At last, two nights of TV in a row with something to stay up watch and ignore  a book or bed — It’s A Date and Upper Middle Bogan on ABC1 were better than expected. Coming after Wednesday night on ABC1, TV suddenly is interesting again. Seven, Nine and Ten were deserts in comparison, empty TV parking lots.

Upper Middle Bogan averaged 1.400 million national / 927,000 metro / 473,000 regional viewers and It’s A Date averaged 1.293 million / 877,000 / 416,000 viewers and easily won their timeslots. Both programs could not have been done for commercial TV because there’s not an executive at the three channels who would have gotten the story — they would have over produced Upper Middle Bogan and turned it into a cruder story, and It’s A Date would have repulsed them because of the subtlety. Lisa McCune deserved a Logie for last night’s effort.

The two programs stood out like a beacon last night. Sydney hated them, they were well outside the top 10 most watched programs, but in Melbourne they were top three programs and top 10 or 11 in other markets. Sydney people have no humour.

It’s somehow fitting that two quality programs (including one, a comedy based on bogans) beat the bogan-heavy Footy Show (NRL and AFL — 1.159 million /831,000 / 328,000) on Nine from 8.30pm. Seven, Nine and Ten find humour, irony and satire hard to do consistently, as we have seen this week.

Seven’s Formal Wars is now at 10pm for a second week (and next week). On last night’s figures — 526,000 / 352,000 / 204,000 — it’s hard on the heels of The Mole in reaching the bottom. Please Marry My Boy on Seven at 9pm (739,000 / 452,000 / 287,000) is well on the way as well.

Big Brother had 1.204 million / 906,000 / 298,000 and was well beaten by Home and Away (1.440 million /939,000 / 501,000). SBS ONE viewers drifted away from The Vikings at 8.30pm and it shed well over 100,000 viewers from its debut last week, to average 479,000 /323,000 / 156,000 viewers last night.

US update: It’s summer ratings in the US, with low viewing numbers, but despite that Duck Dynasty, the A&E cable hit, returned Wednesday night for its fourth season and was the most-watched program in the country last night in any form of TV. It averaged 11.8 million viewers,  setting a new record (it held the old one) for the biggest non-fiction audience for a program on US cable TV. It had more viewers than MasterChef America on Fox, America’s Got Talent on NBC and Big Brother on CBS.

Weekend: The usual sport, topped by the first Bledisloe Cup Rugby Union Test tomorrow night on Ten and Fox Sports. Sunday night The X Factor and Australia’s Got Talent go head to head at 6.30, with Sunday Night and 60 Minutes at 8pm.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (29.8%)
  2. Seven (25.4%)
  3. ABC (19.4%)
  4. Ten (18.7%)
  5. SBS (6.7%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (22.0%)
  2. Seven (19.3%)
  3. ABC1 (13.8%)
  4. Ten (13.6%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.8%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. GO (5.1%)
  2. Eleven (3.4%)
  3. ABC2 (3.3%)
  4. 7TWO (3.2%)
  5. 7mate (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.748 million
  2. Nine News — 1.728 million
  3. Dynamo (Seven) — 1.448 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.440 million
  5. Upper Middle Bogan (ABC1) – 1.400 million
  6. 7pm ABC1 News — 1.312 million
  7. It’s A Date (ABC1) — 1.293 million
  8. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.230 million
  9. Big Brother (Nine) — 1.204 million
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.170 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.164 million
  2. Seven News — 1.160 million

Losers: Seven: Please Marry My Boy, Formal Wars. Weak, unedifying programs. Derek, ABC1 at 10 pm (353,000 /239,000 / 114,000) — creepy, not funny.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.164 million
  2. Seven News — 1.160 million
  3. A Current Affair (Nine) — 993,000
  4. Today Tonight (Seven) — 963,000
  5. 7pm ABC1 News — 860,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 718,000
  7. Ten News At Five — 636,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 582,000
  9. Lateline (ABC1) — 193,000
  10. World News Australia (SBS ONE) — 180,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 403,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 351,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1, 64,000, 31,000 on News 24) — 95,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle (3.3%)
  2. Fox 8, TV1 (2.3%)
  3. Fox Classics (1.9%)
  4. Discovery, A&E, Disney Jr (1.5%)
  5. Sky News (1.4%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. River Cottage Australia (LifeStyle) – 118000
  2. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 94,000
  3. The Simpsons (Fox 8) – 81,000
  4. Selling Houses Australia (LifeStyle) – 68,000
  5. Grand Designs Australia (LifeStyle) – 64,000

*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.) and network reports.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.