What we watched: September 2001

A bit of a random snapshot of what we were watching on TV back in September 2001.

It was almost eleven years ago… digital TV was very much in its infancy, Big Brother had not long finished its first series, the Seven Network had just broadcast its last AFL match before handing the broadcast rights over for the next five years to Nine, Ten and Foxtel, and we loved Cornelia Frances (pictured) as the officious host of The Weakest Link (‘you are the weakest link… goodbye!’).

On a more serious note, the world was also coming to grips with the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.


The Top 20 shows for Week 39 (September 23-29, 2001):1. Seven AFL: 2001 Grand Final(Seven) 2.604m (including 1.216m in Melbourne, 323,000 in Sydney and 461,000 in Brisbane)2. Seven News/Saturday (Seven) 2.211m

3. National Nine News/Sunday (Nine) 2.035m

4. 60 Minutes (Nine) 2.035m

5. Backyard Blitz (Nine) 1.908m

6. Always Greener (Seven) 1.803m

7. This Is Your Life (Nine) 1.739m

8. Blue Heelers (Seven) 1.736m

9. Better Homes And Gardens (Seven) 1.732m

10. The Bill Down Under (ABC) 1.726m

11. Burke’s Backyard (Nine) 1.726m

12. Hot Property (Seven) 1.684m

13. Our House (Nine) 1.636m

14. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (Nine) 1.609m

15. The Great Outdoors (Seven) 1.573m

16. The Weakest Link/Thursday (Seven) 1.562m

17. Malcolm In The Middle (Nine) 1.562m

18. Harry’s Practice (Seven) 1.556m

19. All Saints (Seven) 1.554m

20. Getaway (Nine) 1.549m

Source: Mediaweek, 8 October 2001, as supplied by OzTAM.

Network Ten’s top-rating program for the week was a Tuesday night episode of  Everybody Loves Raymond, ranked 33rd for the week with an audience of 1.339 million viewers.  Their highest rating Australian program was The Panel, way down the list at #53 with 1.065 million, followed by Rove Live (#60, 1.007m).  SBS just scraped into the Top 100 shows with off-beat comedy series Pizza ranked at 100th place with 625,000 viewers.

In the early evenings, the 6.00pm timeslot (Monday-Friday) is won by National Nine News (#22, 1.533m) followed by Seven News (#39, 1.204) and The Simpsons (#81, 831,000).  Then at 6.30pm, A Current Affair (#21, 1.538m) is well above Today Tonight (#36, 1.285m) and Neighbours (#64, 962,000), while the 7.00pm timeslot is won by Home And Away (#28, 1.472m) followed by Sale Of The Century (#32, 1.418m), ABC News (#43, 1.163m) and re-runs of Seinfeld (#87, 776,000).

In Sydney the top rating show of the week was the Sunday edition of National Nine News (725,000) followed by Backyard Blitz (655,000) and the second Preliminary Final of the NRL (629,000).  The weeknight news battle was won by National Nine News (447,000), followed by Seven News (327,000), ABC News (308,000) and Ten News At Five (255,000).

Melbourne’s most-watched program was, not surprisingly, the 2001 AFL Grand Final, watched by 1.216m viewers, followed by Seven News/Saturday (897,000) and the 2001 Brownlow Medal presentation (702,000).  In a week dominated by the AFL in the lead-up to the Grand Final, Nine’s The Footy Show (AFL) was watched by 689,000.  Nine also did well with This Is Your Life, featuring veteran  coach Kevin Sheedy, recording 599,000 viewers.

In Brisbane, the highest rating program of the week was Seven News/Saturday (468,000), followed by the AFL Grand Final (461,000) and National Nine News/Sunday (429,000).  The weeknight news battle was easily won by National Nine News (347,000) ahead of ABC News (203,000), Seven News (198,000) and Ten News At Five (153,000).

(Apologies to Adelaide and Perth, Mediaweek did not list individual rankings for your cities)

Overall, Week 39 (5 cities, 6pm-midnight) went to the Seven Network (30.1%), closely followed by Nine (29.8%), then Ten (20.0%), ABC (15.3%) and SBS (4.9%).   It was Seven’s first clear win since Week 29.  Seven’s best results were in Perth (32.9%), Adelaide (31.7%) and Melbourne (31.2%), while Nine won in Sydney (29.8%) and Brisbane (33.5%).

In regional markets, Queensland was a tight battle with WIN (30.9%) just edging ahead of Seven (30.3%) with Ten Queensland (19.0%) a distant third.  Northern NSW was an easy win for Nine affiliate NBN (34.0%), with Prime (22.0%) and Ten Northern NSW (19.8%) well behind.

Southern NSW/ACT was won by WIN (33.4%), followed by Prime (27.9%) and Ten Capital (19.8%).  In Regional Victoria, Prime (34.1%) won the week, ahead of WIN (33.2%) and Ten Victoria (16.5%).

Tasmania’s leader for the week was Southern Cross (43.9%), which represented both Seven and Ten networks locally, followed by Nine’s affiliate WIN (34.0%), ABC (18.2%) and SBS (3.9%).

In September 2001, ACNielsen had also released the results of its survey into pay TV viewing trends in the twelve months to June 2001.  The survey found that pay TV was installed in approximately 20 per cent of households — up from 16 per cent in 1999 and 12 per cent in 1998.  Sydney had the highest rate of pay TV installation (26%) while Tasmania had the lowest (13.3%).  The most popular pay TV channel in the 12-month period was Showtime (averaging 1.477m viewers), followed by Fox8 (1.355m), TV1 (1.205m) and Fox Sports (1.095m).

The survey also found that in the same period the highest share of pay TV viewing in pay TV households was 52.6% in December 2000 (reflecting viewers abandoning traditional free-to-air television as the ratings season winds up), while the lowest share of pay TV viewing was in September 2000 (35.9%) when the Sydney Olympic Games were being held and earning record ratings for Seven.

Source: Mediaweek, 8 October 2001, with ratings data supplied by OzTAM (capital cities) and ACNielsen (regional and pay TV).

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/08/what-we-watched-september-2001.html

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