muriel's wedding
Muriel's Wedding (Image: Miramax)

The uptick in news viewing because of the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne continued across Wednesday. Seven’s Sunrise saw a nice jump to 513,000 national viewers, ABC News Breakfast climbed to 338,000 and Today had 324,000 -- viewing is up around 60,000 viewers from a week earlier when the outbreak was developing. Viewing of the 6pm-onwards news broadcasts also rose on a week earlier for Nine, Seven and the ABC, but not Ten.

A screening of Muriel’s Wedding with 244,000 nationally bombed for Nine from 8.40pm, but so did Police: Hour of Duty on Seven with 243,000 nationally. Seven won because its news had a gap of 390,000 over Nine’s hour of news and that was enough to win the night.

All three networks are now close to the end of their expensive, big name shows -- MasterChef for Ten, The Voice for Nine and Big Brother for Seven. The networks have nothing to fill the gaps when those programs are not on air, so viewers get served pap and they go off for Netflix or leave the TV on as background white noise.