Dangerous start for The Straits…

ABC’s launch for The Straits may have been  paradise on Twitter, but danger lurks in the ratings too…

Last night the show averaged 599,000 viewers -well down on the 900,000+ that The Slap was nabbing in the same timeslot. The debut of course, was twice as long meaning the average is likely to be lower rather than higher.

The question for ABC is whether the show might have pulled a bigger audience as a flagship Sunday night drama, or be smothered by the competition there. While other networks are hurriedly slating repeat airings of new product, ABC2 already had a rerun scheduled for tonight. Check it out if you like dramas that are offbeat or challenging.

My Kitchen Rules was once again the night’s #1 show on 1.44m viewers, miles ahead of the weight-loss battle between the other mob. Home and Away was second in its timeslot on 934,000 viewers. The return of Desperate Housewives was 620,000 / 537,000. Seven News (1.13m) topped Nine News (1.05m) and Sunrise (372,000) bettered Today (319,000).

A Current Affair (994,000) outranked Today Tonight (981,000). The return of CSI was 764,000 and CSI: NY was 535,000. Hot Seat (535,000) burnt Deal or No Deal (493,000). But the third episode of Excess Baggage (555,000) was in fourth place, beaten by The Biggest Loser (734,000).

TEN News was 684,000, with Law and Order: SVU on 570,000. A Gifted Man is struggling on 524,000. The Project averaged 527,000.

ABC News won its timeslot on 983,000 viewers. It was followed by 7:30 (678,000), and The Straits (599,000). Family Confidential premiered to 499,000.

Best for SBS ONE was 24 Hours in Emergency on 234,000.

Seven won the night.

Thursday 2 February 2012.


  1. We watched it tonight, not expecting too much due to the negative comments I’d read here.
    However we both enjoyed it very much, and will certainly be back for more!

  2. The Straits was alright actually – it’s like Underbelly in thongs. Plus it’s entirely commercial free and (apologies) Newton free too… with no Dimitriadeses or Colosimos either ie. plenty of new ‘talent’… although I thought I saw a Lisa McCune type of name bandied about earlier last year???

    As for ratings, it’s probably far less promoted and certainly less anticipated than The Slap, which had already found success in its own right as a book. If The Straits’ director is the same as Underbelly’s then good on them, although we could deviate from their standard glorified crime stories in future. That said, The Straits looked alot more polished than their casting callout ad for extras last November in a Port Douglas newspaper, which unsubtly specified “under 30 y.o.”, “slim, Disney-good looks” and “Indigenous/Islander appearance” (which effectively ruled me out tri-fold!). Interestingly, no experience was necessary.

    If this is The Straits, then the upcoming comedy ‘Outland’ is The Bends. Worth tuning in at least… besides, where else can you see murder by jellyfish?!?

  3. Is the Sapranos the poor man’s version of the Sopranos?

    The straits was excellent, I’m really glad I caught it, the spear in the face was hilarious. I think if you take the extreme OTT violence for what it is- comedy then you’ll enjoy it all.

    Great show! Pity about the ratings but they’ll grow

  4. Pretty average, I thought!

    The start of the show was over the top in that a bloke gets a spear in his face.

    It was pretty predictable with everything, like when the guy falls in the water when picking up his chemical shipment, you could see that miles away.

    Having a boat person was stupied as well in the way he saves the day with a mop.

    This show is a poor man’s version of The Sapronos

  5. peter cronshaw

    What a load of crock The straits is.They were trying to fit so much of what happens in Underbelly That I lost the plot! It has the potential of being a soap opera & the supposed dark humour left me shaking my head.Not gritty enough for me,& it’s certainly no Underbelly!

  6. The ABC’s Head of Drama has to start taking responsibility for these commissioning choices and how well they are being produced and then received by the audience. I agree with many others here – 10 hours of original drama about drug and gun running gangster violence masquerading as some kind of Shakespearian power struggle was a very tall order. I do not like a single character so why should I stay with it? Emma Lung’s character is an insult. Talk about gratuitous sex and violence. I really hope Phyrne Fisher doesn’t turn out to be the other extreme – a soft and fluffy mess.

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