Outrageous Fortune goes out in blaze of ratings glory

More than 700,000 New Zealanders tuned in to say their final farewell to Outrageous Fortune—and to the much loved West family—last night, with TV3 nabbing a 51.5 percent share in 18-49 demographic and a 24.8 rating for the last ever episode of what was New Zealand’s favourite drama.

The last show also won the slot in the 18-39 demographic, with a 27.5 rating and a 58.3 percent share. And in 25-54 demographic, TV3’s new frontier and TV One’s traditional ratings target, the show had a 24.3 rating and a 48.3 percent share.

“I am very, very sad that the show has finished, but extremely proud of everything about it,” Kelly Martin, TV3’s director of programming, says.

The show, which followed the Wests, a one-family crime wave with a proud tradition in thievery, larceny and petty crime, hit New Zealand screens six years ago. At the beginning of the first season West family matriarch Cheryl West (portrayed by award-winning actress—and more recently, not very well-liked spokesperson for the actors who almost derailed the Hobbit—Robyn Malcolm) decided that enough was enough and the family cleaned up their act and went straight.

“We are all sad to see the end of six years of fabulous television, but Outrageous will be remembered for the wonderful bond it created with the New Zealand audience,” says John Barnett, South Pacific Pictures chief executive. “We are extremely proud to have made this series.”

It will certainly leave a big hole in TV3’s schedule. And not surprisingly, there was quite a long promo for its replacement at the end of the episode. It’s another production from South Pacific that, in typical Kiwi style, features plenty of Outrageous actors, called The Almighty Johnsons. But, strangely, despite a good couple of minutes spent showing it off, it was still difficult to figure out exactly what the show (which was perhaps slightly prematurely called ‘the next big television phenomenon”) was all about. Thankfully, the internet exists. And it turns out it’s based on four brothers who have inherited the powers of Norse Gods. Hmmm.

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