Oh Brother, not again: Ten
will be laughing all the way to the bank after last night’s Big Brother
launch attracted an average 1.796 million people for the whole two-hour
show, helped by the 1.658 million who tuned in for the second-last episode of The Biggest Loser from 6.30pm. It was the best opening night audience for BB since 2003 and with TBL‘s success, it gave Ten a rare win
in All People and its 16 to 39 target demographic last night. Last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser was the so-called “twist” episode where a discarded
contestant was added to the competition, making it four fighting it out in Thursday’s final. Compared to BB, The
Biggest Loser
looks like literature: it has a sense of
achievement for the contestants buried in it, while BB has nothing except a sense of
the viewer being exploited. The
contrast could not have been more damaging for Ten
which now risks a repeat of the damaging publicity over last year’s poorly
supervised BB Five. Thanks to the success of TBL, Ten face a pretty solid 18 months and BB Six will
add to the financial recovery, but did the network have to go this
way? Ten
should be ashamed at this piece of tosh which is
cynical and more calculating than the controversy-driven drivel that was Big
Brother
2005. – Glenn Dyer

Nine wins the week: A very
close win to Nine, thanks mostly to the NRL and AFL football on
Friday night and the AFL on Saturday night which
pushed Ten to a win.

Nine
won the week with a share of 27.8% from Seven with
27.6%, Ten with 23.1%, the ABC with 16.4% and SBS with 5.2%. It was
the second week in a row for Nine, who won the
previous week with a share of 28.5% to Seven’s 27.2%. But that was the week of
Good Friday and Easter Saturday; while last week included Easter Sunday and Monday. And
both weeks were classified as official non-rating weeks. The
official ratings period resumed last night with the start of survey three for
the year.Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Ten, thanks to a nasty piece of TV called Big Brother
(1.796 million) and a more edifying program called The Biggest Loser (1.658
million). Ten knocked the competition out of the
ring with a solid bout of programming aimed at the 16 to 39 age group, and it
worked. Nine’s new episodes of CSI and CSI Miami were powerless against BB and
The Melbourne Comedy festival (1.307 million) while Seven was still looking
around and asking “what happened” in third place. Nine News was the third most
watched program with 1.58 million, CSI, 4th with 1.54 million, then Seven News
with 1.41 million. The Queen by Rolf at 7.30pm with 1.286 million was 7th for
the ABC, CSI Miami was next (1.284 million), then 60 Minutes (1.18
million) and Where Are They Now (1.18 million). 60 Minutes third and beaten by
the ABC which finished second to Ten and Big Brother, there’s a certain symmetry
in that result.
The Losers None really given the size of the audiences on
Ten: Seven’s Where Are They Now (1.181 million) and 60 Minutes (1.184 million)
were hurt by The Biggest Loser and the return of BB. The return of Backyard
Blitz
(1.029 million) to the Sunday 6.30pm timeslot was also an unhappy one,
clearly belted by The Biggest Loser and beaten by Were Are They Now?. If that sort
of performance continues over the next couple of weeks then we might be entitled
to say that Nine has screwed up another program this year, this time by moving Blitz
to Friday nights to make way for the failure that was Clever. Seven’s
movie, Gosford Park averaged 779,000 people and wasn’t in the
hunt
News & CA Nine News, thanks to the football lead-ins, with 1.588
million viewers to Seven with 1.412 million. 60 Minutes was knocked around by
Big Brother and the ABC, averaging just 1.184 million. It’s going to be a
miserable winter for the folk at tick tick tick if Big Brother holds up and spring won’t be any easier if Australian Idol performs for Ten. The 7pm ABC
News averaged 920,000 people, and earlier in the day Seven’s Sunday Sunrise
won the morning battle with an average 350,000 viewers from 8am to 9.30am
while Nine’s Sunday averaged 285,000. Sunday won Sydney but lost elsewhere. Nine’s Business Sunday
averaged 142,000, the ABC’s Insiders 121,000 and Inside Business, just 64,000;
Meet The Press, Ten at 8am, a measly 40,000. Seven’s small biz show My Business
at 11am was the best performed business show with 195,000 viewers.
The Stats Ten with 34.1%, Nine with 26.5%, Seven with 21.0%, the
ABC with 14.4% and SBS with 3.9%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments A couple of things summed up last night. In The
Biggest Loser
the word sh*t has been used quite often, in fact almost
nightly; last night, just after 9pm, on Big Brother a Housemate used the word and
it was beeped out. Under its “deal” with the Australian Communications and Media
Authority, Ten has to watch bad language and inappropriate behaviour. That was
after last year’s drivel on Big Brother with inappropriate sexual conduct and
harassment. Last night we say hypocrisy, meanness, a certain glib cynicism, all
packaged up in a grubby piece of TV that did good numbers and will continue to
generate publicity and get viewers watching. In short: commercial TV of the
highest (lowest) sort. Seven was looking like a poor lamb in the
spotlight after being hit by the ratings juggernaut from 6.30 pm onwards. Its
success show, Where Are They Now shed 600,000 viewers from its last
chart-topping outing. Nine did well by using up its big guns to remain in the
hunt. But Ten gave its rivals another bit hint last night that catering to the
16 to 39 age group and widening the appeal can bring success in other
demographics. Despite Seven’s poor showing last night (at least it has some
programs), Nine remains the network at risk if Ten gets a head of steam up. 60 Minutes was also crunched last night, hammered in fact. Nine has NO programming
for the 16 to 39 age group and is skewing old, towards 55 and above.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW