2m watch Ben Cousins doco

Nearly 2m viewers watched Ben Cousins taking drugs on Such is Life: The Troubled Life of Ben Cousins last night.

The controversial show averaged 1.99m viewers for Seven following a slew of media hype.

The first part of the two-part documentary was accompanied by anti-drug advertisements throughout its broadcast. But the disjointed narrative of its tale and frenetic interviews with experts and friends were frustrating. It remains to be seen if it was necessary to document as two hours, let alone over two nights.

Seven easily won the night with a 32.9% share.

With ABC doing well with The Gruen Transfer (1.35), Spicks and Specks (1.31m) and Yes We Canberra! (1.18), TEN became the biggest loser.

Its share sank to 15.9%.

The Neighbours wedding pulled 648,000 with The 7PM Project (951,000) its best performer.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
did good business for GO! on 198,000.

Week 35


  1. Brian, Ben..

    Firstly I would like to say that Brian you sould have father of the year award.

    I’m 25 years of age, have 2 children myself. I myself have friends that do do drugs but never got into that scene myself.I think that as bens father you have done a great job and Ben himself can say his a man to admit to his problems and to change his life. I also had a family member that was addict, I never knew how to face the problem.

    I hope that Ben himself gets this, as me and my partner are very big fans. My parnter looks up to him and thinks of him highly and would love to meet him. If someone from bens family does read this, I would love them to contact me as my partner would love him to train him, to get fit.

  2. The doco was nothing more than a vanity piece for Ben and also another oppurtunity for him to talk publicly about his favourite topic. Himself.

  3. @Rob well said. Seems some people find it easy to comment on something they know nothing about.

    I found the doco informative and a complete eye opener. I will definitely be watching tonight.

  4. Poor Ten, they must be counting down the time until the Delhi Games and then Junior MC. I must admit, they hardly have anything worth watching anymore other than 7pm, Offspring, TAYG and GNW.

  5. unless you have worked in rehab centres then calling this a joke shows peoples ignorance and arrogance. it wasn’t meant to be a masterpiece of cinema but a way of presenting information about a subject and lifestyle most only think they know. made a nice change from mindless 7 contentr

  6. A self confessed drug addict, yet he has never failed one if the AFLs drug tests. What does that tell you about the AFL? Hell, he is taking drugs on national television, and he’s still allowed to play!

  7. Cheerful Cher

    I missed it. I know it continues tonight, but is there any chance of a replay of last night’s episode or being available to view from Plus7?

  8. the doco was such a joke! maybe the pacing was on purpose to make you feel like you were on drugs watching it? Cause it certainly seems Ben was having fun when he was on the drugs!

    He cam across that he was proud of it and it was a hey look at me and how cool my life is/was instead of I hit rock bottom. lets hope part 2 show all this tonight.

    And I not for 1 second believe he didnt take drugs during his playing career, a drug addict can not just say to themselves “oh i’ll take drugs after this week of training and playing” the club protected him that way.

    And did it seem like the only reason he went to re-hab and tried to straighted his life out was only because the football club dropped him? So he didn’t have the money to have that lifestyle anymore, not cause he wanted to stop.

  9. @ Someone BBBA

    “Alas, I won’t be expecting Channel 7 to run another documentary next week documenting the positive effects of illicit drug use, in the interests of fairness and impartiality. Nope, that wouldn’t fit with their “drugs are bad, mm’kay” narrative at all.”

    What the eff are you smoking mate? Pushing an anti-drug agenda is a good thing, a very good thing.

  10. I didn’t find it so much glorifying drugs, more glorifying Ben Cousins. The doco lessened my opinion of him more, and that of West Coast and the AFL. He seems smug, and even laughing it off. Pretty disgraceful attitude. And pretty disgraceful he’s treated as a hero. Yes if he overcomes drugs, great for him. But don’t take drugs in the first place. The players who go through their careers not taking drugs don’t get the same hero status as him. He’s was nonfussed using drugs and skipping drug tests, West Coast did bugger all about it, and the AFL are that soft on drugs they allowed it to happen. They have a 3 strikes policy, it’s been revealed Cousins didn’t even get 1 strike, and there’s players still playing who have had 2 strikes.

    Was great to see anti-drugs campaigns during telecast though. And why was Tattslotto being shown in the ads in Adelaide?? Isn’t that Victoria’s lotto system??

  11. The show was very poorly made and was uneccesarily stretched by irrelevent comments from footy journos. It looked like a single topic episode of 20-1. Three years in the making and the best they can offer is football and news file footage and interviews with print journos who cover football. The only genuinely interesting footage was a short grab from a meeting Cousins had with his manager where we did feel like a fly on the wall. Hopefully tonights (uneccessary ratings grab) episode will offer some better insights into how he beat the testing system and what he’s done to beat the addiction. 90mins in total would have been enough.
    Nice Jimmy Barnes advert in the middle though.

  12. That really is disgraceful. I feel so embarrassed as an Australian that nearly two million of my country people were suckered into this lowest common denominator drivel that Seven hyped as some fascinating documentary. Judging from the adverts it was nothing more than a puerile attempt to resurrect Ben Cousins flagging career and Seven’s flagging AFL ratings by a faux sympathy ‘woe is me’ piece.

    I used to think all commercial channels were as bad as one another, but the past two years Seven has really dived to the bottom with gusto (Beauty & the Geek, Masterchef knock off, RSPCA animal rescue, X factor sloppy seconds, Matty Johns show, Keeping up with Kadashians, 7mate).

  13. Well I’m glad I didn’t watch the show, because judging from the comments I’ve read here the program was yet another instance of the 7 and 9 networks whipping up moral panics at the tragic expense of minority groups. I guess the “law and order” crowd were getting sick of the constant slandering of ethnic gangs and bikies, so 7 decided to get stuck into one of Australia’s most maligned minority groups of all time – the drug users.

    It’s all well and good to document the horrors of drug addiction, but from all reports this documentary went a lot further than that and pushed a blatant anti-drug agenda. This was made even more clear by the fact that 7 decided to run a whole bunch of anti-drug scare campaign adds during the program’s commercial breaks. That’s like running One Nation adds during Gangs of Oz!

    Alas, I won’t be expecting Channel 7 to run another documentary next week documenting the positive effects of illicit drug use, in the interests of fairness and impartiality. Nope, that wouldn’t fit with their “drugs are bad, mm’kay” narrative at all.

  14. Chloe. i was on twitter at the time. i’d say the majority of posters on the topic were of the “why is he wearing clothes?” variety. my sister was told to watch it for homework for drug ed. lol

  15. Hey David
    Will Channel ten do a repeat of Rush if it dose not rate well?? As i’m a Rush fan but want to watch both. And part to of it is on tonight

  16. the actually story/doc is interesting

    i agree with the pacing issue, people only talked for 15 seconds before be cut away to another person talking for 10 seconds etc.

    also you can definitely tell that this doc was filmed over the X year period. same interviewee talking but in different locations wearing different clothing

    overall, interesting insight as a doco should be

  17. Agreed, David. Pacing was erratic and it was difficult sometimes to follow chronologically where he was in his drug use/fallout (aside from looking very strung out at times). I taped the program and watched it, with a view to perhaps sitting with my 12 year old and watching it again as part of our open dialogue about drug use and abuse. I’m still in two minds. There certainly were some confronting instances where he clearly was in a bad way whilst under the influence, which could serve as a deterrent, but his narcissism and arrogance still peeped through at times, so I’m not sure if he’s quite there yet.

    However, if you’re looking at the program overall as a piece of television entertainment, then there’s certainly an audience for warts and all, falling from grace, bad boy stories. Though I’m not sure if anyone who had an opinion of Ben Cousins before watching the program would have changed their minds by the end, probably just entrenched what they already felt.

  18. This was a great show and it didn’t hold back on its confronting and open, honest and frank account of what was going on.
    I cant believe people in the community have said it glorify drug use. If anyone seen anything positive about drug abuse in this doco then they have some serious issues.
    It is a show that every parent and child should watch and talk about and see the effects of what this type of use has on not only the user but their family, friends and life. Well done 7 on what has so far been a confronting but informative show.
    The only thing I would say is I agree with you David, people seemed to be cut short at times in what they were saying, I feel the editing could have been improved.

  19. Frustrating? David, did we watch the same thing? Sure it was no Michael Moore documentary about the evils of American corporations and government, but as a personal tale it was pretty good…

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