Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods

Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods.

In days gone by, if a show couldn't attract ratings, it was bumped indefinitely, never to be seen again. Now, with multichannels aplenty, networks are able to send under-performers off Broadway and try again. But Channel Ten doesn't have that luxury.

The woes of the network are well documented: flagging ratings mean fewer eyeballs on advertisements, which are, after all, what keep the networks afloat. Outside of a select few programs, Ten struggles to attract an audience and, this year, has only just pulled ahead of the ABC in the annual ratings race.

This means some shows afflict the schedules far longer than networks, and even audiences, would prefer. Case in point: Blue Bloods (Ten, 9.30pm).

Having begun its fourth season in the US, this police drama starring Tom Selleck (pictured) as police commissioner Frank Reagan has sunk on Ten. And when I say sunk, I mean really sunk. In the most recently available ratings - for the last Monday of the year's ratings period on November 25 - the show attracted just 262,000 viewers. By comparison, the ABC's Q&A nearly doubled that number in the same timeslot.

So Ten's cupboard is seemingly bare, even in summer, otherwise something else would air. If Blue Bloods aired on Channel Seven or Channel Nine, it would have been shunted off to 7mate or GEM before you could blink. But, with nothing else to offer outside of Big Bash cricket until the Winter Olympics in February, it could well be a long summer on Ten.

In Ten's defence, Blue Bloods is at least premium content, although what good is premium content if no one is watching?

There will most likely be a large audience for World's Scariest Holidays (Nine, 7.30pm), which promises to be a great choice in programming before Christmas, when many Australians are about to set off for a trip.

How exciting: we get a ringside seat for terrifying moments when Mother Nature strikes and technical problems afflict travellers. Fingers crossed the airlines hold up this week, otherwise there could be a local follow-up to this British documentary. Its sequel airs next Monday and continues in the world's worst/scariest theme with World's Craziest Weddings.

Seven, meanwhile, has finally ended its nightly summer series of Better Homes and Gardens but, in its place, we have that other program beloved of travellers: Border Security (7pm). This fly-on-the-wall series has been labelled racist but I bet any overseas series has examples of dumb Australian travellers on its editions. Tonight we watch a couple bust up when a woman denies she has a relationship with her husband. 'Tis the season to be jolly.

Twitter: @adrianlowe