Puberty Blues hits sweet spot for TEN

After days of terrible headlines, finally some good news for TEN: Puberty Blues begins well, pulling in 925,000 viewers.

The new drama was only just pipped in its timeslot by an extended episode of The Amazing Race Australia on 976,000.

Seven won the night with 30.4% to Nine 27.5%, TEN 20.1%, ABC 17.6% and SBS 4.4%.

Seven News topped the night with 1.28m viewers for Seven then Today Tonight (1.09m), Home and Away (996,000), Amazing Race (976,000), Criminal Minds (741,000 / 486,000) and Deal or No Deal (586,000).

Nine News (1.14m) led for Nine followed by Big Brother (1.13m), ACA (1.00m), The Farmer Wants a Wife (909,000) and Hot Seat (554,000).

Puberty Blues (925,000) was TEN’s strongest performer. The show also won the demos in its timeslot and attracted universal praise on Twitter last night. It also rose high above its lead in of The Shire (502,000). MasterChef All Stars was 751,000, TEN News was 718,000 and The Project 6pm was 460,000. Class Of debuted to 431,000.

ABC News topped the magic million for ABC1 with 1.01m then Gruen Sweat (918,000), Qi (762,000), 7:30 (667,000), Randling (519,000), Would I Lie to You? (447,000), Australia’s Paralympians (324,000) and At the Movies (283,000).

Wildest Africa (246,000) was best for SBS ONE, followed by The Last Explorers (189,000) and China: Triumph and Turmoil (164,000).

Heartbeat topped multichannels with 329,000.

The Morning Show: 200,000
Mornings: 119,000
The Talk: 29,000

Wednesday 15 August 2012


  1. I mainly agree with unclepete in that I’m glad good quality drama largely worked on Ten. Plus I hope they maintain good scripted programming for Eleven. For at least 8.30pm-10.30pm most – or better still – all days. That way many viewers might stick around rather than leave. It happened with Ten. Plus that’s what happened on Monday for me with Eleven. As well as putting hour dramas at 10pm or the like also drives me away. I just wish TV stations and channels would avoid such nonsense. Sorry didn’t mean to rant but congratulations and I hope there will be other successes.

  2. I guess it’s different strokes for different folks, but I can honestly say that as soon as I hear an upcoming show is a John Edwards production, that show is 100% guaranteed my viewership. I love his work.

  3. I’m just telling it like it is, I really can’t stand John Edwards’ style and he does have a certain style that pretty much all his shows follow and none have been huge ratings successes.

    Beaconsfield was a movie, Love My Way was on Foxtel so never had a big audience, Secret Life had a small niche following at best, don’t remember it ever having huge ratings, has made no impact and has largely been forgotten about, Police Rescue was on the ABC and it would be impossible for it to have had huge ratings as back in those days nothing on the ABC rated highly and Rush has been a laughable low rating flop from day one.

    Really I think it’s time to give someone else a go and stop commissioning this guy when in reality his so called “critically acclaimed” shows have never struck a chord with the masses and have never been ratings successes.

    • Alex: your mistake is not only overlooking how these shows performed in demos, but also in measuring a show’s performance on one network with one on another. A high rating drama on ABC / Foxtel and even TEN is not going to attract the same numbers as Seven and Nine. That doesn’t make them a failure. All of those shows listed were big successes on their respective platforms.

  4. @Alex and Cynical – Your comment comes from either of two things, naivety Or you’re disgruntled for some deeper reason? Not to give props to an alternate news service (it is officially an advertising news website), but if you read Mumbrella from time to time, you’d soon learn that advertisers nearly only ever want to spend their money on performers in the key demos (nearly never on total people), which Edwards shows continually either win the night or finish in the top 3. Total people numbers are still reported but are definitely not a key indicator of success.

