What Kids Really Watch

Reality TV shows dominate the most popular form of TV for Australian kids.

The Block is the #1 show amongst Under 15 year olds this year, followed by MasterChef Australia, Australia’s Got Talent, Modern Family, Glee, Merlin and The X Factor.

Recently there has been some debate about the success or otherwise of kids’ programming.

On the weekend Patricia Edgar, the founding director of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, wrote an article in response to a Screen Australia report that said kids were watching US reruns such as Here’s Lucy, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Happy Days and Mork and Mindy on digital channels over Australian made children’s programmes. The data was based on data from one month of programmes in May.

But TV Tonight has looked at Free to Air channels for Weeks 7 – 41 and found the the Top 200 shows for Aussie kids reflect many of the same shows that appeal to adults.

The most popular viewing time for U15s is actually 7-8:30pm and it’s led by big Reality TV shows. Then there is a second peak at about 4-6pm which puts ABC2 on top with kids.

ABC2 is doing well with the under 4 year olds with shows like The Hive, Gaspard & Lisa, Miffy & Friends, Rastamouse, Bob the Builder, but they’re all produced overseas.

The top rating Australian shows on ABC2 are Play School, Bananas in Pyjamas, Bindi the Jungle Girl, and Dirtgirlworld.

On ABC3 which pitches a to older kids, there is more competition from Pay TV, multichannels, DVDs, internet, gaming and more general entertainment. Once again the top rating shows are produced overseas, The Clone Wars and Total Drama Action. The top rating Australian shows are Prank Patrol and reruns of Dead Gorgeous. My Place may win Logies, but at 5:00 on Sundays on ABC3 it was virtually ignored by a big section of the audience. Hopefully a new season of Dance Academy next year will prove more popular.

