Murder’s hit on commercial networks

9Renewed and emerging hits were evident on the box last week as networks prepare to unveil fresh titles upon us once more. The biggest in the bunch was ABC’s Midsomer Murders which increased its lead to 1.48m and showed commercial networks how to win a traditional Sunday audience. Nine appears to have timed it right with Money for Jam nabbing 1.32m and the AFL passed 1.1m for TEN and 1m viewers for Seven.

But in Week 36 once again Seven won Total People with 27.8% just ahead of Nine’s 27.3% and TEN’s 21.8%. ABC had 17.8% and SBS 5.2%.

In key demos, TEN was first in 16-39, Nine won 18-49 and 25-54 year olds.

In digital channels GO! took 1.8% ahead of ABC2 (1.6%), ONE (1.2) and SBS TWO (0.3%).

Seven won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday. Nine won Wednesday and Thursday. TEN won Saturday. Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth fell to Seven while Nine won Sydney and Brisbane (and lost Melbourne by only 0.1%).

Packed to the Rafters was again the week’s #1 show with 1.94m. Other top shows included Seven News, Today Tonight, Dancing with the Stars, City Homicide, Surf Patrol, Air Ways, World’s Strictest Parents and Home and Away. Bones did well in its first hour but was averaged down due to a second episode. This week Better Homes and Gardens saw a change in timeslots and even a Saturday screening in Adelaide and Perth. The payoff was Friday night’s AFL game topping the 1m mark. The debut of Gary Unmarried which was also adjusted as a result of AFL games on Friday was 867,000. Deal or No Deal again defeated Hot Seat. Seven was third on Saturday.

Nine News (Sunday) resumed its place as the best for Nine with 1.39m viewers while its other drawcards included Domestic Blitz, Getaway, 20 to 1 and Two and a Half Men. Nine appears to have a new hit on its hands with the premiere of Money for Jam with an impressive 1.32m, helping nine snatch Wednesday night. Local shows Rescue: Special Ops and The Farmer Wants a Wife are still below a desirable target. 60 Minutes has not cut through the variety stoush between Dancing and Idol -this year it hasn’t lifted while the audience theoretically divides. The AFL Footy Show continues to thrash the NRL edition. Wipeout was GO!’s biggest show on 224,000 and Sunday is emerging as its best performing day.

1.55m for the final episode of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation was TEN’s biggest audience of the week. It will be hoping for the same enthusiasm for The Spearman Experiment. Elsewhere Rush, NCIS and Good News Week had the good oil. Its AFL match on Saturday scored 1.14m and helped the network win the night. Australian Idol sank below the 1m mark last week despite its appeal to 16-39 year olds. It has since ditched Out of the Blue to improve its lead in. The network landed behind the ABC on both Sunday and Wednesday. The one hour extended 7PM Project lifted to 776,000 but the night after -a traditionally low return night- was down to 593,000.

ABC had a new first place getter with Midsomer Murders on a huge 1.48m and a huge lead on its competition. Other winners included Spicks and Specks, Stephen Fry in America, Australian Story, ABC News, George Gently and The Librarians. The network’s usually strong Saturdays was hit hard by the lure of AFL. On ABC2 Junkyard Wars took up to 165,000 while The Wire managed 138,000 across its two eps at the late time of 9:30pm.

For SBS Top Gear drove away with 869,000. Costa’s Garden Odyssey managed 280,000. New and returning titles included High Altitude (232,000), Entourage (147,000) and Skins (122,000). Monday was its biggest night.

Week 36

16 Comments:

  1. @ Jerome – I think you’ll find that “tv” meant that if ten had not had the AFL on Saturday night, then nine would have won the night and therefore likely won the week too.

  2. This time of year it’s going to get hard for the networks. Seven and Ten will rise in Melbourne, Adeliade and Perth on Fridays – Sunday, but will bomb out in Sydney and Brisbane if they show AFL games live – especially if they compete directly with NRL finals. Nine, however, will win Fridays – Sunday in Sydney/Brisbane in the same period because of the NRL. This could potentially pull Nine to beat Seven a couple times …

  3. 10 won 16-39
    9 won 18-49 and 25-54
    7 won 50 plus

    9 won Sydney and Brisbane, 7 the rest

    7 needs to fix its Thursday and Saturday lineups.
    Maybe some new factuals for Thursday and a variety show for Saturdays?

  4. Neil, considering the throngs of people that watch Today Tonight and A Current Affair, does it really surprise you? Most people prefer their news in an extremely palatable form, where stories are self-contained, without them needing to know the particulars of international current affairs. Taking the Middle East conflict for example, I doubt most people could point out Israel or Palestine on the map. If you did ask people who the Secretary General was of the UN, if they were able to tell you, I’d also bet you’d get more than one person saying Kofi Annan.

    Myself, I stick to CNN on Foxtel.

    I’m happy to see GO getting some good figures. That and it’s nice to see the ABC becoming a legitimate competitor to the other FTA channels, rather than just being the niche/oldies channel that it was generally regarded as in years past.

    David, were the ratings of The Wire strong enough to justify it continuing, or is it taking a page out of West Wing’s book?

    RichoTB: I’d actually say that the Entourage ratings are half bad. Even though you might not be a fan, there are quite a few of us that still enjoy the show. Being that the show has been shown on Foxtel for quite a while, and the DVDs have been floating around for years, I’d say it did fairly well.

  5. Still can’t work out why 9 Sunday news always is a top rater? It tends to have next to no news, yet it rates week after week. Any insiders out there that can give me a clue?

  6. Go continues to give Nine extra firepower but they still need some stronger content especially on Tuesday. They still did an excellent job in 2 key demos and managed to win Brisbane and surprisingly in Sydney. Perhaps Nine completely demolished Seven in Sydney on Friday and Saturday night to win the week as they were behind Seven up to Thursday. Just hope Nine can remain consistent with programing. Thursdays will remain strong and the NRL will keep Fridays in line. Saturdays don’t seem to be a problem now unlike Tuesday which is stronger but still weak. Hey Hey will need to rate well.

    ABC did well with Midsomer Murders but Saturday was down. Ten managed to prevent an embarrassing share last week by winning last night. The network will improve Wednesdays in a few weeks and Fridays may improve without football on the other networks. This Thursday should be stronger and tonight may see an improvement with top 12 on Idol. Just hope Tuesdays remain strong and that the Spearman Experiment does well. New NCIS and Lie To Me should improve their share in coming weeks.

  7. Glad to see Entourage getting what it deserves…its the brotown version of Sex and the City. Its even worse than Two and a Half Men. That said, the first season was tolerable before it turned into an absolute joke (and not a funny one) in later years.

    I expect Seven’s share will rise higher if they ever get around to launching that bloody lifestyle channel.

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