It was as though we had a collection of unwanted visitors call on us on national TV last night. Shane Warne featured on Ten’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

My Kitchen Rules on Seven returned with the usual complement of bickering couples and bad table manners, while Australia’s Got Talent popped up after time in the wilderness at Nine and deserved a new return to oblivion. Farmer Wants A Wife was another returnee to Nine after an absence, and it too reminded us why there was the need for that absence. An old idea like that is tough to freshen up. Dating shows have moved on and become more urbanised. The same applies to The X Files – it is nostalgia TV  and nothing more. Talent will be an expensive flop for Nine.

On the ABC, the usual Monday night line-up of news and current affairs programs returned – Australian Story was very solid, Four Corners with Sarah Ferguson replacing Kerry O’Brien, was earnest. Media Watch and Paul Barry was ebullient as usual but only Q&A sparkled, as it does most Monday nights in season.

So what happened? Well Seven won easily, thanks to MKR and the sleepers, Home and Away and The Chase Australia. Talent and the Wife-wanting farmers had a weak re-entry for Nine, and look like doing it tough; and Shane Warne on Celebrity wasn’t quite enough to hold on to Sunday night’s big start, but did well enough to keep everybody happy. The X Files also struggled to hold on, but like Celebrity, did well in younger demos (and they helped Ten to squeeze into third on a Monday night when it was one of the network’s weakest nights last year). Celebrity was a distant second behind MKR in the demos, and Home and Away slipped back into the schedule and had a very successful 2016 return with Charlotte’s killer on the loose and Brax back, however briefly.

MKR had 2.158 million national viewers (down around 127,000 from the 2015 debut) and 1.576 million metros (around what it got last year). Home and Away was the big shock, up sharply from the weak figures at the end of 2015 to run second nationally with 1.548 million on its first night out for the year and sixth in the metros. Celebrity did well for Ten with 1.310 million, up on a year ago. But Talent could only muster 1.088 million, which was not convincing. Farmer Wants A Wife did better with 1.143 million with higher support from the regions. The X Files managed 1.065 million national viewers at 9 pm, which was solid.

The five most watched programs in the regions were MKR with 582,000; Home and Away, 538,000, The Chase Australia (5.30), 426,000; Nine News, 393,000 and Celebrity, 384,000.

But it was still a very competitive night of TV as the second night of rehearsals for next week’s start of the ratings battle proper went off without a hitch. The line up of programs on the main channels saw audiences for the various digital channels fall sharply for a second night in a row, as well as scrimping pay TV numbers. Seven won the metros and the regions.

Sunrise’s brought new set produced a first up win over Today, while in the evening the fresh episode of The Chase from 5.30pm (632,00 metro viewers and 1.059 million nationally) easily beat Hot Seat on Nine (519,000 and just 694,000 nationally, meaning a strong rejection by regional viewers). Leigh Sales returned to front 7.30 on the ABC and averaged 768,000 metro viewers and 1.114 million nationally. OK.

Tonight: Grease Live on Nine at 8.30 – it aired on Fox in the US on Sunday night. It was Live then, but not now. Grabbed more than 12 million viewers (pushed Fox to top spot on the night) in first up ratings and accolades by the truck loads. This is nostalgia TV, but without Livvie and John Travolta … and it is three hours. A big ask?

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (30.8%)
  2. Nine (24.90%)
  3. Ten (20.3%)
  4. ABC (19.3%)
  5. SBS (4.7%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (25.0%)
  2. Nine (19.0%)
  3. Ten (15.9%)
  4. ABC (14.9%)
  5. SBS ONE (3.2%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (3.7%)
  2. ABC 2 (2.7%)
  3. ONE (2.5%)
  4. GO (2.3%)
  5. 7mate (2.1%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. My Kitchen Rules (Seven) —  2.158 million
  2. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.548 million
  3. Nine News — 1.433 million
  4. Seven News — 1.401 million
  5. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (Ten) — 1.310 million
  6. ABC News — 1.219 million
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 1.196 million
  8. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.168 million
  9. Farmer Wants A Wife (Nine) — 1.1143 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC) — 1.114 million

Top metro programs:

  1. My Kitchen Rules (Seven) — 1.576 million
  2. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.095 million
  3. Seven News — 1.085 million
  4. Nine News 6.30 — 1.058 million
  5. Nine News  1.040 million
  6. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.010 million

Losers: Anyone who couldn’t find something to watch on TV last night is a moaner and groaner and should stick to books or social media (but how can you use social media without watching TV, especially a program like Home and Away, or Q&A or Celebrity?)Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News/ Today Tonight — 1.095 million
  2. Seven News — 1.095 million
  3. Nine News (6.30pm) — 1.037 million
  4. Nine News — 1.040 million
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 902,000
  6. ABC News – 857,000
  7. Australian Story (ABC) — 808,000
  8. Four Corners (ABC) — 792,000
  9. 7.30 (ABC) — 768,000
  10. Media Watch (ABC) — 723,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 344,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 329,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 160,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  91,000 + 44,000 on News 24) — 135,000
  5. Mornings Summer (Nine) — 126,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 89,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. TVHITS  (2.5%)
  2. LifeStyle  (1.9%)
  3. Fox 8, UK TV  (1.8%)
  4. Nick Jr  (1.6%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. New Tricks (UKTV) – 61,000
  2. Would I Lie To You (UKTV) — 59,000
  3. NCIS (TV HITS) — 55,000
  4. War and Peace (BBC First) – 63,000
  5. NCIS LA (TV HITS) –50,000

*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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