Nine won — thanks to the cricket mostly, and a strong night for 60 Minutes — plus the contrived rescue for Domestic Bliss by the gang from The Block. Next week The Blockettes and Blockheads head for the UK to renovate the Australian cricket team? After they combine with The X Factor to give us the election result ahead of time, or  will that be My Party Rules, 7pm Mondays?

But Nine’s Underbelly is in trouble, as is Ripper Street on Ten.Both need a little renovation party or three. Underbelly won the 8.30pm slot, but it shed hundreds of thousands of viewers from its debut the previous Sunday. The two first episodes last week launched right after The Block’sfinal extravaganza, and so had solid audiences (even though nearly 2 million people didn’t hang round to watch). Last week the average of the two episodes 1.88 million national/ 1.414 million metro/ 466,000 regional viewers. Last night the single episode averaged 1.254 million/ 851,000 metro/ 403,000 regional viewers. So some 600,000 people didn’t reappear last night. Viewers are over it. But Nine is having another go with production starting on the 2014 version which fictionalises the hunt for Melbourne drug kingpin Tony Mokbel. That will almost certainly be the final series of Underbelly, so it is going back to its original source, Melbourne’s ganglands.

Nine knows that Big Brother is in trouble with its core audience. Last week Big Brother started at 7pm, tonight it’s 8pm, after Hamish and Andy’s Asian Gap Year at 7pm. Gap Year ran after The Block for the first three episodes, now it’s the lead in for Big Brother to try and deliver more viewers from the key demographics. Tomorrow night Big Brother is back to 7pm as the lead-in for the Great Australian Bake Off. More trouble with my soufflés.

Seven’s The X Factor was clearly the winner nationally, metro and in the regions last night with 2.355 million national/ 1.522 million metro/ 832,000 regional viewers. The first session of the third day of the 3rd Ashes test (from 8pm to around 10pm) had 856,000 national/ 571,000 metro/ 285,000 regional/340,000 pay TV, for a total TV audience of 1.196 million. The second session (from around 10.40pm to 12.40am) had 566,000 national/391,000 metro/ 175,000 regional/ 191,000 pay TV. The national TV audience was 757,000.

Yesterday morning Insiders clearly led the chats (excepting the broader appealing and earlier Weekend Sunrise and Weekend Today. Insiders had 447,000 national viewers from 9am on ABC1 and News24 . The Bolt Report had 181,000 at 10am on Ten (and 164,000 for the 4pm repeat). Ten’s Meet The Press had 118,000 from 10.30am and the 4.30pm repeat had 183,000. Inside Business did well with 202,000 at 10am on ABC1, easily accounting for Bolt’s efforts. Now that the election has been called, who will win? Insiders.

Nine went to air at least 10 minutes yesterday afternoon after Seven, News24 and Sky News were broadcasting that Kevin Rudd had landed in Canberra (with pictures of him driving around in the big white limo) and was going to Parliament House and then to Government House. Ten was even later. Seven banished Sunday Night from the schedule last night as it again used the program as ratings spam. Not a good look for such a high-profile, and very solid program. It must drive people working on it mad with frustration, as Nine does when it pre-empts 60 Minutes(as it did the previous Sunday).

Nine won last week.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (37.1%)
  2. Seven (29.1%)
  3. ABC (15.3%)
  4. Ten (14.5%)
  5. SBS (3.9%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine  (23.8%)
  2. Seven  (22.1%)
  3. ABC1 (15.3%)
  4. Ten (10.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.0%)

Top  digital channels: 

  1. Gem (9.8%)
  2. 7TWO (3.7%)
  3. GO (3.5%)
  4. 7mate (3.4%)
  5. Eleven (2.3%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 2.355 million
  2. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 2.126 million
  3. Nine News — 2.051 million
  4. Seven News — 1.995 million
  5. Domestic Bliss (Nine) — 1.932 million
  6. Anh Doh Does Britain (Seven) — 1.516 million
  7. Dream Build (ABC 1) — 1.432 million *
  8. Underbelly (Nine) — 1.254 million
  9. ABC News — 1.245 million (real audience 1.339 million)
  10. Grand Designs (ABC 1) — 1.242 million

* Didn’t go to air as the ABC News ran over by 10 minutes and ended around 7.40 pm.

Top metro programs:

  1. The X Factor (Seven) — 1.522 million
  2. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.493 million
  3. Nine News — 1.419 million
  4. Domestic Bliss (Nine) — 1.359 million
  5. Seven News — 1.346 million
  6. Dream Build(ABC 1) — 1.006 million*

* Didn’t go to air as the ABC News ran over by 10 minutes and ended around 7.40 pm.

Losers: Ten’s Ripper Street — 686,000 national/ 515,000 metro/ 171,000 regional viewers. Not the sort of program to win the “young at heart” among the 25 to 54 age group.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.493 million
  2. Nine News — 1.419 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) – 1.147 million
  4. Seven News — 1.346 million
  5. ABC News — 954,000
  6. Ten News — 452,000
  7. SBS ONE News  – 191,000
  8. The Observer Effect (SBS ONE) — 90,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) – 355,000
  2. Weekend Today (Nine) – 323,000
  3. Insiders (ABC 1, 188,000, News 24, 102,000)
  4. Landline (ABC 1) — 226,000
  5. Financial Review Sunday (Nine) — 170,000
  6. Offsiders (ABC 1) — 152,000
  7. Meet The Press repeat (Ten) — 139,000
  8. Inside Business (ABC 1) — 128,000
  9. The Bolt Report (Ten) — 122,000
  10. The Bolt Report repeat (Ten) — 114,000
  11. Meet The Press (Ten) — 87,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. Fox  Footy – (6.1%)
  2. Fox Sports 2 – (5.3%)
  3. Fox Sports 1, Foxtel Movies – (2.2%)
  4. Fox Sports 3 — (2.1%)
  5. Fox 8, TV1 – (2.0%)

Top pay TV programs:

  1. Cricket: Ashes, 3rd Test, Session 1 (Fox Sports 2) — 340,000
  2. AFL: Collingwood v Essendon (Fox Footy) – 312,000
  3. Cricket: Ashes, 3rd Test, session 2 (Fox Sports 2) – 191,000
  4. NRL: Melbourne v Canberra (Fox Sports 1) – 187,000
  5. AF: Footscray v Sydney (Fox Footy) – 168,000
Tonight: With the election called, the ABC’s news and current affairs line up tonight will be the place to watch for the next five  weeks on a Monday night for the only sustained, intelligent political reporting and analysis:  7.30, Four Corners, Q&A and Lateline, with Media Watch keeping the media honest. The three commercial networks will struggle because they have lost the art of reporting political stories, except in tabloid basic. SBS could end up doing better than Nine, Ten or Seven. SBS has The Observer Effect, Insight and Dateline. No doubt 60 Minutes on Nine and Sunday Night on Seven will attempt to do interviews with the Prime Minister and Tony Abbott, but they will be once over lightly and should have been done weeks ago with reports now on the policies and the ebb and flow of battle. ABC24 and Sky News will be wall to wall politics, and boring for it, with little attempt to pullback and analyse instead of prognosticating. And which media organisation has found a Nate Silver-style nerd to crunch all the polls and tell us who will win and how many seats — as Nate Silver did it the US presidential polls in 2008 and 2012?  In doing so Nate Silver completely subverted the bull elephants and their female equals of political reporting, even on his then-employer, The New York Times.

*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.

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Peter Fray
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