It was the week that Seven and Nine argued over Karl Stefanovic, Grant Hackett signed with Channel Nine, ASTRA again attacked the anti-siphoning rule –prompting an hilarious “bored rigid” response from Seven, Nine denied a takeover of its Darwin affiliate by Imparja, Grant Denyer landed in hospital, a former Idol was assaulted, WIN trimmed its Queensland newsrooms, SBS said sponsors wouldn’t affect its editorial on Top Gear Australia and networks and advertisers all held their breath as the US financial market went into meltdown.
And unsurprisingly it was another win by Seven -we’re all bored by lack of competition.
It finished the week with a 28.8% win over Nine’s 27.2% and TEN’s 20.5%. The ABC had 18.4% and SBS 5.2%. Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth while Nine won Sydney and Brisbane.
The local industry will be heartened by the fact that the two top shows in Australia last week were local dramas: Packed to the Rafters (1.89m) and City Homicide (1.85m) led the way for Seven helping the network to whopping nightly wins over their rivals. Factual shows continue to win for Seven including Border Security, Find my Family, RSPCA Animal Rescue, The Force, Medical Emergency, Crash Investigation Unit while Criminal Minds, Seven News, Today Tonight, Bones, Home and Away and All Saints scored. But Dancing with the Stars hit an all time low, struggling in a competitive timeslot and lacking any AFL traction. Has a conscious effort to put the “juve” in rejuvenate” also misfired with older viewers? Seven’s other Sunday shows including The Outdoor Room, Outback Wildlife Rescue and Private Practice all lost their timeslots. Thursdays remain a soft night for Seven with Make Me a Supermodel now dependent on controversy to attract interest and the lightweight Ghost Whisperer –but against poor competition Seven still finished a healthy second.
AFL’s absence on Sunday was NRL’s gain. 60 Minutes touched down with a strong 1.71m and a convincing Sunday win. National Nine News (Sunday) hasn’t enjoyed figures of 1.63m for some time, and Battlefronts premiered to 1.28m over old stablemate Jamie Durie. From there it was slim pickings in terms of other hits: a 2 minute “sneak peek” of Fringe (1.41m) and Two and Half Men’s 1.37m were the only other titles to pass 1.3m. Bringing up the rear were A Current Affair, Funniest Home Videos, Wipeout and Nine News. In its third week The Strip is sitting at a disappointing 1m viewers, it won’t even air in AFL states this week. Underbelly whacked Seven in its hometown Melbourne on Sunday with 584,000 viewers –a good result given it had been leaked far and wide. But dropping to 429,000 by Tuesday was a concern, beaten by Packed to the Rafters. The marketing push for Fringe wasn’t exactly matched by the 935,000 who turned up and Nine is desperately assisting it with several repeats. And how is it possible a fasttracked Gordon Ramsay can be allowed to attract just 567,000 viewers? Not a dreadful figure for a 10pm start but surely a wasted opportunity? Nine’s Monday night movie Something’s Gotta Give (733,000) seemed to sum up the week.
The NCIS season finale was TEN’s best for the week (1.26m), just edging ahead of Australian Idol (1.22m). Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader (1.11m) won its timeslot, while TEN’s other performers were a repeat of Thank God You’re Here, Kenny’s World, Law & Order: CI and AFL. There was good news for Rush which improved from the previous week, with 1.01m a good figure for TEN at 9:30pm. Bondi Rescue: Bali however isn’t matching the interest of its local edition at 737,000 viewers. 90210 held most of its first week audience at 816,000 but can’t compete against City Homicide (TEN was fourth behind the ABC on Monday). Bumping Taken Out to 6pm was a smart move by the network, as it dropped to 465,000 viewers. This week the show brings in 30 single guys. TEN will doubtless be looking at how it tracks by mid-week to face tough decisions.
Spicks and Specks was again ABC’s top show at 1.25m, just ahead of Midsomer Murders (1.23m) –probably losing some viewers in Melbourne to Underbelly. Once again Doctor Who delivered with another 1.16m viewers. Elsewhere Australian Story, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, Catalyst, ABC News, The 7:30 Report, The Hollowmen, Wire in the Blood and The Bill all performed. Very Small Business is holding its audience, with 743,000 viewers.
Top Gear’s impressive 909,000 viewers again shows that in a week’s time the local version should be a force to be reckoned with. New Mythbusters on a Saturday at just 368,000 is wasted and could probably upset the commercials if it was put into a weeknight timeslot.
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