With just two weeks to go until The Bachelor’s Zac Franich makes his final decision, ratings show Kiwis are less enamored with the reality series than previous seasons.
This year has seen an average audience 108,000 viewers aged 25-54 tune in to the series, compared to 161,000 last year. That’s a decline of 33 per cent.
Last month, the series reached a new low when just 66,000 viewers (aged 25-54) tuned into the April 17 episode. Last year, even the lowest rating episode saw 115,000 viewers tune in.
In a statement, MediaWorks told Spy: “There’s no denying that season three of The Bachelor New Zealand’s TV ratings have been a bit soft but we are still pleased with how it’s going.”
Last week saw some positive growth for season three, pulling its biggest audience to date - 138,000 viewers aged 25-54 - but that’s still a long way off last year’s high of 236,000 viewers.
So what’s changed?
With a new host, new Bachelor and new cast of ladies, season three has failed to recreate the drama and intrigue of the first two seasons.
When asked if MediaWorks is happy with the current cast, a spokesperson said: “We are delighted with the bachelorettes that have been cast this season. They have all proven to be open to being in a relationship and finding love, and Zac has made some real connections. The range of ages of the applicants is irrelevant.”
Likewise, when asked about new host Dominic Bowden, who replaced Mike Puru, they said: “Dominic Bowden has been an asset to season three of The Bachelor New Zealand.”
So just what will it take to reignite New Zealand’s romance with the franchise? Fans have repeatedly said they want to see a Kiwi version of The Bachelorette, leaving the blokes scrapping for one woman’s affection.
MediaWorks won’t say if that’s on the table, instead telling us to “stay tuned”.