NOTA, the online monitoring of trends in TV programming and audiences ratings of Eurodata TV Worldwide, analysed the most significant shows of this mid season.
This season, reality TV distinguished itself with several successful launches in the various NOTA countries*. For instance in France, “Survivor All Stars” aired on TF1 was the best launch of the period (January-February 2009) with no less than 7.9 million TV viewers for the premiere (32.0% market share). It culminated at 9.2 million people for the finale (39.3%). This program involved the most memorable candidates back in the adventure, in an environment, even more hostile than the previous ones, the Amazonian forest.
In the USA, several new reality shows also marked this season with “Superstars of Dance”, “Howie Do It” and “True Beauty” as respectively the 2nd, 3rd and 4th best launches over January - February 2009 in the USA. In “Superstars of Dance” (NBC), contestants are put to the test in a huge dance contest. Unlike previous dance contests aired on TV, this one gives an international point of view as the masters of various dance genres from eight countries compete against each other in order to determine which nation has the best dancing chops. It attracted 10.5 million TV viewers for the premiere (8.7% market share).
Still on NBC, the reality show “Howie Do It” successful entered the mid- season TV grid with 7.8 million TV viewers for the premiere (8.0% market share). During each episode of this show, the unsuspecting “marks” will think they are the stars of a new game show or reality show, or that they are auditioning for a big Hollywood movie or television role. What they don’t realize is, they are the stars, but in the most unexpected and entertaining way, in front of millions of people on TV.
As for ABC, it searches for the most beautiful girl / boy in the world in “True Beauty”. In this reality soap, six stunning females and four handsome males live together in a spectacular Los Angeles mansion and have to undergo a series of challenges to determine who truly is the most beautiful. The premiere of “True Beauty” attracted 7.6 million TV viewers (6.9% market share).
Another proof of the well-being of reality TV is the reality soap “Mästarnas Mästare” which arrived ahead of all the new Swedish shows of the period. With 1.5 million TV viewers (39.8% market share), the show federated a large audience. This program is the adaptation of the Belgian format “Eternal Glory”, in which eleven Swedish athletes compete with and against each other and live with each other for the ten whole weeks.
Still in the entertainment field, only few game shows managed to ignite ratings with “Wipeout” in the UK and “Identity” in France. These two formats have already successfully begun an International carrier in many leading TV markets: “Wipeout” has already been sold in 22 countries and “Identity” is a consequent number of countries as well.
Alongside reality shows, fiction managed to find its place as well. If one could name only one, it would be the US series “Lie to Me”. Indeed, each TV season brings its range of new procedurals, and this season is no exception. But not all of them managed to reach outstanding results. The surprise of this mid-season comes from “Lie to Me” on Fox. This series hinges on powers of observation. Tim Roth stars as Dr. Cal Lightman, a doctor who has the ability to read expressions and body language, identifying attitudes like scorn, shame and contempt, and then to expose both the truth and lies in criminal investigations. Many procedurals bet on unconventional ways to come up with the truth following the examples of “Medium” on NBC, “Psych” on USA Networks and more recently with CBS’ hit “The Mentalist”.
Launched on January the 21st, “Lie to Me” recorded the good market share of 10.0% (versus 7.0% for the 2008 channel timeslot average) and gathered no less than 12.4 million TV viewers for the premiere. On average, over the first 5 episodes, it gains the loyalty of 11.8 million TV viewers per episode. Moreover, “Lie to Me” has already been successfully launched in Sweden and in Australia and should arrive in many other countries in the following months.
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*NOTA countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Sweden, UK and USA.
Sources: Eurodata TV Worldwide / Mediametrie-Mediamat (France) / MMS (Sweden) / Nielsen Media Research (USA)