It was the week that TEN was in breach of subliminal ads (a ruling first leaked by TV Tonight), ACMA instructed Nine to sell part of its Darwin operation, two former premiers will now defend Pay TV v Free to Air battles, while two television gardeners faced off over the environment, a Footy Show comedian defended a school principal under fire, a musical about the media in Beaconsfield was branded as tasteless, a former Idol died in tragic circumstances, Perth’s Telethon broke its own record, SBS lost a top Drama Executive, Kath and Kim launched in the US and Anna Coren was shown the door by Seven.
Seven again won with a 30.7% share over Nine’s 25.9% and TEN’s 19.5%. The ABC had 18.7% and SBS 5.2%.
Seven won in all cities, although Nine had the #1 show with 2.05m viewers for the NRL Grand Final.
Packed to the Rafters was again Seven’s top show with 1.97m viewers, which together with RSPCA Animal Rescue, Find my Family and All Saints again gave the network an unassailable Tuesday night. Monday was equally powerful with Border Security, The Force and City Homicide. Wednesday continued the good fortune with Criminal Minds and Medical Emergency. Better Homes and Gardens clinched it for Friday. Elsewhere, Seven News, Today Tonight and Home and Away all performed. Against the NRL, Seven rested Dancing with the Stars. Anna Coren’s final TT scored 1.25m, a regular figure for the show. The disappointment for Seven was the return of Heroes and Prison Break. Two once-glorious series landed disappointing figures of 878,000 and 378,000 at best. On a night when the top show could only manage 1.29m viewers –less than Friday’s best show– it suggests audiences are unhappy with what’s on offer. Out of the Question took 468,000 upon 437,000 in Week 40.
As expected Nine found glory with the NRL Grand Final, helping it to win Sunday and launch The Mentalist. Along with 60 Minutes it was a good result, even if the shift to a 5pm match did drag shares down. Normally a week with the NRL would equate to a weekly win for Nine, but it was not to be. Two and a Half Men was its only other star performer, on Wednesday on Monday in particular. Nine should be concerned that a new episode of the sitcom landed under the 1m mark on Tuesday night, even Bert Newton’s clip show bettered that. Will Charlie Sheen go the way of Gordon Ramsay? Also notching up a figure of less than 1m was Nine News on Friday night. Fringe was fourth in its timeslot while shifting Wipeout and Hole in the Wall to Fridays has not addressed the lowly Friday figures.
TEN’s week improved by a paltry .4% from its lousy Week 40, and still finished behind the 20% barrier. At least it beat the ABC. As it seeks to rebuild some of its schedule, audiences continue to demonstrate they are unhappy with shows dropping from view. Its best performer was NCIS with 1.29m viewers and Australian Idol’s 1.21m. It’s worth mentioning that without Doctor Who and Dancing with the Stars the show only improved around 10,000 for Abba night. Seems only a name of the likes of Cyndi Lauper will lift these semi-finals. Law and Order: CI also passed the 1m mark with 1.02m. Old favourites did not attract stellar figures: House 858,000, new Simpsons 823,000, Supernatural 777,000, Jamie Oliver 764,000, America’s Next Top Model 659,000 and Californication 501,000. Rush’s 833,000 is battling against the local drama of All Saints despite good word of mouth.
A peek behind the scenes of Spicks and Specks was ABC’s best with 1.34m viewers. It was joined by triumphs from Midsomer Murders, ABC News, Australian Story, 7:30 Report, Taggart, The New Inventors, Two in the Top End, The Bill, Catalyst and Life at 3. The final episode of The Hollowmen took 931,000 –a consistent figure suggesting the ABC should pursue a third series should Working Dog’s arm so be twisted.
Top Gear Australia shed around a third of its audience in the second week, down to 674,000 amid audience criticism the hosts are emulating the British presenters. Bogan Pride took a humble 376,000 but was the best return for the timeslot this year and up on South Park’s 367,000.