Sam Worthington in Deadline Gallipoli.
Despite massive promotion and widespread critical acclaim, the premiere of Deadline Gallipoli didn’t draw a big audience on Foxtel but the figures for the full week will be a far more accurate measurement.
The 8.30 pm Sunday screening on showcase had 71,000 viewers in the five metropolitan capitals, according to OzTam.
The WW1 drama produced by Matchbox Pictures and Sam Worthington and John Schwarz’s Full Clip ranked just outside the top 20 shows on pay-TV, behind multiple episodes of The Simpsons.
However the producers and Foxtel rate the opening as a solid number and are confident the overall figures will build through the week with time-shifting and catch–up viewing.
“Deadline Gallipoli is one of the finest drama series that Australia has ever produced," Matchbox Pictures MD Chris Oliver-Taylor tells IF. "It showcases a defining moment in Australia’s modern history.
"The overnight numbers are a solid start to what we hope are a strong week for Foxtel audiences. We will get a sense of the impact of this wonderful series once we see catch up, + 2 and cumulative viewing.”
The stellar cast is led by Worthington, Hugh Dancy, Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Ewen Leslie, Anna Torv, Jessica de Gouw and newcomer Joel Jackson.
The two-part miniseries follows the four Australian war correspondents who were sent to cover the Gallipoli campaign, igniting a change in the course of the campaign.
It's directed by Michael Rymer (Hannibal, Battlestar Galactica) and written by Jacquelin Perske, Shaun Grant, Stuart Beattie and Cate Shortland.
The mediocre ratings for Endemol Australia’s Gallipoli on the Nine Network may have suggested viewers are not as engrossed by the Gallipoli re-enactments as networks had anticipated.
Yet Mago Films’ docu-drama Australia's Great War Horse drew 630,000 viewers in the five metros on the ABC on Sunday night. Directed by Russell Vines and narrated by William McInnes, the film recounted the story of the 130,000 horses that served Australian troops in the Middle East during the conflict.
It was a hotly competitive night among the free-to-air networks with My Kitchen Rules dominating, pulling in 1.36 million viewers in the capitals and 1.9 million nationally.
At 8.30 pm, 60 Minutes was No. 1 with 1.18 million in the metros, followed by Sunday Night (674,000) and ABC’s Poldark (595,000).