There they were,  just after 8.30am today, a bunch of executives in the Seven Network offices in Sydney waiting for the overnight ratings. How would the second episode of House Rules go after its weak debut on Tuesday night? In came the emails with the Oztam data — the news, not good. A small loss from Tuesday night, when an increase had been the fevered hope. The loss, when the program should have added viewers, leaves Seven hoping that House Rules will improve tonight, and again next week. There are now echoes in the performance of House Rules of how The Voice last year flattened Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent.

Seven needs much higher audience figures for the program than we’ve seen for the first two nights. House Rules had 1.184 million national/ 784,000 metro/ 398,000 regional viewers. The problem with House Rules is that it is slow and uninteresting — the faux drama and soap opera themes we saw at times in My Kitchen Rules are absent from House Rules.

Nine can’t gloat though, even though it won a closer night than Monday or Tuesday without The Voice. Last night’s victory was thanks to a big win in Sydney and a smaller victories in Melbourne and Brisbane (and big losses to Seven in Adelaide and Perth). The Block (1.542 million/ 1.062 million metro/ 480,000 regional viewers) dropped 300,000 viewers nationally last night from its opening episode. Nine’s win came on the back of  the  fresh episode of The Big Bang Theory (1.571 million nationally/1.229 million metro/ 342,000 regionally) and the news and A Current Affair.

Nine’s Arrow continues to miss its opening figures — down by more than 300,000 viewers in metro markets (1.533 million nationally/ 971,000 metro/562,000 regional viewers). Seven’s Criminal Minds also had another weak night — 1,016 million national/ 681,000 metro/ 335,000 regional viewers for the 8.45pm fresh episode. Not really up to par.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (30.2%)
  2. Seven (29.3%)
  3. ABC (19.2%)
  4. Ten (16.5%)
  5. SBS (4.8%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (22.5%)
  2. Seven (20.5%)
  3. ABC1 (14.2%)
  4. Ten (11.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.8%)

Top five digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.2%)
  2. GO (4.2%)
  3. 7mate (4.1%)
  4. Gem (3.5%)
  5. ABC2 (3.0%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.908 million
  2. Seven News — 1.868 million
  3. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) — 1.571
  4. The Block (Nine) — 1.542 million
  5. Arrow (Nine) — 1.533 million
  6. Home and Away (Nine) — 1.417 million
  7. ABC1 News — 1.357 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.272 million
  9. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.264 million
  10. House Rules (Seven) — 1.182 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.308 million
  2. Seven News — 1.263 million
  3. The Big Bang Theory (Nine) — 1.229 million
  4. The Block (Nine) — 1.062 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.060 million
  6. Today Tonight  (Seven) — 1 million

Losers: Seven — House Rules — Ten, The Good Wife. Mr and Mrs Murder, The Following on Nine at 9.30pm. 

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.308 million
  2. Seven News — 1.263 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.060 million
  4. Today Tonight  (Seven) — 1 million
  5. ABC1 News — 903,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) – 727,000
  7. Ten News — 650,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 550,000
  9. Lateline (ABC1) 201,000
  10. SBS ONE News — 193,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 351,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 332,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1) – 56,000 + 33,000 on News 24

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8 – (2.9%)
  2. LifeStyle (2.7%)
  3. TV1 – (2.3%)
  4. UKTV – (1.9%)
  5. A&E – (1.8%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Wentworth (SoHo) – 110,000
  2. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 106,000
  3. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 95,000
  4. Family Guy (Fox 8) – 81,000
  5. Family Guy (Fox 8) — 80,000

Tonight: House Rules on Seven at 7.30pm then the final episode of the terrible Celebrity Splash at 8.45pm — it is going to a wet night for Seven tonight.  The Checkout on ABC1 at 8pm has been replaced by the discussion part of the coverage of Tony Abbott’s budget reply speech. We are all the losers for that! Nine has The Block (of course) and then The Footy Shows. Ten is desperate so it is repeating those 15 Minute Meals of Jamie Oliver for another week. it then has  fresh/repeat episodes of Law and Order SVU. But watch, if you can Dirty Laundry, which starts on ABC2 at 9.30pm. The timeslot tells us that some of the material might be a bit edgy, the presence of Lawrence Mooney adds to the sense of (nice) foreboding. It’s a kinda game show and will certainly be more entertaining than the Footy Shows.

*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.

Peter Fray

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