Puberty Blues 2 faces headwinds
The odds were probably stacked against the premiere of the second series of Puberty Blues on Network Ten last night.
The critically-lauded drama had a weak lead-in from The Biggest Challenge Australia, had to contend with the last quarter hour of Seven's My Kitchen Rules and Nine's The Block Fans vs Faves, and was launched at a time when Ten’s overall audience numbers are low. Ten's all-people share was just 9.4% last night.
In light of all that, the Southern Star Entertainment show did as well as it could, drawing 544,000 viewers in the five capital cities, 737,000 nationally.
That was a lot better than The Biggest Challenge’s 325,000/463,000 nationally but well below the show’s first season, when audiences were in the 700,000-800,000 range.
Ten can take some encouragement from the show's peak audience of 685,000 and that it won the timeslot in the 13-29 demographic, although its target audience is 25-54.
Seven's The Blacklist won the timeslot with 869,000/1.36 million nationally, ahead of Nine's Inside Story with 700,000/ 1.02 million and ABC1's Spicks and Specks at 443,000.
Ten could have played Puberty Blues 2 in the final ratings period last year but decided to hold the show in hopes that the network would make a stronger start to 2014 after the Winter Olympics.
The new series is set in the summer of 1979 when Debbie (Ashleigh Cummings) and Sue (Brenna Harding) are having the time of their lives, hanging out on Cronulla Beach with the Greenhills gang, the bronzed surfers and their chicks who rule the waves.
Sue has defied the gang’s strict rules by taking up surfing and remains in the gang despite not having the requisite boyfriend. Gary, Debbie’s boyfriend, has been garnering attention on the fledgling pro-surfing circuit and more kudos within the gang.
My Kitchen Rules was the night’s top-rating show with 1.6 million/2.4 million nationally, beating The Block’s 1.09 million/1.6 million.