Lot’s of smiles around Seven’s Pyrmont HQ this morning after weeks of frowns and meetings to tackle not only the Amber Harrison debacle but the collapse in the ratings of My Kitchen Rules. Sunday night showed some life in MKR and last night we saw more stirrings.

In fact last night was probably one of Seven’s best nights for the year so far – a comprehensive win as viewers returned to MKR for a second night, lifting its audience to the highest in month – 1.87 million national viewers. That was well in front of Nine’s Married at First Sight which had 1.68 million viewers — one of its highest audience for this series, which made Seven’s win even more satisfying. MKR was also the most watched program in metro markets — up to 1.25 million viewers and number 2 in the regions with 616,000 (behind Seven News with 649,000).

The Murder Uncovered episode on Seven on Melbourne’s “underbelly” gang wars (it had been delayed several times by legal action) averaged 1.07 million national viewers from 9 to 11pm and sealed Seven’s easy win on the night. Seven now has a solid lead for the week and with the second round of AFL on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, will win the week. Nine once again showed it’s a two program network — the News plus one, in this case Married at First Sight. While House Husbands (1.08 million national viewers) did well from 8.40 to 9.40pm, Seven was already in front and Murder Uncovered simply overwhelmed the opposition.

Ten was again weak – its main channel had a fourth night where its share was under 10% — 8.8% is simply not good enough. The Biggest Loser: Transformed resumed and normal service was not interrupted – it was all but ignored with just 373,000 national viewers (284,000 metro and just 89,000 in the regions, which is close to the margin of error). Family Feud at 6pm on Ten could only manage 380,000 national viewers. Pointless on the ABC, which started at 6.15pm, topped that with 383,000. It’s not directly comparable but sort of makes a point about Family Feud’s future.

And even though the ABC finished 3rd, mainly thanks to Ten’s weak performance. Four Corners, Media Watch and Q&A all stumbled and could only manage less than half a million national viewers. Australian Story made the cut (just) with 502,000, 730 managed 590,000 and the ABC News was solid with 802,000. That 212,000 fall from the news to 7.30 is a big worry, even with MKR, Married at First Sight and TBL on the commercials (while the latter two are not competitors for 7.30, there is some crossover with MKR).

In breakfast, Sunrise gave Today a right pasting – Sunrise managed 569,000 national viewers and Today 386,000. But in the metro markets (which both networks obsess about, Nine more so than Seven), the gap was an embarrassing one — Sunrise managed 322,000 in the five capitals, Today, a very weak 236,000. Something has gone wrong at Today.  

In regional markets Seven News was again top with 649,000 viewers, MKR was next with 616,000, with Seven News/TT on 563,000, Married at First Sight was 4th with 526,000 and Home and Away was 5th with 490,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey Website

Peter Fray

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