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Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings: will The Voice Kids bomb?

Trying to jazz up tired TV franchises by getting kids involved is becoming a habit for production company Shine Australia.

Comedic great WC Fields once warned performers, “never work with animals and children”. Last night’s edition of The Voice Kids on Nine proved that to be wrong for metro viewers for about an hour, but not in regional areas, where viewers gave the program of warbling tweenies a far more sceptical reception. The program did well with 2.275 million national/ 1.652 million metro/ 623,000 regional viewers. But that strength couldn’t help Nine to win the night anywhere but in Sydney. In regional markets Seven dominated by 18 points.

Seven’s House Rules (million 2.458 national/ 1.515 million metro/ 943,000 regional viewers), Sunday Night and Seven News also had 2 million-plus national audiences. And A Place To Call Home, axed as it is, won the mid evening battle easily with more than 1.5 million national viewers from 9.15pm, after Sunday Night. The Voice Kids just didn’t resonate well with regional viewers and it finished  with 623,000 viewers, 320,000 behind House Rules’ regional audience of a huge 943,000. 60 Minutes was also flogged in the regions —  Sunday Night winning by 438,000 viewers, or more than double 60 Minutes’ audience of 395,000. All of Seven’s programs enjoyed significant boosts from high regional viewing levels last night.

As we slowly move to ending the restrictions on national audience share, regional markets are going to become far more important to the networks. Seven is now dominating the regions, while Ten is almost forgotten. The ABC is stronger most nights, even as it fades in metro markets. Last night’s ratings in the regionals showed the importance of viewers to the national picture. Regional viewers gave strong support to Seven’s programs (especially House Rules, pushing it from second in the metros to a clear winner nationally) As a result, Seven’s regional share of 42.4 was 18 points (or daylight) in front of Nine. Ten was beaten into a weak fourth last night by the ABC, reversing the metro results.

But what of The Voice Kids? Was it something else — say a proxy for the parents’ own ambitions and dreams, or a cynical attempt by the program’s producers (Shine, the Murdoch family company) and Nine to try and tug at viewer heartstrings in a format that is tiring? And is it a “good” thing for people as young as tweenies to be imitating older performers? After all, they are under enough pressure through the social media trolling, advertising hype directed at them plus some parents who don’t understand boundaries. (There were similar questions raised by the appearance of an 11 year American girl in the US women’s Golf Open). Remember Junior MasterChef ended up bombing for Ten, never to be seen again. That was also a Shine format.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (34.0%)
  2. Nine (28.2%)
  3. Ten (18.1%)
  4. ABC (15.6%)
  5. SBS (4.0%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (25.5%)
  2. Nine (23.0%)
  3. Ten (12.1%)
  4. ABC1  (11.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.2%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (5.2%)
  2. 7TWO (3.3%)
  3. ONE (3.0%)
  4. Gem (2.8%)
  5. ONE (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. House Rules (Seven)  —  2.458 million
  2. The Voice Kids (Nine) — 2.275 million
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) — 2.078 million
  4. Seven News  — 2.070 million
  5. Nine News  — 1.911 million
  6. A Place To Call Home (Seven) — 1.520 million
  7.  60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.413 million
  8. Grand Designs (ABC1) — 1.298 million
  9. ABC News —  1.246 million
  10. MasterChef Australia (Ten) — 1.149 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Voice Kids (Nine)  —  1.652 million
  2. House Rules (Seven)  —  1.515 million
  3. Seven News — 1.378 million
  4. Nine News — 1.298 million
  5. Sunday Night (Seven) — 1.245 million
  6. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.018 million

Losers: Good choice, although The Voice Kids is a bit spooky.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.378 million
  2. Nine News  — 1.298 million
  3. Sunday Night (Seven) — 1.245 million
  4. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.018 million
  5. ABC News —  782,000
  6. Ten Eyewitness News — 493,000
  7. SBS World News — 202,000

Morning TV:

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven)  —  307,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine)  —  223,000
  3. Insiders (Seven) — 260,000
  4. Landline (Nine) — 250,000
  5. Financial Review Sunday  — 137,000
  6. Offsiders (Ten) — 133,000
  7. The Bolt Report repeat (Ten) — 133,000
  8. The Bolt Report (Ten) — 118,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Footy (5.1)
  2. Fox 8  (2.5%)
  3. Fox Sports 1, TVHITS! (2.4%)
  4. Fox Sports 3 (1.8%)
  5. LifeStyle (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: GWS v Carlton (Fox Footy)  —  199,000
  2. NRL: Melbourne v Parramatta (Fox Sports 1) —  185,000
  3. AFL: Melbourne v North Melbourne (Fox Footy) —  177,000
  4. AFL: St Kilda v West Coast (Fox Sports 3)  —  122,000
  5. AFL: Before The Bounce (Fox Footy) —  90,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. The data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM. (All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight all people.) and network reports.

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