Once again the ratings performance of one program — the repeat of Seven’s Highway Patrol at 8 pm — told it all for the way viewers looked at TV last night. After Seven News and the 6.30pm part of Nine News, that repeat of Highway Patrol was the most watched non-news program on metro TV last night and third overall. Nationally it was the most watched program in front of Nine News. It did better than Nine’s The Block, the returning episode of Kitchen Cabinet on the ABC and another fresh episode of Gruen also on the ABC. You would have thought that the new episode of The Block and new programming on the ABC would have been more attractive to viewers than the repeat of a police reality program, but they weren’t.

But Nine did well in the demos because The Block did well again by topping the major demos. It averaged 1.315 million national viewers — 945,000 metro and 371,000 regional viewers. But The repeat of Highway Patrol topped the night with 1.479 million national viewers, with 992,000 metro and 487,000 regional viewers. A heavily promoted episode of the new US series Blindspot (in which a woman with no memory but her heavily tattooed body turned out to have all the clues. And, yes she spoke) was the surprise last night for Seven — it averaged 1.261 million viewers nationally at 8.30pm with 888,000 metro and 371,000 regional viewers. Interesting storyline, but can that be topped next week, and the week after?

Seven won the metros overall and the main channels (Nine did very well in the demos), and had a far larger win in the regionals. The ABC was third in both areas and Ten was fourth, weakly so in the regions where its main channel share fell to 7.6%, which is a real blast from 2014 for the network now that The Bachelorette and The Bachelorette are resting until 2016. Next the Princess Mary Story (and I won’t go anywhere near synergies with The Bachelorette and Bachelorette with that mini-series).

In the morning Sunrise is still ahead. In the evening, the 7pm part of Ten’s The Project fell very sharply last night to have fewer viewers than the Ten News At Five. That doesn’t normally happen, so it is worth keeping an eye on. The 7pm The Project has been one of Ten’s most consistent good performers this year.

Seven News topped the metros because the 5.30pm bit of Seven’s The Chaser of Australia (630,000 metro viewers) extended its lead over Nine’s Hot Seat (531,000). That saw Nine’s winning leads in Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane trimmed to where Seven’s big winning margins in Adelaide and Perth could push the news to a metro win. Seven’s new news bosses — Craig McPherson nationally and Jason Morrison in Sydney — have something to help them stalk Nine. But by 6.30pm. Nine’s News had moved well past Seven with 996,000 viewers to 953,000. McPherson will use that weakness to justify his desire to bring back Today Tonight at 6.30 pm and force Nine to bring ACA to the same slot (thereby opening up a weak spot for Nine at 7pm.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (30.5%)
  2. Nine (27.8%)
  3. ABC (19.2%)
  4. Ten (16.4%)
  5. SBS (6.2%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (22.0%)
  2. Nine (19.7%)
  3. ABC (14.3%)
  4. Ten (11.0%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.1%)
  2. GO (4.7%)
  3. 7mate (3.4%)
  4. Gem (3.3%)
  5. Eleven (2.9%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Highway Patrol repeat (Seven) — 1.479 million
  2. Nine News — 1.375 million
  3. The Block (Nine) — 1.315 million
  4. Border Security (Seven) — 1.306 million
  5. Seven News — 1.306 million
  6. Blindspot (Seven) — 1.261 million
  7. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.248 million
  8. Gruen (ABC) — 1.237 million
  9. ABC News — 1.203 million
  10. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.024 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.028 million

Losers: Madame Secretary on Ten: 494,000 national viewers, 372,000 in the metros. Not good enough for 8.30pm on a Wednesday night.Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.028 million
  2. Nine News (6.30pm) — 996,000
  3. Nine News — 984,000
  4. Seven News/Today Tonight —953,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 939,000
  6. 7pm ABC News – 834,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 734,000
  8. Ten Eyewitness News — 554,000
  9. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 486,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 430,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 355,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 322,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 149,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  99,000 + 46,000 on News 24) — 145,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 132,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 64,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle  (3.1%)
  2. Fox8  (2.4%)
  3. UKTV (2.0%)
  4. TVHITS  (1.8%)
  5. Foxtel Movies Premiere, Nick Jr (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Gogglebox Australia (LifeStyle) — 147,000
  2. The Flash (Fox8)  — 89,000
  3. Midsomer Murders (UKTV) — 72,000
  4. The Simpsons (Fox8) – 64,000
  5. Curious George (Nick Jr) — 58,000

*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

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW