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Hey Hey anniversary tops Sunday with 1.2m viewers

Fans flock to a night of nostalgia landing as the #1 show on air and giving Seven a big night of viewing.

A nostalgic night of star-studded clips and larrikin memories saw Hey Hey We’re 50 boom to 1.2m metro viewers, as the #1 show on television last night.

Seven capitalised on a 50 year anniversary of a Nine show, which featured messages from Jacki MacDonald, Molly Meldrum, Red Symons, Marcia Hines, Dave Hughes, Rhonda Burchmore, Nathan Cavaleri, James Morrison, Brian Mannix, ‘Joe Calamari’ and more. It paid off in droves, including trending at #1 online.

Yet while The Block drew 920,000 it still led the demos, then Celebrity MasterChef (620,000) and Restoration Australia (425,000).

Seven’s lead helped edge Manhunt (558,000) ahead of 60 Minutes (545,000), Fires (318,000) and CSI: Vegas (307,000).

Seven network won Sunday with 35.3% then Nine 28.1%, 10 17.7%, ABC 13.0% and SBS 5.9%.

Seven News also won its slot at 1.04m. The Real Manhunter drew 218,000.

Nine News (998,000) was best for Nine. A late edition drew 325,000.

The Sunday Project pulled 353,000 / 270,000 for 10. 10 News First was 294,000 / 238,000. FBI was 198,000.

ABC News drew 643,000 for ABC. Back Roads (234,000) and We Hunt Together (101,000) followed.

On SBS it was SBS World News (159,000 / 123,000), Inside Central Station (146,000), The Department (94,000)

Insiders led multichannels at 153,000.

In Total TV lifts last Sunday were:

Fires: 706,000
Manhunt: 775,000
FBI: Most Wanted: 406,000
NRL Grand Final: 3.61m

OzTAM Overnights: Sunday 10 October 2021

41 Responses

  1. So… it rated about the same as any other top-rating show (outside of sport) on a Sunday night? Much the same as the news, or the Voice, or …?

    Not sure whether that says more about Hey Hey or the state of FTA TV, but it’s hardly a resounding success.

    1. In entertainment not a lot goes above 1 million viewers in metro. The Voice was an exception as is Hey Hey special, and will go higher still in Total TV numbers. It’s about twice the number of Celeb MasterChef and SAS Australia, so yes a resounding success.

  2. Impressive ratings for Hey Hey special. Molly Meldrum is struggling since his fall. The Disaster Chef segment was hilarious. Amazing how Daryl Somers pulled together Great Aussie Joke. Critics usually criticize clip shows such as The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle.

  3. Seems a lot of people calling for it to return forgot what happened last time there was a reunion, and then revival.

    The two part reunion in 2010 was a ratings juggernaut and drew over 2+ million viewers for each or the two episodes. Unheard of for a tv show that wasn’t a finale. Nine and Somers thought they were sitting on a gold mine and revived the show with 20 episodes to air. After the 1st of 20 episodes aired to 1.5m viewers ratings tanked and was pulled with 7 episodes left. Brought back in October to finish the last 7 and subsequently cancelled, again.

    Turns out people love nostalgia but once they get their quick fix they move on. This would follow the same fate. Once a year special is about right I think.

    1. Interesting comment, but what age group do you think watched the ‘Hey Hey We’re Fifty’ show?. Daryl may get excited to get back into show business, he is a showman after all, but one thing is for sure a dedicated variety show other than those coming from the UK and USA is needed in Australia to promote movies and celebrities if nothing else, we do have a movie and TV industry in Australia which needs a bit of publicity. The Project is about the only show celebrities have available to them.

      1. Variety shows are not what they used to be. Social media/YouTube is more powerful because it has way more viewers. Even the late night shows in the US have a fraction of the viewers then what they used to.

        Reason why channel 9 cancelled hey hey back in 2010 was because the cost to produce was high.

  4. I watched Celebrity MasterChef and really enjoyed the first half, I will finish the rest tonight and then start with tonight’s show. I liked the warmth of the celebrities and the hosts. I have not really seen any MC before. But a lot of the celebrities appealed and there was a gap in my viewing schedule. I am glad I watched it and will keep enjoying.

  5. Great viewing, great to remember all the musicians, comedians, film stars, crazy acts, poets etc that this show helped promote and all live and not scripted like in the US. A shame people have moved on from regular viewing habits so a show like this wouldn’t work these days (get enough viewers weekly), just lucky that we grew up with it, great memories and a good laugh was refreshing.

  6. Watched this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very pleased it did well in the ratings. I’ve long thought that Variety TV in this country could make a welcome comeback. If you build it (and get it right) the viewers will come! The biggest obstacle in networks minds seems to be the cost of a variety show. Last night proved it doesn’t need to be expensive and flashy. Just entertaining.