Show / Channel / Average Audience for U15
1 The Block -Sun Network Nine 320,858
2 The Block -Mon Network Nine 299,561
3 The Block -Tue Network Nine 272,720
4 Masterchef Australia Sun Network Ten 270,392
5 Australia’s Got Talent-Tue Network Seven 261,223
6 The Block -Wed Network Nine 254,990
7 The Block -Thu Network Nine 253,872
8 Modern Family Network Ten 253,452
9 Masterchef Australia Wed Network Ten 245,785
10 Masterchef Australia Thurs Network Ten 239,173
11 Masterchef Australia Tues Network Ten 238,680
12 Glee Network Ten 235,812
13 Masterchef Australia Mon Network Ten 229,719
14 Merlin Network Ten 222,659
15 Australia’s Got Talent-Wed Network Seven 217,276
16 The Block -Fri Network Nine 214,761
17 The Biggest Loser Families – Weigh-In & Elimination Network Ten 207,377
18 The X Factor Auditions-Wed Network Seven 198,742
19 The X Factor Auditions-Thu Network Seven 196,523
20 The Biggest Loser Families – Contest Network Ten 191,880
21 The X Factor Auditions-Tue Network Seven 189,593
22 Bondi Rescue Network Ten 188,542
23 Glee Wed Network Ten 185,549
24 Modern Family Rpt Network Ten 183,595
25 Come Fly With Me Network Nine 182,975
26 The Biggest Loser Families – Temptation Network Ten 181,133
27 The X Factor-Tue Network Seven 174,687
28 My Kitchen Rules-Tue Network Seven 174,135
29 The X Factor Auditions-Mon Network Seven 173,111
30 Modern Family Tues Network Ten 172,197
31 No Ordinary Family Network Seven 166,118
32 Packed To The Rafters Network Seven 163,723
33 Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year Network Nine 160,750
34 The Big Bang Theory Network Nine 159,782
35 My Kitchen Rules-Wed Network Seven 159,719
36 The Biggest Loser Families – Challenge Network Ten 159,639
37 Bondi Vet Network Ten 158,009
38 World’s Strictest Parents-Australia Network Seven 153,915
39 My Kitchen Rules-Mon Network Seven 151,058
40 The Hive-Am Network ABC2 145,758
41 Winners & Losers Network Seven 144,716
42 Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation Sun Network Ten 144,688
43 Dancing With The Stars Network Seven 144,182
44 Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation Network Ten 142,437
45 Masterchef Australia – Masterclass Network Ten 142,176
46 The Big Bang Theory -Mon Network Nine 140,984
47 Hot Property Network Nine 140,277
48 How I Met Your Mother-Ep.2 Network Seven 139,379
49 Gaspard And Lisa-Am Network ABC2 137,673
50 Miffy And Friends-Am Network ABC2 137,164
51 The Big Bang Theory -Wed Network Nine 135,453
52 The Big Bang Theory -Tue Ep1 Network Nine 133,521
53 Rastamouse-Am Network ABC2 133,330
54 Bob The Builder: Ready, Steady, Build!-Am Network ABC2 130,579
55 Australia’s Funniest Home Videos Network Nine 129,995
56 The Amazing Race Australia Network Seven 129,958
57 The Big Bang Theory -Rpt Network Nine 129,893
58 Nine News Sunday Network Nine 129,628
59 The Big Bang Theory -Tue Network Nine 127,843
60 Beauty And The Geek Australia Network Seven 127,392
61 Play School-Pm Network ABC2 127,340
62 Wild Boys Network Seven 126,546
63 Modern Family Wed Rpt Network Ten 125,824
64 Bananas In Pyjamas-Am Network ABC2 125,773
65 Better Homes And Gardens Network Seven 125,010
66 Modern Family Thurs Rpt Network Ten 124,771
67 The Big Bang Theory -Ep1 Network Nine 123,819
68 Bindi: The Jungle Girl-Am Network ABC2 123,794
69 The Koala Brothers-Am Network ABC2 122,637
70 How I Met Your Mother Network Seven 122,560
71 Little Charley Bear-Am Network ABC2 122,386
72 The Big Bang Theory -Tue Ep2 Network Nine 121,965
73 Mister Maker-Am Network ABC2 120,047
74 Shaun The Sheep-Am Network ABC2 119,947
75 The Big Bang Theory -Thu Network Nine 119,668
76 The Renovators Sun Network Ten 119,641
77 The Farmer Wants A Wife -Mon Network Nine 119,619
78 Thomas And Friends-Am Network ABC2 119,335
79 Classic Tales-Am Network ABC2 119,289
80 Small Potatoes!-Am Network ABC2 118,429
81 Home And Away Network Seven 118,377
82 Chuggington Badge Quest-Pm Network ABC2 118,290
83 Two And A Half Men Network Nine 117,895
84 Four Weddings-Thu Network Seven 117,778
85 Doctor Who-Ev Network ABC1 117,219
86 The Big Bang Theory -Ep2 Network Nine 116,512
87 Martin Morning-Am Network ABC2 115,297
88 Louie-Ev Network ABC2 114,148
89 Dirtgirlworld-Am Network ABC2 112,884
90 Play School-Am Network ABC2 112,792
91 Five Minutes More-Ev Network ABC2 112,438
92 Timmy Time-Am Network ABC1 112,320
93 Four Weddings Network Seven 111,699
94 Seven News – Sun Network Seven 110,930
95 Shaun The Sheep-Pm Network ABC2 110,737
