing of 2009
Ben confessing his love for Yvonne
Notable mentions:
Gabrielle (in general)
Callum comparing himself to Jesus

Comments
Watch hair colours on the girls – regrowth is being done and shows up mid-scene…
Stop killing off all the good characters
Decrease the number of close ups of Callum’s funny expressions
Not the best year …..Stop killing off the good characters…..Im still getting over Craig Valentine dying last year!    No more boring Chris & Gabby stories, get rid of that stupid Helen Carson? lady…..and please somebody put a sock in Tania’s mouth
Quite boring overall and not enough to keep me tuning in every night.  I don’t care about any of the characters deeply enough.  I miss Craig!

The Minister of Broadcasting, Jonathan Coleman, has introduced a new bill to Parliament to remove the TVNZ Charter and simplify its role as a commercial broadcaster.

The current Act:

Functions and objectives of TVNZ

(1) TVNZ’s principal function is to provide the television and other services that may be specified from time to time in its current statement of intent.

(2) In carrying out its functions, TVNZ’s principal objective is to give effect to its Charter (set out below) while maintaining its commercial performance:

•The following Charter shall apply to all those parts of TVNZ’s operations that contribute to its broadcast content. It shall be predominantly fulfilled through free-to-air broadcasting. In programming for particular audiences, TVNZ is to consider all relevant provisions of the Charter.

◦(a) TVNZ will—

▪(i) feature programming across all genres that informs, entertains, and educates New Zealand audiences;

▪(ii) strive always to set and maintain the highest standards of programme quality and editorial integrity;

▪(iii) provide shared experiences that contribute to a sense of citizenship and national identity;

▪(iv) ensure in its programmes and programme planning the participation of Māori and the presence of a significant Māori voice;

▪(v) feature programming that serves the varied interests and informational needs and age groups within New Zealand society, including tastes and interests not generally catered for by other national television broadcasters;

▪(vi) maintain a balance between programmes of general appeal and programmes of interest to smaller audiences;

▪(vii) seek to extend the range of ideas and experiences available to New Zealanders;

▪(viii) play a leading role in New Zealand television by setting standards of programme quality and encouraging creative risk-taking and experiment;

▪(ix) play a leading role in New Zealand television by complying with free-to-air codes of broadcasting practice, in particular any code with provisions on violence;

▪(x) support and promote the talents and creative resources of New Zealanders and of the independent New Zealand film and television industry.

◦(b) In fulfilment of these objectives, TVNZ will—

▪(i) provide independent, comprehensive, impartial, and in-depth coverage and analysis of news and current affairs in New Zealand and throughout the world and of the activities of public and private institutions;

▪(ii) feature programming that contributes towards intellectual, scientific, cultural, and spiritual and ethical development that reflects the diverse beliefs of New Zealanders, promotes informed and many-sided debate, and stimulates critical thought, thereby enhancing opportunities for citizens to participate in community, national, and international life;

▪(iii) in its programming enable all New Zealanders to have access to material that promotes Māori language and culture;

▪(iv) feature programmes that reflect the regions to the nation as a whole;

▪(v) promote understanding of the diversity of cultures making up the New Zealand population;

▪(vi) feature New Zealand films, drama, comedy, and documentary programmes;

▪(vii) feature programmes about New Zealand’s history and heritage, and natural environment;

▪(viii) feature programmes that serve the interests and informational needs of Māori audiences, including programmes promoting the Māori language and programmes addressing Māori history, culture, and current issues;

▪(ix) include in programming intended for a mass audience material that deals with minority interests;

▪(x) feature New Zealand and international programmes that provide for the informational, entertainment, and educational needs of children and young people and programmes that allow for the participation of children and young people;

▪(xi) maintain and observe a code of ethics that addresses the level and nature of advertising to which children are exposed;

▪(xii) feature programmes that encourage and support the arts, including programmes featuring New Zealand and international artists and arts companies;

▪(xiii) reflect the role that sporting and other leisure interests play in New Zealand life and culture; and

▪(xiv) feature programming of an educational nature that supports learning and the personal development of New Zealanders.

(3) TVNZ also has the following further objectives in carrying out its functions:

◦(a) [Repealed]

◦(b) [Repealed]

◦(c) to exhibit a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage those interests when able to do so.

(4) The Charter must be reviewed by the House of Representatives at least every 5 years.

The proposed amendments:

Functions of TVNZ

“(1) The functions of TVNZ are to be a successful national television and digital media company providing a range of content and services on a choice of delivery platforms and maintaining its commercial performance.

“(2) In carrying out its functions, TVNZ must provide high quality content that—

▪“(a) is relevant to, and enjoyed and valued by, New Zealand audiences; and

▪“(b) encompasses both New Zealand and international content and reflects Māori perspectives.