  5. @ Cynical I think you have just said what a lot of people are thinking. John Edwards has actually never, read never ever produced a hit and you’d have to wonder just how much he’s paying these “critics”. All of his shows have had sub par ratings and are not welcomed by the masses but as you say loved by the “critics”. Well critics be damned, ratings speak for themselves, I’ve never liked this guy’s style and never will. 900K for a premiere episode of a new Australian drama is not a good result and no amount of spin will have me believe otherwise.

    • Not true. Beaconsfield. The Secret Life of Us. Police Rescue. Rush all enjoyed successful ratings. Plus Love my Way a big success on Pay TV. 900k is very good for a TEN drama, especially with a lead-in of 500k. No issue if his work is not your style, but let’s not twist shows that had successful runs.

  6. Puberty Blues was great as was Class Of…
    Two quality shows back to back on Ten. Now there’s something we havent seen for an awfully long time.

  7. It happens with every John Edwards show; it opens near or under a million and critics call it a hit, sweet, monster success – or other words to that effect – while other shows that open with the same or higher figures, and not produced by the God himself, are labelled worrying. I wish critics would cut out their bias towards Edwards and get real. On its opening night, and even after sooo much publicity, Puberty Blues rated less than Home and Away. It is far from “good news”.

  8. @ryan: you have to remember that Monday was Launch and Tuesday was a Live Special always provides a bonus in numbers. I think the daily shows will average around 1 million a night which is achieving expectations. I think it will be much the same tonight. Don’t be surprised though if Friday’s ratings are low considering it is a Friday.

  9. Well said Russell (except for the point about removing those shows from Ten and placing them on Eleven – no thanks! Eleven has some great stuff on it and doesn’t deserve to be removed for that garbage).

    Hopefully all the channels will begin to take of this. Good reality competitions and high quality drama will always trump cheap and nasty. We have outgrown that (mostly) as an audience.

    Loved PB Ten, keep it up and give us more of this and less of the skank.

  10. I liked it and will watch it again. The young girl playing Sue is very likeable. The nostalgia factor will eventually wear off so I hope it will be all about the story and not the hair styles.

  11. Great Show Puberty Blues. Just wanted to say well done to channel Ten for investing in some original programs not just importing OS concepts. EDN has had a bad start but at least it’s an original format. And “Class of” another original show. We should be grateful to have a local network willing to take some risks..Lets not kick Ten while they are down.

  12. PB was even better than I thought it would be. I think it will definitely build on those numbers after all the positive feedback and word of mouth. It was just so nostalgic and reminded me of how Australia and the rest of the World used to be, without all the technology and stress that comes with it. People seemed happier back then, life was so much less complicated and fun.

  13. jezza the first original one

    I liked PB apart from the scene when the bloke was relieving himself in the bathroom while his wife waited in bed……bit pervy

  14. Loved PB, one hour was nowhere near long enough. We were wetting ourselves over the slang, some of it was still kicking around when I was a kid in the 80’s.

    Re Lara Bingle, didn’t her show end up holding at a fairly steady rate? I don’t think it is the epic flop everyone is making it out to be, it was streets ahead of the Shire anyway.

    @ Lizzie in this new tv landscape, a debut of 925 is perfectly acceptable.

  15. Wow. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

    Was nobody else bothered that there was almost no story? Or that it was a collection of the most predictable stereotypes – downtrodden housewife, strict father, et al – with no depth or nuance anywhere in sight? Or that there was not even the vaguest suggestion of an underlying concept to answer the question ‘why are we re-visiting the 70s now?’

    Maybe there’ll be some story and character development in future episodes. Nevertheless, an entire episode of scene setting is lazy. I’m reasonably sure that viewers who encountered anything this slow and torpid in an American or UK drama would be unforgiving. But apparently we still “make allowances” for local drama.

  16. Liked Puberty Blues. But i’m not gonna watch it on Ten, think i’ll wait til it’s available online because there’s no way i’m gonna sit through the overun of the shite, i mean The Shire. See if Ten focus on qulaity drama series, they get viewers. Trashy reality shows are killing the network.
    And having a trashy reality show on before a quality drama, is gonna kill the drama too.

