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Downton Abbey a hit on 1.8m viewers

Following on from rave reviews and a lengthy publicity campaign Downton Abbey became an instant hit with just under 1.81m viewers.

Downton Abbey became an instant hit with its debut outing on Seven last night, scoring just under 1.81m viewers.

Following on from rave reviews and a (very) lengthy publicity campaign by Seven it was the top show for the night, thumping the competition. Thankfully, the show lives up to the hype.

A 90 minute Masterchef Australia (which began at 7:30pm) was 1.51m, The Mentalist was 736,000, The Kennedys was 585,000, Hawaii Five-O at 9pm slipped to 570,000 and Dateline on SBS dropped to just 85,000.

But MasterChef (1.51m) did top Dancing with the Stars (1.42m) and 60 Minutes (987,000). The Great Rift was 715,000 and Who Do You Think You Are? was 263,000.

Elsewhere last night In Their Footsteps pulled 987,000 and Merlin was 940,000.

Nine News at just under 1.66m also had a rare win over Seven News (1.53m).

FIA Formula One World Championship was the top multichannel show on 331,000 for ONE.

Seven romped home with a big share to win Sunday.

Week 23

Update: Downton Abbey replays Saturday, June 4 at 3pm in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and at 4pm in Adelaide.

51 Responses

  1. I don’t trust any channels these days to keep showing a programme or to change it to a different time slot so bought the DVD from England at just under AUD$20. I reckon that is a bargain as I don’t have to sit through endless advertisements and I know I will be able to watch the whole series when I want to!

  2. I’m more offended by nappy ads with naked babies frolicking around. Although tampon ads, yeah I could do without them too.

    So tell me about this show. Is it basically Pride and Prejudice with (implied) sex?

  3. The Downton Abbey radio ads were hilarious. A few lines from the episode plus some Pop tune way too loud over the top. Aiming for teens to watch this? I don’t think so. I shuddered when I saw Channel 7 had this.

  4. Didn’t notice the watermark, didn’t notice the popups, the ads didn’t bother me – I just enjoyed watching an engrossing drama! I had next to no interest in watching the show until it actually started and then I was hooked! What a brilliant piece of television! Everyone does realise that its season only lasts for seven weeks, right? Seven won’t shift it – even if it loses a third of its audience over the next seven weeks, it will still win its timeslot easily. If it drops below a million, though, Season Two (currently in production and again, only 7 weeks long, which is pretty normal for UK dramas) will move to Seven2, I’m sure.

  5. Just shows that American shows aren’t the only shows which can be successful in Australia. Maybe audiences are getting sick of the awful programming that the US has been churning out lately.

  6. Jack!: sorry you’re so offended by tampon ads… The natural functions of a woman’s body can be terrifying! Just put your fingers in your ears when another ad comes on…

  7. I didn’t watch it as I hated the advertising for it. And all the self promoting in DWTS. Would like to watch the replay but it clashes with the Eagles and Gold Coast game.

  8. Firstly: There is no way most of those “talking heads” in the promo would have lasted past the first 15 minutes … what a con!

    Secondly: Tampon adds need to be restricted to daytimes and after 9:30pm … it is Revolting to have them in our faces every add break!!!!

    Thirdly: It was a very slow first hour and I think they would have lost a lot of viewers very quickly, I will stay, but that is because I love British drama shows …

  9. I have to commend Channel 7 for letting the program run for a while (15-20 minutes) before cutting to the first ad break. That helped me get immersed in the show and soak up the early 20th century atmosphere.

    I think it was a poor decision to show ads (including those annoying pop up ads) for Highway Patrol during the program. People tuned in for Downton Abbey because it looks like a classy show, full of historical intrigue, romance and drama. I doubt any of them will be interested in Highway Patrol, billed as a show about “unbelievable high speed chases”.

  10. Im sure the ratings for this won’t be as high next week. its only the first ep so I wouldn’t get too excited! people usually will tune in if its the first ep to see what its like and if its worth continuing to watch. some have said its quite boring so Im sure numbers may drop next time, not sure why its on the main channel since 7two is all about British shows!

  11. @Moanique: What’s wrong with that? Obviously people here appreciate and enjoy television on a level more than most, due to visiting a television news-centric blog. Nothing wrong with predicting future ratings, or indeed, timeslots, for a program.

  12. I tried to watch it, but it just felt old fashioned and boring to me – ended up watching a DVD. Class and powerful intrigues upstairs and downstairs – I just can’t relate to it at all.

  13. Its great that DWTS made an effort to finish nearly on time. I wish they would do it every week. Enjoyed Downton Abbey (saw a preview of the first two eps last week ), and watched The Kennidys last night.

  14. The ad for Downton Abbey said ” get hooked”. I thought, why bother trying? You’ll just stuff about with time slots and eventually take it off altogether like every other show.

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