96 Sesame Street-Am Network ABC2 110,681
97 The Renovators Thurs Network Ten 110,024
98 Offspring Wed Network Ten 108,697
99 Little Princess-Pm Network ABC2 108,605
100 Blanche-Ev Network ABC2 108,344
101 Grandpa In My Pocket-Am Network ABC2 107,738
102 Roary The Racing Car-Am Network ABC2 107,311
103 Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation Wed Network Ten 106,530
104 Miffy And Friends-Ev Network ABC2 106,466
105 Thomas And Friends-Am Network ABC1 106,246
106 Octonauts-Am Network ABC2 105,847
107 Arthur-Am Network ABC1 105,584
108 Charlie And Lola-Am Network ABC2 104,941
109 Florrie’s Dragons-Am Network ABC2 104,806
110 Great Migrations Network Seven 104,209
111 Florrie’s Dragons-Pm Network ABC2 104,159
112 Nelly And Caesar-Am Network ABC2 103,693
113 Driver Dan’s Story Train-Am Network ABC1 103,521
114 In Their Footsteps Network Nine 103,406
115 Milly, Molly-Am Network ABC2 103,313
116 The Renovators Wed Network Ten 103,085
117 Babar-Am Network ABC2 102,789
118 The Renovators Mon Network Ten 102,655
119 Olivia-Pm Network ABC2 102,245
120 The Renovators Tues Network Ten 102,221
121 Penelope-Ev Network ABC2 102,163
122 Octonauts-Am Network ABC1 101,999
123 Penelope-Am Network ABC2 100,946
124 Wibbly Pig-Am Network ABC2 100,064
125 Plonsters-Pm Network ABC2 100,005
126 60 Minutes Network Nine 99,317
127 Octonauts-Pm Network ABC2 99,296
128 Humf-Ev Network ABC2 99,107
129 Bert And Ernie’s Great Adventures-Pm Network ABC2 98,962
130 Angry Boys-Ev Network ABC1 98,734
131 The Wotwots-Pm Network ABC2 98,688
132 Mr Moon-Ev Network ABC2 98,671
133 Zigby-Am Network ABC1 98,151
134 Olivia-Am Network ABC2 98,042
135 The Mole Sisters-Ev Network ABC2 97,956
136 Peppa Pig-Pm Network ABC2 97,941
137 Fireman Sam-Pm Network ABC2 97,868
138 Peppa Pig-Am Network ABC1 97,496
139 Timmy Time-Am Network ABC2 97,458
140 Nine News Network Nine 97,327
141 The Hive-Pm Network ABC2 97,038
142 Highway Patrol Network Seven 96,543
143 Laura’s Star-Pm Network ABC2 96,524
144 A Current Affair Network Nine 96,471
145 Offspring Network Ten 96,426
146 Guess With Jess-Am Network ABC2 96,279
147 Pingu-Pm Network ABC2 95,945
148 The Magic Roundabout-Am Network ABC2 95,867
149 Rupert Bear: Follow The Magic-Ev Network ABC2 95,736
150 Sesame Street-Am Network ABC1 95,128
151 Wibbly Pig-Pm Network ABC2 95,112
152 Classic Tales-Pm Network ABC2 95,049
153 Star Wars: The Clone Wars-Pm Network ABC3 94,808
154 Little Charley Bear-Ev Network ABC2 94,760
155 Today Tonight Network Seven 94,403
156 Sunday Night Network Seven 94,381
157 Seven News Network Seven 93,787
158 Grandpa In My Pocket-Pm Network ABC2 93,772
159 64 Zoo Lane-Am Network ABC2 93,737
160 Driver Dan’s Story Train-Am Network ABC2 93,200
161 Dirtgirlworld-Am Network ABC1 93,184
162 Roary The Racing Car-Am Network ABC1 92,778
163 Two And A Half Men -Tue Network Nine 92,493
164 Bananas In Pyjamas-Pm Network ABC2 91,676
165 Hurray For Huckle!-Pm Network ABC2 91,547
166 Play School-Am Network ABC1 91,146
167 Nine’s Live Friday Night Football Network Nine 90,783
168 Underbelly: Razor Network Nine 90,780
169 Timmy Time-Pm Network ABC2 90,580
170 Five Minutes More-Pm Network ABC2 90,391
171 Bones-Mon Network Seven 90,385
172 Inside The Human Body Network Nine 89,779
173 Hurray For Huckle!-Am Network ABC2 89,667
174 Bob The Builder: Project Build It-Am Network ABC2 89,347
175 Poko-Am Network ABC2 89,293
176 Mike & Molly Network Nine 88,802
177 Top Design Network Nine 88,129
178 A Current Affair -Sunday Network Nine 87,989
179 Willa’s Wild Life-Am Network ABC2 87,699
180 Two And A Half Men -Mon Network Nine 87,602
181 The 7pm Project Network Ten 87,452
182 In The Night Garden-Ev Network ABC2 87,450
183 Mister Maker Comes To Town-Pm Network ABC2 87,134
184 The Wotwots-Am Network ABC2 87,073
185 How I Met Your Mother (R) Network Seven 86,834
186 The Hoobs-Pm Network ABC2 86,819
187 Franny’s Feet-Am Network ABC2 86,748
188 Grey’s Anatomy Network Seven 86,647
189 Downton Abbey Network Seven 86,502
190 Angelina Ballerina-Am Network ABC2 86,157
191 Hawaii Five-O Network Ten 84,967
192 World’s Deadliest Roads Network Seven 84,879
193 Postman Pat Special Delivery Service-Am Network ABC2 84,455
194 Seven News – Sat Network Seven 84,430
195 Postman Pat-Am Network ABC2 84,089
196 Bali-Pm Network ABC2 83,626
197 Ocean Giants Network Nine 83,547
198 Rescue Special Ops Network Nine 83,320
199 Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) Network Seven 83,170
200 Bones Network Seven 82,728

