Feelgood telly wins the week
With a few notable exceptions, it seems we are still drawn to lighter fare including Packed to the Rafters, Spicks & Specks, Midsomer Murders, 2.5 Men and a Harry Potter flick.
Week 35 saw the ABC reinforce its appeal when Midsomer Murders took a cool 1.26m viewers on Sunday night, winning its timeslot without any dancing or singing as a lead-in. For a new Aussie drama like Rescue: Special Ops it was particularly brutal. Meanwhile GO! did well on Sunday with a 2.8% share, allowing Nine to sing its praises before it diminished by the end of the week. TEN had reason to smile over Rush too, but cutting through it all was Seven, taking yet another week in Total People.
Seven took 27.4% ahead of Nine’s 26.8% and TEN’s 21.7%. The ABC had 18.1% and SBS 6.0%.
In key demos TEN won 16-39 and 18-49 but Seven took 25-54.
Seven won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Nine won Thursday and Saturday. Seven won in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth but Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane.
Once again it was a week dominated by feelgood and family titles with broad appeal.
Packed to the Rafters was the week’s top show with 1.93m. Amongst its other big raters were Seven News, Dancing with the Stars, Today Tonight, City Homicide, Air Ways, Surf Patrol, World’s Strictest Parents and Better Homes and Gardens. Both Beyond the Darklands and All Saints pulled a good crowd for 9:30 shows. But on Thursday the network landed third behind TEN, due largely to The Amazing Race and diminishing interest in TV Burp and Double Take. And after a week when it had some losses to Nine, Deal or No Deal won all five nights to Hot Seat, from a difference of 111,000 on Monday to just 1,000 by Friday.
Nine’s best for the week was, somewhat disappointingly, a repeat of Two and a Half Men on Wednesday night at 7:30pm, on 1.3m viewers. On Saturday its first-run Harry Potter movie was magic with 1.23m. Aside from Nine News (Sunday) its other drawcards landed below 1.2m viewers: Domestic Blitz, 60 Minutes, 20 to 1, Getaway, RPA and The Farmer Wants a Wife. On three nights A Current Affair couldn’t pass 1m. Rescue: Special Ops dropped to 878,000 viewers, thumped by the ABC. Hot Seat is no longer the #1 game show it claimed to be (a dubious title anyway, Fifth Grader rates higher). The last Australia’s Perfect Couple managed just 610,000. Despite mostly lukewarm figures, Nine had a triumphant Thursday night, passing the 30% share, suggesting a lot of viewers aren’t even tuning in to TV on Thursdays. Figures for GO! were finally broken out by OzTAM with its best night on Sunday at 2.8%. The Big Bang Theory is the channel’s biggest drawcard on 230,000 (up from preliminary figure of 204,000). Most other titles were below 100,000. GO! finished the week with a 1.7% share and 3.2% in its 16-39 demo.
TEN has a new hit: the locally produced Rush. Some twelve months after its launch, it is finally finding a broad audience. The network’s persistence with a new night and timeslot is paying off. This week 1.32m tuned in. TEN’s other performers include Australian Idol, Good News Week and NCIS. This week Rove was down but Friday’s Nanny McPhee movie helped Fridays from slipping below a 20% share. Burn Notice did well at 9:30pm, much better than Monday’s Dexter in the same slot. The 7PM Project is still trails its lead in, Neighbours. Despite some discussion about Idol’s semi-final performance week, they helped TEN snatch two key demo wins for the week.
This week Spicks and Specks took 1.32m but it was Midsomer Murders‘ 1.26m that was the real story, beating its commercial competition. Elsewhere, Stephen Fry in America, Australian Story, Four Corners, The Librarians, The New Inventors, ABC News and The 7:30 Report performed well. Scrapheap Challenge remains ABC2’s best drawcard. In a close race for Saturday runners up, ABC beat TEN.
For SBS Top Gear was tops with 636,000 and Mythbusters with 338,000 while its new Thursday line-up managed 326,000 for Costa’s Garden Odyssey with Dave in the Life bringing up the rear on 219,000.