I’m going to go out on a limb here….
I don’t agree that Matt Moran should have defended MasterChef‘s declining ratings.
I wasn’t there at the time he was asked a question and supposedly said he couldn’t care less about declining ratings, so I’m not fully appreciative of the context.
But I don’t believe it needs defending. I think for a show in its fourth season in a multichannel landscape it’s doing just fine, thanks.
On Sunday it pulled 1.33m viewers and on Wednesday it had 1.11m. What’s wrong with that? It also did good business in the demos and the sponsors are getting plenty of exposure. Isn’t that what the show is supposed to do?
Anybody who thinks the show should be getting 2m+ needs to get a grip.
Television has changed so much since the show debuted in 2009. How quickly many have forgotten it was a sleeper back then before it ignited a wildfire. But those kind of game-changers happen once in a blue moon. The Voice is enjoying that kind of power now, and rightly so. Don’t expect it to be sitting on 2m+ in four years’ time either.
Yes, My Kitchen Rules was averaging higher this year. Because it’s newer. Because it’s well made. Because it’s on Seven and starting from a higher base. MasterChef has to rise off that back of less promotion, less cross-promotion and lower lead-ins. Duh.
We all watch TV differently now. We are timeshifting, in Drama more than Reality admittedly, but journalists need to remember Timeshifting, and OzTAM needs to work out ways for them to contextualise the data when they are receiving it two weeks after the show went to air. It’s an ill fit.
Back to MasterChef…. I haven’t watched every episode but from what I have seen it’s a big improvement on last year. There are more Mystery Boxes. There are more Invention Tests. There is a better connect between contestants and the food they are making. From what I have observed anecdotally, readers have acknowledged this too, and I believe it is translating to numbers as well.
I question whether defending the show, as an article did today, actually purports a misconception. If you have to defend declining ratings, you’re also reinforcing declining ratings.
Next year the show will have to change again. Maybe not so many episodes. Maybe even time to recast the judges. But the basic premise of people with ambitions and rising to fulfil that can be re-told many times over by creative people who are passionate storytellers -provided the show is well cast.
I’m happy to be served up again, and so far I haven’t had my fill.
Quit the blame game and pass me a plate.