NB: Average audience numbers are also affected by the number of broadcasts per show. An average for a weekly show is likely to skew higher than a daily show.

13 Comments:

  1. Kids now days dont take notice of the (PG) rating or movie for M18+ only or such the conduct on any tv network… now days people watch what they want regardless if the show is made for more then these obove 15.. seriously these under 15 they would watch anything on tv… labeling a programe on a tv network if its for adults only or have parents beside is just the old times… people used to notice that.. Nowdays its like who cares and people would watch anything regardless…. but thats how nowdays are like.

    Things change over time.

  2. My 8 year old niece loves The Block and shows like Masterchef. I found it surprising. My kids used to love some of the pre-school programs on ABC2, and we generally found the British and Canadian shows better than the Australian shows, except Play School, and certainly better than the US shows.

    Now my kids are a little bit older they have developed a liking for good old Looney Tunes and The Smurfs. They access them on you tube most of the time.

  3. @Andrew I read an article a little while ago on Australian TV networks’ catch-up TV services where someone from the ABC said that 7 of the top 20 most watched programs on iView are kids programs.

    But I don’t think the commercial networks make much kids programming available online.

  4. @ Andrew, I have an 11 year old that watches almost nothing on FTA and watches almost exclusively online. Shows like the block and The XFactor as she goes to bed at 8pm and misses them and now just prefers to watch when she wants to see it, not when the networks dictate. She also watches DVD’s of her favourite shows rather than try to catch on FTA. We don’t have pay.

    I think this is the way things are going and networks know it considering the ads on online viewing.

  5. I agree with Kirben here. If a family watches The Block or Underbelly then its not kids viewing habits imo. Surprised Rafters is low on that list at 32 considering it is very high usually #1 or 2 in the demos so what does that tell you. Its a weird one i think. Interesting results but how accurate are they really?

  6. @Kirben I don’t believe any kids under the age of 12 would watch tele online seems weird to me

    @Bruce Banner they did say under 15’s so it could just be the 13-15year olds….I know by the time i was 13 i was watching m shows

  7. I think kids TV us something the yanks do so much better than us. Kids want to watch Hannah Montana, icarly and waverly place; which to an adult and parents looks like total smut but it shouldn’t be about adults. Shows like My Place are shows that adults want the kids to like, but never will. So no one watches them and they end up as a waste of everyone’s time and money.

  8. Assumptions made on the small number of people (around 3000? for OzTAM) with rating boxes aren’t valid, as I have stated before. Especially when you break them down even more, to age groups.

    Also many children would be stuck watching, what the family is watching in the evening, as they would not have their own TVs.

    There is a severe lack of new, and especially quality content for children on (free to air) TV though. The ABC2 is literally the baby sitter channel for young children, the ABC3 suffers from endless repeats, and there is less and less shown by the commercial TV networks. For example only 9 animated series currently been shown, two which are aimed more at adults.

    I expect many children aren’t watching much TV at all, and are looking more to the internet for decent TV series to watch.

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