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.”