TV Ratings May 21: 60 Minutes wins ratings battle of Bogota

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

• 60 Minutes lifts close to 1m viewers as Nine takes turn as Sunday #1
• House Rules records biggest audience of the year with Seven close second
• 60 Minutes outperforms Sunday Night in the ratings battle of Bogota
• Despite the prison riot, TEN manages to post its best Sunday survey share

Since the Easter ratings break Nine and Seven have taken it in turns with alternate Sunday night victories. On the four Sundays so far since Easter the tally stands at two wins for each channel.

Nine took top spot last night with a narrow win ahead of Seven in both primary channel and combined channel shares.

Seven started the leader at 6pm but Nine moved ahead at 7pm with The Voice while after 8.30pm 60 Minutes widened the gap with a lead of close to 100,000 over Seven’s Sunday Night.

Despite the big-spending current affairs battle after 8.30pm, TEN managed to get a long episode of MasterChef to lift its audience week-on-week as it set a new Sunday night high for share in the survey year.


Seven News Sunday pulled a big 6pm crowd of 1.22m which is its third time at 1.2m or better in the past four weeks.

House Rules similarly did well with its biggest audience this year of 1.04m which outperforms the launch episode of 986,000. The episode featured the judges looking over the renovated home of Troy and Bec and it looks like Fiona and Nicole could be in more points trouble too.

The much-hyped Sunday Night episode went to air after a court bid to stop the interview with Cassie Sainsbury‘s fiancé failed. The episode drew an audience of 861,000 which trailed 60 Minutes. By Sunday Night standards it wasn’t a record-breaker with four other episodes this year recording bigger audiences.

Another repeat of The Suspects: True Australian Thrillers followed with 404,000.


Nine News Sunday was just under 1.1m, which is its best since April 2, the first night this year without daylight saving.

The Voice featured a new phase called The Knockouts with singers going head-to-head in front of the coaches. The episode did 1.06m, down a little on 1.10m a week ago.

60 Minutes was the big winner out of the competing family interviews for insights into the life of Cassie Sainsbury who is sitting in a Bogota jail. Liam Bartlett and his team reported from the Colombian capital and their interviews with Cassie’s mother and sister pushed the 60 Minutes episode to a 2017 high of 956,000. The report had some help from Nine News at 6pm which broke a big story about Cassie plus promoted the 60 Minutes episode.

A doco on 9/11 followed with 460,000 watching.


The channel programmed two episodes of Modern Family after 6.30pm which pushed MasterChef back to 7.30pm. The US sitcom did 374,000 for the repeat and 535,000 for the new episode.

MasterChef Australia is on a sugar rush with Sweet Week. Melbourne’s Queen of Chocolate Kirsten Tibballs launched the week with a mystery box challenge that asked the contestants to smash open the mystery box with rubber mallets. Turned out they were made of chocolate, which was one of the ingredients. Later in the episode the two-time winner of Asia’s pastry chef awards Janice Wong showed off her edible wall art and then looked on as contestants had to create a winning invention test dish. The episode performed well with 839,000 its biggest Sunday audience of the year so far.

The US drama Bull followed and despite the competing Bogota stories elsewhere managed to get close to 450,000, almost what it managed last week.

NCIS: New Orleans then did 204,000.


ABC News Sunday’s extended bulletin did 764,000, up 100,000 on the previous Sunday.

Doctor Who saw the audience dip to 422,000, close to last week’s 437,000.

Grantchester lifted the numbers to 596,000, down from 646,000 a week ago.


At 7.30pm Italy’s Invisible Cities did 325,000.

Two episodes of The Story Of God with Morgan Freeman launched the new series on FTA TV with an average of 171,000 watching both.

Two episodes of Great British Railway Journeys screened after 10.30pm with 88,000 watching.

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