When it comes to the big hits of 2018, reality TV has never done better, with shows like Married At First Sight and The Bachelor pulling in the big numbers.
But 2018 was also a year when the TV networks took risks with new shows that backfired spectacularly, with one channel now holding the record for lowest reality TV debut ever.
Here’s a look back at TV’s biggest flops this year.
THE FOOTY SHOW
In a move that proved fatal for the NRL show, this year’s Footy Show returned to Channel 9 in 2018 with Erin Molan replacing beloved the Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin as host.
It was a decision that the show never recovered from and saw viewers tune out in droves, with ratings dropping to less than 180,000 viewers in Sydney and Brisbane.
In October, Nine confirmed the show would not be returning in 2019 — a move that came as no surprise to TV insiders.
If Single Wives draws a blank in your memory then you’d be in the majority — the Channel 7 show’s premiere in July drew the lowest ratings ever for a reality TV debut.
Not even the star power of Fifi Box as host or British dating expert Matthew Hussey could save the show, which premiered to just 375,000 metro viewers.
The show followed four women looking for love after previous failed relationships for three, and one whose husband had died in a motorcycle accident.
After its initial debut, things went from bad to worse for the show, with ratings continuing to slide before it was moved to a later timeslot.
BACK WITH THE EX
Unlike Ten and Nine, Channel 7 didn’t have much luck with the dating shows this year, with Back With The Ex lasting just one episode before it was pulled.
The show, which debuted in April and focused on couples giving their relationship one last shot, was quietly moved to Seven’s streaming service after a lacklustre premiere to just 449,000 viewers in April.
Developed as an alternative to Channel 9 ratings giant Ninja Warrior, Australian Spartan — which was accused of copying its rival — failed to resonate with viewers.
Despite a full-scale marketing plan and star host Edwina Bartholomew, Spartan debuted in February to just 816,000 viewers, while rival Married At First Sight had an audience of 1.53 million.
FAMILY FOOD FIGHT
The second season of Nine’s family-friendly cooking show failed to build on its debut last year, with its final episode down 147,000 from the year before.
With episodes reaching a high of just 456,000 viewers, the show was cut down from three to two episodes a week.
Nine’s head of content Adrian Swift told TV Tonight he was “disappointed” in the show’s performance and its future was undecided.
“We haven’t made a decision yet, but we’d have to be reviewing it. Let’s be serious,” he said.
“I think you would have to say, based on the numbers, it is one of those things we would think about.”
Despite being the most talked about breakfast show, Today’s ratings plummeted this year, and the speculation over Karl Stefanovic’s future as host came to a head last week when he was officially dumped from the show.
Through the year, rival Sunrise easily beat the Nine breakfast show, averaging 454,000 national viewers while Today managed just 347,000.
The embarrassing “Ubergate” scandal, where details of an explosive speakerphone call between the Stefanovic brothers Karl and Peter airing their grievances was leaked to New Idea, sealed the brothers’ fate, with Peter dumped from Nine and Karl removed from Today, leaving him with hosting duties on his remaining show This Time Next Year.
Stefanovic’s dumping from the co-host chair is just part of a bigger shake-up for the show which is “clearing the decks” in a bid to reclaim the ratings.
Not even Dannii Minogue could save Dance Boss from being named the “worst show on TV” when it premiered in August.
The Channel 7 ratings flop, of which Minogue was host and executive producer, saw groups of amateur dancers competing for a $100,000.
After debuting to just 599,000 viewers — compared to The Block’s 1.135 million — Dance Boss’ ratings continued to drop before it bowed out with a double episode finale which drew just 246,000 viewers for the winner announcement.