Welcome to the end of 2017 TV ratings. Seven won the year by 0.1% in total people, Nine won the demos, Ten went in and out of administration with new owners as a bonus, the ABC got rid of its best rating drama in Dr Blake, and SBS got under the skin of its commercial opponents who seem to think they have a god given right to all TV production. The lesson from the Ten collapse is that there is probably only one international fairy god TV network willing to risk an adventure down under. And a forecast for 2018? More of the same, just with a change of management at Seven (it has started already as the cost-cutting hits top management).

Hits and favorites:

The Good Doctor (Seven): Late season mega hit, especially for a foreign program (Midsomer Murders, DCI Banks, Thelma usually dominate).

Australian Ninja Warrior (Nine): Wasn’t expected to be a hit, it was a mega hit, now Seven is promising us something called Australian Spartan.

The Front Bar (Seven): The low cost rival to Nine’s AFL Footy Show finally got its man and swamped Eddie McGuire by the end of the season. Modest, funny for AFL tragics, all the things you want in a nice program (and very low cost).

The Bachelorette (Ten): Enough said. older women rule, OK? Monk says sit up and pay attention.

Have You been Paying Attention (Ten): Veteran, a star.

Doctor Doctor (Nine): Some froth and bubble as storylines weaken. Tina Bursill is wonderful as the grande dame Ms Ellie.

Instant Hotel (Seven): Shows promise.

Sunrise (Seven): Surprisingly solid and got better as Today got worse. But Pauline Hanson? Please explain.

True Story (Nine): Yes, a true success, but won’t last another year if the late season fade is any guide.

News Breakfast (ABC): Solid — a yardstick, along with Insiders.

Insiders (ABC): A big year and a national hit, showing that more political discussions can win viewers, unlike the Fox News trash on Sky News after 7pm.

Landline (ABC): By far the best link between rural/regional Australia and the cities. ABC should resource it better and its spin-off, A Taste of Landline.

Lateline (ABC): Time to go, Four Corners is here, though it’s now needed more than ever. 7.30 needs to be refreshed — Sarah Ferguson please?

MasterChef (Ten), My Kitchen Rules (Seven), and The Block (Nine): Veterans who did very well during the year. House Rules (Seven) is on probation.

Offspring (Ten): Please don’t come back.

Little Big Shots (Seven): Where’s WC fields when you really need him to warn about performing with animals and kids? We’ve already had Cats and Dogs Make You Laugh Out Loud. Really.

Home and Away (Seven): Fading fast as its audience deserts. Likewise 800 Words (Seven). There’s been a change of government across the ditch so you can all come home.

Heading for the chopping block:

Cram (Ten): Don’t. It might hurt your brain if you watch it again

Sisters (Ten): What happened after episode 1?

The Bachelor (Ten): No idea.

Family Food Fight (Nine): Interesting idea, but too frothy when something just a little more serious was needed.

This Time Next Year (Nine): AKA “will I still be on Today?” A hit, but for how long? Another prime-time disappointer from the man who brought you The Verdict and Pauline Hanson.

Today (Nine): From rooster/head hen in 2016 to feather duster in 2017.

The Wall (Seven): Toppling.

60 Minutes (Nine) and Sunday Night (Seven): Public affairs is so wearing and tiring, especially when you don’t have to do the hard yards that Four Corners does. And 7.30, and Foreign Correspondent.

First Date (Seven): From promising, to “why is it on air?”. Something went missing this time around.

Yummy Mummies (Seven): Should have been wrapped in oil cloth and buried in a pyramid at the back of Seven’s Pyrmont HQ.

Married At First Sight (Nine): Terrible TV, along with Seven Year Switch. People have enough time handling relationships let alone watching lightweight limelight heros wanting to show how wonderful/nasty they can be.

House Husbands, and Love Child (Nine): Out of puff.

The Last Resort (Nine): Well named, but I made another choice — the off button.

20 to 1 (Nine): Creaking oldie, needs a humane exit switch.

Glitch (ABC): Gone.

Pulse (ABC): Still to be found.

Behave Yourself (Seven): Audience played up and failed to watch.

AFL Footy Show (Seven): Going, going, but Nine won’t take the tough decision and axe it or change it like it did to the NRL Footy Show.

Peter Fray

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