Week 26 was the tightest ratings race all year.
TEN was riding high on MasterChef, Nine had the State of Origin and Seven… well, Seven really just had another week of regular programming. By Saturday we had ourselves a three way tie.
But a cleverly timed Michael Jackson tribute helped Nine take the final night and all three had to contend with ABC programming too.
Nine won Week 26 with a 26.3% share ahead of TEN’s 25.8% and Seven’s 25.5%. The ABC had 17.6% and SBS 4.8%.
TEN again won key demos 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.
The week also saw a major shake up in the nation’s city-based wins too. TEN won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane.
Nine won Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday while Seven won Monday and Friday and TEN won Sunday and Tuesday.
The second State of Origin match fell over the line as the #1 show of the week with 2.09m and a peak of 2.54m viewers. Nine’s other strong performers included Nine News on Sunday night, 60 Minutes, Sea Patrol, Random Acts of Kindness, A Current Affair, Getaway. Australia’s Funniest Home Videos and Michael Jackson The King of Pop. The premiere of Trouble in Paradise did fair business on 1.1m but homeMADE continues to peter out, taking just 831,000 for its earliest edition. You Saved My Life was even lower and yanked by the network for a sitcom this week. Two and a Half Men repeats are now 200,000 down on where they were a year ago -still, Nine has done well to milk it for so long. Friday’s extended Today edition covering the death of Michael Jackson pulled a crowd three times the size of Kerri-Anne‘s usual audience.
MasterChef‘s challenge cooked up another 1.93m on Sunday night, with bumper audiences across the week for its photogenic week in Hong Kong. Still proving strong are Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, Merlin, Recruits and repeats of NCIS. TEN blitzed the competition on Tuesday night, its best of the year. Both Good News Week and Rove passed the 1.1m mark. Neighbours topped 900,000 on three nights. TEN’s Michael Jackson special took a cool 724,000 viewers at 10pm on a Friday. FIA took 189,000 on ONE. The usual suspects were no help: The Biggest Loser US and Out of the Blue.
A rare third place for Seven this week as Seven News topped its shows with 1.66m for its Sunday edition. Other top performers included Today Tonight, Sunday Night, Bones, The Zoo, Find My Family and Better Homes and Gardens -rarely, the latter was beaten this week, by MasterChef Australia. Desperate Housewives‘ death of Edie episodes lifted its figures to 1.3m. The Morning Show, which recently celebrated two years, continually and convincingly defeats Mornings with Kerri Anne and thrashes 9AM with David and Kim. Lucky How I Met Your Mother is finishing soon, with underperforming figures on Monday. Seven’s strategic splitting of Thank God You’re Here on different nights in various cities because of the State of Origin was an astute ploy that paid off. Castle has now bedded in as a good performer at 9:30pm. After a humiliating week (including fourth on Saturday), Seven has Packed to the Rafters returning and Dancing with the Stars waiting in the wings.
A new winner for the ABC in Australian Story with a story on a woman killed by her son netting 1.22m. Particular interest was focussed on the return of The Chaser’s War on Everything, which at 1.16m against State of Origin was perfectly respectable. Other top performers were New Tricks, Spicks and Specks, ABC News, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Silent Witness, The 7:30 Report and Nature’s Great Events. The return of Grand Designs was very strong picking up another 30% over its lead in, Foreign Correspondent. Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union took a fall in shifting nights and timeslots. ABC’s 6 – 7 pm timeslot shows no sign of change -half its audience for the 7pm News.
Monday tied with Saturday as the best for SBS’ week with Top Gear Australia, Flight of the Conchords and Mythbusters amongst its biggest shows.