tip off

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings: ABC shows them how it’s done

Despite the lowish audience, the ABC again showed the Nine Network how to make a terrific drama out of a significant crime and social issue story in last night’s telemovie Dangerous Remedy.

The Glenn Dyer breakdown: A close night. Nine won in metro markets (overall and the main channels), but that was due to a big win in Melbourne where viewers have been right off Seven for some time. Seven did a lot better in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and in regional markets (again).

Ten had a stronger night because the ABC was weaker with Modern Family again shouldering the burden for Ten as Homeland went missing. Damn downloaders. But the ABC beat Ten into third spot again in Sydney.

Sunday Night at 6.30pm on Seven was again number one with more than 1.3 million metro and 2 million national viewers. Nine’s 60 Minutes lagged well behind at 7.30pm with just over 1.1 million and 1.68 million national viewers.

Ten dropped the weak New Normal from its Super Sunday line-up late in the week (the Super Sunday line-up idea has bitten the dust for a second time this year) and ran Modern Family back-to-back and with two episodes. Desperate times breed desperate remedies.

Modern Family at 7.30pm had 822,000 metro and more than 1.1 million national viewers. At 8pm it did better with more than 1.04 million metro and over 1.4 million national viewers. At 8.30pm, Homeland had 650,000 metro and 960,000 national viewers, just in front of Dangerous Remedy on ABC1, 636,000 and 806,000 national viewers.

House Husbands finished the year with just over a million metro and more than 1.5 million national viewers. An excellent first up season. Next week we get the first of two parts (90 minutes) of another Hamish and Andy caravan, this time around Australia and New Zealand, from 6.30pm.

The Big Brother Live Eviction at the start of the final week failed to generate any buzz whatsoever. No matter what Nine and some analysts might argue about how it is doing well in the demos (especially 16 to 39s), last night’s 904,000 metro viewers and 1.2 million nationally, wasn’t good enough.

When the program started after the Olympics, it kicked off with around 1.2 million viewers in metro markets alone. Since then its metro audience has eased back gradually, but it has been comprehensively rejected by viewers in regional markets. Big Brother hasn’t been able to hold viewing levels in its target demos.

The audience will end with a bit of a bang on Wednesday night with the winner revealed, but the final week has all the ratings excitement of flat lemonade. Modern Family on Ten and House Husbands on Nine both did better last night than BB. Nine will have its work cut out returning this one to our screens in 2013 in its present form.

Despite the lowish audience last night for nearly two hours from 8.30, the ABC again showed the Nine Network how to make a terrific drama out of a significant crime and social issue story in last night’s telemovie Dangerous Remedy.

Nine did a solid job with the first Underbelly, (not without reason in a Melbourne with a corrupt police/criminal milieu). The Underbelly series since then have gone downhill and have been too long, as this year’s effort was. But last night the ABC showed how to tell a significant story and bring to life the whole tawdry episode in recent Victorian and Australian history.

The ABC found no need to show drug taking, breasts, gratuitous violence, (what was shown was threatening and to the storyline) and the like. The acting was tremendous, especially William McInnes and Jeremy Sims. Dangerous Remedy reminded us how rotten and corrupt Victoria and Melbourne were under Sir Henry Bolte and Sir Arthur Rylah in the late 1960’s and earlier (And so were NSW and Queensland for that matter).

An interesting historical exercise would be to go back to the newspapers of the time (Truth, The Herald, Herald Sun and The Age) to find out how much reporting of this corruption was being done and how much wasn’t by reporters and media organisations who had been captured by the police and pollies.

Certainly from hazy memory, the old Truth newspaper and Evan Whitton were not slackers in probing this corruption. But it was another top notch drama to go with the two Jack Irish movies. Next week we get the Bernie Bainton story, Devil’s Dust.  A year ago The Slap (being repeated on Sunday nights) stood out in the last weeks of ratings.

This year the ABC has delivered more in terms of the two Jack Irish telemovies, Redfern Now, A Moody Christmas, A Dangerous Remedy and the two part Devil’s Dust starting next Sunday night. Late season riches and well worth the praise, and an example to the commercial networks about taking chances with local dramas away from the Packed To The Rafters/House Husbands situationals genre (and including Puberty Blues).

Tonight: The usual hours of news and current affairs on ABC1, with Australian Story again worth a look for what looks to be an interesting look at Diane Cilento. Seven has The X Factor. Nine has Big Brother. Ten hasn’t got much at all except Can of Worms.

Last Week: Seven won All People in metro and regional areas and was solid in the major demos, as were Nine and Ten. Ten had a solid week as the post-Olympics slump seems to be ending. Seven had the top six programs across the country last week, and the only three with audiences above 2 million (the two episodes of The X Factor and Sunday Night). Apart from Ten’s woes, Nine. Seven and the ABC are giving us a solid end to the year, especially ABC1 with its set of new programs.

The top 10 national programs (metro & regional combined):

  1. Sunday Night (Seven) — 2.006 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.711 million.
  3. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.683 million.
  4. House Husbands (Nine) — 1.533 million.
  5. Modern Family (Ten) — 1.438 million.
  6. Air Ways (Seven) — 1.406 million.
  7. Nine News (6pm) — 1.394 million.
  8. Border Security (Seven) — 1.376 million.
  9. David Attenborough: Kingdom of Plants (ABC 1) — 1.285 million.
  10. Bones (Seven) — 1.249 million.

