RTÉ Struggles with Light Entertainment

The Irish Independent (‘Let’s hope TV3’s ratings success forces RTÉ to step up its game’ – 12th November 2009) reports that RTÉ2’s light entertainment shows have been suffering in the ratings war as The Republic of Telly had an audience of 113,000 and Karl Spain Wants to Rock with 67,000 viewers last week.

The same week, 333,000 viewers on RTÉ1 watched Pat Kenny being lambasted by a member of the audience on Frontline, now a Youtube hit. TV3 enjoyed success with The Apprentice and The Apprentice – Your Fired netting a 493,000 and 297,000 audience respectively. Interestingly in the latter programme the fired contestant, Ruth, failed to show up.

I agree with John Boland, when he states that some of the home entertainment shows ‘have been wretched’.  It seems a half-hearted attempt by the national broadcaster spending the licence payer’s money on shows that don’t attract ‘the younger audience they so desperately crave’. RTÉ2 is out of touch with its chosen demographic.  If a show on an American network received a rating of 67,000 viewers it would be quickly dumped. 

That said TV3 seem intent on tried formulas taken in from abroad as Deal or No Deal hosted by the magician Keith Barry starts tonight, although it has upped its home-produced shows such as Tonight with Vincent Price and Midweek. Hopefully, TV3’s new two-part crime drama series The Guards will help TV3 improve its success when it comes to air in February 2010.

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