Not the best of nights last night for TV viewing, and the figures reflected it, with only two programs with a million or more viewers in metro markets — the 6pm news broadcasts of Nine and Seven. We are the Easter bunnies, so far as the commercial networks are concerned, and it will continue that way until Monday night, if you don’t like sport. So have a relaxing non-TV weekend if that’s you.

But ABC1’s Mad As Hell (871,000 national/ 625,000 metro/ 45,000 regional), and Ten’s Mr and Mrs Murder (960,000 national/ 710,000 metro/ 250,000 regional) deserve honourable mentions for being entertaining on such a dull night.

Nine News (1.647 million national/ 1.132 million metro/ 515,000 regional) and Seven News (1.616 million national/ 1.32 million metro/ 484,000 regional) dominated viewing. After that, viewers didn’t really care. The 7pm ABC1 News (1.308 million national/ 907,000 metro/ 401,000 regional) was also well watched, then viewers deserted. Ten held up. In fact, Ten is loving this weak performance by Nine, and increasingly by Seven. Last night it said finished tops in the under 50 demo graphic in the 6pm to 10.30pm part of prime time and tops in 18 to 49. Every little bit counts when you are down. Just as Seven, nine years ago when it was down.

US update: Good news mostly for Australia’s commercial TV networks with a good slab of their prime time foreign line-ups renewed or close to being renewed by the CBS network in America. These renewals include Elementary (hear Ten cheer), The Good Wife (fading on Ten, unfortunately); comedies 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly (Nine gives muted hurrah because both are not so hot here); Person Of Interest, The Mentalist (Nine is happy), Hawaii Five-0 (a dud here for Ten) and NCIS: LA (Ten happy). These renewals join The Big Bang Theory (part of a three-year pickup that has Nine salivating), How I Met Your Mother for a final season (Seven is happy), and veterans NCIS (Ten, again) and CSI (Nine, again). CBS says it is still talking to Warner Bros TV for another season of Two And A Half Men (Nine, a flop here). Also picked up for 2013-14 The Amazing Race (Seven happy), Survivor (Nine) and Undercover Boss (Ten) and 60 Minutes and 48 Hours (Nine and Ten). Criminal Minds remains un-renewed because the producers and cast are still talking new contracts. Seven will want those talks resolved. Vegas is on its last tryout in the US, Ten won’t be unhappy, as it bombed here.

Network share:

  1. Nine  (27.5%)
  2. Seven (27.2%)
  3. Ten (21.3%)
  4. ABC (18.4%)
  5. SBS  (5.7%)

Main channels:

  1. Nine (18.7%)
  2. Seven (18.4%)
  3. Ten (15.3%)
  4. ABC1  (13.1%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.6%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.8%)
  2. GO, Gem (4.4%)
  3. Eleven (4.0%)
  4. 7mate (3.9%)
  5. ABC2 (3.3%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News  – 1.647 million
  2. Seven News – 1.616 million
  3. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.350 million
  4. ABC1 News — 1.308 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.065 million
  6. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.059 million
  7. 7.30 (ABC1) — 1.054 million
  8. Mr & Mrs Murder (Ten) — 960,000
  9. Hot Seat (Nine) — 932,000
  10. Ten News — 877,000

Metro/regionals: A close night because there was hardly a decent program on last night. Tractor Monkeys on ABC1 at 8.30pm (694,000 national/ 480,000 metro/ 214,000 regional) and (the last) Last Resort on Seven (761,000 national/ 460,000 metro/ 301,000 regional). When a flop like Tractor Monkeys can beat a US import as weak as Last Resort, you get an idea of how bad the latter was, despite Seven’s high hopes late last year.

Losers: Us viewers. Apart from the sport, Easter is always the pits. 

News and current affairs:

  1. Nine News – 1.132 million
  2. Seven News – 1.099 million
  3. ABC1 News — 907,000
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) – 895,000
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 866,000.
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 752,000
  7. Ten News (Ten) — 667,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 542,000
  9. Ten Late News — 195,000
  10. Lateline (ABC1) — 173,000


Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 361,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 325,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1) – 59000 + 35,000 on News 24

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8 – 3.5%
  2. LifeStyle – 3.0%
  3. TV1 — 2.6%
  4. UKTV – 2.2%.
  5. LifeStyle You – 1.7%

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) – 171,000
  2. NCIS  (TV1) – 79,000
  3. The Simpsons (Fox 8) – 76,000
  4. Family Guy (Fox 8) – 75,000
  5. Location Location location Australia (LifeStyle) – 75,000

Tonight: The Checkout on ABC1 at 8pm and the final Kangaroo Dundee at 8.30pm, good viewing for any night of the week. Nine has NRL and the NRL Footy Show, Seven has AFL on its main and 7mate digital channels in different markets (as does Foxtel). Ten hasn’t much at all with repeat after repeat. SBS has foodie programs as usual from, 7.30pm.

Easter: NRL, AFL, A-League soccer, Super Rugby on Nine, Seven, Pay TV on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Apart from that there are eggs and buns to eat, friends to meet and enjoy and the TV to remain off because what is on the commercial channels is mostly rubbish. On Monday night the ABC has a solid Four Corners on gas tracking, and Q&A goes all ecumenical and seasonal with a discussion about whether buns should proceed eggs in the great Easter feasting line-up! Seven has My Kitchen Rules and Revenge on Monday Night. Ten has The Biggest Loser. Nine has repeats.

*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) Plus network reports.