• Hey Hey Its Saturday ratings and 2010 season review
  • Hey Hey Its Saturday ratings and 2010 season review
    Written by battye
    Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:35 pm

    Half way into it's comeback run, Hey Hey It's Saturday appears to be in a ratings freefall. I like the show for the reasons listed in my previous article Hey Hey Its Saturday returns to Australian television - there is nothing else on Australian television which is as harmless and family friendly as Hey Hey.

    But the numbers don't lie. The fact that both Hey Hey It's Saturday Reunion shows scored well over 2 million total viewers shows that there is a place for nostalgia on Australian TV.

    The question is whether the Hey Hey machine has enough steam to continue over a period of several months, and it appears that it doesn't. When the show officially completed its comeback on April 14 over 1.5 million viewers tuned in, including 730,000 in the all important target demographic of 18-49 year olds. At the time, the plan was to air 10 episodes early in the year and 10 late in the year. The Nine Network executives recently made the decision to let Hey Hey run straight through - at least for the time being.

    However, the recent ratings would have to have the execs - and Daryl Somers - alarmed. The June 30 episode (the tenth of the season) fell sharply to a season low 801,000 total viewers (352,000 in A18-49). Over 10 episodes the total audience has shrunk by nearly half - as has the target demo.



    *no available A18-49 data for the April 21 and May 12 airings.

    Hey Hey fought the Seven Network's "The Pacific" quite well in the first few weeks of the season before eventually pulling ahead, but it has been the Ten Network's juggernaut Masterchef which has posed serious competition to Hey Hey. Pulling over 2 million people a week, it has severely hurt Hey Hey.

    What are Nine's options?

    They could keep Hey Hey It's Saturday at 7:30pm on Wednesday night as a utility player. It's shrinking numbers are definitely alarming, but it is a proven performer in the Melbourne market where it is filmed, and on an extremely competitive night despite a poor trend it is averaging a respectable 1,089,400 viewers. If they do keep it there, the real question is going to be how will it perform once Masterchef comes to an end?

    Alternatively, they could shift timeslots on Wednesday. They have consistently been gaining viewers in the second hour (once Masterchef finishes at 8:30pm). If Hey Hey was to move to 8:30 or 9:30 - being in a less competitive timeslot, it could stop the bleeding.

    A completely new night could be an option, with a return to Saturday being the most logical given its heritage. The problem with this is that Saturday night is television's wasteland - moreso than it was in Hey Hey It's Saturday's first run bewteen 1973 and 1999. It's likely that Hey Hey would really struggle on Saturday night in this climate, especially in its Melbourne stronghold which would be up against Saturday night AFL.

    And the other option, which hopefully does not happen, is cancellation. The ratings performances of the reunion specials and the first few episodes of this season suggest Hey Hey is still a viable format in some way. Perhaps a regular series of specials would be a compromise between the current 20 episode season format and the one-off reunion specials of 2009.

    Regardless, Hey Hey It's Saturday will be hoping Kylie Minogue's rare Australian television appearance in coming weeks will be a boost to the shows dwindling ratings.

    Season 29 synopsis:

    Cast: Daryl Somers, Livinia Nixon, John Blackman, Red Symons, Russell Gilbert, Wilbur Wilde, Andrew Fyfe

    Episode 1
    Air date: April 14, 2010
    Viewers: 1,521,000
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich
    Special guests: Jet (performing She's a Genius, Seventeen), Vanessa Amorosi (performing Mr Mysterious), Sigrid Thornton and Lisa McCune (on Red Faces), Joe Robinson, Slava Grigoryan, Tommy Emmanual (via Skype)
    Sketches: Bogan Draught (featuring Trevor Marmalade)

    Episode 2
    Air date: April 21, 2010
    Viewers: 1,202,000
    Special guests: Guy Sebastian, Jimeon, Diana Corcoran, James Reyne, Akmal Saleh, Jo Gill, Paul Calega, Paul Calleja, Operator Please (performing Logic)
    Sketches: Borderline Customs Airport Security Control Squad

    Episode 3
    Viewers: 1,125,000
    Air date: April 28, 2010
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich
    Special guests: David Campbell, Cal Wilson, Glenn Robbins, Jacki McDonald (via Skype), Marina Prior, Gabriella Cilmi, Ricki-Lee Coulter
    Sketches: Squeegee Guy (CGU ad parody)

    Episode 4
    Air date: May 5, 2010
    Viewers: 1,204,000
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich, Sally Cooper (performing on violin)
    Special guests: Stan Walker, Tina Arena, David Atkins, Olivia Newton John, Jono and Dano, Gyroscope (performing Some Of The Places I Know)
    Notes: This episode was filmed shortly after a fire occured in the studio, the car was won in Plucka Duck.

    Episode 5
    Air date: May 12, 2010
    Viewers: 1,034,000
    Featuring: Trevor Marmalade
    Special guests: Rogue Traders, Travis Pastrana (with Nitro Circus), Gin Wigmore (performing Hey Ho), Patrizio Buanne, Marin Burela (CEO of Ford Australia), Porcelain
    Notes: Pogo Fred broke his nose in a live stunt in the studio.

    Episode 6
    Air date: May 19, 2010
    Viewers: 1,101,000
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich
    Special guests: Craig David, Ant and Becks, James Morrison, Usher (performing OMG), Neil Robertson (via Skype)

    Episode 7
    Air date: June 2, 2010
    Viewers: 1,003,000
    Special guests: Alexandra Burke, Travis Pastrana (with Nitro Circus), Ahmed Ahmed, Adam Harvey, Melissa Barbieri, Michael Clarke, Amy Meredith (performing Lying)

    Episode 8
    Air date: June 9, 2010
    Viewers: 995,000
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich
    Special guests: Marc Collis, Crowded House (via satellite including an interview with Neil Finn), Jacki Macdonald (via satellite), John Edwards, Rob Mills, Richard Wilkens, Verity Hunt-Ballard, Kisschasy (performing Dinosaur)
    Sketches: Channel GILBO! (Two and a Half Slabs, The Dentalist, Robbing Homes and Gardens, Really Hot Seat, No Gear, Underballet: A Tale of Tutu Cities)

    Episode 9
    Air date: June 23, 2010
    Viewers: 908,000
    Featuring: Oswald Q Ostrich
    Special guests: Train (performing Hey, Soul Sister), Danny Clayton, The Eagles (pre-recorded interview), Harry Hart, Wesley College Big Band, Penne Dennison, Bill Bailey, Peter Phelps, Kylie Minogue (pre-recorded speech)
    Notes: This episode of Hey Hey It's Saturday was interrupted and cut short by a live cross to Nine News for breaking news, in which it was revealed Kevin Rudd would be dropped by the Labor party as Australian their leader and prime minister for Julia Gillard. The car was won for the second time this season in the Plucka Duck segment.
    Sketches: Channel GILBO! (repeat screenings of No Gear, Underballet: The Tale of Tutu Cities)

    Episode 10
    Air date: June 30, 2010
    Viewers: 801,000
    Featuring: Suze Raymond
    Special guests: Thirsty Merc (performing Mousetrap Heart), Ant and Becks, Danny Clayton, The Cat Empire, Marin Burela, Jimmy Barnes, Celtic Woman, Akmal Saleh, Jo Stanley, Tom Gleeson
    Notes: Co-host Livinia Nixon was a judge on Red Faces for the first time in the season.
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