Easily Seven’s night in metros, the regions and in the demos as My Kitchen Rules almost cracked the 2 million mark (1.98 million) and will top it when the 7 day figures are in (just as last Wednesday’s ep topped the 2 million level with 2.03 million). Nine was again weak and back in a very distant second, while the ABC beat Ten because of a bit of Stargazing and by taking a risk in programming. 

MKR topped the metros with 1.33 million and the regions with 651,000 in one of its best performances of the year. And it backs up again tonight because there is no AFL game scheduled. There is an NRL game on Nine, but MKR will easily account for that.

Stargazing’s second effort did it again for the ABC (and showed up weak Nine and Ten offerings). The second part with Julia Zemiro and Brian Cox at 8.30pm averaged 814,000 national viewers, while the half hour Q&A on ABC 2 at 9.30pm averaged 198,000. 

It easily accounted for the movie, San Andreas on Nine and another episode of This is Us on Ten. Stargazing’s third part is on tonight. It is a one off, a bit risky, very science based and far more interesting than most of the recent Catalyst eps, partly because because Brian Cox engages the audience.

In regional markets, MKR was tops with 651,000, Seven News was 2nd with 621,000, then came Seven News/Today Tonight with 502,000, Home and Away was 4th with 466,000 and the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia averaged 424,000. Stargazing had a solid 268,000 regional viewers.

December Media, the producers behind ABC’s Dr Blake Mysteries — which will finish with a telemovie later this year — has optioned The Soldier’s Curse, book one in The Monsarrat Series, the first historical crime novel from Thomas Keneally and his eldest Daughter Meg. The duo have just launched book two of the series, The Unmourned. A new ABC series in 2017 or 2018, or will a commercial network take it on? — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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