The networks are off in the great 2017 rating race, with plenty of obstacles in the way of bragging rights in late November. Hoges was an early headache for Seven, a flop even after the publicity overkill since December. Current favourite MKR faded worryingly in its latest outing, while contender Married at first Sight jumped to within touching distance of it. Ten’s I’m A Celebrity was stuck in Darkest Africa, outperformed by the sleuths of Midsomer on the ABC.

Seven won the metros, the major demos and the regions, but it would not have been happy with how Hoges and MKR went last night. It was stronger in the regions, but even then Nine was a little close for comfort in some slots. Seven News was tops in the regions with 616,000 – replacing MKR, which was second with 513,000 (that 100,000 gap is worrying). Third was Hoges with 482,000, Married With Children was 4th with 472,000 and 60 minutes was 5th with 462,000. Seven won the night, but it was not as dominant as the first night of Molly a year ago.

Paul Hogan biopic Hoges could only attract 1.31 million nationally, 837,000 in the metros and 482,000 in the regionals. The national figure would have been just OK for Seven, if it had been in the metros, but failing to get a million or more viewers in the five capital city markets is a real thumbs down from viewers. It attracted less than half the 2.63 million who tuned in nationally last year for the biopic on Molly (1.79 million metro/843,000 regional viewers). It was a clumsy, chintzy and not very convincing program. Seven will not be looking forward to next Sunday’s second and final episode. Viewers may not return on last night’s performance. 

Meanwhile, MKR had one of the poorest last night, especially in metro markets. MKR managed 1.58 million nationally, with just 1.015 million in the metros and 513,000 (which is close to if not its lowest figure ever in the five capital cities). MKR lost its top spot in the metros, regions and nationally to Seven News. Hoges won’t be there after next Sunday, but Seven’s year is anchored on MKR doing very well, and so far it has been soft and underwhelming, except for last week.

Nine’s Married at First Sight though is burning up the track and jumped again to 1.54 million nationally with 1.06 million in the metros (where it was only 11,000 behind MKR, within the margin of error) and 477,000 in the regions (still a way back from MKR). 

And Ten’s first elimination on I’m A Celebrity managed 1.03 million nationally (with the lead up part of the program only grabbing 983,000). Midsomer Murders grabbed 1.22 million for the ABC from 8.30 pm. Now Ten will say different timeslots, as they were. But it is a good indication of what the audience likes. And they certainly didn’t like the first episode Ten’s 24 reboot at 8.30pm. 24: Legacy could only manage 476,000 national viewers, and Homeland at 9.30 was even worse, attracting only 199,000 nationally. In commercial TV land that’s a ‘turn the lights off and go to black’ figure. Nine’s reboot of Lethal Weapon continues to fail – only 511,000 national viewers, including just 235,000 in the metros at 9.30 pm (still easily beating Homeland).

And in the morning, Insiders returned to ABC and the Barrie Cassidy hosted program rated its socks off – 529,000 nationally with 367,000 on the main channel and 162,000 on News 24  – quickly reasserting its authority over the Sunday morning chats and all those Sky News panels every afternoon and night. No histrionics, no duds, no partisan ranters. Just solid discussion, analysis and the odd bit of humour.

Network channel share:

  1. Seven (31.4%)
  2. Nine (30.3%)
  3. ABC(16.8%)
  4. Ten (14.6%)
  5. SBS (6.9%)

Network main channels:

  1. Seven (24.5%)
  2. Nine (21.7%)
  3. ABC (13.2%)
  4. Ten (10.5%)
  5. SBS ONE (5.3%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. GO (3.2%)
  2. 7TWO (3.1%)
  3. 9Life (2.7%)
  4. Gem (2.6%)
  5. ONE (2.4%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Seven News  — 1.71 million
  2. MKR — 1.58 million
  3. Married At First Sight (Nine) — 1.54 million
  4. Nine News — 1.48 million
  5. 60 Minutes (Nine) — 1.35 million
  6. Hoges (Seven) — 1.31 million
  7. Midsomer Murders (ABC) — 1.22 million
  8. 7pm ABC News — 1.18 million
  9. I’m A Celebrity – Elimination (Ten) — 1.03 million
  10. Grand Designs (ABC) — 1.02 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Seven News — 1.10 million
  2. MKR (Seven) — 1.07 million
  3. Married At First Sight (Nine) — 1.06 million
  4. Nine News — 1.05 million

Losers: 24: Legacy, Homeland, Lethal Weapon, Hoges.

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Seven News — 1.10 million
  2. Nine News — 1.05 million
  3. 60 minutes (Nine) — 893,000
  4. 7pm ABC News — 763,000
  5. Ten Eyewitness News — 386,000
  6. SBS World News — 170,000

Morning (National) TV:

  1. Insiders (ABC 367,000, News 24, 162,000) — 529,000
  2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven) — 449,000
  3. Weekend Today (Nine) — 404,000
  4. Landline (ABC) — 418,000
  5. Offsiders (ABC) — 208,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. Fox Sports 2, TV HITS  (2.3%)
  2. LifeStyle  (1.9%)
  3. Fox8 (1.8%)
  4. A&E (1.5%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. A League: Western Sydney. Central Coast (FoxSports 4) — 82,000
  2. AFL Womens: Fremantle v Brisbane  (Fox Footy) — 80,000
  3. NCIS (TV HITS) — 58,000
  4. NBA: Warriors v Thunder (ESPN) — 58,000
  5. NCIS (TV HITS) — 58,000

Peter Fray

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