Seven’s premiere a Winner for Australian drama

By David Knox on March 23, 2011 / Filed Under News 59

Seven’s Winners and Losers premiered to a big audience of 1.61m viewers last night, topping the evening as the #1 show.

In TV numbers it was rather like winning the ratings lottery.

In its hometown audience of Melbourne the show enjoyed a massive 570,000 viewers, well ahead of 387,000 in Sydney and 269,000 in Brisbane.

The debut delivered on Seven’s extensive marketing campaign in which it reminded the audience it was created by Packed to the Rafters Bevan Lee. So far the signs indicate a vote of confidence in Australian drama and Seven’s internal drama slate under exec John Holmes, but episode two will arguably be a better indicator to see how many viewers return.

Seven’s premiere whacked the competition: NCIS (1.1m), Top Gear (771,000), How Earth Made Us (498,000) and Wonders of the Solar System (229,000).

Significantly, Winner and Losers even rose above its lead in, My Kitchen Rules (1.55m). Kitchen Rules also won its slot ahead of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (946,000), The Big Bang Theory (777,000 / 1.17m incl Two and a Half Men in Brisbane), 7:30 / Foreign Correspondent (613,000 / 562,000) and Insight (198,000).

Top Gear’s additional 30 minutes nothwithstanding, an NCIS repeat won its 9:30 slot on 709,000 over Parenthood (681,000), Qi (547,000) and Adults Only 20 to 1 (419,000).

Today (367,000) beat Sunrise (356,000).

Neighbours led the multichannel charge on 343,000 with Survivor‘s debut averaging 259,000 viewers across two episodes.

Seven now has two nights won this week with Nine on one.

Week 13


  1. Jenny May 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm -

    So does anyone know what’s wrong with Blair Mc(whatever) eyes??? He looks like a drowned rat, hair thinning, eyes bulging and no checks! What’s with that, he’s def changed.

  2. Nikki April 8, 2011 at 10:18 am -

    Makes a good change from the teenage angst or bedhopping in most other series or the orchestrated conflicts and bitchyness of reality shows. Whats wrong with a bit of simple innocent(ish) storylines and mindless viewing. Did wonder though what has happened to Blairs eyes? Looks like hes about to have a cartoon eyepopping moment.

  3. Vee March 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm -

    Didn’t even know it had started.

  4. garry March 24, 2011 at 1:17 am -

    @ CJ and DC, agree about Blairs face looking sickly, and his eyes look like they’re bulging out, his body weight looks healthy though.

  5. Rutzie March 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm -

    There’s a real facebook page for the Jenny Gross character and you can actually be her friend on facebook. Has any other show done this before?

  6. DC March 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm -

    Poor Blair Mcdonough is looking a little worse for wear these days….what happened to him? Sunken eyes and looking quite unhealthy…I dont think hes a really bad actor though, people just say that coz he was on Big brother but I think he’s actually not a bad actor at all.

  7. catherine March 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm -

    @Ruddeger Virginia Gay is only 29. I know she looks a lot older but its true. Anyway it’s good to see her back on the tv because she was great in All Saints. It was also good to see Michala Banas play a bitchy role when we last saw her she was nice Kate in Mcleods Daughters.

    I enjoyed the show. The reunion was funny and also bought back some memories from High school not the hanging out in the toilet part thought though.

    I thought Denise Scott was good as a mother and also see her in a serious side not funny asll the time.

    It was also good to see Dylan from neighbours. He was a really good actor. It was also strange to see Mark from neighbours appear.

    Anyway will be interetsing to see the rtaings next week. I will watch it again. The only downer is no Parenthood next week.

  8. toriwannabe March 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm -

    On the point about them looking different ages. I would say, even in high school, some friends looked a fair bit older than me. Anyone who has been to a reunion, or bumped into a past school friend in the street, or on facebook will know the years are kinder to some people than others.

  9. CJ March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm -

    Agree about the weak start…the first thirty minutes were just musical montages. The script was so desperate to establish who everyone was and where they fit in that it made for some really awkward moments.

    The last half was definitely better and certainly Virginia Gay, Melanie Vallejo and Tom Wren made the best of the cheese-ball lines/situations. They are quality actors.

    The rest of the cast were ordinary…but Blair McDonough killed me. I had to fast forward whenever his sickly face appeared…and that nude scene…Hell no.

