MEDIA: AT HOME WITH THE EUBANKS - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Five has struck lucky with this insight into the family life of the ex-boxer

In At Home With the Eubanks, a new fly-on-the-wall, Osbournes-style series following the former boxer and his family over several months, the broadcaster five promised us "one of the autumn's funniest and most unforgettable television experiences".

Its faith in the product was evident in the heavy promotional campaign that heralded the first two instalments of the ten-part series last Tuesday.

In fact, five even took the unprecedented step of running an ad supporting the show on a rival terrestrial channel (ITV), to coincide with the national press and poster campaign.

The first two episodes have certainly been entertaining. Chris Eubank was his usual eccentric and outspoken self - no news there - but his interactions with his family did provide some genuine insight into the man behind the arrogant public persona, a side of the self-styled "showman" that much of the public has never before seen.

Eubank clearly adores his family. The happy family scenes from Tuesday were by no means groundbreaking TV, but they were highly watchable.

If you didn't watch the programme, you missed Eubank driving around in his massive truck. Eubank ironing his trousers. Eubank and his family sitting down for a meal. Eubank trying on ties. Eubank talking a lot. Not that much actually happened. But it didn't really matter.

As with most other fly-on-the-wall TV, our fascination doesn't really lie in the action or events but stems from that more basic animal instinct, curiosity, the desire to take a look behind somebody else's closed doors - to see how celebrities live. Do they eat the same things we do? Do they all argue like we do? And, more specifically in this case, does Eubank's wife find him as irritating as we do?

From this perspective, At Home With the Eubanks delivered on its promise and this alone should be enough to carry a majority of its first-night audience across the whole ten-week run. Most reactions to the show have generally been positive and ratings figures from Tuesday show a healthy return on five's investment in the product, with around 1.4 million viewers tuning into the channel at 8pm, joined by a further 200,000 for the second episode at 8.30pm.

Although the numbers are not in themselves spectacular, they do represent an increase for the channel in that timeslot, as well as an attractively young audience profile. Perhaps more importantly, this is a high-profile, home-grown show that provides a strong proposition for advertisers. This is a significant addition to a schedule dominated by films and acquired US dramas (such as CSI) and, for this reason alone, At Home With the Eubanks will be worth every penny invested in it. A true TV success story.

Julia Mowakowska, a senior TV buyer at MediaCom, is a fan of all boxing (and any other sport with men in shorts).

Broadcaster: five

Frequency: Weekly on Tuesday at 8pm

Audience: 1.4 million for first episode

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