24th May 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

“Worst Ratings For Over 20 Years” Shock!!!

Or, alternatively:

– Hottest day of the year so far meant barely anyone was watching telly. Top-rated show of the night only got 6.2 million. So it’s not like Who is suddenly getting tonked by whatever’s on the other channel. In fact, it’s still beating it.

– It would take a sustained drop in ratings, for at least the duration of a full series, for this to become anything like a “problem”.

– The indications are that the BBC don’t seem to care hugely about Who‘s overnight ratings any more – which would explain the recent inconsistency over scheduling. They know that plenty of people will watch it timeshifted or on iPlayer – it’s no longer about specifically getting the ratings one that one occasion on BBC1. So long as the indications are that roughly between 6 and 8 million people are watching it, somehow, each week, then the show is as safe as houses.

– Besides, 4.5 million viewers in 1989 and 4.5 million viewers in 2010 are two very different things.

None of this is attempting to blindly put a “brave face” on ratings that, in isolation and out of context, do look poor. Merely an attempt to get a little perspective before the inevitable hysteria (and no, I haven’t checked the GB forums yet) kicks in. But the pure figures only tell part of the story. So if this makes you panic, you’re a FOOL.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.



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