2008: International hits

The Nine Network has topped the list of television’s most popular international shows in 2008.

While Seven is riding on its Aussie programming, Nine has seven of the top ten overseas shows this year, led by Charlie Sheen and Gordon Ramsay.

Averaging out the various shows and timeslots indicates Two and a Half Men led with the highest series average, of 1.503m viewers this year. It was closely followed by Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares at 1.501m viewers.

Significantly, both were ‘hits by accident’, trialled by Nine over summer and left long enough on air to become enormous hit shows.

Seven’s most popular import was the New Zealand series, Serious Crash Unit on 1.361m-which very possibly qualifies as Australian content under the Free Trade Agreement anyway- followed by Criminal Minds on 1.309m.

The ABC’s Doc Martin also makes the top ten with 1.321m. TEN’s most popular show was NCIS on 1.179m. The UK’s Top Gear took 889,666 for SBS.

1. Two And A Half Men -8:00pm Wednesday Nine 1,503,496
2. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares – Thursday Nine 1,501,569
3. David Attenborough: Tiger, Spy In The Jungle Nine 1,477,355
4. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Nine 1,436,700
5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nine 1,382,495
6. Two And A Half Men – Wednesday Nine 1,379,520
7. SCU: Serious Crash Unit Seven 1,361,705
8. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares – Tuesday Nine 1,350,544
9. Doc Martin ABC1 1,321,687
10. Criminal Minds – Monday Seven 1,309,277
11. David Attenborough’s – Life In Cold Blood Nine 1,291,115
12. Desperate Housewives Seven 1,287,015
13. Two And A Half Men – Monday Nine 1,286,877
14. Criminal Minds – Wednesday Seven 1,283,009
15. Wipeout Nine 1,235,349
16. Midsomer Murders ABC1 1,226,18
17. The Mentalist Nine 1,205,135
18. Doc Martin Rpt ABC1 1,202,720
19. Wild China ABC1 1,189,332
20. Foyle’s War ABC1 1,183,190
21. Hell’s Kitchen Nine 1,180,779
22. NCIS (R) TEN 1,179,312
23. Grey’s Anatomy Seven 1,177,605
24. My Name Is Earl – Thursday Seven 1,172,721
25. Crash Scene Investigators Seven 1,155,013
26. Two And A Half Men – Monday-Friday Nine 1,142,334
27. How I Met Your Mother Seven 1,124,508
28. David Attenborough’s Life Of Mammals Nine 1,115,388
29. CSI: Miami Nine 1,111,460
30. Kitchen Nightmares U.S.A. Nine 1,110,271
31. Doctor Who ABC1 1,100,660
32. Law And Order: SVU TEN 1,086,140
33. NCIS – 8:30pm Tuesday (R) TEN 1,078,306
34. Bones Seven 1,073,494
35. My Name Is Earl Seven 1,070,891
36. Without A Trace Nine 1,070,164
37. Silent Witness ABC1 1,069,326
38. Two And A Half Men Nine 1,059,486
39. Dalziel And Pascoe ABC1 1,054,343
40. House TEN 1,052,640
41. The Vicar Of Dibley Seven 1,049,626
42. Bones – Monday Seven 1,039,345
43. Criminal Minds (R) Seven 1,036,057
44. A Year With The Royal Family Nine 1,034,143
45. Law & Order: Criminal Intent TEN 1,026,416
46. Deadly Surf Nine 1,017,417
47. Women’s Murder Club TEN 1,004,195
48. Two And A Half Men – 9:00pm Nine Tuesday Nine 985,376
49. Samantha Who? Seven 985,065
50. That ’70s Show 7 984,512


  1. I can’t stand Two and a Half Men.It’s a disgrace and to think they replace Ed Phillips and Livinia Nixon’s Game Show Temptation with it.I Suggest to Channel Nine get in some new hosts and bring that latter show back to life.
    I would rather buy a Collection of Hi 5 on DVD even though I am unmarried and don’t have small children and go watch that than put up with another day of recycled to death two and a half men.
    Gordon Ramsay by the way is the Sam Newman of the Cooking World and both of them are wankers!!!!!

  2. “That 70s Show” made the list, wow.

    Nine’s year was a lot better than I expected. I mean, they did have a few overseas duds, with Fringe being the most notable, but surprising to see so many of their shows in the top fifty. Pity Aussie shows have generally fared poorly, as the uptick in investments in local dramas was nice to see (even though I didn’t watch any of them, bar those on cable).

  3. gone are the days where greys anatomy, desperate housewives prisonbreak, bettey, heroes and Lost were topping the lists. Seven is very lucky it built a strong aussie lineup and didnt heavily rely on its US imports otherwise they would of fallen on their face

  4. I think we your meant to refer to the CER agreement for the NZ content, not the FTA. If the FTA means that NZ content is considered local, then I guess that means all American content would be considered local too, and we definitely don’t want that!

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