TV Ratings Oct 17: Today show audience surges to see who replaces Lisa

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

• Nine way in front with The Block, BBT, ACA and Kath & Kim
• TV’s biggest show super serves the audience…and ad partners
• Part 2 of Michael Hutchence memorial slips below 500,000
• Today show audience surges to see who replaces Lisa

See full ratings figures on the Mediaweek Morning Report here.

Breakfast Television

There has only been one talking point in the media over the past two days – the defection of Lisa Wilkinson from Nine to Ten.

There was a surge of interest in Nine’s Today show on Tuesday to see who would be taking her place on the program.


Sunrise 289,000
Today 274,000


Sunrise 262,000
Today 301,000

Last week M-F averages

Sunrise 277,000
Today 254,000


Home and Away dropped from 725,000 Monday to 655,000 last night.

Seven stuck by Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar at 7.30pm. It was unlikely the audience would grow and if so that was going to be bad news for the series final of 800 Words.

After a Last Rockstar part one audience of 526,000 the numbers dropped to 488,000. With the benefit of hindsight, making a four hour doco about an iconic rock star, with little performance footage and no new interviews with his INXS colleagues, and screening it at 7.30pm, was a massive risk. After the four hours viewers finally got to hear the much-hyped new song that Michael Hutchence wrote just before he died. The talking heads we were by now very familiar with all had their say about the tune and then viewers were asked to run Shazam while it was playing. For those that did they were offered a pre-release package of a new album and photo portfolio for around $50.

The small Last Rockstar audience meant 800 Words ended its season on 513,000 – down from 580,000 a week ago.

After two underperforms at 7.30pm so far this week, Seven will be hoping Clarkson, Hammond and May can rev the audience up tonight when The Grand Tour gets its FTA premiere.


Nine was way ahead of all comers last night as The Block continued to perform. The audience of 1.31m was not quite the biggest Tuesday metro crowd this season, but it did set a new Tuesday record for Brisbane and Perth. The audience don’t seem to mind the homages to sponsors either. There were extended segments last night on the departure of the McCafe van from the site plus the arrival of the Domain spokesperson Alice who spoke at length about their magazine and the importance of the front cover.

Nine kept the audience close to 1m – very close on 999,000 – for the first episode of the new season of The Big Bang Theory. It was yet another high for the US sitcom this year and another indicator that the quicker you get an import to air the better it does.

Earlier in the night A Current Affair did 821,000 with audience faves – Pauline Hanson, supermarket wars, health insurance and the price you might have to pay to use Uber.


On The Project the signing of Lisa Wilkinson was greeted with much excitement from the panelists ahead of her arrival next January. The program ended with a great interview with rocker Alice Cooper who was in Perth on his Australia tour. The Tuesday episode was on 555,000 after 631,000 Monday.

The channel turns to Jamie Oliver when it is out of big ticket franchises at 7.30pm and he got the call up last night. Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food did 341,000.

That wasn’t an ideal launching pad for the start of a new season of NCIS which did 362,000. (Forget what we said about imported shows in the Nine commentary above!)

A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles then followed with 307,000.


The launch episode of the Chris Taylor-hosted Screen Time did 437,000 with the panel – Sami Shah, Sophie Black, Zan Rowe, and Benjamin Law – discussing the newish movie Blade Runner 2049 and then the TV series Broad City and other pioneering sitcoms. Nudity, drug use and even masturbation got a run.

A Catalyst special called The Gut Revolution followed with 534,000 watching.


Michael Portillo was hosting Great American Railroad Journeys back in the 7.30pm timeslot with 278,000 watching.

Insight asked if we were entering the age of no retirement which attracted 265,000 – close to last week’s 267,000.

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