An open letter to The Crowd Goes Wild

01:08, Nov 02 2010

To the team at The Crowd Goes Wild,

I'm not sure if I should be writing this open letter to you guys or if it should be addressed to the brains-trust at Prime TV and Sky, since they are behind the decision to move your show from its regular 7pm slot to the new time of 10.30pm ... or 10.40pm ... or 10.50pm, depending what is on before you.

Regardless, I wanted to pass on my condolences. Your move to a later slot has signalled the beginning of the end for your show since the ratings will slip even further, and you'll eventually be cancelled. It's tragic.

The Crowd Goes Wild needs to be on at 7pm, it's that simple. So what if it was coming last in the ratings behind current affairs stalwarts Close Up and Campbell Live, hospital drama Shortland Street, and repeats of Family Guy?!

TCGW is the most entertaining show of the bunch, and the decision to move to late night is as devastating as Stephen Donald's failure to kick for touch in the 79th minute of the weekend's Bledisloe Cup match in Hong Kong.

Let's be honest: you were never going to drag away the Shortland Street crowd. For a start, those people are far too loyal. Also, to watch Shortland Street I'm pretty sure you have to turn your brain right off and enter a vegetative state. Like Shane Cameron fighting David Tua a few months back. I'm not sure any of those viewers would be capable of operating the remote and switching over to you after three minutes of Shorty.

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You were never going to compete with the 7pm offerings on One and TV3 either - people watch those shows without even thinking about it. The best you could hope to do is be a backup. Let people check out what Sainsbury and Campbell have to say, and then switch over to you after a minute or two.

There's no shame in second place. New Zealand's medal haul at the Commonwealth Games taught us that.

You see, the problem at 10.30pm - or 10.40pm, or 10.50pm, depending what's on before you - is that it is far too late for your kind of show. Kiwis are an "early to bed, early to rise" bunch, so you'll completely miss out on the action from a ratings standpoint. It is a work night, after all.

Younger viewers who love your show - like my nine-year-old daughter, who likes to yell "Smashed 'em bro!" every time she sees a game of rugby on the telly - have gone to bed hours earlier too.

Even if people are awake, they're probably fast-forwarding through the adverts on their recording of Outrageous Fortune by the time you hit the airwaves. Aside from Nightline, late-night television has been a disaster zone for years. Viewers have become used to having nothing on, so they're unlikely to flick around and see if anything new has arrived.

So please, I'm begging you: come back to 7pm.

Don't leave me here alone with Sainsbury. We want Mark and Andrew bickering live on air. We want odd reports from James McOnie and blasé voiceovers from Paul Moor. We want coverage of weird sporting events like the Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling Race. We want Melodie Robinson to break down the weekend's rugby. We want "Smashed 'em bro!" to ring out from our television sets, a wakeup call to kick off an action-packed Friday evening.

Though we could probably take or leave Hayley Holt, to be honest.

So give me Andrew Mulligan and Mark Richardson working their way through the day's sports news. Give me McOnie, Moor, Robinson and the rest. Give me segments like One Game at a Time and Hits and Misses. Just give it to me at 7pm, like you once did.

Come back, please. I miss you.

Yours sadly,
Chris Philpott

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Are you as sad as I am about The Crowd Goes Wild's departure from 7pm? Or do you think it deserves to be off the TV entirely? Post your messages of support/thoughts about the show below.

Plus, if you feel really strongly, feel free to sign the CGW to 7pm petition - find it online here.

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