Network TEN has won the ratings week for only the second time since OzTAM people meters started in 2001.
The last time it won was April 2006 on the back of a week with The Biggest Loser finale leading into Big Brother and Thank God You’re Here.
This week it again won with reality television, the king hit MasterChef Australia. The show was number one for every one of its six nights this week powering to 2.36m viewers on Thursday. Unlike 2006, its share also gets a modest boost from having ONE HD.
As a result it won the week with 26.4% ahead of Seven’s 24.8% and Nine’s 24.5%. The ABC had 15.6% and SBS 8.7%.
TEN stormed home in the key demo groups 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54. It won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Nine won Wednesday and Saturday while Seven won Friday. TEN won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth while Nine won Sydney and Brisbane.
MasterChef Australia was the week’s #1 show with 2.19m viewers. The show almost single handedly won the week for TEN, were it not for Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, Recruits and Merlin. Also performing well were Rove, The Simpsons, NCIS and Melbourne International Great Debate. The season return of Rush was both promising and disappointing. Its 1.16m was a good figure for the network, but the huge switch off from MasterChef does not bode well for coming weeks. TEN quickly slated a repeat late on Saturday night as a result. Neighbours had a particularly strong week, buoyed by high stakes storylines and hitching a ride on Masterchef‘s success. On Friday it had a rare defeat over Home and Away (surely, the first in living memory?) on a night when it is traditionally low. A number of other shows failed to gain traction from big lead ins, a concern as its juggernaut concludes. Ironically, the weekly win for TEN comes in the same week that programmer David Mott said he could “not give a rat’s arse” about winning total people, but demographics. Thankfully, they were also very strong.
Seven was under attack from all corners this week, but held firm thanks to a diverse programming slate and the strength of its 6-7pm hour. Packed to the Rafters led its week with 1.79m while Seven News, Today Tonight, Dancing with the Stars, Surf Patrol, Grey’s Anatomy, All Saints and Better Homes and Gardens all performed. Against heavy competition, the premiere of Airways was decent (though it too got a weekend repeat) while True Beauty suprised with a good result. Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother will need to perform better this week without TEN’s reality contest excusing its figures. Bones took a hit this week.
Nine landed third for the second week in a row but to do so in a week with State of Origin is unheard of. Where might it have finished without it? The match nabbed 1.84m and won Wednesday night for the network. From there the good news was slight: Sunday & Saturday’s Nine News, Sea Patrol, Random Acts of Kindness and a Saturday Harry Potter film were its best acts. Regular performers 60 Minutes, Getaway were under attack. THIS afternoon was axed after lowly figures at 219,000 but there is better news with the Sunday edition of Today gaining ground. To distract from a gloomy week David Gyngell trumpted the network’s forthcoming GO! channel.
ABC was also fighting tough competition with reality TV and sport distracting its audience. The final New Tricks was again its biggest drawcard on 1.23m. Elsewhere, Australian Story, Spicks and Specks, ABC News, Trial And Retribution, The Chaser’s War On Everything, Nature’s Great Events and Grand Designs did well. With a poor performance on Tuesday, the network will benefit from the return of Q & A soon. This week both The Cook and the Chef and The Chaser indicated their last ever episodes.
In a strong week for SBS, Top Gear was tops with 742,000 while 2009 Ashes Series and Tour de France are keeping sports viewers glued.