Australian Ninja Warrior biggest series launch in 5 years

Nine’s launch of Australian Ninja Warrior is the biggest series launch in 5 years, excluding Sport & Miniseries.

Last night the show pulled 1.68m viewers, winning in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The last series to launch ahead of those numbers was The Voice in 2012 with 2.2m viewers -coincidentally by the same producers, Endemol Shine (then Shine Australia).

While the show’s audience was 50.1% female, one should never discount its appeal to male and family audiences -so much of primetime TV has been skewing female of late. Seven will be hoping the family appeal works in its favour when Little Big Shots debuts next Sunday.

Nine is ambitiously stripping the show three nights a week, but the numbers suggest they have played that gamble well. Together with the State of Origin decider this week Nine looks on track to finally claim its first ratings week of 2017. Until now it has been a clean sweep to Seven.

“We have said that 2017 was going to be a year of taking risks,” said Michael Stephenson, Chief Sales Office at Nine. “With Australian Ninja Warrior we introduced a brand new show to Australian audiences and they clearly loved it.

“Sunday’s night’s audience numbers surpassed all expectations and Ninja Warrior demonstrates the tremendous power of free-to-air television to bring millions of Australians together in a shared experience.”



  1. I’ll be very impressed if it hold its audience. I’ll be the one to remind people that Celebrity Splash launched to 1.3m beating The biggest loser by 5-fold, yet by the end of that week the show was dubbed “blunder of the year”. Gladiators, Wipeout, Hole In the Wall; the obstacle course genre only ever lasts one episode.

  2. It’s rare for me to praise Nine but they absolutely nailed the look and feel of the show. Production values were top notch and we thoroughly enjoyed it. However Ben Fordham is cookie cutter blandness incarnate and Freddie Flintoff – whilst a cheeky and likeable chap – is totally miscast. My previous mistaken assumption of The Checkout’s Ben Jenkins would have been much better. But we’ll be recording this while we watch MasterChef and watching it right after from hereon.

  3. Ninja Warrior launched big but the big question is, does it maintain the audience. Becuase to be honest, while the show was good, it wasn’t something I will come back to watch if there are other shows on.

  4. Nine will have won Sunday to Wednesday, by a length of the Flemington straight.

    Seven will win Thursday, Friday & Saturday (the latter two by big margins). However it won’t be enough to stop Nine.

    Boy, it’s taken them until well into July! Haven’t seen that in at least 6 years

  5. 2017 a year of risks? When are they going to take some risks with drama. I suppose going backwards with McLeod’s Daughters is what you would call a risk.

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