Australia’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy will join Sunday Night as key programmes on Seven’s Sunday night line up in 2009. The shows will air at different times of the year to help prop up the key night that Seven needs to address.
“Sunday night has been our problem slot,” acknowledges Seven CEO David Leckie. “If we grab the territory there it’s all over. I reckon it is all over. I’ve been in the business a long time. I’ve never seen the ratings landscape better for us.”
In today’s Australian newspaper, Leckie is quoted as lashing out at TEN CEO Grant Blackley, and said Nine would be “f***ed” without Gordon Ramsay.
“As I read it in the press he (David Gyngell) said ‘I’d be f***ed if it wasn’t for Gordon Ramsay’. “Well, they’ve killed Gordon Ramsay.”
Mr Leckie said he told advertisers he awoke from his induced coma mid-year to find a bloke he called “Greg Clackley” saying Seven would not be No1 this year and that Australian Idol and (the axed) Big Brother were amazing powerhouses.
“I don’t reckon he’s much good,” Mr Leckie said.
Mr Leckie said Mr Blackley’s comment that Seven’s slow start “would continue throughout the year”, was “ridiculous”.
“All he seems to be doing is running around buying irrelevant sports to put on his HD channel. If I was (TEN’s programming chief) David Mott I wouldn’t know where to start getting 120 hours of prime-time television (to replace Big Brother).”
Mr Leckie even dubbed TEN’s audience the “pocket-money generation”. He predicted TEN would “struggle to get anyone to watch them” next year, given flagging ratings for Australian Idol and challenged his rivals to reveal their 2009 programming line-ups.
A TEN spokeswoman responded saying: “We look forward to giving the details of our 2009 schedule in due course.”
TV Tonight can reveal that’s set to happen early next month.
Mr Leckie also seized on Nine chief executive David Gyngell’s comments to advertisers in July that he “might not be standing here” if the Ramsay shows had not rated well. “That was a fluke,” Mr Leckie said.
Asked if he was saying Nine was “f***ed”, Mr Leckie said: “I have said it for the last two days.”
Nine spokesman David Hurley hit back, saying, Mr Leckie was “a danger to shipping whenever he’s let loose in public”.
“Nine’s performance this year must have included lots of ‘flukes’ because year-on-year we’ve grown 14.6 per cent, 10.9 per cent and 7.0 per cent on the three key demographics (16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s, respectively), while Seven has shed substantial audience across all three,” Mr Hurley said.
Mr Leckie said it was “undeniable” Seven had more depth of programming, but said the network would not rest on its laurels. “We haven’t been arrogant and we’re not going to be,” he said.
Arrogance: (noun) an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.
Source: The Australian