One of those nights where you could give a tick to Seven and Nine for trying with The Secret Daughter and Hyde and Seek — both honourable performers on debut last night and showing us that non-reality program making skills haven’t died in these rotten days of ‘reality’ rubbish. We will give both a couple more weeks to settle down, but on the first night showing – good. Seven’s The X Factor was re-worked, ‘modernised’ revamped. Whatever you call it, it’s is still a singing-based talent show. More of the same, not much has changed. The old stager, The Block did best because of its reveal episode was pushed to last night from the usual Sunday night by the NRL Grand Final. Next week might see a slightly different result at 7.30pm with the normal post reveal episode for The Block. 

The Secret Daughter (1.442 million nationally, 899,000 metro/544,000 regionally) did better than Hyde and Seek: 1.257 million  (878,000 metro/379,000 regionally). Hyde and Seek lost viewers from its lead-in The Block which had 1.555 million nationally (1.069 million metro/485,000 regionally), while The Secret Daughter at least nationally, had more viewers than The X Factor which managed 1.363 million (904,000 metro/459,000 regionally). That would give Seven a lot of heart, especially as The Secret Daughter started 15 minutes later than Hyde and Seek at 9 pm. Nine will be a bit concerned at the way Hyde and Seek shed viewers from the reveal episode of The Block. That could see Hyde and Seek hurt by having a weaker episode of The Block as the lead-in next week.

And as expected, Australian Survivor was a bit squashed, but not by as much. It did OK with 925,000 national viewers, but Have You Been Paying Attention still did better with 963,000 nationally. That’s a small margin, but enough to make the point.

The ABC had a worthy night. For me the highlight was the way Christian Porter (the Social Service minister) just didn’t understand why he was on Q&A. It was to at least appear compassionate and understanding: he failed. 7.30 started with a nice story about the Commonwealth Bank’s insurance arm dudding another customer without compassion, and being forced to re-look at the case by the program’s interest. That story alone was enough to again underline in the minds of viewers why the banks and the Turnbull government and ministers like Christian Porter, just don’t get it.

The 7.30 story also featured the quite amazing claim from David Coleman, the Liberal backbench chairman of the feather duster committee that will quiz the banks starting later today, that he saw the committee as another regulator in the same vein as APRA, ASIC and the Reserve Bank. What tosh, the man has dreams beyond his abilities. He is a backbencher chosen because of his reliability than his independence. The committee has been chosen because the government has control of the lower house (and not the more aggressive Senate, where pollies such as the National Party’s Johnn ‘Whacka’ Williams knows more about banking and finance than David Coleman could learn in three life times) and Prime Minister Turnbull knows Coleman will not go off on a tangent and embarrass the banks.

So all this saw Seven have a narrow win in Total People in the metros and Nine a narrow win in the main channels, but more success in the demos. But in the regions, Seven was an easy winner over Nine, the ABC and Ten. Normal service after the NRL and AFL Grand Finals, but at least Nine and Seven served up non-reality programs that viewers took a liking to. It was one of those nights where no one should have had a complaint they couldn’t find anything to watch.

The five most watched programs in regional markets were: Seven News with 616,000, The Secret Daughter with 544,000, Seven News/Today Tonight was third with 507,000, then Home and Away with 505,000 and The Block with 485,000. — Click here for Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings. 

Peter Fray

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