    Definitely one to iQ and series link…it’s lite-and-easy viewing.
    (I just do not understand why people watch anything – except sport and news – live anymore!)

  10. Craig(Buzz) March 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm -

    Didn’t mind it,better than i first expected.The only downside i had were the parents not actors professionally but comedians.So they stood out a bit to me.Rafters is better though.Will i be watching yes it’s not a bad replacement for Rafters,but if it was to be axed down the track i don’t think i would miss it to much.But it appears it might just be a winner so that can only be a good thing

  11. Jarrod March 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm -

    I was Forced to watch this show (as I am with Packed to the Rafters – which nearly kills me) and I was surprised, I do not mind it. And, the Mrs absolutely loved it. I think Ch 7 have a winner here!

  12. Brent March 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm -


    You are kidding, right? If you think H&A and Neighbours have better scripts/sets than W&L, you may need your head read.

  13. Guy March 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm -

    Encores of Winners and Losers are as follows:

    Sat Mar 26, 11.15pm on Seven

    Mon Mar 28, 12.30pm on 7TWO

    Mon Mar 28, 11.00pm on Seven

    Tue Mar 29, 2.00pm on Seven.

  14. Jake March 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm -

    I watched Winners + Losers and in the 1st 15 minutes I didn’t think I would return for a second viewing. But as the episode progressed it got my attention and now I can say that I will be returning next week. I enjoyed it. The show is fresh, original and far more enjoyable than all those cop shows put together!!!

  15. tellie March 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm -


    If you didn’t think Winners@Losers was an Australian show, what did you think it was before you watched it?

  16. BoxOfficeBowman March 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm -


    Wasn’t expecting “state of the art, architecturally designed house or flat(s)”.

    But I was expecting them to look like ‘real’ houses, not fake sets on a stage. Honestly Neighbours and H&A have more realistic looking set design – and better production values overall.

    Better scripts too…

  17. James March 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm -

    At Pete B.
    W&L hasn’t had any replays yet.
    7TWO is replaying Mon 28/03 at 1230.
    Seven Tue 29/03 at 1400.

    At the same time on Mate there was Fam Guy and American Dad.
    7TWO had To The Manor Born.

    Is that how extra channels are run properly?

  18. George March 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm -

    I didn’t realise this was Australian. I’m afraid the aussie accents just turned me off. I can’t help thinking of Kath & Kim… the horror!!


  19. Pete B March 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm -

    I missed it, so checked tv guide to see if it would be replayed on one of the other ch 7 channels. It was being shown on one of the other channels. At the same time !
    Would have been nice if it was shown an hour or a day later on the second channel. When will these guys learn how to use their extra channels properly.

  20. Rachael March 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm -

    I thought it was ok…
    I’ll give this show a chance, you can’t judge an entire series based on the first episode.
    The script needs improving though.

  21. tellie March 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm -

    It’s not Rafters, thank God. The first ep had it’s natural teething problems, I think the premise of the show has possibilities, and the cast is likeable enough. It has scope to broaden, unlike Rafters which after the first Season, which I did watch, seems to of since them, going by ads and bits of viewing of it at times, does nothing but keeps spinning on itself over and over, Season after Season.

    W&L, I’ll certainly give the second ep a watching of next week.

  22. franz chong March 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm -

    A great show.At least someone is out there doing their part for local drama.Will be watching with interest again next week.

  23. Guy March 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm -

    Great debut of a new drama. I loved it. I thought it might have been different but it had a bit of everything. I think it might hold 1.5m next week. A lot of people have been raving about it to me this morning which is always a good sign. Can’t wait for next week. Good work Seven.

  24. linny March 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm -

    of course the ratings were high, people wanted to see what all the fuss that seven was making about it. next week will be the real test, interesting to see the ratings then to see who watches it again.

  25. Bazza March 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm -

    There’s an hour of my life I’m not getting back…

  26. Karebear March 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm -

    I think I always imagined Virginia Gay to be older than she actually is because of the character she played in All Saints. She seemed so serious and responsible in that
    show. I don’t know how old she was supposed to be but I would have thought
    maybe her mid 30’s. Playing such a different role in W&L I thought she was great. Didn’t seem too old at all IMO.

  27. garry March 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm -

    @ Marty, if you didn’t see the scene where they won the lottery, you couldn’t have been watching the whole show. The lotto storyline took up the last 10 minutes of the show.

