The Nation

Last week I was criticised for being too quick to judge The Nation due to its low ratings.  We were concerned that due to season premiere’s often being the high point, a debut to an average audience of 15,390 wasn’t a good start.  We had it suggested to us in the comments that we should be reserving judgement for at least a month.

Unfortunately, a month may not be long enough if the week two figures are anything to go by.  The Saturday morning first screening of episode two attracted an average audience of less than 30% of the premiere, with only 4,520.  At least the repeat on Sunday morning nearly tripled in size up to 13,580.

Media Commentator Brian Edwards was scathing of the second episode and came to two fairly simple conclusions: Stephen Parker can’t chair; Duncan Garner can’t interview.

It will be very interesting to see where things go from here.

If you thought Sunrise was in bad shape, just be thankful that more than a million of our taxpayer dollars hasn’t been sunk into it.  The Nation, however…

Debuting on Saturday morning to a paltry 15,390 viewers, The Nation looks likely to be another expensive funding mistake by NZ on Air.  The Sunday morning repeat of the show did 30% better with 21,340 viewers.

The decision to cut to an ad break within the first five minutes before there had been any content was definitely a strange one.

While the content wasn’t too bad, nearly four times the audience tuned in for Q&A.

There’s a long way to go before the $1.1m of taxpayer money spent on this show is justifed, that’s for sure.

Reach figures were:
Q+A: 142,690
The Nation: 76,600

11:00am – Saturday, March 20 on TV 3

Gerry Brownlee live – Why the Government wants to mine. How will it contribute to a step change in the New Zealand economy? Can the Government beat the conservation lobby?

Rodney Hide and ACT – Stephen Parker investigates the power struggle inside ACT and reveals how Hide has won the first round.

The art of the nude – Christchurch Art Gallery’s nude art exhibition plus we meet an artist’s model who says posing nude changed her life.

Also our book competition plus media panel.

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The Nation set

Here are a few images from the set of The Nation which starts tomorrow on TV3.  Interestingly, both Q&A and The Nation have been funded by NZ on Air for 36 episodes but The Nation is getting $1,133,156 in funding compared to Q&A’s $728,817 – a difference of more than $400,000.

On THE NATION this Saturday.

Steven Joyce, Minister for Communications, Transport and Tertiary Education will answer questions from Duncan Garner and then a panel of journalists chaired by Stephen Parker.

The show will also reveal how the way of our best rivers and bays are effectively being privatised.

And in what will be a regular arts slot, we profile the Kiwi tenor who took the Wellington Arts festival by storm, Simon O’Neil.

The panellists are Fairfax Press Gallery reporter and columnist, Vernon Small and Auckland columnist, Deborah Hill-Cone.

THE NATION – a new way of looking at current affairs.

Saturday 11.00 a.m. and Sunday at 8am

The current affairs game has just stepped up a level as TV3’s new show The Nation finally makes it to screen this weekend.  While TVNZ’s Q&A has broken a number of stories already this year, the opportunity now exists for TV3 to upstage the state broadcaster by broadcasting the show on Saturday mornings and repeating it again an hour before Q&A at 8am.

Hosted by Stephen Parker and Duncan Garner, TV3 describes The Nation as an in-depth weekly current affairs show focusing on the major players and forces which shape New Zealand.

The show’s executive producer is Richard Harman who was also at the helm of Q&A’s predecessor, Agenda, which was axed by TVNZ in 2008.

Game on!