Australian viewers sent a clear message to television executives this week: they want variety back on the box. Over two million viewers cheered for Hey Hey the Reunion on Nine, which demonstrated a remarkable ability to recapture its magic, with many declaring it a return to old-fashioned entertainment. So smooth was the return, it will go down in TV history as one of television’s great reunion specials. Week 40 was a particularly brutal fight in television with a string of new shows launching. By the time the bell rang, Nine had taken victory -by just 0.1%- grateful once again for a boost by GO!
Nine won the week with 28.4% ahead of Seven’s 28.3% and TEN’s 20.1%. The ABC had 17.8% and SBS 5.3%.
Nine also won three key demos 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.
GO! took 1.9%, ABC2 1.4%, ONE 1.3% and SBS TWO 0.4%.
Seven won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Nine won Wednesday and Thursday. While Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane, Seven took Adelaide and Perth. Sydney was a dead heat between both networks.
Hey Hey the Reunion was the top show of the week averaging 2.14%m viewers (adjusted figure). It was a good million ahead of most of the network’s other shows. Other drawcards were Two and a Half Men and 20 to 1 -but even regular shows including Nine News (Sunday) and Getaway were under 1.2m. In a particularly tough week Nine’s fastracked new episodes of CSI and The Mentalist took 1.14m and 988,000 respectively. But the launch of The Apprentice Australia landed at 692,000 in its first screening. Hot Seat beat Deal or No Deal on Thursday and Friday with several other shows coming close. The NRL Footy Show finished with 325,000 for its two key cities, Sydney and Brisbane. The Vampire Diaries took 147,000 across two screenings on GO! on Monday night while Wipeout was its best on 223,000.
Seven’s promotion of FlashForward paid off with a big premiere of 1.78m viewers, which probably sent a message to its Promo team that annoying watermarks paid off. Other big audiences were for Packed to the Rafters, Highway Patrol, Seven News, Border Security, RSPCA Animal Rescue, Today Tonight, Last Chance Surgery, Sunday Night and Better Homes and Gardens. With its huge lead in, Mercy took an impressive 1.07m, almost as many as All Saints in the same slot on Tuesday: 1.12m. World’s Strictest Parents (912,000) was thumped by Hey Hey’s reunion while City Homicide sank to 796,000.
TEN also enjoyed a big audience for a fastracked show as new NCIS rose to 1.42m viewers, much bigger than NCIS: Los Angeles -943,000 for its premiere. Celebrity Masterchef was undermined by the Hey Hey reunion landing at 1.35m. Other network brands were all under the 1m mark: Glee, Rush, Australian Idol, Good News Week and Rove. The Spearman Experiment sank to 668,000 and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? to 606,000. Nurse Jackie disappointed with 396,000. Better fortunes lay with TEN News at Five, regularly beating flashy game shows. Formula One took 165,000 for ONE. TEN finished fourth on three nights: Sunday, Friday and Saturday.
Midsomer Murders romped home with 1.48m viewers for the ABC. Elsewhere Yellowstone, ABC News, Hunter, Australian Story, Spicks and Specks, Heart and Soul, The Bill and Four Corners were among its next best. The debut of Hungry Beast at 551,000 faced off against serious competition, before some unwarranted press attention later in the week. ABC beat TEN on three nights.
Top Gear topped 883,000 -an impressive figure on a night when Seven blitzed its competition. The return of Who Do You Think You Are? was 429,000. Insight took 273,000. Skins continues to outperform its Entourage lead-in helping Monday to remain its best night. RocKwiz returned to 253,000 on Saturday.