The Glenn Dyer breakdown: A typical Thursday evening: The Block and MasterChef  managed to top the million mark. Like Wednesday night it was another night of weak TV fare. Nothing after 7pm managed to attract more viewers than Seven News, Today Tonight or Nine News.

The one certainty from last night is that Celebrity Apprentice is a turkey, down there with The Price Is Right (358,000 on Seven at 5pm).

Nationally, the 90 minutes of Celebrity Apprentice couldn’t manage to top a million viewers across the country (988,000). That’s not a success, even in these days of lowered audience expectations. It just doesn’t rate with viewers outside Sydney and Melbourne.

Seven won overall, Nine won the main channels, solely due to the solid audiences for the AFL Footy Show in Melbourne (309,000 from 9.30pm) and The Block (375,000 from 7pm).

The NRL Footy Show in Sydney shed 30,000 or more viewers and fell to 135,000, while in Brisbane it lost 20% of its audience and averaged 83,000. Back to 2011 levels.

And with the Gillard Government on the nose and Tony Abbott making his Budget reply speech last night live at 7.3 pm in ABC 1, did Australians flock to hear the words of the man who believes he will be the next PM? Nah! 496,000 watched on ABC 1 in the five metro markets, compared with the 654,000 who watched Mr Swan’s effort on Tuesday night. Nationally, just 685,000 watched Mr Abbott, against the 1.12 million who tuned into Mr Swan across the country.

Tonight: AFL on Seven (main channel in the south and 7mate in the north) and Pay TV. Better Homes and Gardens in Sydney on Seven’s main channel. Nine has the NRL on main channel in the north and Gem in the south. Ten has MasterChef and debuts a program called The Living Room at 8pm hosted by Amanda Keller, a brave move. The ABC has another Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Then ABC 1 has a repeat of Taggart, which is also on 7TWO on Saturday nights!

Saturday: NRL on Pay TV. New Tricks, Whitechapel and Five Days on ABC 1. Seven and Nine are movie wastelands. Ten has The Graham Norton Show which may be of interest.

Sunday: Morning chats. NRL on Nine (main and Gem) and Foxtel. AFL on Foxtel and Seven (main channel in Adelaide and Perth only). Nine also has The Block and 60 Minutes. Ten has MasterChef and Modern Family. Seven has Dancing with the Stars and Bones. On ABC 1 we have a special on the Queen, The Diamond Queen, at 7.30pm, and then a repeat of a Midsomer Murders episode.

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

  1. Seven News — 1.825 million
  2. Nine News — 1.575 million
  3. The Block (Nine) — 1.506 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.437 million
  5. MasterChef (Ten) — 1.391 million
  6. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.365 million
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.243 million
  8. ABC News — 1.217 million
  9. Celebrity Apprentice (boardroom) (Nine) — 1.1010 million
  10. Celebrity Apprentice (challenge) (Nine) — 969,000

The Metro Winners:

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.241 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.112 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.059 million
  4. The Block (Nine, 7 – 8 pm) — 1.043 million
  5. MasterChef Australia (Ten) (7pm) — 1.010 million

The Losers: Silk on ABC 1 at 8.30pm, slumped to 496,000, and wasn’t very interesting.

Metro News & CA: Seven News won Sydney, lost Melbourne to Nine, won the rest

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.241 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.112 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.059 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) (6.30pm) — 915,000
  5. ABC News (7pm)– 885,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 641,000
  7. The Project (Ten) (6.30pm) — 629,000
  8. Budget Reply speech (ABC) (7.30 pm) — 496,000 (+29,000)*
  9. 7.30 (ABC) (8pm) — 463,000
  10. The Project (Ten) (6pm) — 441,000
  11. Lateline (ABC) (10.30pm) — 216,000
  12. SBS News (6.30pm) — 177,000
  13. The Business (ABC) (11.05pm) — 123,000
  14. SBS News (10.30pm) — 62,000
  15. The Drum (News 24) (6pm) — 39,000

*News 24 simulcast

In the morning: Today notched up its third win over Sunrise this week.

  1. Today (Seven) (7am) — 345,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) (7am) — 339,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) (9am) — 147,000
  4. Mornings (Seven) (9am) — 111,000
  5. The Circle (Ten) (9am) — 46,000
  6. News Breakfast (ABC) (6am) — 38,000 (+23,000)*
  7. Breakfast (Ten) (7am) — 31,000

*News 24 simulcast

Metro FTA: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 28.7%, from Nine (3) on 28.2%, Ten (3) was on 22.0%, the ABC (4) was on 15.0% and SBS (2) ended on 6.1%. Nine leads the week with 29.7% from Seven on 27.5% and Ten was on 22.1%. Main Channels: Nine was the winner here with a share of 21.2% from Seven on 19.9%, Ten was on 15.9%, ABC 1, 11.2% and SBS ONE, 5.0%. Nine leads the week with 23.3% from Seven on 21.4% and Ten on 16.5%.

Metro Digital: 7TWO and GO won with a share of 5.0% each, from 7mate on 3.8%, Eleven was on 3.7%, ONE was on 2.4%, ABC 2 ended with 2.0%, Gem was on 1.9%, SBS ONE was on 1.1%, ABC 3, 1.0% and News 24, 0.8%. The 10 digital channels had an FTA share last night of a moderate 27.7%. GO leads the week with 3.9% from 7TWO on 3.4% and Eleven with 3.2%.

Metro including Pay TV: Seven (3 channels) won with a share of 23.5%, from Nine (3) on 23.1%, Ten (3) was on 18.1%, Pay TV (200 plus channels) was on 15.5%, the ABC (4) was on 12.3% and SBS (2) ended on 5.0%.

The top five pay TV channels were:

  1. Fox 8 (3.33%)
  2. Lifestyle (2.2%)
  3. TV1 (1.99%)
  4.  Sky News (1.97%)
  5. Discovery Channel (1.76%)

The five most-watched programs on pay TV were:

  1. The Simpsons (Fox 8) — 105,000
  2. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 102,000
  3. Grand Designs Australia (Lifestyle) — 94,000
  4. Futurama — (Fox 8) 93,000
  5. American Idol (Fox 8) — 83,000

Regional: Prime/7Qld (3 channels) won overall with a share of 33.6%, from WIN/NBN (3) on 28.7%, SC Ten (3) was on 20.1%, the ABC (4) was on 12.6% and SBS (2) ended on 4.9%. But WIN/NBN won the main channels with 21.7% from Prime/7Qld on 20.8%. That was a repeat of the metro results. 7TWO won the regionals with 6.7%, from 7 mate on 6.1% and GO on 4.9%. The 10 digital channels had a very high FTA share last night of 32.0% (which tells us how little regional viewers thought of what was offered on the main channels). For the week, Prime/7Qld with 30.8% leads WIN/NBN on 29.2%, but the NRL games on tonight should get WIN/NBN home for the week.

The five most-watched programs in regional markets were:

  1. Seven News — 583,000
  2. A Current Affair — 521,000
  3. Nine News — 516,000
  4. The Block — 464,000
  5. Home and Away — 445,000

Major Metro Markets: Seven won overall and the main channels in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide (the Block and Celebrity Apprentice just don’t rate in those markets). In Melbourne, Nine won overall and the main channels, while in Sydney, Seven won overall, but Nine won the main channels. GO won the digitals in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. 7TWO won Melbourne and shared Sydney with GO. Nine leads the week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven leads in Adelaide and Perth. The NRL in Sydney and Brisbane will make sure Nine has a win.

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

*Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey