Last night’s Dancing With The Stars’ fourth season premiere was down on the last two years but not as low as the first season premiere.

Here’s the rundown of the premiere ratings with total audience share in brackets…

2008 18.3% (47.5%)
2007 20.4% (53.4%)
2006 20.3% (46.9%)
2005 14.4% (35.3%)

For comparison, here are the finale ratings with total audience share in brackets:

2007 22.5% (56.4%)
2006 22.5% (52.7%)
2005 25.9% (54.9%)

What else were people watching last night?

House on TV3 picked up a respectable 8.4% (19.9% share) with TV’s movie Ocean’s 12 pulling in 5.4% (14.8%). 2.2% (5.4% share) were over on PRIME watching reality show America’s Got Talent.

Why might numbers be down?

This is the earliest that the show has started. Previously, it premiered in April or May and after daylight savings had ended – traditionally a time when more people tune in to watch television in the evenings.

There’s no politician or class clown to make fun of. This year, none of the contestants stood out as embarrassing. It’s said to be more competitive than ever.

There’s less big names.

On the other hand, the numbers are great

18.3% is still a massive audience.

NZ’s biggest reality show returns to our screens tonight (8:30pm, TV ONE). The show already has a little controversy thanks to Kiri Te Kanawa‘s guest appearance after “slamming” (or did she?) last year’s special guest Hayley Westenra.

No doubt gossip mags will be full of speculation about possible romances bubbling behind the scenes between this year’s contestants. Sadly, as it’s election year, we’ll have no politician like Rodney Hyde.

So are the names this year as big as previous years with no Paul Holmes or Suzanne Paul among the group? Monty Betham seems the contestant fans are most looking forward to seeing.

Who will be the one we all laugh and cringe at or the one we’re surprised and captivated by? Who is your pick to win – even before they’ve hit the dance floors?

My personal pick for cringe factor is Peter Urlich as I haven’t quite recovered from his other reality show attempts yet. Martin Devlin might just be the laugh factor. I’ll be watching closely to see how Tina Cross and Miriama Smith do in their first few routines. Monty Betham could go far, if he plays his cards right.

It’s Oscar time once again and this year the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” is front-runner for the big awards. Other pictures with nominations include “There Will Be Blood”, “Michael Clayton”, “Atonement” and “Juno”.

Which of the front runners have you seen and who would you like to win the big awards?

Watch the 80th Annual Academy Awards red carpet live from 2pm and the show from 2:30pm on Sky Movies or delayed from 4pm on Sky Movies 2 (perfect if that’s when you get home from school).

John Campbell’s interview with one of the thieves who stole 96 war medals including nine Victoria Crosses from the Waiouru Army Museum last night doubled the shows normal ratings but has angered many who have called it “abhorrent“.

The thief, who called himself Robert, had his identity disguised as he said sorry to everyone in New Zealand and regretted what had happened. He still, however, either has, or will be, receiving part of the $300,000 reward money.

23 calls were logged at TV3 last night which included comments that both John Campbell and CEO should be “hauled over”.

Associate law professor Ursula Cheer from Canterbury University said it was “pretty risky” of TV3 to broadcast the man’s comments and told Radio New Zealand that “You damage your own credibility as a broadcaster”.

United Future MP, Peter Dunne also had this to say on the matter: “Now we find that one of our major news outlets is prepared to connive and conspire with these lowlives in order to get a fawning interview, the sole objective of which was to boost the ratings and TV’s commercial revenue.”

The interview can be seen here »

2Tube is TV2’s new, fun, family show that combines hilarious bloopers, funny web clips, home videos, short films and even commercials. It starts on TV2 April 6th and is hosted by actor and comedian, Millen Baird.

2Tube will review, for the New Zealand public, some of the funniest clips from the Internet and New Zealand. Host, Millen Baird, who has been a professional actor, writer and comedian for seven years, will add his own twist to the already funny material.

Each week, the best material submitted will be narrowed down to 3 New Zealand Finalists. Out of those finalists, one lucky person will walk away with a 50-inch LG Plasma TV.

So sit back and prepare yourself for some of the funniest footage ever to air on primetime television OR pick up your camera and become part of history in the making. In order to take full advantage of this opportunity, click here to submit your videos !

To find out more information and see samples of what we’re looking for, go to www.2tube.co.nz

Last week the Herald ran a media column which included comments on the Sunrise’s low ratings, and even has some saying that the show’s days must be numbered.

In response, TV3’s news chief Mark Jennings said that Breakfast was also down in ratings, didn’t see any major problems with Sunrise and didn’t plan any major changes to the show.

As audience numbers over the summer months may dwindle, audience share is a valid way to compare the two shows over time.

There have been three full weeks of breakfast TV shows this year, with Breakfast taking an average of 44.5% of the audience share and Sunrise taking an average of 7.0%.

Compare this to the last three weeks of breakfast TV in 2007: Breakfast took an average of 45.5% of the audience share and Sunrise took an average of 6.7%.

Barely a shift – if at all. The problems with Sunrise are not new and any changes made over the summer have not yet had any impact.

So the question remains: how long will TV3 be happy with an average of a mere 19,000 people watching the show?

(To put this into sharp perspective, Welcome to Paradise averaged 60,000 viewers.)

The Writers Guild of America voted yesterday to end their three month strike with a 93% margin. Patric M. Verrone, President/WGA West said:

“This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet. Those advances now give us a foothold in the digital age. Rather than being shut out of the future of content creation and delivery, writers will lead the way as TV migrates to the Internet and platforms for new media are developed.”

So what does this mean for TV? (Read more)

Sadly 24 will not be on TV this year in the US. It will return January 2009.

CBS has ordered Sharks, New Adventures of Old Christine, Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men to go back into production.

ABC has just announced it will make new series of Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dirty Sexy Money, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty.

The CW has ordered more episodes for One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, Reaper and Smallville. These new episodes could start screening in the US from late March.

Jericho returned last night in the US. Other new episodes coming back in the US shortly are Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, and Aliens in America and FX will debut season two of The Riches (not yet seen in New Zealand) on March 18.

E! is working on a new reality TV show about single mum Denise Richards, with Ryan Seacrest executive producing.

Update: Flight of the Conchords win NZ’s first Grammy in 24 years! YAY!

The biggest stars in music today get together tonight to celebrate the 2008 Grammy Awards! Watch the show from 8pm on C4.

While Amy Winehouse couldn’t get to the US, she will be performing live via satellite from London. Kayne West, John Mayer and Bebe Winans will also perform.

Previously announced performers include, Beyoncé & Tina Turner, The Foo Fighters, Carrie Underwood, Eldar, Kid Rock, Dave Koz, Keely Smith, Fergie and John Legend performing a duet, a special “Cornerstones of Rock” segment featuring John Fogerty with Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, plus a special segment by Rihanna and A Reunion of Time, Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban to performing together for the first time!, a special Gospel performance by Aretha Franklin, performing alongside Mary J Blige, The Clark Sisters, Israel and New Breed, The Madison Bumblebees and Trin-I-Tee 5:7.

TVNZ is excited to announce the return of New Zealand’s most loved game show series, Wheel of Fortune. The wheel returns to our screens at 5.30pm every week night from Monday 7th April on TV ONE.

While the big spinning wheel remains, Wheel of Fortune has also been updated to include text elements that will ensure involvement from viewers at home. Now armchair contestants can buy a vowel from their living room and compete to win fabulous prizes.

We’re confident that the return of New Zealand’s favourite cryptic quiz show will provide an unbeatable 5.30 timeslot, a robust lead into the 6pm news slot and a sound start for the rest of the night on TV ONE. As a result, we’re expecting to see a significant increase in ratings performance across the 5.30-6.00pm timeslot.

When MTV launched a local version of the channel in New Zealand about eighteen months ago, there was much publicity. What you may not have realised is that Nickelodeon also launched a local version. The channel continues to rise in popularity and has been engaging New Zealand kids in a variety of fun ways.

Here’s some highlights from 2007 which will continue in 2008 and details on their new shows… Continue reading »