National TV ratings race - source: David Dale, Sun Herald Blogs
If Kerry Packer had been alive, there would have been boots applied to buttocks at Channel Nine last week. Packer hated missed opportunities. By opting to hold back its launch of new programs till this week, Nine handed the audience to Seven on a platter.
For the first three days of the week, it looked as if a nation had lost its remote during the Olympics and had its dial stuck on Seven, which drew 1.9 million to the new dramedy Packed to the Rafters and to City Homicide, 1.8 million to Find My Family and Border Security, and 1.7 million to The Force and RSPCA Animal Rescue. Seven's only failure was Make Me A Supermodel, whose audience of 932,000 seems to prove that you need a little more than f---ability to find success on Australian television.
The viewers Seven didn't swallow were mopped up by Ten with Australian Idol (1.4 million),. The best that Nine could manage was 1.4 million for Australia's Naughtiest Home Video Show, an ancient work of art which Kerry Packer had pulled off air back in 1992. The original host, Doug Mulray, was replaced this time by the more f---able Bert Newton.
The ABC again triumphed with Spicks and Specks (1.3 million) and managed 1 million for its weekday news and for Dr Who. SBS drew 736,000 to an old series of Top Gear.
On Pay TV, NRL Knights v Storm (Fox Sports 2) drew 277,000, Project Runway Australia (Arena) drew 204,000 and Family Guy (Fox 8) drew 187,000.
Four weeks ago Seven was neck and neck with Nine. As a result of the first week after the Olympics, the prime time audience shares for the year (excluding all Olympic days) stand at: Seven 27.8 per cent, Nine 27.6, Ten 21.5, ABC 17.3 and SBS 5.8. That sound you hear is Kerry spinning.
But then again, Seven's strategy of moving its ratings behemoth Dancing With The Stars to Sunday night to take on Nine's perennial winner 60 Minutes seems to have been misconceived. Last night DWTS was down half a million on its usual seasonal opening figure, battered not only by the tickers but by Aus Idol and Dr Who.
Nine captured 27.7 per cent of Sunday's prime time audience, while Seven got 25.0, Ten 23.5, ABC 19.4 (thanks to the geriatric appeal of Midsomer Murders) and SBS 4.4. How long before Seven moves the dancers back to Tuesday?
What Australia watched, week ending August 30
1 BEIJING OLYMPICS: CLOSING CEREMONY Network 7 2,007,000
2 PACKED TO THE RAFTERS Network 7 1,945,000
3 SEVEN NEWS - SUN Network 7 1,924,000
4 CITY HOMICIDE Network 7 1,881,000
5 BORDER SECURITY - AUSTRALIA'S FRONT LINE Network 7 1,790,000
6 FIND MY FAMILY Network 7 1,777,000
7 SEVEN'S BEIJING OLYMPICS: THE HEROES OF BEIJING Network 7 1,774,000
8 THE FORCE - BEHIND THE LINE Network 7 1,728,000
9 RSPCA ANIMAL RESCUE Network 7 1,683,000
10 SEVEN NEWS Network 7 1,551,000
11 SEVEN NEWS - SAT Network 7 1,437,000
12 TODAY TONIGHT Network 7 1,429,000
13 BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS Network 7 1,412,000
14 CRIMINAL MINDS Network 7 1,402,000
15 AUSTRALIAN IDOL - AUDITION 1 Network TEN 1,400,000