Are we there yet?

It was the week that everybody said they had new toys to unwrap, TEN declared the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Aussie producers gathered on the Gold Coast for their annual gab-fest just as Nine decided not to revisit the only drama set there, TiVo dumped one of its key partners, the last original member of Hi-5 chose to retire, the axe fell on several shows in the US, network programmers tried to defend late amendments, Seven apologised for comments made by one of its stars, Nine was revealed as wanting “no pubic hair” in Underbelly 2, Pay TV told the government to hurry up with its anti-siphoning list review and Tracy Grimshaw said ACA should re-word its “coming up next” teasers.

And while it was another week for Channel Seven, Nine was a strong second. The 2008 year is ending as it began, with the top two networks in a closer tussle.

Seven finished the week with 29.1% over Nine’s 28.5% and TEN’s 19.5%. The ABC had 17.7% and SBS 5.3%.

Nine won the key demographics 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.

Seven’s unstoppable drama Packed to the Rafters topped the week once more with 1.95m viewers –confidently ahead of shows on rival networks. Also glorious for the network were Find My Family, The Zoo, Seven News, Today Tonight, All Saints, Home and Away and Better Homes and Gardens. Dancing with the Stars waltzed to a cool 1.45m -its previous final was 1.68m when it owned Tuesday nights. On the downside, Seven’s audience was smarter than the network, shunning a City Homicide repeat. Criminal Minds dropped to 1.1m, beaten by Spicks and Specks. Make me a Supermodel was beaten by Getaway, while Thursday’s Bones was outdone by Law and Order: CI. The Rich List was third in its slot, beaten by the ABC. But Seven is travelling so comfortably it is warehousing better shows for 2009 and copping the Monday losses on its chin.

Nine had a competitive week. Monday’s Domestic Blitz was its biggest audience with 1.67m viewers. Seems the audience can’t get enough of feelgood, makeover shows –an encouraging sign with The Block supposedly due to return in 2009. Once again Charlie Sheen’s 8pm Wednesday repeat was a whopper with 1.45m viewers. This week the network takes a risk by dropping the show in favour of re-launching The Big Bang Theory. Good luck with that. Other returns were delivered by 60 Minutes, 20 to 1, Twenty/20 All Stars Cricket, This is Your Life, Two and a Half Men, CSI, Getaway and RPA. Despite the strong cricket night on Friday both Nine News and ACA slipped under the 1m mark. Nine banished The Strip to 10:30pm and so did the audience. The Chopping Block continues to slip under the 1m mark. At 7:30pm Nine doesn’t tolerate those figures –why is it making an exception here? Nine has also been very quiet on news of its 5:30 weekday timeslot. It needs to remedy this by February. Tuesday’s Andre Rieu concert on Today took it to within 48,000 viewers of Sunrise. A day later the difference had widened to 112,000 in Seven’s favour. And at the end of its 18th year, Australia’s Funniest Home Videos is still the second most popular show on a Saturday night. Amazing.

NCIS led the week for TEN with 1.15m viewers, just nudging ahead of Australian Idol’s 1.12m and Law and Order CI‘s 1.1m. No other shows managed to raise over 1m viewers with TEN limping out the year with another week under the 20% radar. It ended the week with four nights behind the ABC. Wednesday’s lazy susan of interchangeable shows didn’t help new Futurama, with just 583,000 viewers. The night was so disappointing, Neighbours was its biggest drawcard. House just can’t seem to gain any traction with this mess. It’s worth noting however, that Life held almost all of Dr House’s audience. Good News Week bettered Idol before it. Californication‘s 534,000 so late on a Sunday indicates it still has a strong fanbase. A big story on Rush didn’t manage to push the numbers up, while Kenny’s World appears to have stretched out one idea for too long. Fifth Grader is indeed lucky to get a renewal on its so so figures. Would it benefit with a 6:30 Sunday slot next year? Will and Grace is so paltry the network is clearly holding its breath til non-ratings than risking another switch. Friday’s world premiere of The Informant was a humble 622,000 viewers. With a change in drama execs it isn’t proceeding to a series.

The perennial Spicks and Specks leads again for the ABC with 1.26m viewers and a timeslot win, just ahead of Enough Rope’s 1.24m for the Dawn French interview (note to networks, Australia hearts Dawn French). Also strong were ABC News, 7:30 Report, Media Watch, Taggart, Australian Story, The New Inventors, Stupid Stupid Man, Catalyst, The Bill and Rough Diamond. Tuesdays remains a comparatively modest night in the network schedule, although Sunday was also down this week.

Top Gear Australia’s 612,000 viewers seems to have levelled out at a now consistent audience for those who enjoy the local version. The UK original, which gets about another 30% is back in a week. Swift and Shift Couriers (371,000) is up on its premiere episode two weeks ago (306,000).

Just two more weeks to go gang….

Week 46



  1. Arrested Development

    So let me get this right:

    Ten are chasing 18-49’s and they’re coming 3rd in this demo.
    Nine are chasing 25-54’s and they’re coming 1st
    Seven are also after 25-54’s and they’re coming 2nd.

    Therefore Nine have clearly won the battle for 2008? Right

  2. The figures I saw for last week had SEVEN winning the week nationally, and in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. NINE won in Brsibane and SEVEN and NINE were equal first in Melbourne.

