Ten's Pilot Week performance revealed

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 27 August 2018

Designed to test the waters with eight new, “edgy” comedies, Ten's new pilot week strategy has come to an end, but how well did it do?

The programming, which features eight original pilots of domestically-produced television, was led by famous face including Rove McManus, Kyle Sandilands and Sam Dastiyari.

Ten chief content officer Beverly McGarvey previously explained that the success of the shows wouldn't be based solely on ratings, but social media buzz, catch-up views and and votes, which could be made on the Tenplay platform.

While none of the shows managed to break the bank when it came to ratings, baring in mind most shows were aired in weeknight evening slots, social media was buzzing.

Below is a breakdown of each show's national and metro ratings, social media buzz, air date and viewer sentiment. It is ranked in order of the combined national ratings.

Trial by Kyle: A courtroom style program which features radio host Kyle Sandilands as a Judge Judy type character, acting as a mediator in 'controversial' cases. Sandilands is assisted by former Bachelor winner and lawyer Anna Heinrich.

Aired: Thursday 23 August
Ratings: 519,000 national and 385,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #2 in Australia, #2 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, #4 in Adelaide. Facebook promoted post had 95k reach pre-TX with 31k views
Sentiment: Met with mixed reviews. Viewers praised the show for accepting its 'trashy' style and over-the-top cases. Others slammed the show for the same reason. Despite this, the show had the strongest national ratings performance.

Drunk History Australia: An Australian remake of the popular American and UK versions, where comedians retell stories from history while under the influence of alcohol.

Aired: Monday 20 August
Ratings: 512,000 national and 367,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #1 in Australia, #2 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, #4 in Adelaide and #2 in Perth. Sneak peek promoted post on Facebook had 118,593 reach, 48,425 views and 876 engagements.
Sentiment: A generally positive reaction for the show, with many praising the stories and comedians. However, the show was met with some criticism, particularly for not revealing how many drinks the comedians had consumed.

Kinne Tonight: Comedian Troy Kinne hosts a half sketch, half stand-up half hour program which takes a look at some of the issues often overlooked in day-to-day life.

Aired: Wednesday 22 August
Ratings: 496,000 national and 404,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #1 in Australia, #2 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Promoted post on Facebook had 115,416 reach and 52,000 video views
Sentiment: Another successful pilot for the week, Kinne Tonight was the best performing program in terms of metro overnight ratings, with viewers giving the show a good wrap for its focus on more common everyday topics.

Skit Happens: A 30 minute sketch comedy program featuring including Australian comedians Heath Franklin and Jenna Owe.

Aired: Sunday 19 August
Ratings: National 478,000 and 350,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #4 in Australia, #6 in Melbourne, #4 in Brisbane, #4 in Adelaide, #6 in Perth. Skit Happens promoted post had 105,225 reach and 43,535 video views.
Sentiment: Met with a mostly negative response, viewers found certain sketches offensive or in poor taste, with a parody of Seven's drama 'The Good Doctor', which features an autistic surgeon in the leading role, generating backlash.

Taboo: Comedian and radio host Harley Breen spends five days getting to know people of a disadvantaged group, culminating in him performing a stand-up special based on his experience.

Aired: Tuesday 21 August
Ratings: 391,000 national and 277,000 metro
Social media buzz: N/A
Sentiment: Receiving overwhelming praise, with many viewers on Twitter labelling the show as the best of the week, Taboo received positive reviews for its story-telling and approach to a difficult topic.

Dave: A half an hour sitcom following the life of Australian comedian Dave O'Neill as he managed family, relationships and his life as a comedian.

Aired: Friday 24 August
Ratings: 337,000 national and 246,000 metro
Social media buzz: Sneak Peek for Dave had 1067 views on Twitter, 17 favourites and 1,400 video views on Facebook.
Sentiment: Labelled 'brilliant' and 'really funny', Dave got ticks for its family friendly nature and 'genuine' humour.

Disgrace!: Former politician Sam Dastyari and the team behind Gruen and The Chaser manage the latest outbreak of outrage in a half-hour panel program.

Aired: Sunday 19 August
Rating: 301,000 national and 229,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #4 in Australia, #1 in Sydney. Disgrace promoted post on Facebook had 110,949 reach and 44,858 video views.
Sentiment: Many viewers were surprised by Dastyari's hosting chops and praised the nature in which the show tackled topical subjects.

Bring Back...Saturday Night: A live Saturday night variety show, hosted by Rove McManus. The pilot featured well-known Australian comedians including Judith Lucy and Merrick Watts.

Aired: Saturday 25 August
Ratings: 297,000 national and 203,000 metro
Social media buzz: Trended #4 in Australia, #5 in Sydney, #4 in Perth. Sneak Peek of Delta’s cameo skit had 4,000 views on Facebook, 6,876 views on Twitter and 226 favourites

Sentiment: The return of long-time Ten personality Rove McManus to live TV was met with positive reactions, with viewers happy to see McManus back on their screens, as well as the return of a Saturday night variety program.
Overall, across the week, Twitter impressions increased by 331% and organic Facebook reach increased by 66% week on week.

While there is no timeline as to when the successful shows will be announced, AdNews understands that the network will be focused on gathering viewership figures from its broadcast video on demand platform Tenplay to generate a complete picture of each show's performance.

“We’ve enjoyed bringing new programming ideas to audiences and are thrilled with the overall response through live audience numbers and via social,” McGarvey says.

“We’re listening to what people are saying, and are also looking at a range of other measures including timeslot and demographic performance to help us decide which programs we’ll be commissioning to a full series.

BVOD numbers will also play an important role so we’ll be gathering these over the next week. Stay tuned.”

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