Premiere Wars: The Wire ( beats CSI (SABC3)

Written by TVSA Team from the blog News on 24 Jan 2007
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Two new top-rated dramas premiered in South Africa at 21h00 on Monday 8 January: the first season of The Wire on and the fourth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on SABC3.

Those are two heavyweight foreign dramas going at each other in the same timeslot - you don't often get that on South African telly (not on the free channels anyway - the pay channels are stuffed with competing dramas).

The Wire triumphed that night for, averaging 1,215,800 viewers and a 19% audience share over the course of the hour-long programme, as opposed to CSI's average of 926,300 viewers and a 14% share.

Both shows have received nothing but rave reviews in the US and both are rated highly by readers of TVSA, so it will be interesting to see whether viewers stick with The Wire or whether they start defecting to CSI.

TVSA has compiled the Top 10 Shows per channel viewing figures for Week 2, as well as the Top 5 shows in a number of genres across all channels, using the TAMS Ratings provided by SAARF (The South African Advertising Research Council).

For the full listings, go here: Week 2: 8 - 14 January

Other Interesting Notes

Music show One grew by a staggering 1-million viewers from Week 1 to Week 2, from 1,505,200 viewers and a 23% audience share on Friday 5 January to 2,508,700 viewers and a 39% share on Friday 12 January.

Must have been inspired by TVSA columnist Brown Shuga's Open Letter To One, in which she layed out a serious Beef.

"Hopefully next year you'll spread the love a little more than you did this year," she pleaded. "Give the same amount of love you've given to other local acts as well."

She followed it up with an interview with the show's star Andile Ncube, in which she demanded he address her concerns. He did, One and Shuga are best friends again and now the show's pulling in a million more viewers than it did.

Don't upset Brown Shuga, man...

The disaster documentary Catastrophe: Hurricane Floyd aired on SABC2 on Tuesday 9 January at 21h30 and managed an average 1,061,400 viewers for a 19% audience share.

Catastrophe is a sub-series of the National Geographic series Violent Earth.

This particular episode documented the 1999 super-hurricane which destroyed North Carolina leaving 57 dead, hundreds of injuries, millions of drowned livestock, and billions of dollars worth of destruction to homes, farms, and businesses.

The drama series Everwood premiered on SABC3 on Tuesday 9 January at 20h31 and managed a respectable 1,061,400 viewers.

It came second in its timeslot to SABC1 comedy powerhouse Izoso Connexion, but comfortably beat the Sotho/Tswana/Sepedi News (SABC2), Forgive & Forget ( and of course CSI: Miami on M-Net.

It was the 7th most-watched show on the channel in Week 2.

Teen drama The O.C. is not performing well, which is not surprising - it's at 20h00 on Sunday nights, which is the exact time SABC1, and M-Net all show big movies.

In Week 2 The O.C. only managed an average of 694,700 viewers, which - compared to the 656,100 who tuned in to M-Net's movie King Kong - is not good at all. Remember - the M-Net movie is not in Open Time, whereas The O.C. is on a free-to-air channel.

We think it should swap out with Wednesday's game show The Hot Seat, which airs at 19h30. The Hot Seat's viewership figures aren't that hot anyway, but The O.C. could really benefit from that prime timeslot.
An hour before The Wire premiered on on Monday 8 January reality show Fear Factor South Africa also premiered (at 20h00), with 1,196,500 viewers and a 16% audience share.

Not bad for a first episode, although it's interesting that The Wire did better at 21h00. A number of TVSA readers said they forgot about the start of Fear Factor, but after tentatively positive reviews it will be interesting to see whether it grows or dies over the course of the series.

It's probably fair to say that the US version of Brit comedy The Office has not been a success for M-Net.

In Week 1 it only managed 135,100 viewer in its Tuesday 19h00 timeslot, and fared not much better in Week 2, with 154,400 viewers on average.

Consider that the lowly-rated sitcom Twenty Good Years was airing for the half-hour before The Office, and managed 212,300 viewers on average, at double the audience share.

Straight after The Office came Veronica Mars (250,900 viewers), followed by CSI: Miami with 443,900.

So clearly M-Net audiences either don't 'get' the show, or don't like it. Which is disappointing, from our perspective.

To find out how TVSA calculates the viewership figures, go here: The Primetime TV Viewing Figures Explained

For previous weeks, go here: Primetime TV Viewing Figures

For the full Week 2 listings, go here: Week 2: 8 - 14 January

Channels in this post:, SABC3


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