American network chiefs fail in their ratings task... | Dumping Taskmaster didn't boost the CW's audience

American network chiefs fail in their ratings task...

Dumping Taskmaster didn't boost the CW's audience

comedyThe American network executives’ decision to axe Taskmaster after just one episode has had almost zero effect on their ratings.

Last week, the CW channel launched what should have been a two-series run of the British original.

But despite widespread critical acclaim, Alex Horne’s format could muster just over 200,000  viewers, a poor figure for the broadcaster.

Panicked TV chiefs immediately decided to pull the plug, replacing the show in its Sunday night slot with a rerun of fantasy series Supernatural. But the repeat scored the same percentage of the total TV audience, representing 253,000 viewers.

The CW started with series 8, in which  Iain StirlingJoe ThomasLou SandersPaul Sinha and Sian Gibson were set bizarre challenges by Greg Davies. All those episodes have now been placed on its ad-supported streaming service CWSeed. 

The CW  had also snapped up the rights to series 9, which have not yet been released.

Two years ago, an American remake failed to make much of an impact, with Reggie Watts on the Taskmaster throne and contestants Lisa Lampanelli, Freddie Highmore, Ron Funches, Dillon Francis, and Kate Berlant. That show ran for just one series on Comedy Central.

But Taskmaster has been sold to 106 countries, either as original episodes, or as format rights to remake local versions in Belgium, Spain, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and  Sweden.

Published: 12 Aug 2020

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