Seven returned Dancing With the Stars to the screen for its 14th series last night and viewers hung round —  though not in the same numbers as in past years. The metro figure of 1.040 million for two and a half hours from 7.30 was the lowest so far for the series starter. But it was enough to give Seven the night, though The Block Glasshouse on Nine dominated the demos, once again. It also was the top program with 1.758 national/ 1.184 million metro/ 575,000 regional viewers. It was also number 1 in regional markets. Dancing With The Stars, though a fading beauty, still managed 1.550 million national/ 1.040 million metro/ 509,000 regional viewers.

Big Brother again sagged and is starting to look very much like a program invented and screened a decade ago. Big Brother had 889,000 national/ 617,000 metro/ 273,000 regional viewers. With those low numbers (even though they are relatively solid in the demos) you have to wonder if Nine can afford to keep it in 2015, especially as the revenue squeeze now must be hurting.

Seven won both the metros and regionals in total people, but Nine did better in the key demos, with The Block leading the way. Ten was third and the ABC was fourth in both areas.

For all the recent heroics in the Middle East by local reporters, last night we saw another top notch effort from ABC reporter Stephen McDonell who brought us a real example of on the edge reporting (and again underlined why it is vital to be able to speak the dominant language in countries where you are reporting) from China. Watching the episode of Foreign Correspondent you can understand why the Chinese government went ballistic when they realised what was to be broadcast, and why the ABC management is to be commended for standing up to the pressure. It also makes a mockery of the budget cuts and other petty slights administered to the ABC by the Abbott government, from the Prime Minister (who has questioned if the ABC is “on the team”) to the increasingly irrelevant Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Keep an eye on when Messrs Turnbull and Abbott say anything about the McDonell report, and what they say. This isn’t the first time McDonell has stood up to Chinese government pressure and harassment from its security people to report on sensitive issues. Foreign Correspondent had 923,000 national/ 623,000 metro/ 278,000 regional viewers. Interesting that ABC management sent him to hong kong earlier this week to help report from there. He has been used on the two Malaysian Airline stories and in Ukraine. McDonell is a standout among Australian reporters, print or video reporting from offshore these days.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (33.5%)
  2. Nine (28.9%)
  3. Ten (18.1%)
  4. ABC (15.4%)
  5. SBS (4.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (23.3%)
  2. Nine (20.1%)
  3. Ten (12.5%)
  4. ABC (11.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.7%)

Top digital channels: 

  1. 7mate (5.7%)
  2. Gem (5.1%)
  3. 7TWO (4.8%)
  4. GO (3.7%)
  5. ABC2, Eleven (2.6%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Block Glasshouse (Nine) — 1.758 million
  2. Nine News — 1.558 million
  3. Dancing With The Stars (Seven) — 1.550 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) – 1.498 million
  5. Seven News 1.434 million
  6. ABC News — 1.224 million.
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.112 million
  8. Nine News 6.30 — 1.084 million
  9. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.074 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 987,000

Top metro programs:

  1. The Block Glasshouse (Nine) — 1.184 million
  2. Seven News — 1.115 million
  3. Nine News 6.30 — 1.084 million
  4. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.074 million
  5. Nine News — 1.047 million
  6. Dancing With The Stars (Seven) — 1.040 million.

Losers: Big Brother. The poor old thing is being flogged very hard, but won’t go quickly. It’s a one-paced donkey at the moment. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Reality Programs should be called in to end this abuse. Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News 1.115 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.084 million
  3. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.074 million
  4. Nine News — 1.047 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 941,000
  6. ABC News – 807,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 677,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 628,000
  9. Foreign Correspondent (ABC) — 623,000
  10. Ten Eyewitness News 607,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 339,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 284,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 147,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC,  81,000 + 40,000 on News 24) — 121,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 110,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 57,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (3.0%)
  2. LifeStyle  (2.7%)
  3. THITS!  (2.1%)
  4. Disney (1.8%)
  5. Cartoon, Foxtel Movies Premiere (1.5%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Location Location Location (LifeStyle) – 99,000
  2. Modern Family (Fox8) — 65,000
  3. Family Guy (Fox8) – 64,000
  4. Back Page  (Fox Sports 1) – 63,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory (Comedy) — 53,000

*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.

Peter Fray

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