Seven's Cannonball misfires, sinks (almost) without trace

Seven has been forced to reposition its latest ratings weapon after Cannonball misfired badly on debut.

The new game show, which seems to be based on the fundamentally flawed premise that water theme parks are intrinsically hilarious, premiered at 7.30pm on Wednesday night to a decidedly soggy audience of just 513,000 viewers in the five mainland capital cities.

The show that aired immediately before it, Home & Away, was watched by 716,000 people, meaning just over 200,000 turned off just when Seven would have been hoping they would dive into this new, exciting and, well, empty-headed local version of a Dutch show.

That result dragged Seven's main-channel share of the metro free-to-air audience down to just 16.6 per cent on Wednesday night, well behind Nine's 23.1 per cent share.

The response was swift. The second episode had been scheduled to air at 7.30pm on Thursday night, but was instead quietly sent to the kiddie pool of late-night television, 10.45pm on Friday.

Two more episodes are slated for next week - again at 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday - but Seven's lifeguards have already ordered this troubled and troublesome production, which was first announced by Seven as "coming soon" back in April 2016, out of the water altogether.

Next week's episodes will be the last.

Does that mean Cannonball has sunk?

A spokesman for the network says not. "The show was always a four-episode run," he said.

Cannonball's brief volley isn't the only misfire Seven has had to endure lately. The high-profile Hell's Kitchen Australia, with Marco Pierre White teaching a team of second-string celebrities how to cook, was also a ratings and critical dud.

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This story Seven's Cannonball misfires, sinks (almost) without trace first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.