Gloves off in TV ratings war


THE first viewing ratings for 2020 are out and there’s good news for those who make their living in the fast shrinking world of fictional drama and comedy – the actors, scriptwriters, producers, directors and all the technical folk behind the camera’s lens who seek work in the most expensive sector of the industry.

Leaving all the so-called “reality” TV shows in its wake, Channel 9’s drama series Proctor Doctor has started its fourth season with a ratings bang and an audience share of 47.

It stars Rodger Corser (at top) as one of the nation’s leading protologists, Dr Hugh Knight, a city surgeon with many character faults, who comes crashing down to earth when forced to set up practice in the small country town he hated as a child.

Last week’s debut episode, where Knight gets pissed off when many of the town’s womenfolk won’t accept it’s not his area of medical expertise when they come to his surgery asking for a physical prostate examination, is the show’s most watched ever.

“I think it’s because the whole basic storyline has never been used anywhere else in the world,” a Nine PR person told The Bug.

“I know Nine management is now kicking itself for not doing another season of Sea Change, no matter how corny, over-acted and shitty is was. But please don’t quote me on that for obvious reasons.”

The success of Proctor Doctor has left a number of “reality” TV shows that are much cheaper to produce facing uncertain futures, even thought they have rated highly in past years.

They include Channel 7’s The Farmer Desperately Needs a Meaningless One Night Stand To Try To Help Him Forget The Drought, Channel 10’s Master Theft and Channel 7’s My Kitchen Fools  – both with very similar formats in where a trio of well-known Australian restaurateurs try to outdo one another in screwing staff over wages and entitlements – and also on Channel 10, I Was Never a Celebrity So You Don’t Need To Feel Embarrassed That You’ve Never Heard of Me As I Try Desperately To Get Out of Here.

Also rating poorly has been the seventh season of Harried at First Fight on Channel 9 where the program’s cameras follow the lives of typical Australian couples who have been married for what seems like an eternity, the sex has dried up and they basically now hate each’s other guts.

Channel 7’s new  competitive reality show Pooch Perfect,  hosted by Rebel Wilson, has already been axed before it was due to start.

It will be replaced by Pussies Galore, a reality show where dozens of ageing competitors strive against the clock to make their pussies look as presentable as possible. It will be hosted by British actress Honor Blackman, 94.