Nine’s night thanks to The Block and Doctor Doctor. Seven was second, Ten third in the metros in total people but fourth in the main channels behind the ABC for the fourth night this week. In the regions, Nine won the main channel comfortably (Seven won overall, but that didn’t matter, no real bragging rights there from last night).

The Block managed 1.48 million national viewers and Doctor Doctor, 1.323 million and remains the most interesting new program on air this year. The ABC’s line-up of Hard Quiz, (775,000 nationally), Upper Middle Bogan (679,000 nationally) and Rosehaven (655,000 nationally) failed to make a real impact last night. If those audience figures were for the metros, then you would say the trio did well and have won an audience — the national figures are barely good enough, even for the supposedly ratings-shy ABC.

The Wrong Girl on Ten is in the same boat — 581,000 nationally — even for the Ten Network (which has a high tolerance for ratings pain). It is an unfortunate flop. Good idea (same with Rosehaven), badly cast and executed? Whatever the reason, audiences just don’t like them very much. Upper Middle Bogan is another example of going back to the creative well one time too many. Hard Quiz is in the now long tradition of near-misses on comedy by the ABC.

In the regions, Doctor Doctor topped the night with 504,000 viewers, followed by Beach Cops episode 1 with 476,000, Home and Away was third with 462,000, and The Block and Seven News had 450,000 viewers apiece. That Doctor Doctor topped the regional list (it is based around Mudgee in central western NSW) confirms its wide appeal and solid casting, especially with Rodger Corser and Tina Bursill.

TV is all about ratings, but ratings are generated by ideas and the way people on air and behind the scenes deliver them to viewers. And high in that process is credibility, trust and belief. And on Wednesday night one person who has all that and more in spades announced his retirement. The Nine Network’s sports news reporter and sometime host Ken Sutcliffe revealed he was going out to pasture after 37 years in the business at Nine and 50 in journalism. My highlight so far as he is concerned was his co-hosting of Coast to Coast on Nine in the late ’80s with Graham Kennedy (with John Mangos doing news). A classic of Australian TV.

Network channel share:

  1. Nine (29.9%)
  2. Seven (27.9%)
  3. Ten (17.4%)
  4. ABC (17.3%)
  5. SBS (7.6%)

Network main channels:

  1. Nine (22.5%)
  2. Seven (18.6%)
  3. ABC (11.9%)
  4. Ten (11.2%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.7%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.2%)
  2. ABC 2 (3.3%)
  3. Eleven (3.2%)
  4. GO (3.1%)
  5. Gem (3.0%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. The Block (Nine) — 1.483 million
  2. Seven News  — 1.421 million
  3. Seven News/Today Tonight — 1.334 million
  4. Doctor Doctor  (Seven) — 1.323 million
  5. Nine News — 1.261 million
  6. Beach Cops, Ep. 1 (Seven) — 1.207 million
  7. Highway Patrol (Seven) — 1.160 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.158 million
  9. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.560 million
  10. Beach Cops, Ep. 27 (Seven) — 1.117 million

Top metro programs:

  1. The Block (Nine) — 1.032 million

Losers: Seven and Ten, weak line ups got done and dusted.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 971,000
  2. Seven News/Today Tonight — 942,000
  3. Nine News  — 927,000
  4. Nine News 6.30pm — 909,000
  5. A Current Affair (Nine) – 818,000
  6. 7pm ABC News – 763,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 626,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 586,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 426,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 376,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 315,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 291,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC,  115,000 + 55,000 on News 24) — 170,000
  4. The Morning Show (Seven) — 148,000
  5. Today Extra (Nine) — 113,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) — 78,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox 8  (2.5%)
  2. TVHITS  (2.3%)
  3. Sky News (1.9%)
  4. LifeStyle  (1.8%)
  5. Nick Jr (1.7%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Paw Patrol (Nick Jr) — 62,000
  2. The Flash (Fox8) — 50,000
  3. Australia’s Next Top Model (Fox8) — 50,000
  4. Alvinn!!!! & The Chipmunks (Nick Jr) — 48,000
  5. Mutt & Stuff (Nick Jr) — 47,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. 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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