Australian TV viewers no longer like lions romping with humans, or Bill Shorten romping with the budget, or much else, except for Masterchef Australia contestants romping with pots, pans and cook tops. So it became the most watched non-news program on national TV last night.

Seven’s special at 7.30pm, Martin Clunes and a Lion Called Mugie could only manage 883,000 national viewers — Masterchef Australia had 1.362 million nationally. Nine’s Reno Rumble had 1.131 million. Bill Shorten’s Budget address could only manage 708,000 — 350,000 or so less than Joe Hockey’s effort (1.055 million). The 730 half hour of chat about that speech from 8pm did a bit better with 718,000 national viewers (on Tuesday night and 100,000 short of the chat afterwards on 7.30 (827,000) . Most galling for Bill Shorten and the chatters on 730 — a compilation of the best bits from recent episodes of The Checkout averaged 910,000 and was called Best Before (use by date, applicable to the efforts of Joe and Bill, doncha think?) Nine’s Footy Shows had high figures last night and helped the network to take the night in the metros, but Seven won the regionals.

Seven’s Home and Away continues to do well nationally, but the strong support from regional viewers (490,000 last night and number one program in the regions) is cloaking a downward shift in metro viewing — 774,000 last night.

The highlight this weekend will be Seven’s telemovie series Catching Milat on Sunday night at 8.45. This is the story of a real serial killer, not then inventions of script editors in endless crime series.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (27.8%)
  2. Seven (26.3%)
  3. Ten (23.7%)
  4. ABC (15.8%)
  5. SBS (6.3%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (20.4%)
  2. Seven (17.2%)
  3. Ten (17.1%)
  4. ABC (11.0%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.0%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.3%)
  2. GO (4.4%)
  3. 7mate (3.8%)
  4. Eleven (3.5%)
  5. ONE (3.1%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1.  Nine News — 1.468 million
  2.  Seven News — 1.359 million
  3.  Masterchef Australia — 1.362 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) – 1.264 million
  5. Reno Rumble (Nine) — 1.131 million
  6. A Current Affair (Nine) – 1.131 million
  7. ABC News — 1.083 million
  8. Downton Abbey (Seven) — 1.017 million
  9. Million Dollar Minute (Seven) — 1.007 million
  10. Seven News/ Today Tonight (Seven) — 979,000

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.053 million
  2. Masterchef Australia — 1.025 million
  3. Nine News — 1.015 million

Losers: Except for Masterchef Australia  last night, it was a night best left unwatched. There are no vicarious pleasures (waiting for a trainwreck TV moment to appear) left in Nine’s Footy Shows either. But there was nothing trainwreck about the interview Erin Molan did with her sister on the NRL Footy Show last night, If you haven’t seen it, I won’t tell you what it was about, but it is all over social media this morning. Well done, and it puts the antics of the rest of the hosting panel to shame for the night and the season.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.053 million
  2. Nine News — 1.015 million
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 979,000
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 970,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) — 950,000
  6. 7pm ABC 1 News — 751,000
  7. Ten Eyewitness News — 558,000
  8. The Project 7pm (ABC 1) — 557,000
  9. 7.30 (ABC 1) — 511,000
  10. The Budget 2015: Opposition Address in Reply (ABC 1) —493,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 314,000
  2. Today (Nine) — 307,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  104,000 + 44,000 on News 24) — 148,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 136,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 122,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) — 64,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (2.6%)
  2. LifeStyle  (2.3%)
  3. TVHITS  (2.2%)
  4. Arena (1.8%)
  5. IIIGreats (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Australia’s Next Top Model (F0x8) — 105,000
  2. Wayward Pines (Fox8) — 101,000
  3. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) — 99,000
  4. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 78,000
  5. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 75,000

*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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