Thank God for laughter

In tough times, it's comedy on Seven, TEN and the ABC that scores, while Nine steers its ship with a shiny local drama. Seven wins Week 21.

tg3In gloomy times we just want to laugh. On almost every front, it is local content -and especially light entertainment- that continues to resonate with Australians. Week 21 saw another win by the Seven Network as TEN continued a positive run and Nine relied on a glossy drama series to keep its ship on course.

Seven won with a 27.9% share ahead of Nine’s 26.0% and TEN’s 23.4%. The ABC had 16.9% and SBS 5.9%.

TEN won key demos 16-39, 18-49 and Seven took out 25-54. Seven won all cities except Sydney, which went to Nine. Seven and Nine both won three nights each: Seven snaring Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, Nine taking Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and TEN enjoying a particularly big share on Tuesday night.

Seven News (Sunday) was the top show of the week with 1.7m viewers, just ahead of an increase by Thank God You’re Here. Seven’s other top shows included Today Tonight, Bones, The Zoo, Find My Family, Better Homes and Gardens and Criminal Minds. Sunday Night was competitive with Merlin, Castle premiere won its slot, but Home and Away continues to take hits from MasterChef Australia. Seven was third on Saturday.

Meanwhile Nine News (Sunday) was also best for Nine on 1.54m. The return of Sea Patrol was solid with 1.39m. Other good performers were 60 Minutes, the new episode of Two and a Half Men, Getaway and 20 to 1. Of concern remains homeMADE with disappointing figures for both Sunday and Tuesday –the evening line-up for the latter was particularly dismal, third for the night. Nine also decided just one more episode of Eleventh Hour will air, this week. Better news for the AFL Footy Show in Melbourne, streets ahead of the NRL version in Sydney.

Good fortune continues at TEN with a Tuesday win thanks to NCIS on 1.62m and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation‘s 1.61m. MasterChef Australia, Merlin and Recruits all pulled good business. Rove and Good News Week passed the 1m mark. Problems remain with Numb3rs, while Worst Week looks like struggling and the network’s Friday line-up bombed after MasterChef.

Spicks and Specks
soared to an impressive 1.4m, with the final Gruen Transfer nabbing 1.3m. When The Chaser returns this week, commercial networks will have a headache nearly as big as the ABC’s legal department. Elsewhere, ABC News, Australian Story, Four Corners, Media Watch, 7:30 Report, New Tricks and Silent Witness were strong. ABC was hit hard on Sunday by SBS’ Eurovision broadcast.

Top Gear Australia saw a slight dip to 628,000 but Eurovision topped its 2008 performance and took 482,000 across its three+ hours. Food Investigators premiered to 288,000 viewers and The Squiz 178,000.

Week 21.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks David for this interesting summary of the week’s viewing patterns and it is certainly not just a two horse race anymore – channel ten are becoming the quiet achievers and thank god – the greater the competition often the better it is for the viewer.

    I’m still dumbfounded that Nine are persisting with Homemade – the critics are at best lukewarm and viewers generally have given it the thumbs down.

    Good to see new innovative shows doing well – talkin about your generation and thank god your here deserve their widespread appeal.

    I believe the ABC will again do well this week – the chaser boys are back and I wouldnt be surprised if they hit the 1.5 million mark nationally for their first episode for 2009.

  2. Wasn’t that impressed with The Squiz. Maybe because it was the first episode and things were a bit rusty? Or could it be panel show overload? I’ll give it another go next week, but so far the team captains haven’t really engaged me unlike TBYG.

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