It was one of those nights (not the sort sung in the 70s by The Eagles) that has made life for the Seven Network (and its parent, Seven West Media) even harder. Restaurant Revolution is a flopperoo which is making the network’s tough task even tougher. Last night’s grand restaurant launch could only rustle up 789,000 national viewers: 522,000 metros and 268,000 regionals. Nine’s The Hotplate (which looks very much like MKR and Masterchef at times) had 1.228 national viewers: 944,000 metro and 284,000 regional viewers. Restaurant Revolution is dying and consuming Seven’s ratings revenue and generating unwarranted cost pressures. Restaurant Revolution is said to be Seven’s most expensive program , costing more than My Kitchen Rules (which has the ratings to more than justify its costs).

Ten’s start of The Great Australian Spelling Bee was solid  (1.267 million national viewers, 921,000 in the metros and 346,000 in the regions), but you have to wonder how long a one facet format (kids spelling, parents looking anxious and just one set) can prove attractive to viewers. Kids can be warm, wonderful or even little buggers, but they are mostly one dimensional, and those that aren’t are often regarded as precious imps.

The second part of the Bradman Family story on Australian Story averaged 1.173 million viewers and was the ninth most watched program nationally, while later in the night Q&A again proved the absence of politics makes for an invigorating and interesting discussion. It had 919,000 national viewers (and dominated the night from 9.35pm) and the four person panel was ideal. Everyone contributed, US Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stood out (and put the Adam Goodes story in the right context, as well as the bleatings of Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and his tribe of ignoramuses at the Melbourne Herald Sun). One of the best episodes of the year, but unfortunately there’s politics next week, but no government frontbenchers, which is a big plus.

But the top programs last night in metro markets were news broadcasts, while Nine and Seven news, followed by Home and Away, topped the national rankings. Nine won the metros (narrowly overall) and more clearly in the main channels, but the big shock  was  Seven’s main channel in fourth spot. Apart from one offs, such as big sport or finals of reality programs, it has been a long time since Seven’s main channel was beaten by the ABC and forced into fourth spot on a Monday night in the metros. And this was down to very weak performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. In Adelaide and Perth and in the regions, Seven was an easy winner overall and the main channels. The Hotplate though did well in Perth and Adelaide.

And in the morning Today beat Sunrise in the metros by just 1,000:  351,000 to 350,000. Seven just can’t take a trick at the moment. But Nine’s Lip Synch Battle is rapidly disappearing down its autocue — 602,000 viewers nationally at 8.40pm — that’s now worse than Restaurant Revolution, which tells us how low is low. It’s essentially a program about people moving their lips, and guess what, so is The Spelling Bee on Ten — a portent for Ten?

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (25.0%)
  2. Seven (24.5%)
  3. Ten (21.9%)
  4. ABC (21.8%)
  5. SBS (6.8%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (18.3%)
  2. Ten (16.4%)
  3. ABC (16.0%)
  4. Seven (15.6%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.4%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.0 (?%)
  2. ABC 2 (4.0%)
  3. 7mate (3.9%)
  4. GO (3.8%)
  5. Gem, ONE (2.8%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.721 million
  2. Seven News —  1.356 million
  3. Home and Away (Seven) —  1.329 million
  4. ABC News –  1.273 million
  5. The Great Australian Spelling Bee (Ten) —  1.267 million
  6. The Hotplate (Seven) —  1.228 million
  7. A Current Affair (Nine) —  1.219 million
  8. Nine News  6.30 —  1.217 million
  9. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.173 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.125 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News —  1.236 million
  2. Nine News  6.30 —  1.217 million
  3. Seven News —  1.062 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) —  1.059 million
  5. Seven News/ Today Tonight —  1.040 million

Losers: Seven.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News —  1.236 million
  2. Nine News  6.30 —  1.217 million
  3. Seven News —  1.062 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) —  1.059 million
  5. Seven News/ Today Tonight —  1.040 million
  6. ABC News –  879,000
  7. Media Watch (ABC) —  779,000
  8. Australian Story (ABC) —  776,000
  9. 7.30 (ABC) —  753,000
  10. The Project 7pm (Ten) —  744,000

Morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) – 351,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 350,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) —  172,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  92,000 + 47,000 on News 24) — 139,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) —  136,000
  6. Studio 1o (Ten) —  42,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 1 (2.9%)
  2. LifeStyle  (2.3%)
  3. Nick Jr, TVHITS, Disney Jr  (2.0%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. NRL: Gold Coast v Parramatta (Fox Sports 1) –  224,000
  2. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) —  127,000
  3. Monday Night With Matty Johns (Fox Sports 1) — 125,000
  4. AFL: On the Couch (Fox Footy) — 85,000
  5. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 72,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2015. 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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