803,000 as House Rules fails launch test

By David Knox on May 15, 2013 / Filed Under News 66

2013-05-15_1006On this post-Budget day there are a lot of news headlines about awful set of numbers but none of them relate to the launch of Seven’s House Rules last night.

The show launched with just 803,000 viewers, which in Seven terms is cause for alarm. The show was soundly beaten by Nine’s renovation show The Block (1.3m).

But to put it into other contexts, Celebrity Splash launched to 1.31m. It was even lower than TEN’s Renovators launch in 2011 (939,000) and Excess Baggage on Nine (885,000). Seven’s decision to launch Celebrity Splash out of its My Kitchen Rules appears to have impacted on the network’s momentum. Seven will be hoping for a lift when it gets to its big house reveal episode. Whether that’s enough to lock in new viewers remains to be seen.

Meanwhile moving The Voice to 8pm has also seen its numbers drop to 1.6m, but within a larger plan of partnering with The Block, Nine easily won the night but Seven held onto second thanks to other shows such as Packed to the Rafters.

Nine’s share was 33.4% then Seven 25.8%, ABC 17.7%, TEN 16.6% and SBS 6.5%.

The Voice topped the night with 1.6m for Nine but it also ran 30 minutes over and evening numbers will need to be adjusted.  The Block was 1.3m, Nine News was 1.29m, ACA was 1.07m and Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom was 749,000.

Seven News (1.3m) was best for Seven then Today Tonight (1.09m), Packed to the Rafters (1.08m), Home and Away (891,000), House Rules (803,000), Deal or No Deal (567,000), Border Security: International (470,000) and Travel Unravelled (269,000).

ABC News was 899,000 for ABC1 followed by New Tricks (710,000), 7:30 (663,000), Budget 2013 (620,000), At the Movies (432,000) and Time Team (349,000).

TEN’s night was again under par with TEN News (695,000), NCIS (665,000), The Biggest Loser (627,000), The Project (503,000), NCIS: LA (485,000). The Simpsons was 388,000.

The Rove McManus episode of Who Do You Think You Are? was the highest this season at 583,000 for SBS ONE. Insight was 230,000, World News Australia was 179,000 and Dateline was 155,000.

Shaun the Sheep led multichannels with 337,000.

OzTAM Overnights: Tuesday 14 May 2013


  1. melmac May 16, 2013 at 11:52 am -

    They really should of launched it directly off the back of My Kitchen Rules.

    The big issue I had was the huge number of ads over and over about the show coming soon coming soon coming soon by time it got here I was totally over it.
    And the super funny thing was after all those coming soon ads, was that I missed the one that said exactly when it was actually starting, so therefore I missed the first episode. Then the next day I heard and read negative things about it so I didn’t bother watching the 2nd.

    My mum watched it though and said that it was long and she couldn’t handle all the ads especially those that make it look like the show is back but are actually another ad for Pandalol or the like, she didn’t bother past the 2ep.

    Massive fail by 7

  2. Jason May 16, 2013 at 9:45 am -

    Wed night even lower figs. Beaten by everyone except SBS in Sydney & Melbourne.

  3. The Moops May 16, 2013 at 9:38 am -

    @maxxdude, Seven does to take risks with their programming so I do not agree that they lack originality. They take far more risks than Nine do. Nine would kill for an original Australian drama as successful as the likes of Packed to the Rafters, Home and Away or A Place to Call Home. What have they got? The laughable House Husbands and the occasional Underbelly.

  4. David Knox May 16, 2013 at 9:24 am -

    Don’t agree with a lack of original programming on Seven. All commercial networks can be accused of this.

  5. maxxdude May 16, 2013 at 9:11 am -

    Seven’s lack of original programs is finally coming back to haunt them. House Rules is just a spin on Changing Rooms which was on Nine years ago…
    The Block was always going to win the battle…

  6. Brekkie May 16, 2013 at 2:43 am -

    Guess this is multiple blunder number two then. Really poor scheduling from Seven though – either should have launched off the back of MKR or be held back till later in the year once The Block is over.

  7. Sharpy May 16, 2013 at 12:42 am -

    I completely forgot that House Rules was on and didn’t set the PVR. Saw the second episode on the guide tonight but couldn’t be bothered to pick it up after missing the first ep. Tuesday night was a rediculous choice to launch a new high profile show anyway. In even sadder news, this makes Celebrity Splash more successful… oh dear…

  8. glennc May 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm -

    @Secret Squirrel I meant that as a compliment to sbs, not a swipe at 7 as such.
    I generally don’t watch much ‘reality’ tv (survivor is the exception).
    I agree its ridiculous to start a show of the exact same type shortly after another one.

  9. tvf May 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm -

    Watched house rules tonight again. Nothing else really on. Didn’t mind it again. Its worth watching if there is nothing better on. I’m actually interested to see how the house will look when its finished.

