Friday 16 November 2018

Judge Judy tops as jury's out on Grainne's show

Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

SIGNING up Grainne Seoige was seen as a major coup for RTE and her new programme has already surpassed its 'curtain raiser', the Afternoon Show.

But Seoige & O'Shea still hasn't managed to eclipse the afternoon's most popular show - TV3's Judge Judy.

And the new programme may be cannibalising The Afternoon Show. Since Seoige & O'Shea began on October 9, the earlier show has seen its daily number of viewers decrease by 11pc.

Ad agencies say, however, that the viewer numbers for Seoige & O'Shea are still in a state of flux, and it is difficult to assess exactly how successful the show will be.

Since it began broadcasting a month ago, viewership numbers have ranged from 71,000 to 164,000, according to Louise Fitzpatrick of Initiative.

So far this year, the no-nonsense Judge Judy has attracted an average of 97,000 viewers each week day. This compares with an audience of 89,000 for the Afternoon Show and the 94,000 who watch Seoige & O'Shea.

Until April of this year, RTE broadcast David McWilliams' The Big Bite in the slot currently held by Seoige & O'Shea.

"The show attracted modest ratings of 59,000 viewers daily, primarily due to not targeting the right audience at the right time," said Ms Fitzpatrick.

According to Ms Fitzpatrick's analysis of Nielsen figures, "Other programmes which are proving to be steep competition for RTE's chat line-up include Channel 4's Deal or No Deal and BBC2's The Weakest Link, attracting 64,000 and 61,000 respectively."

Daytime TV is primarily aimed at the busy housekeeper and 47pc of all TV viewers between 3-6pm are classified as housekeepers. This rises to 60pc for RTE1, TV3 and Channel 4 during the same time period.

According to Initiative's TV Needstate study (created for its client Channel 6), from morning until 4pm viewers like to watch something that's not too difficult to understand so that they can watch while going about daily tasks.

"They want to engage with their TV show, which is why quiz shows and engaging formats such as Judge Judy perform well at this time," she added.

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