August 28, 2007

Ad scheduling in Californication

Posted in Network Ten at 5:42 pm by Give Me The Remote

Thanks to the mounds of press this new Californication show has been receiving, I was intrigued as to see what this show was actually like.

General impressions were that it wasn’t really that bad, although I can definitely understand where the show’s title has come from. I think Mr Duchovny bedroom smells like of 5 different kinds of perfume.

David Duchovny & Natascha McElhone in Californication

But the thing that intrigued me the most about this program, was the obvious fact that channel ten are riding a lot on the success of this program. Ten treated the show very much like a movie in its scheduling of advertisement breaks.

I quickly sketched up a little time chart showing where the ad breaks were located throughout the show. The actual program segments are coloured in red, whilst the ad breaks are the little black wedges (the show had a duration of 40 minutes).

Californication Ad Spread

As you can see, the first three ad breaks were only just over a minute (85, 80 and 75 seconds respectively), whereas the last break went for 4 minutes. Such unevenly thought out ad breaks really shouts out that the network was doing everything it could to keep viewers watching this one.


All’s said and done it didn’t rate terrifically well compared to its rivals (just under a million nationally), however it has been thrust into a difficult timeslot up against City Homicide. 

I wonder if they’ll do the same next week.



  1. Laura said,


    You didn’t happen to keep track of which adverts ran at those ad breaks or if the show was ‘brought to you by’ /sponsorship and how many of the slots that sponsor took up. Also how many different adverts and advertisers all up so I can calculate the frequency of repetition of message.

    Appreciate any help you can give.



  2. givemetheremote said,

    Yeah i’ve still got the episode on tape.. (also, i’m in melbourne)

    First break:
    News update brought to you by Macleans
    News update
    The Office Promo
    VISA holiday comp
    Program brought to you by holeproof socks (with copper technology)

    Second break:
    Numb3rs promo
    Holden utes
    Bourne Ultimatum
    Man cans cinema – cadbury-schweppes viral (possibly solo)

    Third break:
    ten back in 60 secs
    Pitos snacks
    So you can think you can dance promo

    Fourth break ( the big’un):
    The office promo
    Australian idol promo
    Davenport underwear
    Mitsubishi Pajero
    The Cage
    Volkswagen Passat
    Kayser (nude)
    House promo
    Program brought to you by Holeproof socks

  3. Mitch said,

    Dear Australian Christian Lobby,

    I am a 23-year old Australian living in China, and even a continent away I have heard about the recent controversy involving Californication.

    As a result, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I watched the first episode; and to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. But the sex, drugs and violence played no part in forming my opinion—I was more concerned with the plot and character development, which were satisfactory but not outstanding.

    It is true, the show deals with sex, drugs and violence: things found everywhere—film, television, music and even in our homes. Condemning them does not make them go away.

    Recently ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said: “We live in community, not in isolation.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Australians live in a democratic community which encourages freedom of expression and opinion. Australians also live in communities that have sex, drugs, violence and crime—ignoring these problems doesn’t make them any less real. In fact, ignoring them allows them to become worse. By drawing our attention to these problems, this show allows us to talk about them and share our thoughts so we can solve, and understand such problems. It also allows members of society to express where they stand on such issues—as you have so clearly done.

    Mr. Wallace is correct, “we live in community, not in isolation.” Living in isolation would involve dictating what could and could-not be shown on television, and who should and should-not advertise at a certain time, and we wouldn’t want that would we?

    ACL spokeswoman Glynic Quinlan said: “We have 64 per cent of Australians identify themselves as Christian, and yet you have a program like this that is trying to mock them or insult them.

    “Australians love a joke and there’s nothing wrong with that, but that doesn’t mean you should take it to the point of demeaning situations and trying to ridicule people’s faith.

    “Where is the humour in that?”

    I don’t think anyone was laughing at you faith. In fact, even in the scene which specifically involved religion it was not humorous at all and I doubt it was intended to be. I viewed this scene as an insight into the character’s personality and, as was later shown in the program (if you watched it), it was a reflection of the character’s personal commitment problems.

    To be honest, in all your outrage you have drawn more attention to the show you claim to hate.

    We are not all Christian, in fact, as Ms. Quinlan said, only 64 percent of Australians IDENTIFY themselves as Christians. How many are actually practicing Christians? I know personally I IDENTIFY myself as a Christian on paper, because of my family heritage, but do not necessarily believe or follow the Christian ways—and I know many Australians in the same boat. Therefore, as the viewers and producers of the show may not be Christian they do not see it as offensive and had saw no connection to Christian faith whatsoever.

    I am sorry if you found it offensive, but perhaps you should try to view it in a broader sense and not strictly from a religious perspective. Just because it may unintentionally offend one particular group of society does not make it demeaning. Shouldn’t we be encouraged to explore social issues instead of ignoring them? And what better way to explore them then to see them in a real way. There are many cultures in our society, and not all share your views. Muslim cultures find it offensive to gesture with the left hand or to point using the index finger—should we outlaw that on television too?

    Mitchell Kelly

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