TVNZ’s new drama series Dirty Laundry might need a promotional spin given ratings for its first four episodes. It is a tough new world where local dramas don’t just have to compete with Sky movies and Soho, There is also a pile of drama on Netflix, Neon and Lightbox, as well as material pirated online. Nielsen consolidated ratings for Dirty Laundry started okay at 537,000 on September 21, went down slightly to 530,000. Later figures are for overnight ratings only. It dropped to 364,000 then 368,000. The best numbers were for the audience aged over 55, women and Aucklanders. The numbers for the TV One target demographic aged 25-54 years, went from 187,000 for Episode 1, to 235,000 for Ep2, 136,000 for 3 and 146,ooo for Ep 4 on October 12. New Zealand On Air gave the project $6.8 million for 13 x 60 minute episodes and believes once time-adjusted viewing (such as on PVRs) and on demand are taken into account, numbers will improve.”Its early days. but a lot of people now save it and watch it three episodes in a row, ” said NZOA tv manager Glenn Usher. Dirty Laundry was created by veteran writers Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan Dirty and follows Donna (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) and the Rafferty family: daughter Kat (Tai Berdinner-Blades), son Matt (Tim Carlsen) and daughter Bianca (newcomer Victoria MacCulloch).
Ward-Lealand stars as money-laundering matriarch Donna Rafferty in Dirty Laundry, who has been channelling ill-gotten gains through various businesses for years. But it is a revelation to her family when the police cart her off to jail NZ On Air is accentuating the positive, but ratings might cause more furrowed brows for TVNZ after numbers for linear TV and negative reviews for TV One’s Filthy Rich. This was balanced by significant uptake of the show on demand, the delivered a decent-sized audience that justified taxpayer funding. But the ad revenue from OnDemand is significantly less than for linear TV. That is an anomaly faced by TV networks, both here and overseas. TVNZ spokeswoman Georgie Hills said; “We’re a big believer in local shows and we’re fully behind this original commission. It’s still early days – we’re four episodes into its 13 episode run. We think the quality of the show deserves a bigger audience than it achieved this week and we’re committed to promoting it to realise its full potential with viewers,” she said.