The stench of failure

By | November 5, 2023

We don’t yet know how Survivor is doing in the consolidateds – we should find out how the opening weekend did on Monday (it seems to be hanging around 10th in the trending list), but having said for weeks before the show starting that the post-Strictly weekend timeslot was quite a big misstep, well it’s not giving us a great deal of satisfaction in being right. There’s an extremely real chance that tonight’s episode might have an overnight that starts with a 1.

The irony of a show predicated on strategy being done over by the strategy of management is not lost on me. There was no need for the stakes to be so high – it didn’t need trailing for months beforehand during big primetime events. The papers are saying it cost £30m to make – I don’t know how much I buy that, the tariff for This Sort Of Thing will be between £500-750k per episode, maybe a bit more can be negotiated, £30m that suggests they’re paying £2m an episode. Have you seen the size of the Tribal Council firepit? The original show cost £10m and and that’s when there was money to throw about.

The sad thing is is that the show, or at least the bones of it, isn’t that bad. It’s not. I can understand the lighter tone being divisive (mainly split along tribal “have you seen the American one” lines). I think it needed to highlight Characters Doing Antics a lot earlier, we don’t have an awful lot to grab onto even three episodes in. Everyone’s a bit “polite BBC” thus far. They’ve picked good challenges, which clearly they’ve made the show’s centerpiece, they haven’t gone overboard on twists and the ones they have picked so far have simmered quite well even if it’s more through implication than conversation.

Unfortunately for the Beeb, there are no good options for it right now – short of pushing it later into the evening so something more appropriate can ride the Strictly wave (Blankety Blank, much more suited, but with limited episodes left). They’re not going to drop McIntyre in there – early next year they’ll have 11 episodes of Big Show and The Wheel to go with 11 episodes of Gladiators and that feels like a much more successful schedule, they’re not going to want to disrupt that. I don’t know what else the Beeb have planned for Saturday nights when Blankety Blank finishes. And they can’t just move it to Wednesday/Thursday nights like it probably always should have been because it feels like The Traitors will be launching there soon.

They would, I’m sure, like to do a second series, mainly in a “this wasn’t a commissioning mistake” capacity, but even if they did schedule a second one correctly, the show’s got the stench of failure about it now and that’s really hard to get back from. Twenty years ago Survivor outrated Big Brother, but BB was seen as the big success. The more things change.

2 thoughts on “The stench of failure

  1. Alex Blundy

    2.1 million last night – I’d estimate Strictly got around 7.5 million. When your lead-in is the second highest-rating entertainment show on British TV and you’re only retaining a third of its overnight figure, you’re screwed.

    Will be very interesting to see the consolidated ratings.

  2. Daniel

    Tonights figures will definitely start with a 1 there is no doubt about that considering reports from the sun this morning show that people are saying it is dead and dull and they turned off tbh i don’t blame them. If there keeping the show on which i reckon knowing them they will should be the last thing on the schedule for the evening if they are going to air it weekends put it in the 9pm slots on both Saturday and Sunday so they can put The Wheel after Strictly. The Wheel did really really well after strictly it is the highest rated gameshow in ages even ITV quiz programs don’t do that good why they stopped it in the first place mid-way through a decent series is beyond me. Yeah Blankety Blank is nearly finished but they could still put the final 5 episodes in after strictly would be a good boost to their viewing figures Strictly 7M + then The Wheel nearly 5M the drop for Survivor is massive 2.1M now dropped 3M on what was in the slot after strictly (The Wheel) The Weakest Link will be before strictly from the 18th November that normally does well over 3M that will give them a strong start to the night. For me putting Survivor in between what was a great schedule doesn’t work because it’s even effecting Blankety Blank. Do you know what that got this week please ?


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