TV viewers’ most frustrating problem
CALL it a pile-up on the television highway which specialises in the genre of reality car-crash TV.
Bernard Tomic teetering on tanking and walking out after barely a night in the I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here jungle.
Manu Feildel and Pete Evans wrangling My Kitchen Rules' latest villains at a tense, spring-loaded dinner party as a bit of casual fat-shaming and barb-trading took precedence over food on the program menu.
And Married At First Sight's grand reality romance stunt parading as a earnest social experiment ushering in a dose of matrimonial misogyny and a "douchebag" groom's equally nightmarish best mate amid the hopeful hook-ups.
They were the main games across all three free-to-air commercial TV networks last night as channels Seven, Nine and Ten fired their big guns last night, leaving lovers of the reality TV genre lamenting they can't watch it all at once.
Some greedily channel surfed to get their fix.
Others opted to catch up later.
2.43am and FINALLY getting around to #MKR - please excuse my sloshed tweets! Guessing most Aussies are in bed?— Gidgit VonLaRue (@GidgitVonLaRue) 29 January 2018
PVRs and catch-up TV sites were working on over time as reality TV addicts tried to get their fix of everything, and also juggled taking to social media to vent about what they were missing.
Others voted to catch up via show recaps - like this one.
As viewers railed against the scheduling clashes, perennial ratings giant MKR drew first blood, wining the battle for live viewing eyeballs.
Its season nine debut episode served up 1.182 million (five city, metropolitan) viewers for Seven, to reign as number one show for the night.
Meanwhile, 912,000 viewers watched MAFS matrimonial match-ups and meltdowns live on Nine. It was MAFS biggest season premiere.
And as Tomic's antics upstaged even Anthony "The Man" Mundine's mischievous, calculated chauvinistic entry into the South African jungle, 858,000 viewers were tuning in.
Fact is, viewers can rail all they like about the clashes, but it's a reminder that TV networks are there not just to look after viewers, so don't expect the schedule clashes to change anytime soon.
While the ratings rank number one in their priorities, whether the networks admit it or not, it's also about bragging rights, and damaging each other.
If their big product can steal viewers away to damage a rival show, all the better.
And then of course, there's the reality TV haters - who just want it gone - but love the hashtags anyway.
It's a jungle out there.