  7. Best option moving forward would be to do an annual special showing old clips perhaps complemented with some new content from artists or comedy acts. Darryl could get 10 annuals patched together for little cost perhaps do a new red faces segment each year as well. Once a year nostalgia is enough and the network would be guaranteed of a good ratings figure.

    1. This. Australia has no culture of Christmas specials but a once a year special in 2nd week of December (last ratings week?) would rate well – would likely do just as well as Carols in the Domain but with a lot less overhead.

    2. That’s a great idea once a year specials, prevents people not watching as they think oh well it will be on next week anyway so they don’t worry if they miss it when it’s on every week, then the ratings drop and show is cancelled. I’m happy to just watch the clips and interviews with them now, that worked well last night, just a shame most of them couldn’t be there live due to various lockdowns.

  8. Watched all of the hh special last night, not suprised it rated it’s pants off, but overall, thiought it was pretty average, mostly a clip show, some appearances from Trevor(who I thought looked like he has aged a bit), Molly(who must be semi-retired now), and of course John Blackman, who looked quite well considering what he has been through with his cancer scare. I suspect that will be it with any kind of new HH shows in future, Daryl seems content on moving all of the shows online, some for free and some you pay for.

  9. It’s interesting seeing these great ratings for the Hey Hey special, and the reading lots of feedback online about wanting more variety shows on TV. Well…10 tried this most recently with Sunday Night Takeaway and Saturday Night Rove, but they failed miserably. There is a gap between what people want and their actual viewing behaviour.

    1. More variety television is a must.I was a bit surprised Sunday Night Takeaway didn’t do better considering.Saturday Night Rove was always going to fail as it concentrated to much on the comedians.Plenty of dead silence when they performed.What Channel 10 failed to do was to bring back Rove Live this would have been a lot better option

    2. Saturday Night Rove failed because it was visually dark, tried too hard to be funny and had Judith Lucy on voice over. Takeaway was doomed because it relied on a British format that is much grander than what was produced here.

      Rove would be very capable of leading a Hey Hey-esque variety show with the right tools. Rove Live was pretty close actually.

      And I think you’d have to put it on a Sunday night now to be worthwhile to a network or advertisers.

      1. Yeah I’m not sure what really happened with Rove.

        He had a successful show which pretty much was taking over for the spot of Hey Hey with visiting celebrities and live performances, variety and such. Then he chose to end it himself to then go and do some stuff with Jay Leno and such in the US. Then that ended and sadly he didn’t continue doing his show back here again.

  10. Two-thirds of the Hey Hey audience was in the over 55’s..! Ran fourth in 16-39/49 and third in 25-54.

    1.2m for a clip show/ infomercial/ Logie HOF beg-fest looks good on paper, but Seven won’t be shouting from the rooftops about an old demo with a low-spending profile. And I’d hardly think Nine would care in the slightest. Daryl on the other hand…

  11. You can’t ignore those numbers. The temptation for a short run of new episodes in 2022 could now be in consideration.
    It was a joy to watch last night and much like the 2009 reunion episodes it left you wanting more …

  12. It was good to see what we saw last night but we need more. It really should be back. A vehicle for some live entertainment and laughs kind-of like how the US has constantly had SNL.

    It doesn’t always need Daryl hosting. In the past others such as Larry Emdur as well as Lani and Woodley hosted it.

    Anyway to comment further on last night’s special I was a bit surprised not really any coverage was given of Livinia Nixon considering she got her start on with Plucka and Hey Hey I thought and continues with 9 today. Surely 9 didn’t ban her from appearing?

      1. I did notice Raymond J. Bartholomeuz (the poet) mention her when he said Livvy. There were some quick glimpses in some of the clips of her too. Just no direct mention of her by Daryl sadly.

        She was there right to the end with Hey Hey including the reunions and when it returned last. Would be a bit sad if 9 was blocking her or something though, then again I think 7 blocked Molly from appearing when it was on 9 last.

  13. A great show. Maybe because he was reliving his halcyon days, or maybe because he has a pecuniary interest through owning the rights, it was clear that Daryl seemed right at home last night and proffered a far better hosting job than anything he has fronted since Hey Hey ended.

    I note too that this incredible hosting feat was done without a live studio audience and worked a treat! Was a delight to see. Thanks for 50 great years Somers-Carroll.

  14. No matter how much you like or dislike Hey Hey, it played a major role in the Australian televisual landscape, as well as Australian culture.
    It was as a landmark show which was used as a platform to launch many careers.
    Kudos to everyone involved, not matter how small / large the contribution.

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