You’d be forgiven for thinking we were in a non-ratings period right now, with the Commonwealth Games taking over all Ten programming for 11 days and Seven and Nine holding off premiering any new shows or season returns until after the Commonwealth Games.
The final two month dash to the 2010 ratings finishing line has been delayed for a few weeks while the Games play out, leaving just six weeks of the ratings battle for the networks to get you watching their shows.
Come next week, from Sunday October 17, it is game on for the ratings war with Seven, Nine and Ten providing many new offerings and season returns competing for your attention and filling your PVR with recordings.
It all starts on Sunday night as Junior Masterchef returns to Ten at 7.30pm, fighting it out with Seven’s X factor at the same time. In an attempt to get you over to Ten first, new Modern family premieres at 7pm Sunday Oct 17 for its 2nd season. After the X Factor, Seven are hoping to lure even more viewers for the new season of Bones, sort of fast tracked, as it airs nearly 4 weeks after it did in the US. Meanwhile, Nine are hoping viewers will be glued to their sets watching Sherlock, which begins at 8.30 Sunday Oct 17. On Ten, Offspring continues at 8.30, followed by new Medium at 9.30.
As we move to Monday night, Junior Masterchef continues on Monday nights from October 18, hitting The X Factor again as it competes in the same timeslot for the second night in a row. But Nine have NEW Two and a Half Men – back in its usual timeslot of 7.30pm Mondays. Squeezed in between two repeats (at 7pm for metro markets and 8pm everywhere), the new episode will be a welcome break for fans of the show from the hundreds of repeats spread over Nine and GO!
At 8.30pm Monday October 18, Sherlock continues on Nine, while The Event on Seven plays in its 8.30pm Monday night timeslot before making its move to 9.30 the following week. Ten have the Australian version of Undercover Boss, focussing on Dominos Pizza.
Tuesday night Oct 19 is an all out three way tussle for viewers at 7.30pm. Seven are hoping that Iron Chef Australia will continue the cooking show craze – we note they don’t dare put that against Junior Masterchef! – while Nine roles out all new Top Gear Australia. Ten return one of their ratings hits Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation to that timeslot.
At 8.30pm, the ancient Tuesday late season battle between new NCIS on Ten and Packed to the Rafters on Seven is back. Both shows draw huge audiences, leaving little for the rest of the channels. New NCIS can reach as high as 1.6 million, while Rafters often flirts with the two million mark. In Packed to the Rafters itself, the story lines are starting to gear up for a big season finish.
While Ten premiere the new season of NCIS a few weeks after the US, Nine seem to give up with a repeat of the UK Top Gear featuring Jay Leno at 8.30pm. Survivor, as a result, is pushed back to 9.40pm, which puts it against NCIS: LA repeats on Ten (wonder why they have not gone for new episodes) and Parenthood on Seven which does very well for its time.
Wednesday October 20, is Glee night for many – it returns at 7.30pm that night. Seven have the ever popular Border Security and The Force combo against it, while Nine has the demo-friendly The Block remaining at the same timeslot. Moving to 8.30, and Ten brings us season two of The Good Wife on a new night, while Seven keeps City Homicide alive. Nine, however, are hoping new episodes of The Big Bang Theory will bring some shares their way at 8.30pm. A repeat follows at 9pm. Nine’s move to put new Big Bang on Wednesday night 8.30pm could be as a way to catch younger viewers after they watch Glee. Both Glee and Big Bang do VERY well in younger demographics.
Still on Wednesday, its not all over at 9.30pm. Ten have moved House to 9.30pm, while Seven have replied with new Highway Patrol at 9.30pm, followed by Russel Crowe’s Damage Control at 10pm. Nine, at this stage, are leaving RPA at 9.30pm. Both Nine and Ten seem to have a very mixed order of shows on Wednesday night.
