A close night in the metros. Nine did best, but still a big win for Seven in the regions and a strong end to Monday nights for the ABC which easily accounted for Ten.

The ABC’s Monday night line up of news and current affairs programs departed for summer last nigh, with Four Corners leaving with a trail of damage in its wake thanks to a moving joint investigation with Fairfax on the abuse of disabled Australians. No wonder News Corp and The Australian don’t like the ABC for doing stories like this with Fairfax. News wants to bask in the ABC’s credibility for investigative yarns of this quality. And Q&A finished with an even tempered rational discussion (which unfortunately concentrated too much on the ABC cuts story, but that’s understandable). Panelist Waleed Aly is wasted on Radio National and needs a wider TV audience. He’s top talent. He’s great on Offsiders, Big Ideas and was a top talent on Q&A last night.

Australian Story justifiably topped the night nationally with nearly 1.5 million viewers who saw a great story about young people and persistence. Nine depended on repeats of The Big Bang Theory and the news and A Current Affair . But when Big Brother started, the Nine’s national audience evaporated, dropping from around 1.472 million for the second episode of The Big Bang Theory to just 732,000 for Big Brother. That’s a big thumbs down from the core audience for Big Brother.

Tonight the ABC reinforces why only it these days maintains a consistently high level of excellence in its news and current affairs programs (despite what the ‘experts’ in the dead tree media might think) when part one of Heather Ewert’s labour of love on the history of the National/Country Party airs at 8.30. She has travelled The Wombat Trail with so many other journalists (it used to be third or fourth prize to be given the gig of following the then National Party leader on the campaign trail). From what friends have told me, it was the best election gig of all because it was like travelogue. That is not the way these days of the instant, social media driven coverage, but if it was, so many of our political writers in Canberra would discover a side of Australia they have heard about, but never seen. They would be richer for the experience, as viewers will be at the end of this special, that’s if you can tear yourself away from the Grand Final of Dancing With the Stars on Seven.

With fading Big Brother heading towards it finale tomorrow night, Australian commercial TV is ending the 2014 ratings battle with a whimper, like mice scurrying for the exits as the deck chairs slide. Only the ABC and SBS have had a red hot go in the final weeks, with the ABC a standout this week. Only the ABC would concern itself with charting the history of the country’s third major political grouping, and one which represents regional Australia, which is out of side and mind for most metro, Sydney centric media (and even the ABC these days judging by this week’s cuts).

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (26.6%)
  2. Nine (26.2%)
  3. ABC (23.0%)
  4. Ten (20.5%)
  5. SBS (3.7%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (18.6%)
  2. Seven (17.2%)
  3. ABC (17.7%)
  4. Ten  (14.1%)
  5. SBS ONE (2.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (6.2%)
  2. GO (4.6%)
  3. Eleven (3.6%)
  4. ABC2 (3.5%)
  5. 7mate (3.3%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Australian Story (ABC) – 1.485 million
  2. Nine News — 1.477 million
  3. The Big Bang Theory episode two repeat (Nine) — 1.472 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) – 1.374 million
  5. The Big Bang Theory episode 1 repeat (Nine) — 1.349 million
  6. Seven News 1.307 million
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.299 million
  8. ABC News 1.272 million
  9. Four Corners (ABC) — 1.184 million
  10. Gold Coast Cops episode two (Ten) — 1.101 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Big Bang Theory episode 2 repeat (Nine) — 1.046 million
  2. Nine News — 1.022 million
  3. Nine News 6.30 — 1.018 million
  4. Seven News — 1.008 million

Losers: The Big Adventure (1.087 million nationally for the winner’s announcement). This is Seven’s The Biggest Loser — what a flopperoo. Why did more people (30,000 – 40,000) tune in for the result than watched the lead up? Morbid curiosity, maybe. Big Brother, does anyone care?Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News – 1.022 million
  2. Nine News 6.30 — 1.018 million
  3. Seven News — 1.008 million
  4. Australian Story (ABC) — 996,000
  5. Seven News/T oday Tonight — 967,000
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 926,000
  7. ABC News 890,000
  8. 7.30 (ABC) — 880,000
  9. Four Corners (ABC) – 792,000
  10. Media Watch (ABC) — 719,000
  11. Q&A (ABC, 647,000, 52,0000 on News 24) — 699,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 371,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 288,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 177,000
  4. Mornings (Nine) — 142,000
  5. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  71,000 + 46,000 on News 24) — 117,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 64,000

Top pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (3.5%)
  2. LifeStyle  (2.5%)
  3. TVHITS  (2.1%)
  4. LifeStyle You, Arena, Disney Jr (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. The Walking Dead (Fx) – 101,000
  2. Modern Family (Fox8) – 83,000
  3. The Walking Dead (Fx) – 78,000
  4. Family Guy (Fox8) – 69,000
  5. Family Guy (Fox8) – 56,000

*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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