Media on Trial: The Nightly Show

ITV's new heavily promoted satirical news show has had a mixed start, says MediaCom's associate director, investment.

Media on Trial: The Nightly Show

The Nightly Show, which launched on Monday, has been inspired by US nightly talk shows and is the broadcaster’s new attempt at replicating the stateside success.

The launch episode had a strong start initially with the 10pm slot piggybacking the new series of Broadchurch. The start of the show averaged 6.2 TVRs versus individuals but this alarmingly dropped by almost half to 3.5 TVRs by the end of the 30-minute show, with the full episode averaging a modest 4.7 ratings. The spike in viewership appears to have been driven by Broadchurch and the significant tail-off will be a concern for all at ITV.

"Viewers complaining that the overall feel of the programme is segmented and disjointed with ITV trying to squeeze in far too much content into 30 minutes"

Viewing numbers for the second episode on Tuesday dropped to an average of 2.1 TVRs (7.1% share) with the third night recovering slightly to 3.1 TVRs (11.7% share) however, the opening three nights still underperformed versus the News At Ten across the same evenings last week. The channel’s flagship news offering typically averages 3.30 TVRs per evening (10.4% share) and moving this stalwart has been met with some criticism.

That said, whilst the overall numbers look concerning the share of viewing position does look a little more favourable when analysing different audiences, in particularity 1634 Adults with The Nightly Show averaging a 9.6% share versus 4.5% for the News At Ten. This will no doubt encourage ITV.

The Nightly Show will run for an initial eight week period before ITV make a decision as to whether it will continue to air

The station needs to engage with a younger audience in a new way, and the success of EllenTube, James Corden, and Jimmy Kimmel proves creating social buzz in bite-sized content attracts younger viewers through the show’s format. A downside to this would be the criticism from viewers complaining that the overall feel of the programme is segmented and disjointed with ITV trying to squeeze in far too much content into 30 minutes. Maybe we are trying too hard?

The jury is still out on whether this format will work and if the decision to use a new host each week will prove to be a masterstroke or leave a disengaged non-committed audience. We’d like to see one host own the show and create unique ideas that gain mass following (like Car Pool Karaoke). The Nightly Show will run for an initial eight week period before ITV make a decision as to whether it will continue to air. It always takes time for shows of this nature to find its feet but ITV will be hoping that numbers improve quickly, but more importantly they engaged with consumers in a new way across many platforms.

Chris Denman is associate director of investment at MediaCom.

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