    I forced myself to sit through last nights the voice. I really wish I hadn’t. Really don’t see the point of 2nd and 3rd contestant having a sing off as we have already seen them singing that song. The mind boggles as some of the coaches choices to go through. (I knew already who they were but the reasoning). Its really starting to annoy me how much power the coaches are having over who goes through.

    Against my better judgement I have started watching Arrow. Its still warming up but there is enough in it for me to keep me watching. What I am about to say will fall on deaf ears but I really hope channel nine don’t muck around with it.

  10. William May 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm -

    They were below par and it will be again tonight and below 600k should be axed or moved this is for 7 or even 9

  11. David Knox May 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm -

    They were hoping for around 1.1m.

  12. Mac May 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm -

    Wow – I don’t care for the show but am shocked at how badly it bombed. I figured it would be a respectable kick off but not a blockbuster.

  13. Guy May 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm -

    So 800k is way below what was expected of House Rules but night one of MKR back in season one got only 1.1m after a huge promotional push during the tennis. Look they are not great figures but don’t say the show is DOA just yet. Yes the show was slow and it did have flaws but it was night one. Give it a couple of weeks. If it falls even lower then its time to say its a failure. Plus there were a lot of variables last night. Rove on SBS, the budget. Lets see how it goes tonight with no The Voice.

    Plus i was talking about it this morning to a couple of friends and they didn’t even know it started. Right now i say its not great for House Rules but lets see how it goes. Maybe i am an optimist. :lol

  14. Pete May 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm -

    @ Jason

    First episode was new Modern Family. The older talking Lily gets all the good lines.

  15. kb512 May 15, 2013 at 8:58 pm -

    I like house rules will be watching much better than the block

  16. Jason May 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm -

    Oops, I meant “Mr & Mrs Murder”. Two hours of great viewing coming up, anyway. Just not on 7 tonight.
    Noted “All New Modern Family” was actually a 2011 multiple-repeat.

  17. Jason May 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm -

    Switched over to 7 at 8:00 or so during an ad break elsewhere. Ugh. Switched back to 7 again at 8:10 or so. The identical scene repeated – woman arrives in SVU, “where’s my door”, (cue bad acting). How to stretch an hour to 90 minutes – or however long it runs. Just repeat 50% of it. Oh well, only 10 more minutes ’til “The Good Wife”.

  18. MC82 May 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm -

    House Rules was good viewing, but like so many have said, 7 dropped the ball by not launching it on the back of MKR. Hopefully they stick with it.

    The Voice’s runtime last night was ridiculous. The Celebrity Apprentice was advertised for a 9pm start, the EPG had The Voice ending at 9:17 yet it was still going at 9:30. I wouldn’t mind so much if The Voice was actually half-decent. I am in the minority of viewers who just don’t get the hype with this show. Cheap production, terrible editing and less-than-impressive talent. The X-Factor outshines it in all aspects.

  19. tvf May 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm -

    I didn’t house rules properly last night but I did watch parts. I don’t like watching renovating shows (though I did watch the block when it was once a week.) I doubt I will watch it every night maybe when there is nothing on. I guess when I saw the ad that said you will get to see a house fully renovated every week it sounded ok. You wouldn’t have to commit to a whole season just watching one week you would get something out of it.

    Haven’t watched the voice from last night yet. Find the elimination shows quite boring. Don’t know if I’ll bother. Disappointed Emma Pask is gone. Its crap when talent is lost and some mediocre performers from other teams get through.

  20. bapzik May 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm -

    Not surprising since they chose to wait and wait and wait and wait and put it up against The Voice.
    As long as they show it on nights against The Voice, it will not get a good chance at getting the ratings.

  21. Jason May 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm -

    @The Moops – I may stand corrected, but I seem to remember the guy chairing Celebrity Apprentice arriving and paying out someone’s mortgage – a long time ago. Was pushing his old mortgage company before Yellow Brick Road. On Undercover Angels, Renovation Rescue, Domestic Blitz, or one of the many others. They all seem to blur into one.
    As usual, the picture selected above is perfect.

  22. Sammee May 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm -

    Admittedly, House Rules and it’s ilk are not mind challenging entertainment but at the end of a long day some folk (myself included) like to relax with a bit of light entertainment that doesn.t include murder,forensics,kidnappings,flawed heroes with drug/relationship or mental problems.So what to do with the current overlap of reno/cooking/talent/celebrity shows? You put it all in one show-call it Changing Lives. Celebrity couples from the Renovators, the block and house rules all compete to build homes for people in need,(the charity element ala block). At mealtimes they could have a cook-off (ala my kitchen rules). The winner could win a new home and get a makeover to transform their lives. The possibilities are endless! So networks get to it!

  23. james23 May 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm -

    This show is DOA. Seven should learn from what Nine did to Excess Baggage.

