Birth for a nation
A little bundle of soap love helped give Seven a clean sweep in Week 48, while ABC dropped and TEN's finales restored some network faith.
The final week of the ratings year is over and it was a Rafters baby that defeated singing Idols, Celebrity Masterchefs, new Apprentices, Geeks and Robbie Williams. Seven enjoyed a clean sweep of Week 48, winning all 7 nights, 3 key demos and all 5 cities -it was almost a microcosm of 2009, but this year Nine has seen to it that it didn’t quite enjoy that triumph.
The Seven Network won Week 48 with 31.3% over Nine’s 26.8% and TEN’s 21.3%. The ABC had 15.2% and SBS 5.4%.
GO! had 3.1% over 7TWO on 1.9%, ABC2 1.5%, ONE 0.8% and SBS TWO on 0.3%%.
Packed to the Rafters‘ birth of Ruby netted Seven a big 2.04m, just short of their recent wedding. The network’s other big shows were The Force, Border Security, Unlikely Animal Friends, Seven News, Today Tonight, Highway Patrol, Bones and Better Homes and Gardens. Beauty & the Geek Australia won its slot for its finale but didn’t better previous highs. Saturday’s Ratatouille movie was a big winner on 1.24m and even Merry Madagascar topped 1m. City Homicide also finished the year on 1.01m -a long way from its 2008 finale. FlashForward fell below the 1m mark while the last My Name is Earl was a round 500,000. In a head to head battle with 60 Minutes, Sunday Night won with 1.17m and a big news story involving the South Australian Premier, who has since threatened legal action. Sunrise kept ahead of Today and Deal or No Deal seems to have addressed the threat from Hot Seat lately. Once again The Morning Show thumped its competition, as it has all year. Stargate Atlantis was a clear winner on 7TWO up to 180,000 -well ahead of Heroes on 132,000 in second place. Seven thrashed Nine on Tuesday and Friday.
1.27m for Two and a Half Men on Nine last week, dropping back from Week 47. The Mentalist was the only other show to pass the 1.2m mark this week, leaving The Big Bang Theory, All Star Twenty20, Getaway, Nine News, A Current Affair, 50 to 1, RPA Where Are They Now? and an earlier 60 Minutes to follow. The ARIA Awards disappointed on 708,000 with a lacklustre production devoid of attitude. At least the enthusiasm for The Apprentice Australia was more universal, ending on 834,000. The good result for the cricket bodes well for Nine’s summer. GO! still rules digital channels with The Big Bang Theory‘s best episode on 316,000.
Some cheerful news for TEN brands last week as ambivalent audiences returned for grand finals. Australian Idol‘s closing moments sang to 1.47m -down on 2008 but after a lacklustre year it was a welcome relief. Ditto for Celebrity MasterChef as audiences returned to watch Eamon Sullivan’s win, netting 1.29m. Extra Idol & Masterchef aside, TEN’s other winners for the week were all roughly attracting similar figures: Hamish & Andy ReGifted, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, NCIS and Glee. Rush finished the year on 989,000. The 7PM Project moved from 692,000 to a poor 476,000. UFC Wired was 84,000 on ONE. But TEN plummeted on Saturday whacked by all but SBS and down to just 13.2%.
Week 48 was one of the ABC’s softest all year. Without Spicks and Specks, Midsomer Murders, the best audience it could manage was Monday night’s ABC News with 1.01m viewers. Elders with Andrew Denton and The Bill did well. The last ever Einstein Factor ended with 666,000 and Sunday Arts 139,000. The New Inventors‘ grand final was 657,000 and the excellent Samson and Delilah took 646,000. Friday’s Wire in the Blood repeat was 692,000 which saw ABC finish on an unusually soft 16.0% share for Friday. Doctor Who reached 114,000 on ABC2. ABC whipped TEN on Saturday, easily its best night.
The real story on SBS isn’t the 681,000 for Top Gear but the 663,000 who stayed for Man Vs Wild -could the show be the network’s next breakout hit? SBS ditched South Park in the slot to make way for the show and it’s really paying off now. Who Do You Think You Are?, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, Demetri’s Castle, Mythbusters, Iron Chef and RocKwiz all followed. The last East West 101 had to settle for 139,000.