  28. garry March 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm -

    Obviously not everyones cup of tea, but for those who don’t like it, don’t watch it again, and don’t come back next week whining about it. I love it and although I don’t think it will rate as well as Rafters, it will pull 1 million + on a regular basis.

  29. Brent March 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm -

    Very happy with this first episode! I reckon its a big step for aussie tv! usually only american tv is that far-fetched and over the top! good move :)
    creatively, it was very different and enjoyable!

  30. Adam March 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm -

    Pete – LCD TV’s (or Plasmas) are all that are available these days. Plus they are quite affordable now. We have come a long way in 5-10 years since these were only available to the ones with too much disposable income

  31. Marty March 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm -

    It was pretty average – had several glaring story problems. And Where was the scene where we saw them win the lottery? That’s the scene we wanted to see – the scene that kicks off the Whole show and lets us live vicariously through them – and it was bizarre that it was missing.

    The build-up to the red-haired girls speech at the school was non-existant too. Suddenly it was just happening.

    I’m sure it’ll get better as it finds its feet. It felt like it was trying too hard and missing some really obvious moments.

  32. DC March 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm -

    Would be really keen to hear from someone who saw the test pilot that was floating around last year and than saw last night’s episode and can tell us about any changes that were made.@ anthonyquin said one change but would love to hear if test viewers thoughts changed anything in the pilot we saw last night.

  33. DF March 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm -

    For all of the hype the photoshopping of the school photos, especially of “So Wong” was dreadful.

  34. Leonidas March 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm -

    I liked it and I’m a male who was forced to watch it by his girlfriend. Would like to see a bit more of the supporting cast.

  35. salf March 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm -

    @Ruddeger, 29 hardly “close to 40.”

  36. Karen March 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm -

    Virginia Gay is one of those actresses that looks older/more mature than she actually is. She is only 29, so only a year older than what her character is supposed to be.
    @Lizzie May
    Do you seriously think there are no women in Australia that don’t make dinner for their bloke who waits patiently at the table with a beer? Not every woman has burnt her bra nor every bloke suddenly become a metrosexual snag.
    Not everybody has heaps of money and lives in a state of the art, architecturally designed house or flat. Those houses/flats looked real to me.

  37. Karen March 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm -

    Virginia Gay is one of those actresses that looks older/more mature than she actually is. She is only 29, so only a year older than what her character is supposed to be.
    Do you seriously think there are no women in Australia that don’t make dinner for their bloke who waits patiently at the table with a beer? Not every woman has burnt her bra nor every bloke suddenly become a metrosexual snag.
    Not everybody has heaps of money and lives in a state of the art, architecturally designed house or flat. Those houses/flats looked real to me.

  38. Bella March 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm -

    Finn in Glee is 16/17 and in real life Cory Monteith is 28. Virginia Gay has her age listed at 29. Just saying.

    I watched a bit of Winners and Losers (it clashed with Survivor) and thought it was ok ….. probably wouldn’t watch it again.

  39. Allie March 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm -

    @DC, I agree with your criticism of the girls looking all different ages. I guess we can blame the casting director for that. It was particularly obvious at the school reunion. Virginia Gay and the actress playing the beautician look to be in their early to mid- 30’s, as did a number of the minor players at the school reunion. It was also stretching credibility to think that Gay’s character would have completed university here, won a Fulbright scholarship to Harvard and completed that, then returned to Australia and set up her own successful company in a swanky CBD office all by age 27. Nope, real life does not work that way. It would have been way more believable if the girls were attending their 15 year reunion. Of the four leads, I thought Virginia Gay and Melissa Bergland were the best. I was underwhelmed by the other two. The show has promise, but I was not blown away by it. Lightning isn’t going to strike twice here, it is not the new, all conquering Rafters rating juggernaut.

  40. Rutzie March 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm -

    @Ruddeger, perhaps you should do some research before your next post. Virginia Gay was born on the 16/9/81 according to and wikipedia so by my calculations that makes her 29 and a perfect fit for the role she is playing. I think the show will get better as the season progresses. Solid debut.

  41. vinny March 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm -

    So according to 7’s ratings Australians want to see more drama locally made and more cooking shows.

    Why isn’t Nine making more drama that isn’t stuff like Rescue etc.

  42. JM March 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm -

    David, do you know if Seven will be screening an encore of W&L?

  43. J Bar March 23, 2011 at 11:53 am -

    I thought it was great and better than a lot of the dramas that we’ve been served lately. I’m glad we have something that is different from the regular cop/medical shows that we have plenty of already. There seem to always be critics about every show so I guess every show can’t please all people.

