TV Ratings May 16: Politics dominate TV

• Breaking news of Bob Hawke’s death takes over Thursday

Thursday Week 20 2019

• Breaking news of Bob Hawke’s death takes over Thursday
• News breaks during 7.30 and Leigh Sales’ leader interviews
• Nine’s Peter Overton and Seven’s Michael Usher host tributes
• David Speers and Paul Murray host memorable night on Sky News

• Seven News 941,000/900,000
• Nine News 903,000/851,000
• A Current Affair 731,000
• ABC News 679,000
• 7.30 545,000
• The Project 287,000/460,000
• 10 News First 405,000
• SBS World News 132,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 258,000
• Today 185,000

6pm audience

• 7News 941,000
• 9News 903,000
• Celebrity Name Game 258,000 (Mon: 314,000, Tue/Wed: 248,000)
• The Drum 227,000
• Mastermind 101,000


Seven won its second consecutive night with leading network and primary shares.

Home And Away had its smallest audience of the week, but kept its average over 600,000 after a week high of 699,000 on Monday.

The Front Bar featured Jason Akermanis with the episode on 464,000 after 457,000 a week ago.

Britain’s Got Talent did 423,000 after launching with 411,000.

Michael Usher hosted the news about Bob Hawke’s death with 260,000 watching.


A Current Affair dipped to under 750,000.

The NRL match between the Storm and Tigers was a thriller with 371,000 watching – 217,000 in Sydney and 123,000 in Brisbane.

Melbourne viewers saw Paramedics instead of The Footy Show. Didn’t lift the audience much – 105,000 – but it would have been cheaper.

Peter Overton broke into programming during the night with reports and reaction to the death of Bob Hawke.


Nigella Week ended with another female contestant departing the series – that makes five in a row. After stumbling in a taste test, Mandy made a smoky peri peri chicken with cabbage and beurre blanc sauce that didn’t wow the judges. The episode did 636,000 followed by a Nigella Lawson Masterclass episode on 415,000.

Elsewhere on the channel, Celebrity Name Game had its second-best audience this week with 258,000.

The Project then did 460,000 with Kasey Chambers visiting the program.


News of the passing of Bob Hawke broke during 7.30 in between pre-recorded Leigh Sales’ interviews with Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten. The program stayed on air until 8.30pm and included a Louise Milligan tribute to the much-loved leader.

The first 30 minutes of the show did 545,000.

Escape From The City was on 479,000, but that number will eventually be corrected as it includes some of 7.30.


The first Semi Final replay of the Eurovision Song Contest was on 231,000. The evening replay of the first semi last year did  271,000. The audience watching live at 5am eastern on Wednesday morning was about 65,000.

Subscription TV

News of the passing of Bob Hawke broke during The Bolt Report on Sky News while he was interviewing Athol Guy. The Seeker had some vivid memories of the leader.

David Speers, Kieran Gilbert and Paul Murray then hosted most of the rest of the evening where discussion centred around the former Australian PM.

Both the Bolt and Murray programs were in the top six shows on the Foxtel platform.

Speers and Murray hosted a compelling coverage, made even better with contributions from Graham Richardson and the man who has conducted the final interviews with Hawke for a biography, Troy Bramston.

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