The show comes across as planned, yet disorganised, trying to recreate the "zoo" feeling of the Big Breakfast. Its predecessor had restricted space, giving the show a warmer, involving, engaging feel and the disjointed links worked. I found the Ri:se set distracting and with both presenters hell-bent on using any excuse to broadcast from every square inch of the building, and with such open spaces, you don't get drawn into the programme.
When you're walking down a corridor lined with coats or sitting in an empty office space reviewing the newspapers, you are not going to create an involving atmosphere. Overall, the production of the show comes across as cheap and badly disjointed.
It's still early days for this reincarnation and, across the 90 minutes I watched, it certainly was a programme of two halves. Some segments were lost on me, I couldn't get excited over the "textecution" segment and neither could the two remaining contestants. Also three blokes being interviewed in a sports shop seemed to be filling airtime rather than providing any form of entertainment. Other segments were OK but I wouldn't rush to press button four on my remote each morning. I missed Mel and Sue at 8.30am which meant probably missing the high point of the show.
On its current performance, Ri:se doesn't have a long-term future. By the end of last week, the show was delivering half the audience compared with its December numbers and trailed a long way behind its terrestrial commercial rivals. Focusing on 16- to 34-year-olds, even this audience is giving the programme a wide berth. To make a success of it, Channel 4 is either going to have to dedicate a considerable amount of on-air promotion to the programme or get the planning team looking at alternatives now.
In the harsh reality of the commercial world, they will find themselves with two hours of programming that is underperforming and will cost the station advertising revenue. If you're after a youth audience, Ri:se offers the only credible terrestrial service, but at the moment it's missing the mark with the viewers.
- Andy Zonfrillo, the broadcast buying director at MindShare, is usually on the way to work by the time Ri:se starts.
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Frequency: Monday to Friday, 6.55am to 9am
Audience: 200,000, falling to 100,000 by end of first week
Advertisers include: Lockets, Zovirax, Nissan, Argos, Air Wick, Cadbury