Seven easily won the first night of the non-ratings ratings battle -- the first skirmish of 2018 so to speak, despite another fall in the number of viewers for the first episode of series nine of My Kitchen Rules. MKR averaged 1.70 million national viewers last night -- down around 10% from 1.82 million for the first ep of 2017. The metro audience dipped to 1.18 million from 1.30 million, but the regional audience was up to 525,000 from 513,000, which is why TV networks can’t ignore regional viewers, even if Oztam now seems to be saying we have to by limited the number of national audience rankings we can access daily.

The Good Doctor (1.62 million nationally), in fact, saved Seven from what would have been a much closer finish with Nine, who will be happy with what they saw: Married At First Sight averaged  1.27 million (1.29 million a year ago). Travel Guides averaged 858,000 nationally, down a touch from the 908,000 for the first night of 2017. The Good Doctor easily accounted for that and that will be Nine’s weak spot on Monday nights. Seven would have been relieved to see the new story lines and characters in Home and Away put it in the Top 10 nationally with 1.27 million viewers -- it had been floundering towards the end of 2017.