  44. den March 23, 2011 at 11:44 am -

    W&L was alright. Mostly cringe worthy.

  45. Pete March 23, 2011 at 11:39 am -

    1.6m viewers can’t be wrong…or can they – maybe they’re just stupid and watching it on the their LCD TVs (Lowest Common Denominator TVs that is!)

  46. DC March 23, 2011 at 11:38 am -

    Ive mainly only heard good things….yes its aimed at the common demonator and very predictable and basically written but seven are smart in knowing thats what the main audience is so they pinpoint their dramas to suit that instead of trying to be award winning. The only complaint ive mainly heard from a lot of people is that the girls do all look different ages. Most though Virigina Gay looked at least mid thrities not 27, same went for Michala banas and a few of the other girls at the reunion who looked way past 10 years out of school. Probably should have made them all at least 29-30 not 26-27.

  47. Ruddeger March 23, 2011 at 11:32 am -

    Didn’t watch but are we suppose to believe Virginia Gay is playing a chick in her late 20’s,yet she looks [and is in real life] closer to 40 ?

  48. Dan March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am -

    Didnt watch it but i wonder if it can sustain those ratings for next week my prediction is it will drop to about 1 mill

  49. Anthony Quinn March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am -

    I loved it. It was a little different to the pilot, and in the pilot I think they all won the lottery, but have re-shot it to leave Jenny out. Interesting to see what happens there!
    Can’t wait for Ep. 2.

  50. Jack! March 23, 2011 at 11:20 am -

    As I said before, they over promoted it to death and that left them a lot to live up to …
    I loved it!!! Every character and performance was spot on, and the story was perfect for a first episode … well done all, you won over a tough critic!

  51. Lizzie May March 23, 2011 at 11:09 am -

    This show is an insult to young women, making them out to be twittering, silly air-heads. And the blond character serving up dinner to her bloke waiting patiently at the table with a beer in his hand. What century are we in????? I switched off and won’t be back.

  52. garry March 23, 2011 at 11:06 am -

    I thought it was fantastic also. The school renunion was hilarious, and I reckon the lotto win will be a great storyline. It looks as though Michaela Banas was only in it for the first ep, unless she is somehow woven into the story down the track. Good Australian television.

  53. Richard W March 23, 2011 at 11:03 am -

    Cringe worthy at best. These people are supposed to be 10 years out of school yet still go around like immature school girls? Don’t see how anyone can relate to these characters unless your a teenager!

    I predict a big drop off of viewers next week who thought this was some kind of Packed to the Rafters spin off show.

  54. Theresa Gehm March 23, 2011 at 10:57 am -

    I liked the school reunion part of the episode; I thought it was hilarious and the F bomb was so unexpected but it was hilarious. I’ve already heard chatter amongst some peers saying they liked it and some saying that it was a bit predictable, but I say good on Seven for producing an Aussie drama.

  55. PD March 23, 2011 at 10:38 am -

    The first half of the show was fairly terrible, but once they moved past the ridiculous school reunion the second half was a lot better.

    Still, it’s always good to see a local drama do well, especially when the plot involves something other than ‘so it’s about police officers, right, and they solve crimes’.

  56. AS March 23, 2011 at 10:37 am -

    I thought it was fantastic. I’m not sure how believable the whole winning the lottery storyline is but I think everyone will relate to the characters. This seems like a real “easy watching” show which should continue to rate well.

    I’m not sure if the viewers will become as passionate about this one as Rafters but I expect it to be a real winner (pardon the pun) for Seven and Australian drama.

    Dropping the F bomb was a bit of a surprise but in the context it was used in I thought it was hilarious!

  57. Craig March 23, 2011 at 10:34 am -

    Not seen W&L, will tonight. Much rather watch the doco over on ABC.

    That must be a new low for TG on Nine, how low will it go now they are out new UK eps. I noticed next week they have the Ashes special listed but is it the AU or UK version? When will new local eps return or the US version?

  58. Judith Webster March 23, 2011 at 10:30 am -

    No accounting for some people’s taste i guess

  59. BoxOfficeBowman March 23, 2011 at 10:15 am -

    It had a great cast; wasted on a sub par script and sets that looked like they came straight out of a 1980’s sitcom.

    What a waste, which no doubt means it will be the next best thing in boring middle of the road television…

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