Last night's season premiere of The Almighty Johnsons started with a whiz and a bang, but the Johnson lads were unable to bring in the crowds to watch their godly antics.
The show only brought in 137,800 viewers aged 5+ in the 8:30pm to 9:30pm timeslot on TV3, according to Nielsen Overnights (via Throng).
The show was beaten by comedies Miranda and Mrs Browns Boys on TV One, fellow fantasy drama Once Upon a Time on TV2 and only marginally did better than The Animal Files on Prime for its first half hour.
The Almighty Johnsons (TV3 8:30pm - 9:30pm): 137,800
Miranda (TV One 8:30pm - 9:10pm): 439,000
Mrs Brown's Boys (TV One 9:10pm - 9:45pm): 508,700
The Animal Files (Prime 8:30pm - 9:00pm): 123,600
Storage Wars Texas (Prime 9:00pm - 9:30pm): 101,800
The latest season premiere also paled in comparison to its initial launch in early 2011, which had an incredible response bringing in 334,500 viewers. Even in its first season The Almighty Johnsons experienced significant audience decline, signing off the 2011 season with around 100,000 fewer viewers than when it started.
TV3 canceled the show last year and in an interview with The New Zealand Herald – series co-creator James Griffin said attempts to wrap up the storyline with a third season were initially turned down by MediaWorks. The show was eventually brought back from death with a spurious fan campaign lead by Stuff TV blogger Chris Philpott, which included fans from New Zealand and overseas mailing in twigs (representing the Tree of Life in the show) to TV3's programming department.
Today on Twitter, Chris Philpott expressed his disbelief at the show's ratings.
What the hell is wrong with people that they'd rather watch a repeat of a terrible comedy than an internationally acclaimed local show?— Chris Philpott (@chrisphilpottnz) July 4, 2013