  17. Opinion of what Tens morning lineup should be to keep the sahm’s happy. Let’s face it that’s who was targeted with advertorials.
    What Channel Tens morning lineup should read… Channel 10 could have done a lot more to keep our favourite show The Circle on TV. For instance, keep Breakfast on until 9am then kids show Wurrawhy until 10 followed by The Circle for 2 hours taking them up to 12 for Dr Phil. Unfortunately. Everyone would be happy. I don’t think the execs cared enough to think about it much … after all, most of us are just mums at home – why should they spare a thought for us? Well they should because in most households we’re the decision makers when it comes to spending the household budget … and we are the targeted audience for those infomercials/sponsors. There would be No need to change channels for most of the day. At the moment there is no need to tune into Ten. So please execs can you Please rethink your canceling of The Circle?????

  18. Amen Russell! Ten is the high quality network. Or so it used to be – Puberty Blues is brilliant, I didn’t miss a week of Offspring, Homeland or Bikie Wars.
    The more original drama you produce, the higher ratings you will get. Simple.

  19. @ DrA.

    I agree. I wrote to David a few days ago about completing a piece on TEN and what they need to do which would allow for “Constructive only” Feedback. (lets face it – Anybody can criticise)

    I see an amazing loyal following here for TEN. A passion for them to get things right unlike for the other networks. Am I correct? People want TEN to have success – But It will only happen if they offer a decent product

  20. Great for Ten to get some good news. I recorded PB and will watch it tonight. Hopefully it can grow to over the mill mark. Shire will be mid 400s next week on its way to 11.

    It really seems TEN need to invest in drama to get an audience in the future. Much like they did 30 years ago when it was a distant third network.

    And great news that The Talk only got 29K. Ten are lucky to get that IMO after what it did to the Circle. Would not surprise me if 7 or 9 picked up The Circle as a afternoon show next year – with advertorials of course!

  21. ten, perhaps you may learn a dear lesson here, you rated on a scripted drama rather than the seemingly endless reality tripe you constantly serve up on a regular basis.

    Keep this up, and you might end up rating above single figures ……

  22. How about some more fantastic drama from Ten Dr A? They seem to be getting it right time after time. I have to say, I loved Pubes, great cast, great scripts and I was totally transported back in time.

    If you don’t agree, you can rack off ya mole!

  23. I’m not sure I’II be back to watch PB next week. It had a bit of the take it or leave it about it. And if I have to see Claudia in one more thing…

    Be interesting to see how the numbers are for Ep 2 because, anyway you spin those numbers (David!!) that figure is not great for such a high profile drama with some big name producers and actors involved.

  24. Kind of seems to me Ten’s sweet spot seems to be quality fresh original storytelling. These seem to be the show’s Ten gets ratings success with, and seem to be defining Ten’s brand.

    When you look at what has worked recently: MasterChef, Offspring, Bikie Wars, Modern Family, Homeland and now Puberty Blues. All high quality. All good storytelling. And all slightly higher brow than fare on Nine and Ten. See the pattern?

    Shire, Bingle, Everybody Dance Now seem trashy, sensationalist and contradict the brand above. And ratings reflect that it’s not what people want / expect / enjoy from Ten.

    Ten needs to see this. Even Ten News at Five has been a solid consistant performer. And it’s the best of the 3 commercial networks. What seems to work at Ten is quality, original fresh storytelling – just a notch in IQ above Nine and Seven

    Ten needs to recognise this. Aqquire more US fare in the vein of Modern Family and Homeland. Develop more Aussie fare in the vein of MasterChef, Offspring and Puberty.