The Metro Winners:

  1. Sunday Night (Seven, 6.30pm) — 1.344 million.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.197 million.
  3. 60 Minutes (Nine, 7.30pm) — 1.178 million.
  4. Modern Family Ep 2(Ten, 8pm) — 1.047 million.
  5. House Husbands (Nine, 8.30pm) — 1.044 million.
  6. Nine News (6pm) — 1.001 million.

The Losers: Nothing really except Ten’s Merlin at 6.30pm, 463,000 metro and 749,000 national viewers. A dying series for Ten and its makers, the Murdoch/News Corp owned Shine. Vegas, Ten, 9.30pm, 249,000 metro and just 363,000 national viewers. Falling to Emily Owens MD levels.Metro News & CA: Seven News won Sydney, lost Melbourne (by 109,000), won Brisbane (by 52,000), Adelaide (by 77,000) and Perth by 148,000.

  1. Sunday Night (Seven, 6.30pm) — 1.344 million
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 1.197 million.
  3. 60 Minutes (Nine, 7.30pm) — 1.178 million.
  4. Nine  News (6pm) — 1.001 million.
  5. ABC1 News (7pm) — 795,000.
  6. Ten News (Ten, 5pm) — 477,000.
  7. The Project (Ten, 6pm) — 350,000.
  8. Nine News (Nine, 5pm) — 256,000.
  9. SBS ONE News, 6.30pm) — 197,000.

In the morning: the ABC’s line-up on ABC, especially Insiders and Inside Business, continue to have soft figures. The Bolt Report does better.

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven, 8am) — 349,000.
  2. Weekend Today (Nine, 8am) — 289,000.
  3. Landline (ABC1, Noon) — 204,000.
  4. Insiders (ABC1, 9am) —  139,000 + 61,000 on News 24.
  5. The Bolt Report (ABC1, 10am) — 153,000.
  6. The Bolt Report repeat (Ten, 4.30pm) — 118,000.
  7. Inside Business (ABC1, 10am) — 108,000.
  8. Offsiders (ABC1, 10.30am) — 102,000.
  9. Meet The Press (Ten, 10.30am) — 74,000.

Metro FTA: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 29.7% from Seven (three) on 29.5%, Ten (three) was on 19.0%, the ABC (four) was on 16.8% and SBS (two) ended with 5.1%.

Main Channels: Nine won with a share of 22.8%, from Seven on 21.9%, Ten on 13.4%, ABC 1 close up on 13.3% and SBS ONE on 4.7%.

Metro Digital: GO won with 4.8% from 7TWO on 4.1%, 7mate on 3.5%, ONE was on 3.4%, Eleven was on 2.2%, Gem, 2.0%, ABC2, 1.9%, ABC3, 0.8%, News 24, 0.7% and SBS TWO, 0.4%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last night of 23.8%.

Metro including pay TV: Nine (three channels) won with a share of 24.2% from Seven (three) on 24.1%, Ten (three) was on 15.5%, the ABC (four) was on 13.7% and SBS (two) ended with 4.1%. The 15 FTA channels share of viewing last night was 84.4%. The 10 digital channels share was 19.6% the five main channels share was 84.4%. Pay TV had a viewing share of 15.6% with the 200 plus channels on Foxtel.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. TV 1 — 2.9%
  2. Fox 8 — 2.8%.
  3. Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 1 — 2.3%.
  4. A&E, showtime premiere — 2.1%.
  5. Cartoon Network, LifeStyle, 111 Hits — 1.8%.

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. Modern Family (Fox8) — 101,000.
  2. A League: Brisbane v Adelaide (FS1) — 93,000.
  3. Golf: HSBC Champions (FS2) — 87,000.
  4. Adventures of TinTin (showtime premiere) — 76,000.
  5. Storage Wars (A&E) — 62,000.

Regional: Prime/7Qld (three channels) won with a share of 31.5% from WIN/NBN (three) on 28.3%, SC Ten (three) was on 19.9%, the ABC (four) was on 15.6% and SBS (two) ended with 4.7%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 22.2%, from WIN/NBN on 20.9%. SC Ten was on 13.0% and ABC1 was on 11.6%. 7TWO won the digitals with 5.1%, from GO on 4.7% and ONE with 4.5%.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Sunday Night — 663,000.
  2. Seven News (6pm) — 513,000.
  3. 60 Minutes — 504,000.
  4. Border Security — 486,000.
  5. House Husbands — 470,000.

Major Metro Markets: Another mixed night. Nine won Sydney and Melbourne (the latter by a wide margin) both overall and the main channels. Seven was second in Sydney and the ABC/ABC1 were third. In Melbourne it was Seven second and Ten third. Brisbane saw Seven win overall with Nine winning the main channels. Ten was third, as it was in Adelaide behind Seven and Nine. In Perth it was Seven from Nine and Ten overall and Seven from Nine and ABC1 in the main channels. GO won the digitals in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Meanwhile, 7TWO won Melbourne and ONE won Perth.

(All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight All People)

Source: Oztam, TV Networks data

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