As reported in the Telegraph yesterday, the ratings for the debut show of the new program, Richard and Judy’s New Position, was only 100,000 viewers. This is indeed a far cry from the 1.5 million viewers who tuned into Channel 4 to watch their farewell show in August.
Their latest chat show, Richard and Judy’s New Position, is broadcast on new UKTV channel Watch in an evening slot.
Little Britain star David Walliams and Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson were the first guests, but they failed to bring in the viewers.
In the same 8pm timeslot, BBC1’s Big Cat Live was watched by an audience of 4.8 million, while 4.3 million tuned in for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on ITV1.
I am one of the 1.5 million who watched the final show on Channel 4 but unfortunately not one of the 100,000 who watched the first show on Watch. The reason for that is simple and I think it’s the case for a lot of other people – I don’t have satellite or cable TV – so it would be impossible to watch Watch, even if I wanted to! I think this is a very bad move, and it’s exacerbated by the fact that where Watch is and what Watch is, has really been a bit unclear and not promoted well at all. Watch is of course not a new channel as such but a renamed channel. It used to be called UKTV Gold+1 but someone at UKTV has taken some kind of weird medication and renamed all their channels (who can forget Dave!) so now we have Watch, which probably no one can find, and Alibi which used to be so clearly defined as UKTV Drama *sigh*
What really concerns me most of all is that the show is the driving force behind the Book Club. If no one, or ok, “less people” are watching the show then does that follow that less people will be buying the books, and therefore less people will be reading (again). Maybe bookstores will come to the rescue with suitable promotion, and punters will see large R & J Book Club displays and flock to the cash registers anyway, but I worry that without being able to tune in and watch R & J and a host of celebs endorsing the books, people will lose that personal connection they believe they have and the book club will die a slow and painful death. That makes me very sad.