“Jesus Beats MasterChef on Australian TV: Mark Burnett’s The Bible Debuts at No. 1″ claims a Hollywood Reporter headline.
Yes ratings spin is a wonderful thing depending on how it is reported.
I suppose that’s a better headline than “The Bible beaten by Under The Dome.”
Aside from the fact Jesus didn’t actually appear in the 2 hour premiere, let’s not let a good headline get in the way of the numbers.
“The History Channel’s hit The Bible, produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, debuted at No. 1 on Australia’s Channel 9 July 17, taking a 21 percent share and beating MasterChef, ABBA, and Winners & Losers” it continued.
“We are proud that close to 160 million people worldwide have now seen the series,” says Burnett, who estimates that 95 million saw it in the U.S. Burnett and Downey are working on a sequel for NBC with the working title AD: Beyond the Bible.”
Mark Burnett also gave a number of interviews to Australian Christian radio programmes, but a number of other journos who were expecting interviews are understood to be hopeful he will stump up for some interviews with them too.
Nowhere in the story is the keyword about “timeslot” and even if it were there, one really needs to point out that none of these shows were fairly head to head. The Bible‘s first hour (on which the numbers are based) was 9-10pm with 880,000 viewers.
Under the Dome ran from 8:30 – 9:30 and pulled 900,000 viewers. Both are overnight numbers and I expect both will pull in big Timeshifted numbers.
As readers would know, I didn’t think much of the first hour, although the second was marginally better but by that stage I just wanted to go and rent The Greatest story Ever Told and be entertained. For that record, I’m not really digging Under the Dome anymore either.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t report the numbers sans spin and I’m happy to continue doing so.
If TEN can get Jesus to appear in a slice of Masterchef toast they might have a new ratings winner.