    Bingle, Simpsons, Shire etc should go to Eleven. That frees up Eleven to become theslightly trashier sister. And Ten can be the quality network. (Something Nine and Seven really can’t lay claim too)

  25. Loved Puberty Blues, worst thing about it was the adds for EDN!.

    I totally agree with DrA in everything you said, especially about Class of. What was it doing on so late??? Great show I really enjoyed it!

    Put The Shire, Lara Bingle and EDN or ch 11 (or get rid of them all together) and put Class of on at a reasonable time. This is the kid of reality I like.

    Also agree with DrA re the most downloaded shows, (don’t forget Breaking Bad on that list). The problem is that foxtel has the rights to most of these shows so by the time FTA can show them most people have already seen them. If they could somehow show them a week or so after America i am sure they would rate well.

  26. I can’t bring myself to watch PB as I was a teenager at an all-girl high school in a beachside suburb of Sydney in the mid-70’s and believe me, it is one nostalgia trip I am not interested in taking. I’m happy for the 70’s to remain a distant memory, they were as boring and tacky as. That said, I’m glad something is working out for Ten.

  27. Criminal Minds is down on what it usually gets too.

    Interesting to see the 9am shows figures head-to-hear. Looks like both Seven and Nine took a share of The Circle’s audience, most of whom didn’t stick around for a US import

  28. How ironic that TEN dusted off something that’s been on the shelf for more than a year which pulls three times the audience than boss’s wife’s expensive “dance” thing. From a glimpse I saw at midday EDN looked more like an acrobatic or gymnastic comp than “dancing”.

  29. I’m glad that Puberty Blues did reasonably well – best thing I’ve seen on Australian TV since The Slap (and as good as Offspring)

    I don’t think anybody will be surprised to see numbers like those for ‘The Talk’… Ten have effectively (more than) halved the audience that they previously had in that slot. So: they’ve saved themselves some money, but they’ve become much less competitive and lost Australian content.

  30. Puberty Blues was great. Finally 10 have something they can be proud of.

    Great cast and anyone who can hold their own against the classy Susie Porter and Claudia Karvan deserves their acting stripes.

    I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

    Just a thought though, the kids in ‘The Shire’ would be the kids of the kids in Puberty Blues. We’ve come a long way.

  31. AnnMareefromTaree

    I hated PB..maybe because I was there the first time……..and loved Class of……more ‘real’ than the rest of the crap they have been showing……the whole family is gathering together for BB at 7……that has to be a good thing!

  32. David, I would love to see you do a piece on what changes you would make to the Ten lineup. Give it a ‘David Knox’ once-over! What programs you would get rid of and what would you get from overseas?

    Personally, I think Ten should get away from this event TV with the usual tag line: “the search for Australia’s next big blah blah blah….” Keep MC but reduce the number of episodes. It has an incredibly loyal fan base. What happened to Biggest Loser? The ratings weren’t out of this world but in a reduce format it will still have faithful viewers won’t it? What the hell was ‘Class of..’ doing in a 9:30 time slot? Surely, this could be a 7:30 show. It was really good and a nice feel good program without any evictions or prize money.

    What about buying some serious imports too. Get the rights from the pay TV channels (if possible) to Games of Thrones, The Walking Dead, True Blood and Dexter and fast track them. OK, this might be wishful thinking but these are some of the most downloaded content in Australia. Why not try to get some of the illegal market by offering it to Aust. viewers as soon as possible after it screens in the US.

    Thoughts anyone?

  33. I really loved Puberty Blues last night! It was my number one new show (2nd place is Howzat!) that was coming on tv and it didn’t dissapoint…
    Beautiful acting, setting, scripts, and more than enough funny moments to go round.
    I just loved it when Sue’s dad drive around the corner, and over the gutter from being so drunk.. then just left the car there! Priceless!

  34. Well done to TEN … finally something they’ve done right. Considering some people had already seen the pilot on facebook I would say that’s a great result

    And good on Southern Star for producing good quality Aussie drama.

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