◦“(3) TVNZ’s services must include the provision of channels that are free of charge and available to audiences throughout New Zealand.”

The Rock has announced the winners of the inaugural (look it up) Rock Awards during an on-air ceremony on Saturday night – featuring the best and worst as voted by the country’s biggest music radio station*.

While international Megan Fox cleaned up ‘Hottest Chick’ it was our very own Robyn Malcolm who took out ‘Hottest Cougar’ ahead of nominees including Demi and Pammy. During her acceptance speech Malcolm said, “That’s awesome. I’m never again going to beat Demi Moore in a competition. I’m going to go out and get a t-shirt made that says I beat Demi Moore”

The ‘Good on Ya Mate!’ Award was awarded to Dan Melling and Adam Turnbull who crossed the Cook Strait in a Toyota van earlier this year. Clearly recognition for Kiwi ingenuity at its best.

Surprisingly, the fight between David Tua and Shane Cameron was named ‘Sporting Lowlight.’ The Fight of the Century was one of our most anticipated sporting events in 2009 but Cameron’s early defeat left Rock listeners deflated. “One punch can change a whole fight, and it certainly did in that fight” said Cameron during his acceptance speech. Notably, the big fight came in second place in the ‘Sporting Highlight’ category to the All Whites recent effort.

Outrageous Fortune was named ‘Best TV Show – Local,’ with Pulp Sport coming second with The Rock’s own Jono (for Jono’s New Show) and Paul Ego (for 7 Days) taking third and fourth respectively. Pulp Sport’s Bill & Ben said, “Yeah we’ll take second place. Ha, Jono and Paul, you work on The Rock and can’t even drum up any votes from your listeners! We always thought radio competitions were rigged”.

‘Best Rock Artist – Local’ went to Shihad, and the ‘Best Rock Artist – International’ went to Pearl Jam. Not surprising after their recent tour of NZ in November.

Rock Awards 2009 – The Winners:

(1a) BEST TV SHOW – LOCAL

Outrageous Fortune

(1b) BEST TV SHOW – INTERNATIONAL

Top Gear

(2) BEST MOVIE

The Hangover

(3a) HOTTEST CHICK

Megan Fox

(3b) HOTTEST COUGAR

Robyn Malcolm

(4) BEST BEER

Steinlager Pure

(5a) BEST SPORTING HIGHLIGHT

All Whites World Cup Qualification

(5b) BEST SPORTING LOWLIGHT

Fight of the Century

(6) BEST ROCK VIDEO

21 Guns – Green Day

(7a) BEST ROCK SONG (LOCAL)

On My Mind – Luger Boa

(7b) BEST ROCK SONG (INTERNATIONAL)

The Fixer – Pearl Jam

(8a) BEST ROCK ALBUM (LOCAL)

The Brave Don’t Run – Midnight Youth

(8b) BEST ROCK ALBUM (INTERNATIONAL)

Black Ice – AC/DC

(9a) BEST ROCK ARTIST (LOCAL)

Shihad

(9b) BEST ROCK ARTIST (INTERNATIONAL)

Pearl Jam

(10) GOOD ON YA MATE!

Dan Melling and Adam Turnbull – ‘Crossing the Cook Strait in a Toyota’

TVNZ
NZI Business (6–6:30am) 83,360
Breakfast 156,240
ONE News Midday 105,970
ONE News 523,890
Close Up 430,100
Tonight 211,650

TV3
ASB Business (6:30–7am) 8,860
Sunrise 17,720
3 News at Twelve 25,380
3 News 256,210
Campbell Live 229,860
Nightline 152,890

Updates from the US:

It’s the finale of Glee today in the US.

TLC will screen a one-hour documentary on January 10, Brace for Impact, about the landing of a US Airways plane in the Hudson River by Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III

Ray Romano’s new series Men of a Certain Age rated highly for cable channel TNT.

Season four of Keeping Up with the Kardashians premieres on E! this weekend in the US.

History Channel is getting its first competition series called Top Shot – and no it’s not a dusty history book quiz format.  Contestants compete in challenges inspired by real events in history.  They’re casting now for people who are skilled shooters, can use various weapons and can handle demanding physical challenges.

In the works:

Jackpot (Fox) is a comedy about high school friends who win the lottery, from the writer of Parks and Recreation. 

A new reality show called Conveyor Belt of Love (ABC) literally has men rolled out on conveyor belt to try and impress the women.

Renewals and Cancellations:

V and FlashForward both get full season orders (12 and 24 episodes respectively).
Police drama Dark Blue (TNT) gets a second season, as did Hawthorne.

Raising the Bar (TNT) has been cancelled.

How Ironic.. falsifying research:

Fox News’ poll doesn’t quite add up to 100%: