Top Design’s top troubles

Curious results last night in the ratings game with 1.3m viewers tuning into The Block just to see four couples paint some beach boxes, but only 610,000 remaining for Jamie Durie’s Top Design.

Top Design was even beaten by The Renovators on 782,000. Both shows had episodes that involved recycling. It raises questions about some suggestions the shows are struggling because there is not enough renovation. Is the reason The Block has worked better due to its simplicity of four couples that viewers have bonded with? Casting is everything in Reality, but game play runs a close second.

The 7:30 timeslot was won by neither with World’s Strictest Parents on 1.13m. ABC’s 7.30 was in third place on 683,000. The very last episode of The New Inventors at 8pm was 615,000 and Tropic of Capricorn on SBS was 326,000.

The Block‘s 1.3m was well in front of Home and Away (973,000), ABC News (924,000) and The 7PM Project (697,000).

At 8:30pm ABC won the hour with The Gruen Transfer on 1.12m and Spicks And Specks on 1.02m. It led Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (997,000), Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (889,000), RPA (632,000) and The Hotel -which last over half its lead in on SBS.

Covert Affairs won at 9:30pm with 607,000 viewers.

Earlier in the night Hot Seat took a big lead of 675,000 over Deal Or No Deal‘s (558,000). TEN News At Five averaged 630,000 across its 90 minutes.

Heartbeat topped multichannels on 377,000 viewers.

Seven won its second night of the week.

Week 34



  1. I actually don’t mind this show (I have the reno bug) :-), but some of the ‘contestants’ really get on my goat. I was glad to see the old bugger who just wanted to fight everyone all the time step aside (he also did next to bugger all), but I do agree they need to do something to liven the show up a bit. Anyhow, my 2c for what it’s worth.

  2. i don’t normally like these shows at all, and SWMBO switches on the Block.. well I actually like the people on the block. For all their quirks, they look like a bunch who know how to have fun.. and I like how the production seems to have changed a bit around the fun characters they’ve had on there, and making the production a bit more fun in the process. Rod and Waz are funny as hell.

  3. I’m not getting the Jamie Durie hate. He shits all over Scott Cam, would much prefer him to Cam on The Block any day. Remember the awful scene last year where Chez and Himbo didn’t get their reserve at the auction, Cam had no idea how to handle that situation, it was clear to see.

    Plus, would there be a gay couple on The Block next year if Cam wasn’t the host?

  4. Armchair Analyst

    The only reason that i can come up with to explain why Top Design and The Renovators are rating poorly, is that the audience does not like it when they are made to feel dumb or uncreative, or they dont like tuning into tv shows which are making things which can be easily done and yet these shows make it sound like they are building the colosium. My guess is that people do not like when drama is inserted into a makeover show when the task is pretty simple and relatively easy to complete.

  5. I too like renovations as it interests me. The folks on the block are relatable. I too choose when I watch it, as I find too much focus on challenges 2 hours a week, 1.5 hour on reveals and views. Which only leaves approx 2 half hours of actual renovation!
    I think next year more focus on renovations, how to’s & a better ficus on sustainable practices and designs! Only one ep mentioned the benefits of the rain tank system & the propane heater! Please take note Networks! We are in the 21st Century

  6. I would be interested to see how much of The Renovators figure was the switch on for TAYG. That’s what I did, and I hated having to sit through that inane show.

  7. In my previous comment, things I said about The Renovatores apply also to Top Design and I was thinking about that progam as well when I wrote about the hard work and put downs on Top Design. I much preferred Jamie Durie when her was on Backyard Blitz and produced great backyards. He had a team of paid workers who were always presented as happy to be doing a great job. They were always complimented for their great effort and the owners of the backyards were really excited about their new yards and the holidays they received. In Top Design he’s working with pesumably unpaid volunteers who often have to work alone under great pressure then be critisised for what they do. That’s no fun to watch, although I most impressed with what the designers achieve.

  8. I thought I’d like the renovators and often look at it for short periods while I’m watching other programs. But I’m suffering from renovation overload and like to watch a variety of programs like Tropic of Cancer, Spicks and Specks, The New Inventors. I have been watching the Block but flick backwards and forward to other programs while I watch it while I listen to the radio as well. If I’m not working in the kitchen I may be on the computer looking at email, fb or twitter or something else as well. The renovators has too much pressure and put downs of people who do a fantastic job in a very short time. Renovation Rescure etc I prefer because it has lots of enthusiastic people working as a team and bringing great joy to the people they help.

  9. The Block also has the ‘if I was in that situation, I’d never do that’ relatable factor. People often do renovate their own homes, they often do have trouble with tradies etc. So for some, myself included, it’s not so much the casting, but the dare I say it, reality of the activities. I hated the beach box stuff and I don’t watch The Block for those challenges such as running around the maze. I watch the episodes that feature renovation in the homes, and room reveals.

    I don’t know many people who are renovating shipping containers and I think that’s where the Renovators/Top Design struggle a bit – it’s not as relatable.

  10. I like Polly and Waz in The Block and Josh and Jenna amuse me that’s probably while I’m still watching. Especially last nights challenge, which was a bore. The Renovators is ok, it good be better ie showing more of them renovating the different houses. I like the judges as well.

    Top Design, is boring. I watched a couple of episodes and just lost interest. The challenges were pointless. And Jamie Durie likes do his best Tyra Banks when it comes time to eliminate.

  11. You hit the nail on the head.. pun is intended

    The Block is about the couples and the audience choosing who they want to win. In saying that, the huge numbers it gets still puzzles me

  12. Its bad when you drop below the renovators. Does Jamie Durie just seem a bit too smug or full of himself. I only ask this as every time you see the show mentioned anywhere, you just see a grinning photo of him. Perhaps the combination of him and renovation overkill has adversely affected this show….

    Sons of Anarchy was awesome last night…..bikie wars, violence and salacious snaps of the porn industry….great stuff…

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