It was the last week of ratings for 2008, and the week all the free to air broadcasters bonded (temporarily) for Freeview with 4 of 5 metro CEOs there for the party, Nine scrambled to refinance its loans, an Australian actress was trapped in international terror, Seven sacked a reporter, former Sunday journos won the Gold Walkley, Nine let go another network celebrity, ACMA slapped Nine three times for A Current Affair, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Spiderman, TEN dumped 90210 and rearranged its summer schedule again, a gangster’s wife was at the centre of a chequebook war, a tabloid story on the break-up of a TEN personality’s romance was denied, while an affair by Gordon Ramsay was exposed, and it rained –and rained– on Idol‘s party.
But the final week of the ratings year came home to Seven with 29.9% share over Nine’s 26.5% and TEN’s 20.2%. ABC had 17.7% and SBS 5.7%. Seven won six of seven nights, plus demographic wins in 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.*
Top show for the week was the Packed to the Rafters finale on 1.82m ahead of the networks other strong brands, Find My Family, Seven News, Today Tonight, Better Homes and Gardens, Home and Away, All Saints and The Rich List. With Kath and Kim and movies helping its evening share, Seven even managed to snatch Sunday night from TEN on the night of its Idol finale. Thursday’s Life After People won its slot with 1.1m but Camp Rock was third in its slot behind the ABC. And as Seven launches Andrew O’Keefe’s new show tonight on 7HD, where to for its other experiment Out of the Question?
60 Minutes was Nine’s best with 1.41m viewers. Also sitting on its list for the week were a Weddings: Where Are They Now? special, Two and a Half Men, Australia’s Funniest Home Videos, Crime Investigation Australia, CSI, CSI: Miami, Nine News and A Current Affair. The Big Bang Theory didn’t return what Charlie Sheen usually delivers in the same slot, but Nine will be pleased it took over 1m viewers, especially if it can build on the figure. Nine’s Wednesday Kranks movie tanked at 692,000 viewers –it’s still November guys. Friday’s Crocodile Dundee fared a lot better at 938,000. RPA plummeted to a paltry 422,000. The Chopping Block again took under 1m, is it now on the block itself for 2009?
Despite the incessant rain for its outdoor event, Australian Idol‘s finale went up on 2007, reaching 1.56m viewers in TEN’s strategically divided timeslots. Sadly, it didn’t win the night, even in its beloved 16-39 demographic. That was due to poor returns for other Sunday shows. On Monday it got more bad news with 90210 all but ignored on just 408,000 viewers –it was axed the same day. Given the poor lead in the 2 hour Good News Week finale did respectably. The other performers for TEN were NCIS and without Spicks and Specks, House finally hit the 1m mark. Life continues to retain a big slice of the House audience. Rush didn’t get any extra boost for its finale. Out of the Blue tracks better earlier in the week than later. Futurama disappointed with 684,000 while a celebrity special on Thursday was fourth behind the ABC.
Without Spicks and Specks to soar there were several ABC shows hovering around the 1m mark: ABC News, The New Inventors, The Howard Years, Enough Rope while Mountain with Griff Rhys Jones, Eagle Island, Face Painting with Bill Leak, The 7:30 Report and The Stepfather all did well. ABC beat TEN on two nights of the week and even came second on Saturday ahead of Seven.
British Top Gear blew our local version out of the water, at over 1m viewers but it was Saturday that was SBS’ best night of the week.