David Gyngell spent the week seeking counsel on changes for the Nine Network. Perhaps he should ask the NRL to have Sunday night football every week, it was Nine’s most popular show all year. Despite starting the week some 17% points ahead of Seven its lead was whittled away by the regular tentpole programming of its rival.
Seven won Week 40 with 30.5% over Nine’s 26.7%, TEN’s 20.8%, the ABC’s 16.7% and SBS’ 5.2%.
Without Kath & Kim, Border Security was again Seven’s most popular show, passing the 2m mark. In a week in which it dominated the Top 20 (with 13 placeholders), its other big shows were The Force, Dancing with the Stars, City Homicide, Bionic Woman, RSPCA Animal Rescue, Seven News, Better Homes and Gardens, Today Tonight, Home and Away and Medical Emergency. The premiere of Bionic Woman was Thursday’s #1 show with 1.59m viewers. Heroes did ok with 1.2m but has its work cut out for it this series if those are its starting figures. An appearance by Kath and Kel helped DWTS lift in its second week after equalling its lowest premiere the previous week. Seven’s decision not to compete with the NRL Rugby Final was a wise move, it was obliterated by Nine that night, but then kicked back with touchdowns throughout the week.
The 2007 Rugby League Final became Nine’s strongest show all year, with around 2.4m viewers. Aside from the Grand Final Entertainment and Sundays News, Nine had no other shows in the week’s top 20. No wonder David Gyngell is wasting no time talking to staff and making quick changes to the planned programming of nightly Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The only other shows to pass the 1.2m mark on Nine were RPA and Sea Patrol’s finale. Almost everywhere else in the primetime schedule it trailed behind Seven, and sometimes the ABC, dismally. Gyngell’s changes to Mondays prove he is not afraid to make big, bold decisions, and the choice to continue Temptation is equally wise. Five nights of Eddie McGuire is four too many. Nine has also failed to launch RFDS: Royal Flying Doctor Service with any confidence. The show is well-made and should work given the right support. Following the fumbling of The Code this is the second time the network has missed a genuine opportunity this year.
Thank God You’re House is what TEN must be thinking. Australia clearly loves the show, now in its fourth season. This week it beat ABC’s strong comedy line-up, as the network’s top performer of the week, and its sole entry into the week’s Top 20. Equally encouraging was seeing Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader essentially hold onto its audience. Everywhere else in the schedule was routine, causing the network to go backwards: So You think You Can Dance, NCIS, The Simpsons. Against the Rugby League this week was down, and Australian Idol was down, as was Rove. The premiere of the ciritically acclaimed Life couldn’t hold the lead-in of House yet.
The ABC had some impressive wins again this week, including three entries in the Top 20, equal to Nine and ahead of TEN. ABC News topped Channel Nine’s on Thursday night, despite the latter being only 1,000 apart from Seven in both Sydney and Melbourne. The Chaser was again its biggest audience, and New Tricks, Spicks and Specks, Summer Heights High and Wire in the Blood were all strong.
SBS again loved its Mondays.
Week 40 Ratings.