  3. Benno, I agree on the fast tracking. Looks like CSI is another repeat next Monday night so we should assume that’s it for 2008 and restart the downloading. The Cold Case episodes are out of order as well (grrrrr). Advertised as “all new” when 9 showed the Season 5 final a couple of weeks ago and are now showing earlier Season 5 eps – maybe 9 hasn’t shown them yet and they are new (to the viewers)? I downloaded the series ages ago so can’t confirm this as I haven’t been watching it on TV..
    Has anyone been following CSI Miami? Again I downloaded last season a while back but I’ve been told by someone who is watching them on 9 that they were up to ep 13 before they paused for the Rugby League – and next Sunday night’s ep is 18, which means there seems to be a gap in the eps they have shown…can anyone confirm if tis is true?

  4. It just makes a mockery of their supposed ‘fast-track’ when they pause for repeats when they still have new episodes in the can. It doesn’t exactly take much effort to check which episodes the US are up to, and how close we are to their schedule.

  5. Joey I see a new ep for Bones but a repeat for CSI tomorrow. Who knows why programmers do what they do? CSI repeat means Warrick is ‘brought back to life’ really. Makes no sense. At least it has Faye Dunaway guest starring.

  6. Joey,
    Bones is a new episode on Monday, some guides (even the yahoo7 one) had it scheduled as a repeat but it was wrong and has since been rectified.

    No more new City Homicide episodes are scheduled for this year. There are still 8 episodes as part of season 2, expected to air in February 2009.

  7. David, another note for this week, is that after 18 years (corrct me if im wrong) nicole livingstone (stevenson) has left nine and is headed to TEN as TEN have picked up the rights for the Swimming for a 3 year deal

  8. The two weeks of repeat City Homicide bugged me, so I just watched my downloads. I assume SEVEN only have 2 eps left and want to save them for the last two weeks of ratings and want to pull in a solid audience… Good idea if the viewers actually know it will be new and actually tune in. Big Risk!

    Will and Grace is not rating well, as it never got a decent run on SEVEN, and with the constant changes in schedules, why would they commit to it now. Also, for Foxtel customers they can watch is so often on 111HITS and ARENA, and have been doing so for many years on ARENA. Also the DVD season are only around $25 each, so many other options than wathcing it on TEN. I have the full series on DVD for less than $200 when JB-HiFi had a big sale. The Informant being on Friday was a poor idea, even if they ever considered using this as a series pilot or not. This should have been on next Sunday in Roves empty time slot. Big Australian drama for last week of ratings, what a loss for TEN, but they are used to that now :o)

    Good to see that SEVEN’s Australian shows are rating well, means there are less US shows for them to stuff around with if they keep their own on air. Great summary once again David.

  9. I actually thought 9 might have had a chance this week on the back of a stong Twenty/20 aided Friday, and a strong Monday against 7’s premature summer lineup.

    9 might as well have saved Domestic Blitz for next year, as 7 are doing with some of their shows, because they are just wasted. There is no way 9 can win the year and even with this strong programming they cant even win a week.

  10. Good to see Nine so strong. The cricket and Domestic Blitz did the job for Monday and Friday both which are Seven’s strongest nights. Had Tuesday been closer or even if Nine won Sunday then it would be a win for Nine, the first since July. Great to see Nine win all demos even the 16-39. I wonder when Nine last won this demo in a week prior to 2008. They have won that demo a few times.

    Without the oldies, Seven would be sunk and Nine would still be the one. Ten would be better with more older viewers. Maybe Masterchef will get them to go to Ten.

    As for this week, Nine will probably own Sunday (no DWTS), Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesday will be Seven’s night by a long shot and Wednesday will be close but we will have to see what the Big Bang Theory does. Friday will probably be Seven’s night. The cricket may give Nine a good lead in from Thursday. Now is a good time for Nine to fix up the news hour. Whatever happens it will be a close week. Ten will do better but more so next week with the final of Idol.

  11. To be fair with that City Homicide repeat it wasn’t just against CSI (which people have been stating for the last few weeks) it was against the second half of Domestic Blitz juggernaut which ended up coming in at #3 for the week nationally.

    Also first time in a long time that Life held onto a lot of the House audience. Of course Futurama helped that occur.

  12. David,

    Can you shed some light on why 7 is showing a repeat of Bones on Monday night (according to the local TV guide)? The Foxtel guide shows a new one but not according to the guide in today’s paper..Thursday night’s ep looks to be new though.
    Also, why is 9 also showing an old episode of CSI?
    I was looking forward to new season eps for these shows for at least the next couple of weeks..

  13. thanks for the wrap up david.

    packed is definitely unstoppable some of televisions best dramas through history would have seen a decrease in numbers between ep1and episode 12. for PTTR there has been some variation in numbers but mostly they have held onto their initial viewers.

    1mil isn’t that bad for city homicide, considering that it got about 1.5mil first screening and it was up against one of the weeks top shows that overlapped half of it.

    week 47 will be interesting: 9 might win without DWTS on 7. but then again without the best rating 2.5 men and 20/20cricket

    week 48 will prob be back to 7 without blitz

  14. Does anyone know what channel 10 will do with NCIS.

    Right now it’s within a week of airing in the US, and the episodes are meant to keep going (aren’t they) during their winter. Will ten continue to show them in the non-ratings period, or wait off a bit?

  15. Overall a much better performance by Nine this week, partly due to 7 shelving a lot but not fully as 7 won Sunday and CH was down to 1.4 in its last two weeks due to CSI.

  16. Does anyone know the year to date shares of each of the demographics?

    I would assume Seven are winning over 55’s, Nine are winning 18-49’s and 25-54’s and Ten are winning 16-39’s….??

  17. David, what shows are Seven warehousing ?

    BTW, clever comment “Seven’s audience was smarter than the network” – yep picked up the repeat bit of City Homicide and gave Swift & Shift another go..For a comedy on SBS it is strange,weird,wacky.
    Just right mix of characters, all with faults and bigotry to match.
    PC folk need not watch.

    It is funny though.

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