Well, the Ten Network’s 2005 season has started with a
medium bang. Even though the audience for the first night of Big Brother on
Sunday night was down on previous efforts, it did well again last night with another
1.5 million audience (unchanged from Sunday), and delivering to Ten a solid
share of its target demographic, the 16 to 39 age group.

Big Brother
and Ten are no longer about hopes of winning
more viewers in the 24 to 54 age group. It’s about solidifying Ten’s grip on the 16 to 39s from
the challenge Nine and Seven are posing. BB is delivering everything that X-Factor couldn’t.
Unfortunately for Ten, the X-Factor final is on next Sunday night. Viewers will
be underwhelmed.

Sunday night saw Ten end with a 26.2% share of total viewers and
more than half the 16 to 39 group. Nine won with a share of all people
of 35.0%, Seven was way
back on 20.6%, the ABC solid with 14.6% and SBS down on 3.7%.

Monday night, Seven was the close winner with 27.8% to
Nine with 26.0%. Ten finished with 24.0 which was the best Monday night’s
performance for weeks and an example of what Big Brother can do to the
network’s figures. The ABC had a solid 15.8% and Mythbusters (which is made by
an Australian company) lifted SBS to 6.4%.

So how did Seven win? Desperate Housewives of course, with
another two million-plus audience, this time the average was 2.109 million,
which wasn’t bad considering the impact that Big Brother had on some
of its viewing reservoir earlier in the night.

Today Tonight accounted for Nine’s A Current Affair,
finishing third overall (ACA was 6th) and 20,000 viewers in front. TT beat ACA
in Sydney but lost in Melbourne.

Nine News
squeaked home nationally by 4,000 viewers, 1.516
million to 1.512 million. But Seven was an easy winner in Sydney
and an easy loser in Melbourne.

Super Nanny lost more ground, thanks probably to Big
, which also did over Seven’s Home and Away. The latter was expected
since the programs both skew towards the tweenies and the 16 to 39 group (at
the younger end). The former was a surprise. Jo Frost’s naughty nostrums were
watched by 1.24 million people, down around 250,000-300,000 on the previous
week. Perhaps it’s not so much parents watching Super Nanny as
their kids and teenagers?

The impact of BB could also be seen with Seven’s The Great
, down around 400,000-500,000 viewers on previous weeks at 1.041
million and just in front of Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope which
attracted 989,000 people.

Four Corners fell below
600,000 viewers to 549,000. A story on Lebanon was hard going for viewers
and the Liz Jackson-hosted Media Watch did a lot better with 649,000
viewers, around its base audience in recent weeks. Mythbusters on SBS beat Four Corners
with 634,000 people.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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