Sam Frost Rules, OK! She’ll be a hard act to follow in 2016. After being treated disgracefully by Rat of the year Blake Garvey last year, Sam Frost brought sense and dignity to The Bachelorette that has not been seen so far in The Bachelor. Her selection of Sasha Mielczare last night lit up rating bells for Ten, even after the Daily Mail was forced to take down its ham-fisted spoiler. Of course the fact that the half-owner of the Daily Mail in Australia is Nine, had nothing to do with the decision to do a spoiler (in the good old ACA/Today Tonight tradition of trying to trash each others ‘exclusives” and personalties). No doubt A Current Affair will do a big story tonight on the dastardly Daily Mail. I won’t be waiting up for it. More likely, ACA will produce its usual attempt to take down a successful program on another TV network, like they have done so often in the past. The Daily Mail’s spoiler attempt underlines its essential parasitic nature in Australia — it has no content that would encourage a rival network or website to run a spoiler. But by buying in photos it is trading off the success of another organisation’s content. It happens everywhere and has been happening for years, but these days its more high profile because it is online and immediate.

The fact is that The Bachelorette is one of the success stories of 2015 TV in this country — the national winner announcement audience of more than 1.98 million viewers was one of the highest for a non-sporting program this year. And the finale did a respectable 1.6 million viewers across the country as well. Ratings Nirvana for struggling Ten, which reports its 2014-15 profit on Monday morning. And it was all down to Sam Frost and the dignity she showed after her humiliation in 2014, something Ten did not help to repair last year as it tried to milk publicity from Mr Garvey as the 2014 Bachelor. The network can be very thankful they took a chance with Sam Frost who has repaid that in spades, and a lot more. Naturally Ten this morning confirmed earlier reports that there would be a second series in 2016 (it has been apparent from about week two or three of this short five week season). You can bet that Ten will want to spin it out next year, but one of its virtues this year was the shortness of the courtship.

Nothing else mattered on TV last night as Seven and Nine left it to Ten. Nine’s The Verdict veered all over the place and went backwards after the improvements in week two. It doesn’t need Karl Stefanovic there in the host’s chair — it needs someone less tabloid and more dominant, without Karl’s tricks. The Verdict’s 360,000 metro viewers was down from last week’s 369,000. The 538,000 national audience was down on last week’s 578,000. I still like the idea, but not with Karl and some changes in the set and the design of the panel and the program. But last night’s weak reception by viewers has probably put a steak through the idea. If Nine doesn’t return it, it can blame itself, its producers and Karl Stefanovic.

It was a big day and night for Ten — new owners in the morning, sorry, a new big shareholder from a friendly family called the Murdochs (with Telstra as the bemused cousin by marriage) and in the evening perhaps its best performance of the year so far — better than the final of I’m A Celebrity earlier in the year. Getting more than 1.9 million people to watch the winner’s announcement on a Thursday night is no mean feat — Thursday, along with Friday and Saturday are dead zones for anything but sport or some programs on the ABC such as fresh episodes of New Tricks. Part 2 tomorrow night of the first episode of the new series.

Of course there’s Thugby Union RWC semis on Sunday and Monday morning — go the Wobblies. Our Trans-Tasman friends are playing South Africa — go the All Blacks.

Network channel share:

  1. Ten (27.9%)
  2. Nine (25.5%)
  3. Seven (25.1%)
  4. ABC (16.4%)
  5. SBS (5.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Ten (22.1%)
  2. Nine (16.6%)
  3. Seven (16.3%)
  4.  Ten (13.1%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. GO (5.5%)
  2. 7TWO (5.3%)
  3. Eleven (3.9%)
  4. 7mate (3.5%)
  5. Gem (3.4%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Bachelorette Winner (Ten) — 1.984 million
  2. The Bachelorette Finale (Ten) — 1.6021 million
  3. Nine News — 1.298 million
  4. Seven News — 1.227 million
  5. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.211 million
  6. RBT (Nine) — 1.174 million
  7. ABC News — 1.143 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.077 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC)  — 1.063 million
  10. RBT rpt (Nine) — 1.052 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Bachelorette Winner (Ten) — 1.520 million
  2. The Bachelorette Finale (Ten) — 1.251 million

Losers: Viewers of The Verdict — hard labour. Talking loudly to the TV is not a good look and last night I again found myself doing just that with this program. Anyone who at least didn’t catch the quiet dignity of Sam Frost on The Bachelorette during the series. I hope the core audience has made the appropriate adverse comparison with The Bachelor. I don’t know about the longevity of the various relationships, but in the way she conducted herself, she has had the last laugh on Mr Garvey (and Ten for that matter). Ten will struggle to find someone for the 2016 program with the same character.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News (6.30pm) — 986,000
  2. Seven News — 947,000
  3. Nine News — 945,000
  4. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 925,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 901,000
  6. ABC News – 799,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 748,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 652,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 509,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 491,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 329,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 314,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 152,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  101,000 + 43,000 on News 24) — 144,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 118,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 67,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle, UKTV, Fox 8  (2.1%)
  2. Nick Jr (2.0%)
  3. TVHITS  (1.9%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. The Simpsons (Fox8)  — 82,000
  2. Peppa Pig (Nick Jr) — 63,000
  3. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 58,000
  4. Inspector George Gently (UKTV) — 54,000
  5. Eastenders (UKTV) — 54,000

*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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