Thursday October 21 sees Seven roll out the second season of Beauty and the Geek Australia at 8.30pm. Nine are keeping Cops LAC against it – for now, with new CSI featuring Justin Bieber at 9.30pm. Later in the night, Seven have new 30 Rock at 10.30pm. Tens’ night consists of new Bondi Vet at 7.30pm, Keeping up with the Joneses at 8pm, and Rush returns at 8.30pm in a movie length episode. Burn Notice returns to 9.30 Thursdays from October 28. The first episode of Keeping Up with the Joneses can be seen at 9pm (NSW & VIC, others check local guides) on Thursday Oct 14, in between the last day of Commonwealth Games competition and the Closing Ceremony.
On Friday nights, Ten will be airing Junior Masterchef Masterclass at 7.30pm from October 22. On Saturday nights, Hey Hey it’s Saturday returns to where is should be – Saturday nights from Saturday October 16 at 7.30pm.
Moving on to the following week, and Monday October 25 sees the 3rd season of the Mentalist premiere at 8.30pm on Nine. With Seven moving the Event to 9.30pm from that night, a program for 8.30pm has not yet been announced – although I would guess new Criminal Minds would be a good chance for that timeslot. On Ten, Undercover Boss Australia continues.
With such a tight battle between the three networks, expect there to be numerous programming changes particularly in their digital channels as they tweak their line ups to help grab those all important ratings points to win the year. It is still very close between Nine and Seven, with Nine appearing to be promising a lot more still to come in the year than Seven are.
Whether all these shows Nine keep saying are coming make it or not, is to be seen. One we know for sure in coming weeks, is the National IQ Test. Wonder if that will play out on their weakest night – Tuesday?
Last year, the last week of ratings saw an unbelievable number of programming changes with Seven, 7TWO, GO and Nine all making significant changes to their schedules – adding extra episodes of some shows, moving others, all for the sake of a few extra shares. There was almost too much to watch in that final week 2009. This year, with more channels than last year, they’ll be at it again.
In Summary from next week:
Seven – new shows:
Iron Chef Australia – 7.30pm Tuesdays from Oct 19
Damage Control – 10pm Wednesdays from Oct 20
Seven – season returns:
30 Rock – 10.30pm Thursdays, from Oct 21
Bones – 9pm Sundays from Oct 17
Beauty and the Geek Australia – 8.30pm Thursdays from Oct 21
Highway Patrol – 9.30pm Wednesdays, from Oct 20
Nine – new shows:
Sherlock – 8.30 Sunday Oct 17, Monday Oct 18 and Sunday Oct 24.
Top Gear Australia (ep 2) – 7.30 Tuesdays, form Oct 19
Nine – season returns:
CSI – 9.30pm Thursdays, from Oct 21
Hey Hey It’s Saturday – 7.30pm Saturdays, from Oct 16
Two and a Half Men – 7.30pm Mondays from Oct 18
The Mentalist – 8.30pm Mondays, from Oct 25
The Big Bang Theory – 8.30pm Wednesdays, from Oct 20
Ten – new shows:
Keeping Up With the Joneses – 8pm Thursdays from Oct 21. First ep 9pm (NSW, VIC, 8pm QLD & WA, 8.30pm SA) Thur Oct 14.
Undercover Boss Australia – 8.30pm Mondays from Oct 18
Ten – returning shows:
Burn Notice – 9.30pm Thursdays from Oct 28
Glee – 7.30pm Wednesdays from Oct 20
House – 9.30pm Wednesdays from Oct 20
Junior Master chef – 7.30pm Sundays and Mondays from Oct 17 & 18, Masterclass Fridays from Oct 22
Medium – 9.30pm Sundays from Oct 17
Modern Family – 7pm Sundays from Oct 17
NCIS – 8.30pm Tuesday from Oct 19
Offspring – 8.30pm Sundays from Oct 17
Rush – 8.30 Thursdays from Oct 21
Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation – 7.30pm Tuesdays from Oct 19
The 7pm Project – Weekdays 7pm from Oct 18
The Good Wife – 8.30pm Wednesdays from Oct 20