Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth dead on arrival

Comedian Ben Elton’s return to live television rated just 455,000 for Nine last night.

The debut of Live From Planet Earth is one of the bigger risks in Nine’s schedule for the start of the 2011 ratings season.

But the show was 22nd for the night and finished third in the timeslot, behind Seven’s Parenthood and Ten’s NCIS, and with just 1000 more viewers for Ben Elton than ABC1’s episode of QI, according to preliminary overnight ratings from OzTam.

A breakdown of Live From Planet Earth’s performance shows that after inheriting an average Top Gear Audience of nearly one million, viewers started fleeing immediately from a peak of 805,000.

The first 15 minutes saw the average audience fall to 633,000 – and 15 minutes later that had dropped by a dramatic 33% to 421,000. An average of just 296,000 stuck around for the final 15 minutes.


The British comedian and author – who has now settled in WA – was one of the driving forces behind the rise of alternative comedy in the 1980s. Elton’s TV writing credits includes Blackadder and The Young Ones. The show is being produced by Fremantle Media.

Meanwhile, the top end of Tuesday’s most-watched list had a familiar feel, with Seven’s Packed To The Rafters averaging a metro audience of 1.943m and My Kitchen Rules rating nearly 1.6m.

Ten’s series return of Talkin Bout Your Generation rated 831,000.

Tuesday’s top 15 shows:

  1. Packed to the Rafters Seven 1.943m
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1.551m
  3. Today Tonight Seven 1.190m
  4. Seven News Seven 1.153m
  5. NCIS – 9:30pm Ten 1.153m
  6. NCIS – 8:30pm Ten 1.058m
  7. Home and Away Seven 1.048m
  8. Nine News Nine 1.042m
  9. A Current Affair Nine 0.966m
  10. Top Gear Nine 0.939m
  11. The Big Bang Theory Nine 0.922m
  12. ABC News ABC 0.871m
  13. Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation Ten 0.831m
  14. Parenthood Seven 0.769m
  15. Ten News Ten 0.752m

Tuesday’s share:

  • Seven: 28.9%
  • Ten: 19.3%
  • Nine: 18.7%
  • ABC1: 9.3%
  • SBS1: 4.2%
  • GO!: 3.2%
  • 7TWO 3.1%
  • Eleven: 2.8%
  • Gem: 2.8%
  • 7mate: 2.7%
  • ABC2: 1.5%
  • SBS2: 1.2%
  • One: 0.8%
  • ABC3: 0.7%
  • ABC News 24: 0.6%


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