Variety back on the box

Week 40 was a particularly brutal fight in television with a string of big shows led by Hey Hey's reunion. By the time the bell rang, Nine had taken victory -by just 0.1%.

hhcAustralian 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.

Week 40

25 Responses

  1. I think Hey Hey has such a better format than Rove. Its more relaxed. Rove seams a tence and nervous environment (The rove effect?). The couch seams like a horrible place where punch line can live and die on its tollerance of sitting directly in front on an audience like a manican. It also targets a demographic, the young ones that are most valuable, that its style can be alienating if your not an Austrerio or TodayFM listener.

    Hey Hey seams to have this interuping thing which I forgot about. From all corners you have supers at the bottom of the screen, blackman voiceover, Dickie Knee, insulting cartoons… Its a controlled chaos. Lovely to watch again. Or is it just nostagia that is dialating my pupils? The news that it got Nine over the line in the ratings war will be good news for the shows return. Dont change a thing! It wont do those numbers on a regular basis but it could pull a swag.

    The two shows do share a disputed destiny. Rove was going to take over at Nine in a similar format mnay moons ago, he goes to Ten and Has the success Hey Hey had for a few years. He himslef started to lose popularity hence chopping and changing format to stay alive. In the wings The master who has lived in the forrest for a years working on his swordmanship, eating only leaves and possums, comes back with 2 inch punches called Dancing With The stars. Now a dual of sorts may come about where both entertainment shows could exist. My guess is one will have to go and someone will fall on their sword. One is younger, fitter, demo friendly the other wiser, more experienced and in the record collections of our oldest citizens.

  2. Whilst I think it is OK to combine Nine & Go! figures, I’m not so sure about presenting mulitple screenings of shows as one figure. i.e. Vampire Diaries. What does everyone else think?

  3. Rove is no hack. Yes people are getting sick of him however his show had been running for 10 years and has been successful for the network.. he needs bigger guests and longer interviews – I’ll say that though!

    If Nine choose to bring back Hey Hey they had better have put it on Saturday! It would be silly not to try considering its huge audience.

  4. How accurate are the daily figures, because if you calculate them channel seven has 198.6 point and channel nine has 197.7 points, which would mean seven has won the week.

    Nine should have easily won if it had run Hey Hey repeat (probably saving this for later) and not running Norbit (worse film you could run) on Friday.

  5. If Rove were a ‘hack’ then I doubt anybody at all would watch his program – it does well for the shifting timeslot’s it’s given and has held the course for 10 years, still winning it’s demo for the night, week in, week out.
    At least he attempts something new and has re-jiged the format on occasion, unlike Hey Hey which was simply a 90’s series brought back for 2009 audiences – in a nation that loves 2.5 Men repeats, I suppose that’s little wonder.

  6. Who would have thought a reunion for a variety show would have single handedly helped Nine to ratings week victory? It’s also the first time a network (Seven) has won five nights and still loses the week.
    Nine should win this week with the NRL Grand Final and the 2nd Hey Hey reunion. I think the reunion could still get 2.7 million despite a potential viewer boycott.

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