Viewers flock to nostalgic comedy on ABC

Ratings: While the night easily belonged to Seven, the lesson for TV programmers is: make 'em laugh.


There was a lesson for TV programmers in last night’s ratings results: viewers want Comedy.

An excellent 773,000 viewers tuning into ABC’s doco Stop Laughing This is Serious at 9pm tells us they are nostalgic for classic Aussie comedy -a genre commercial networks have been avoiding like the plague.

Meanwhile Million Dollar Minute was up to 696,000 viewers, pushing Hot Seat‘s 485,000 viewers into third place behind TEN Eyewitness News 544,000. It has helped Seven News defeat Nine News all week. Last night it won in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, trailing in Sydney by just 2,000 and in Melbourne by 34,000.

Seven network share was out in front on 37.0% then Nine 25.4%, ABC 17.8%, TEN 14.3% and SBS 5.4%.

My Kitchen Rules was again #1 at 1.52m viewers for Seven then Seven News (1.11m / 1.00m), Home and Away (842,000), Million Dollar Minute (696,000) and Movie: Fast & Furious 6 (520,000).

Nine News was 920,000 / 894,000 for Nine followed by The Block (885,000), A Current Affair (836,000), Forever (525,000 / 390,000) and Hot Seat (485,000).

ABC News was 795,000. Following Stop Laughing This is Serious (773,000) was Mad as Hell (641,000), 7:30 (613,000) and QI (540,000).

It was a tough night for TEN unable to rise above TEN Eyewitness News (544,000). The Project was 520,000 / 399,000, David Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise was 381,000, Wonderland was down to 368,000 and The Good Wife was 218,000.

On SBS ONE it was Walking Through History (271,000), The Missing Evidence (265,000), SBS World News (124,000) and Witnesses (75,000).

A new multichannel champ was 7mate’s Baggage Battles (271,000).

Sunrise: 347,000
Today: 288,000
ABC News Breakfast: 89,000 / 43,000

OzTAM Overnights: Wednesday 25 March 2015

20 Responses

  1. I wish the ABC would put a lot of the shows featured in “Stop Laughing This is Serious” on iView as I missed a lot when I was younger or saw but only have a small memory of it.. I’m looking forward to see what the other episodes cover.

  2. Funny … I didnt think it was that good. Although they made a point of trying to tell a story of linear progression of Aus comedy it jumped all over the place in time and space; their other point on the importance of Aus comedy consisted mostly of Gunston in ’75 and a bit about RR ‘pushing the envelope’ (although the point about aboriginal comedy was well-made). Most of the clips they chose to illustrate it all were second-rate (although they did mention/show a few I’d forgotten about).

    Frankly I’ve seen much better/funnier/more interesting/informative shows about Aus comedy from BBC2, made on a shoestring to fill their airtime. But it’s not the ABC’s fault – these days, their total budget is about the same as a single BBC TV channel…

  3. The numbers for The Good Wife should be adjusted down to account for the amount of the picture that was covered up by Ten’s opaque “watermark” bug.

    Stop laughing was good. Interesting that a doco about comedy rated higher than the actual comedy that was on before it. I know that there are some sad people who are not fans of Micallef but I think this speaks volumes about the nostalgia factor and the general age profile of the ABC.

    It also speaks to why the commercial networks are so reluctant to invest in new sketch comedy. It can be very hit and miss and a lot of the people who keep calling for more comedy to be made don’t watch the new show because they don’t think that it’s very good. The comedy shows of their childhood and youth are put up on a pedestal and it’s very difficult for a new show to approach that level in the first few eps.

    1. I think the thing the Commercial networks are afraid of it not appealing to absolutely everyone. Comedy is very hit or miss, but people are very passionate about it.
      Like ABC2s Dirty Laundry Live, almost no one watched it, but going from Twitter it was very popular with a small group of people. I know i never missed an episode, which is a lot more than i can say about anything the other networks are giving me.

    2. Just caught up on a recording of the Good Wife and it was obliterated by Ten’s watermark advertising. Don’t think we don’t notice Ten: we do, and we hate you for vandalising such a great drama. No wonder people are put off.

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