WEEK 21ST - 27TH JULY 2014

SPORTING GLORY

The second of this year’s big sporting events is now underway, with the Commonwealth Games, hosted in Glasgow.  The event is receiving wall-to-wall coverage on BBC1 and BBC3, which has had its transmission hours extended, launching at 9am instead of 7pm every day.  And how have the channels fared so far?

Looking at BBC1, the four days of competition so far (from the 24th to the 27th July) with the same period two weeks ago(10th-13th July), the effect is at least partly positive.  In the earlier period, the BBC1 daytime Share (0600-1900) was 20.49%, whereas the more recent period has seen a rise to 23.13%.  Similarly, the audience has averaged almost 200,000 more – up from 1.45m to 1.62m. However, peaktime Share (1900-2300) has taken a tumble, down almost 6 percentage points from 24.43% to 18.40%, with an audience drop from 5.8m to 3.3m.

More positively, BBC3 has gained across the board, during the day averaging a 2.35% Share, and seeing a rise from 1.24% to 2.1% in peaktime.

SCREENWATCH US 17th - 23rd July 2014

The Bachelorette (ABC) Up to a 1.8 in A18-49

Whose Line is it Anyway? (The CW) Up 20% in A18-49

MasterChef (FOX) Increases 17% in A18-49

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Rising Star (ABC)  A series low of 1.0 in A18-49

Under The Dome (CBS) A series low of 1.5 in A18-49

Extreme Weight Loss (ABC) Down 19% in A18-49

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 On Monday 14th July at 9.30pm, The CW had the premiere of Seed, for which the network had licensed the US broadcast rights from the Canadian independent studio, Entertainment One. The show had premiered in February on the Canadian television network, City, and became the network’s highest rated original comedy series to date. The series tells the story of Harry, a single, underachieving bachelor/bartender who is also a sperm donor. Harry reluctantly begins a relationship with three unique and separate recipient families - a lesbian couple with a 9-year-old son, a neurotically hopeful single mom-to-be, and an upper-class family with a rebellious teenage daughter - with whom he’ll come to share more than just his DNA. The show received a lowly 0.6m viewers and a 0.2 in A18-49.

The network also premiered Backpackers, another new comedy, on 14th July at 8.30pm.  The show follows best friends Ryan and Brandon as they race across Europe in search of Ryan’s missing bride-to-be, while at the same time they find themselves struggling with a classic twenty-something question of what to do with their lives. The show also got off to a slow start with 0.7m viewers and a 0.2 in A18-49. Both series remained the same for their second episodes and unfortunately it has already been announced that Seed and Backpackers are to be pulled from the schedule, after airing just 2 episodes. It’s been a tough summer for the network, as they also pulled their other summer series, Famous in 12.

Thursday 17th July, saw a number of premieres. USA Network kicked off with their new drama series, Rush. The show starring Tom Ellis as a bad-boy doctor who provides services to the rich and famous in L.A, didn’t make a strong start, with a 0.4 in A18-49 and 1.7m viewers. However, the network then debuted their other new drama, Satisfaction, a drama that centers around an investment banker who is set on making some major life changes after finding out his wife has been seeing a male escort. This built on its lead-in by nearly 25% in the A18-49 demo, also getting 1.7m viewers. The majority of the gains came in the male demo, with Satisfaction building on Rush by 32% in Men 18-49.

On the same night, FX had the premiere of their two new comedies, Married and You’re the Worst. Married aired at 10pm and looks at the relationships between Russ (Nat Faxon) and Lina Bowman (Judy Greer), a couple who can barely remember what life was like before kids, debt and suburbia ruined their romance. You’re the Worst, follows two self-destructive people who fall in love with each other. Married opened to a 0.7 rating in Adults 18-49 and 1.1m viewers, and You’re the Worst was lower, averaging 0.4 in A18-49 and 765,000 total viewers.

On Tuesday 22nd July at 8pm, NBC launched Food Fighters, their new reality cooking competition series. The show has Adam Richman (“Man v. Food”) host the series that gives amateur cooks the chance to test their skills against five professional chefs. In each episode a home cook and expert will cook the same dish to be judged in a blind taste test, with the amateurs winning a cash prize for every chef they outcook. The show had an okay start with 4.6m viewers and a 1.0 in Adults 18-49, but was down 33% from their last summer’s reality series premiere, Get Out Alive: Bear Grylls.

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In development….

ABC Family have a new drama, Stitchers. The show centers around a young woman who is recruited into a covert government agency to be “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that would otherwise have died with them.  The show is produced by ProdCo Original.

FX’s drama The Bastard Executioner  follows a warrior knight in King Edward III’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to put down his sword. But that violence finds him again and he is forced to go to even more extreme lengths. The show is produced by FX Productions.

Tuesday 22nd July 2014

The Final Countdown?

The latest episode of Channel 4’s critically acclaimed drama Utopia was watched by 488,000 people – a modest number, certainly.  However, this is no longer the final picture for television audiences.  There is all the catch-up viewing to take into account.  In the BARB data, this is now captured up to 28 days after transmission, compared with the older system of just capturing 7 days.  The figures gained here will include anything viewed through the TV set – so that can be via PVR recordings, via the online players – as long as the TV set is where it is viewed.  What still isn’t captured, at the moment, is viewing via computers and mobile devices.

However, even without that additional non-TV viewing, gains can be significant.  For example, the first episode in this second season of Utopia, which aired last Monday,  14th July, had a Live audience on C4 (Total) of 495,600 (3.4%).   The next seven days added a further 418,000 viewers, and Day 8 (as far as we have got since transmission) has added a further 19,000 viewers. There will no doubt be more in days 9-28.  If online viewing NOT via a TV set were factored in, no doubt the total viewing will be well over 1m. 

Monday 21st July 2014

YOU REALLY CAN BUY LOVE

Sky have announced today that they have acquired a majority stake in the UK’s Love Productions.  This is the (now former) indie that is behind such popular factual titles as The Great British Bake-Off and Great British Sewing Bee, as well as documentaries including the controversial Benefits Street.

Looking at the company’s contribution to viewing over the last few years, you can see what has attracted Sky.  In 2012, Love Productions provided programming that accounted for 1.27% of BBC2’s peaktime (1800-2230) output, but delivered 2.94% of its viewer hours (duration x audience 000s).  In 2013, this picture was even brighter, with 2.67% of peaktime output, but 5.76% of viewing. 

The Great British Bake-Off is back on our screens soon, and no doubt it will once again cook up some big ratings for the BBC.  What will be their recipe for success with Sky?

Thursday 17th July 2014

SUPER NANNIES?

ITV aired a documentary about the college that turns out some of the most highly sought after nannies, who gain employment with the super-rich – and even with royalty.  Britain’s Poshest Nannies, a Mentorn production, focused on some of the second year students at the exclusive Norlands College, who look like they have been caught in a time-warp, with their uniforms, gloves, and hair neatly in buns. However, the £14,000-per-annum course in childcare now also features more modern skills, like advanced driving, how to escape the paparazzi, and self-defence.

This insight into a world that few can afford to enter attracted an audience of 1.8m (9%) to ITV at 9pm, with a further 224,600 (1.3%) watching an hour later on ITV+1.

US SCREENWATCH WK 10TH-16TH JULY 2014

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Under The Dome (CBS) Up to a 1.9 in A18-49

24:Live Another Day (FOX) Season finale gets a 1.7 in A18-49

Unforgettable (CBS) Up two tenths in A18-49

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MasterChef (FOX) Down two tenths in A18-49

The Bachelorette (ABC) Down to a 1.7 in A18-49

Whose Line is it Anyway? (The CW) Falls to a 0.5 in A18-49

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On 13th July at 10pm, FX premiered their new drama The Strain. The thriller tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, head of a specialist team at the Center for Disease Control in New York. He and his team investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. The new show got off to a strong start for the network with 3m viewers tuning in. Compared to the channel’s other recent premieres, such as Tyrant (which started with 2.1m viewers, 12% higher in total viewers than Fargo’s premiere on April 15th), it’s an impressive beginning for the new show.

On 16th July at 9pm, USA Network launched their new drama, Rush. The show follows Dr. William Rush who is not your average on-call doctor. He’s not attached to any hospital, he’s highly discreet no matter what the ailment as long as the client can pay cash and the doctor parties with the best of them. He has no desire to change his life until an old flame and his conscience begin to start questioning things.

On 16th July at 11pm, MTV premiered their new show Virgin Territory. The docu-series follows multiple participants, who rotate in and out, as they carry out interviews with self-confessed virgins, to see who plans on keeping their virginity and who will lose it.  The show also features discussion of the issue featuring experts and other third-party source.

On 17th July, FX begin their new comedy, You’re the Worst, at 10pm. The show, from Weeds writer and producer Stephen Falk, centers around two people who have failed in past relationships, are both slightly obnoxious, buy may be perfect for each other.  Produced by FX Productions, the show has a 10-episode pickup.

On the 20th July at 10pm, Lifetime will be premiering their new show The Lottery. The drama is set in a world in which women have stopped having children and the human race is heading towards extinction. However, 100 embryos are successfully fertilized and a national lottery is held to pick the surrogates.

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Below is a quick roundup of some of the new comedies currently in development:

Comedy Central has Another Period, a spoof reality show set in 1902. It follows the misadventures of Newport’s first family, the Bellacourts, a family with heaps of money but not too much else to offer the world. The oldest Bellacourt sisters, Lillian and Beatrice, care only about how they look, what parties they are invited to and becoming famous – which is considerably harder in an era that had no internet. The show is produced by Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films.

Amazon is developing Cosmopolitan, about a group of young American expatriates in Paris who have a difficult time dealing with their loneliness as they search for love and friendship in a foreign city.

USA Network has a new comedy about two best friends in New York who are frustrated comedians but who hate everyone except each other, titled Difficult People. The show stars Billy Eichner and Julia Klausner.

BET have a new comedy in development called Twenties. The show focuses on the experiences of a group of twentysomething black women trying to find their voice and place in society. The new series is produced by Flavor Unit Entertainment.

Tuesday 15TH July 2014

CHANGING THE WORLD…

BBC  Three aired an unusual musical drama last night, based on the true story of a group of schoolgirls who challenged the government over the way failed asylum seekers were being targeted in dawn raids.

The girls were alerted to the problem when their friend faced deportation, so they began a petition to save her. These seven inspirational teenagers petitioned, protested and lobbied to have the policy changed, bringing their community together and achieving more than they had hoped for.

The story was turned into a musical play by David Greig, and produced by the National Theatre of Scotland.  Their production has been turned into a television production by Minnow Films.  The first transmission, at 10pm on BBC3, was watched by 622,200 viewers (3.9%).  A second chance to view, at 00.30am, drew a further 154.4k/5.1%.

Monday 14th July 2014

THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS?

Channel 4 have begun a new fixed-rig observational documentary series, from TwoFour, that has used “unprecedented access” to give an insight into the workings of the Royal Marine Commando training camp.

The programme is not just about the arduous physical training: it is also about the personalities of the trainees and their instructors, and how they cope with everything that is thrown at them.  There is the expected terrifying drill instructor, who goes by the fabulous name of Corporal “Froggy” Chauffour, but the insight offered into this training of the hardest of hard men is compelling.  The first episode, at 9pm on C4, lined up an above-benchmark 2.1m audience (9.7%), and a further 313,500 (1.9%) an hour later on C4+1.

Thursday 10th July 2014

AGE CANNOT WITHER …

With an ageing population, there is a growing number of pensioners out there seeking to fill their leisure time.  Channel 5 – via production company  Barcroft Media – managed to find three who are living it large in Tenerife.  In the warmer climate of the Canary Islands, the winter fuel allowance can go towards the party lifestyle in the bars and clubs, allowing the titular bad behaviour.

The subject matter clearly struck some kind of chord as, with an excellent overall audience of 1.9m (9.7%), the proportion of viewers over the age of 55 was considerably higher than the Channel  5 slot would normally attract: 20.2% of the audience  were in the age bracket 55-64 (slot average - 17.1%), and 32.6% were aged 65 or over (slot average – 26.5%).

US Screenwatch Week 3rd - 9th July 2014

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MasterChef (FOX) A season high in A18-49

Extreme Weight Loss (ABC) Up 11% in A18-49

American Ninja (NBC) Up 6% in A18-49

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Under The Dome (CBS) A series low of 1.7 in A18-49

Wipeout (ABC) Down 17% in A18-49

The Night Shift (NBC) Down 7% in A18-49

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On Tuesday 8th July, MTV had the premiere of their new scripted drama, Finding Carter. The series centers around a young girl who has a perfect life with her single mother, Lori, until a police bust at a party reveals that Lori had abducted her as a child. Now, Carter must return to her biological family and navigate through her new life whilst vowing to be reunited with Lori.

On Wednesday, 9th July at 9pm, CBS launched their new limited series, Extant. The much hyped show, which boasts Steven Spielberg as an executive producer, stars Oscar winner Halle Berry as an astronaut who returns from more than a year on a solo space mission and tries to reconnect with her family.

Also on Wednesday, 9th of July at 9pm, Discovery premiered their new sports docu-series American Muscle. The show features high profile athletes who work with Mike Barwis, one of the best strength training coaches, as he tries to get them in the best shape of their lives. The first season sees him train current and former NFL players, Olympic athletes, Wild West bull riders and even paraplegics who hope to walk again.

Another premiere on Wednesday, 9th is Reelz Channel’s new reality show, Mansion Hunters at 10pm. The show follows Paul Kim, who helps Hollywood celebrities, production companies and fashion photographers when they need exclusive access to a luxurious mansion for work or play.

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On August 1st, Animal Planet will be premiering their new reality show Redwood Kings.  The show centers around twin brothers Ron and John Daniels as they reveal the artistry that goes into turning ancient, reclaimed redwood trees into creative works of art. Each episode they create carvings of things like animated characters, movie and theme-park facades and treehouses.

On August 10th, Weather Channel will be premiering their new reality show Fat Guys in the Woods. The series follows survival expert Creek Stewart as he takes three couch potatoes and puts them in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee for one week, with barely any camping tools and in intense weather conditions.

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Some new comedies in development at the broadcast networks:

ABC has Manhattan Love Story, a show that illustrates the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts and contradictory actions of a couple who have just begun dating. The series is produced by ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners Television.

ABC also has, All Growed Up. This show centers on a 36-year-old woman/child who finally begins to grow up when she moves in with two 21-year-old girls.

CBS has a Warner Bros production in the works, The Mistake. The show is about a couple who had just “finished” raising their kids when they discover they are pregnant again.

FOX is developing Cabot College. Produced by Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment, the series takes place at a former all-girls college that has just opened its doors to men for the first time.