herald

Wednesday 21 November 2018

New TV comedy goes off a cliff

RATINGS DISASTER: John Ryan (at front) with the cast of Nightlive on RTE2
RATINGS DISASTER: John Ryan (at front) with the cast of Nightlive on RTE2

There's no doubt that RTE's latest stab at comedy is certainly no laughing matter.

The debut night of RTE2's This Is Nightlive pulled in an abysmally low audience with figures plummeting yet further for its follow-up show.

The spoof news programme, presented by John Ryan, pulled in a mere 76,000 viewers this week, less than one third hoped for by RTE executives.

The first programme, which went out on the first Monday of the year, attracted just 89,000 viewers, according to RTE.

The debut programme of any new series is a traditional high point in the ratings, but these figures have caused consternation among Montrose sources.

This week things went from bad to appalling with just 76,000 people bothering to tune in. To put these figures in perspective, when RTE ran Raw on the 10-11pm slot last autumn, it attracted an average of 221,000 viewers against TV3's The Apprentice.

It's also a third of the audience for Lucy Kennedy's equally slated new chat show.

"The crew on Nightlive were once the toast of the RTE canteen but since the reviews started coming in and then the figures there is a less of aswagger going on," a Montrose insider told the Herald today.

The source at the station, which famously turned down Fr Ted, spoke of shock at the This Is Nightlive's viewing figures.

"Before it even began people were saying that this would never work," said a senior television source.

"They tried to rip off Anchorman and it did not work -- it looks like it's back to the drawing board ... again."

The news programme -- which attempts jibes at rival station '3' and other media outlets -- is a mish mash of poor jokes and poorer sketches.

Meanwhile TV3, claim to be immensely happy with the drama series, Dexter.

"Dexter on TV3 is averaging a 33.7pc greater figure to date compared to This is Nightlive."

live," says a spokesperson for the station.

She said an average of 111,000 viewers are tuning in for each episode on TV3.

ggittens@herald.ie

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