Have You Been Paying Attention (double take edition)

Working Dog’s much-loved (by us) comedy game show Have You Been Paying Attention? (or HYBPA) tried something a little different last night: they went to air at the usual time (6pm) with the usual episode, then at 10.30pm they ran an extended “after dark” version that was around ten minutes longer. Has society gone mad?

Well, we’re calling it an “after dark” edition, but from what we could tell it didn’t seem all that much bluer (cue people in the comments pointing out insanely offensive stuff that sailed right on by us). It did seem to have a bit more piss-farting around than usual – we missed part of the early episode and so were unable to do a side-by-side comparison, plus there’s only so much Kate Langbroek we can take in one five-hour period – but again, there was nothing going on that really stood out as a): something that had to go to air that was b): something that couldn’t have gone to air at 6pm.

So what’s the story here? It seems like it was something of an experiment to see if it’s worth putting together two slightly different versions of the same show for vastly different timeslots. Considering (from what we know about ratings) every airing of a show across one week adds towards the total ratings for that show for the week, if they can get the same people to watch one episode twice that counts as two separate groups of people ratings-wise. Unless they’ve changed things from the time the ABC was showing episodes of Randling three times a week to try and get that show’s ratings into triple figures.

Not that we’re complaining here: we like HYBPA so we’re on board with whatever ratings boosting tricks they’re up to. More importantly, with its focus on (maybe scripted, maybe not) scattin’ and riffin’, it’s the kind of show that naturally lends itself to an “after dark” edition. Whether it proves feasible or worthwhile to create two different edits remains the question here: if all that’s added is a bit more piss-farting around it might not be worth the bother, and presumably they wouldn’t want to encourage the guests to crack too many blue gags considering they still have to produce a version suitable for the family-friendly 6pm Sunday slot.

But if it does work, we could have two reasonably different versions of the same decent (again, in our book) comedy game show out there. Which, so long as there’s enough that’s different to make tuning in twice worthwhile, actually would be worthwhile. Australian television is always looking for ways to get more for less out of their comedy buck; for once they may have come up with a way that isn’t complete arse.

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  • Billy C says:

    I don’t get your ratings argument. Ads aren’t sold over multiple airings of the one show.
    A network might publish a shows total ratings over multiple airings, but that’s only to try and prove it’s not a flop or boost the audience for future eps. So if Secrets and Lies flops or Angry Boys, then come out and say “look we’ve repeated it and put it online and lots of people have watched it cumulatively.” It’s really just to save face. They could very well have put something else on at those times that rated higher.

    I would suspect you are right that they are trying to see if the show could work as more of a late night show, or trying to make it more valuable to the network by giving them two shows for the one price. Seem ridiculous to play them on the same night. Q.I does and extended version in the U.K. HYBPA only rated 195k so on any other network it would be taken out and shot, but I suspect 10 are so desperate they’ll keep it. It’s certainly better than most of their stuff. Thanks for the heads up, I will try and remember to watch it now True Detective is finished

    Incidentally Ja’mie got bumped to a different night by BBC3. So they were right not to co-pro it.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    “A network might publish a shows total ratings over multiple airings, but that’s only to try and prove it’s not a flop or boost the audience for future eps.”

    Our point exactly. It’s about boosting the overall ratings figure to make the show look like more of a success than it would otherwise be. Of course, in this case it could also work to boost actual ratings – with the show at 6pm working as an advertisement for the “uncut” 10.30pm version.

  • saucy gibbon says:

    It’s common to do in the UK with any popular panel show to air a longer unedited episode as well as the half an hour or 20 minute one. Perhaps a scheme to increase brand coverage if you have a popular format?