TV Ratings: Survey year 2017 commences

Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at last night’s TV ratings

MKR

• Seven starts survey year the way it means to end it – ranking #1
• Seven News and My Kitchen Rules winners, but Hoges not so hot
• Married At First Sight grows again for Nine, 60 Minutes in top 5

Welcome to survey year 2017 – the first of 280 nights that will analysed closely by those investing their clients’ money to reach the biggest and best audiences possible.

From now until December 2, with a brief respite for Easter in mid-April, the commercial TV networks will battle it out to convince advertisers, and the public, they have the best programming.

Seven has started the year as it has for some time – in #1 spot thanks to My Kitchen Rules, Seven News and an Aussie legend portrayed in a TV miniseries. Seven will build considerable momentum again from My Kitchen Rules, but it is being challenged this year by Nine’s success with Married At First Sight.

The gap in week six in 2016, the last week of summer survey, between Seven and Nine was 5.2 points. However, after week six this year, that gap has closed to 3.5% with Seven again #1.

Last night Seven won the night, but it was challenged along the way by Nine’s Married At First Sight, which won in key demos and key markets.

Nine’s episode of 60 Minutes was also a spoiler up against the first part of Hoges, with 60 Minutes performing well too in some markets and demos.

Seven won the metro night across the network and in four markets, but Nine ranked #1 in Sydney, 0.4 ahead of Seven. Night had its best network primary channel share since mid-January.

Seven

Seven News won the night with the biggest Sunday TV audience of 1.10m, close to the number watching last week.

My Kitchen Rules ranked #2 for the night, winning its timeslot. Not all over though as it was under challenge in some markets with MKR in front in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The audience of 1.07m was the smallest MKR audience ever.

MRK started working through the home restaurants of group two with brothers Albert and Dave Lau only getting things right with the dessert of Hong Kong egg tart with warm banana.

The Hoges miniseries debuted with 837,000. While still a big number in the context of TV in 2017, that would be a disappointment where we can still see some shows breaking out with bigger audiences. Despite the awful wig Josh Lawson had to wear, there was plenty to like about the first half of the two-part drama.

Miniseries profiling famous Australians at the start of the survey year have delivered these overnight metro results in recent years:

2014
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Seven) Part 1: 1.96m Part 2: 1.76m
Schapelle (Nine) 1.02m

2015
House of Hancock (Nine) Part 1: 1.38m Part 2: 1.42m

2016
Molly (Seven) Part 1: 1.78m Part 2: 1.52m

Nine

Nine News started the 2017 primetime survey for the channel with 1.05m, up a little on the previous Sunday

Married At First Sight managed to outrate the News with 1.06m, the reality series’ biggest audience yet after 934,000 in its first week. The media fascination is being reflected by the audience (or is it the other way around?) with the show ranking #1 for the night in Sydney and Brisbane. This despite Seven News winning both its 6pm one-hour slots in those markets. Married also did some heavy lifting in the key demos, ranking #1 for the night 25-54.

After some speculation that Nine might have done a deal with Amber Harrison to help spoil the Hoges drama, Nine went with a Joanne Lees special which worked a treat with 893,000 watching. That overnight number is even better than the 2016 consolidated average of 846,000.

Lethal Weapon episode three followed with 325,000, up from 287,000 for episode two.

TEN

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! offered much with its first elimination – Tom Arnold. And the TV and movie comedian and actor went out with a bang telling about conversations with Hillary Clinton over a Donald Trump video he had access to.

The Sunday audiences of 720,000 for the elimination and then 696,000 for the regular episode were down on last Sunday’s 769,000.

However, TEN is able to report that so far the series is up 12% on the 2016 average audience.

Earlier in the night Family Feud Sunday did 339,000 followed by Bondi Rescue on 335,000, up from 285,000 on its return a week prior.

Two new series aired later in the night.

24: Legacy debuted with 333,000 with the clock ticking from 12pm-1pm on the first episode.

The sixth season of Homeland then launched with 140,000 hardcore fans watching Carrie back in the USA.

ABC

Midsomer Murders was the channel’s best with 827,000 after it returned with 817,000 a week prior. The episode even managed a bigger audience than Hoges in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

As the drama’s lead-in, Grand Designs did 667,000.

SBS

Part two of the three-part Silk Road made it into the top 20 with 296,000 after it debuted a week ago with 331,000.

The first of the two-part Trump’s Divided States of America did 224,000.

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