Week 20 was quite a week for Channel Nine. Amid a media storm over NRL Footy Show host Matthew Johns, Tracy Grimshaw put in one of the interviews of her career. Meanwhile its big new reality series homeMADE bombed, whipped by TEN’s new series Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation -the #1 show of the week.
But it was Channel Seven that quietly took out another win with 28.3% to Nine’s 25.7% and TEN’s 22.9%. The ABC had 17.4% and SBS 5.6%.
Seven won all nights except Thursday and Saturday, snatched by Nine, plus all cities except Sydney which also went to Nine -no doubt aided by interest in NRL news. Key demos 18-49 and 25-54 were won by Seven with 16-39 going to TEN.
Seven News (Sunday) was best for Seven with 1.57m and its weeknight News managed audiences as high as 1.71m (were it not for averaging across five editions it would have topped the week). Today Tonight, Thank God You’re Here, Better Homes and Gardens and The Zoo all put in solid performances. Monday night AFL was a winner for the network helping Seven take a big Monday lead, and Billy Connolly’s Journey to the Edge of the World is a quiet achiever on Saturdays with 1.1m. Bones won its slot against CSI and Rove. Home and Away is taking some hits in total people from MasterChef Australia, even coming third on Wednesday. With ABC News in there fighting this is turning into a four horse 7pm race. At least viewers are showing they like competition.
After winning Week 19 it was almost an across-the-board horror week for Nine, with bad news on two fronts: Matthew Johns and homeMADE. The Johns’ story reverberated across the NRL Footy Show, A Current Affair and Nine News -on Wednesday in Sydney Nine News even managed a rare win. But this is not the way the network wants such glory, even if it took the media spotlight off Karl Stefanovic from the preceding week. Meanwhile viewers indicated they are fatigued with renovation shows, with a poor showing for the premiere of homeMADE and an even worse turnout for its elimination follow up. Nine had promised viewers, and sponsors, so much from the show it hoped would be the next Block. You have to feel for an idea that was greenlit before the recession. All hail Sea Patrol as it sails in to lift Nine’s morale. On Tuesday night Nine was shut out of a two way brawl between Seven and TEN, but it fought back on Wednesday and won Thursday. Nine News Sunday was very strong as the network’s top show for the week.
TEN is smiling on just about every front. All its new local shows are performing, with Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation holding its premiere audience at just under 1.6m -in spite of the return of Seven’s Zoo. MasterChef Australia is cookin’ along with strong audiences in the same way as The Biggest Loser did in its first stripped year. Indirectly it helped Recruits, Good News Week and Rove pass the 1m mark. And Merlin won its slot proving there is still magic in family viewing on a Sunday night. NCIS continues to soar at 1.43m. By mid-week TEN was still neck and neck with Nine, only let down by its Thursday and especially Friday nights.
Spicks and Specks‘ 1.37m may be the ABC’s biggest audience but it was other shows that left everybody talking. Four Corners‘ story on NRL players had 1.01m while The Gruen Transfer wisely dropped a controversial ad makeover for its 1.23m audience. New Tricks and Australian Story were both solid.
The return of Top Gear Australia was less than the UK version but a still decent 689,000 and more positive reviews for SBS. But it was Saturday, with a Eurovision semi-final, that gave the best night with a share of 8.2 -better news than the Federal Budget.