    Kill it and kill it quickly before it does too much damage to your schedule.

  24. ryan May 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm -

    God those House rules figures are bad, prob get 700k tonight.
    On another note, ten has finally added more bl with next wed! Although it’s a bit annoying they show us in a promo who makes it past this sundays weigh in!!

  25. jonno May 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm -

    I have noticed on 7 Melbourne news they are having lots and lots of breaking news lately. The other night they had a breaking story and they went to a reporter who had filed the story earlier as it was a bright sunny day and it was dark outside. Has breaking news replaced First on Seven. Not sure if the others are doing this as I don’t watch them. Just getting sick of being treated as a dumb viewer.

  26. jonno May 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm -

    Really enjoyed Rove on SBS last night. This is real TV, not reality TV. I come across a lot of the promos for House Rules but just couldn’t get interested in another reality show. How many do they think we want to watch. Give us a break and do some real stuff like SBS did last night.

  27. wwenrl May 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm -

    David! a bit off topic, but I’ve wanted to know for a while, what’s the Late Night! battle ratings between:
    Craig Ferguson (Eleven)
    David Letterman (Ten) and
    Conan (GO!)

    Thanks David!!

  28. byeana May 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm -

    @ David Knox
    Oh Dear David you may have let your guard slip a little, fancy giving me such an opportunity, following your very first line of this item, and hope you will allow me to draw a similar comparison budget wise and Kochie’s (representing Network Seven) grilling of our PM in Canberra this morning, where he questioned her and asked how could they get their revenue predictions so wrong this year, and was it stupid of them to promise so much this year budget wise? ( his interviews have now even rated mention in today’s session of parliament question time )

    Following your first line budget comparisons, and after watching Kochie, prompted several thoughts to immediately came to mind, first being the old saying “People in Glass Houses shouldn’t Throw Stones” ( prediction wise??), and another being, was it stupid to “Promise So Much” ironically also in the similarity between the Hype of Endless Promos, as with most of Network Seven’s and Network 10’s “Hits and Misses” and leading to another saying of ” Was it Luck or Good Management” and finally “Are The Chickens now coming home to Roost” at Network seven??

  29. Lyn May 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm -

    I don’t usually watch a lot of reality tv. But I did last night. Didn’t really like what I saw. Parts of other shows all worked into this one?!
    And the woman cracking open the piggy bank?!! Really???? And the constant ads for tomorrow’s show? I’ll give it a miss from now on!

  30. blackmark May 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm -

    Yes will Networks ever learn. Golden rule of television never put a similar new show up against a popular established show. It rarely works. Excess Baggage vs The Biggest Loser, The Renovators vs The Block are prime examples. One of the reasons My Restaurant Rules and Masterchef worked well is because they are not up against each at different times of the year. Viewers have only so much time during the week and will stick with what they know instead of trying something new.

    How good is Celebrity Apprentice!! just loving all the bitchiness

    P.S Lovin’ you work David, your site is a must daily visit

  31. randwick May 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm -

    Death to reality televison!

  32. Julian May 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm -

    A disappointing result for Seven, but what should be more concerning to Nine is that HR beat The Block in Perth and HR also beat The Voice in perth! Although owned by WIN, this still regularly affects their national figures significantly. Wonder when they’ll actually do something about it.

  33. David Knox May 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm -


    I’d tip Seven won’t react until after it sees the numbers for a the first house reveal. And I’ll tip The Mole is on the way somewhere in the schedule now.

  34. Cazza May 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm -

    @DavidKnox I’m guessing you tipped the mortgage pay-off as the prize??? Can you also tip whats gonna happen to this show considering its got lower ratings that Celebrity Splash which has started missing shows….hmmm surely they wouldnt just take House Rules off our screens, that would be even more embarrasing than last nights numbers……

  35. David Knox May 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm -

    And who tipped the mortgage pay-off as the prize?

  36. Karlos May 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm -

    The Renovators Mk II?

  37. The Moops May 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm -

    @Jason, you’re right, it is disingenuous for Seven to claim that “it has never been done before”. Of course, renovating the interior of a house has been done plenty of times before – The Block and The Renovators immediately spring to mind. Perhaps they meant the reno being done by people other than the owners? Wrong again, Seven. About 10 years ago, Channel Nine had a show called Changing Rooms where people went into each others home and made over parts of the house. Like you, I think they must have been referring to the prize of the mortgage payout which they probably can claim is an TV first.

    @Secret Squirrel – LMAO!!

    If ratings don’t improve over coming weeks, Seven will have made the exact same error Ten made two years ago with The Renovators. Oh well, I guess they can always push it over to Seven Two or Mate.

  38. Jason May 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm -

    Promoted as “For the first time (“ever”) on Australian television. Apparently the “for the first time” bit is the winner’s mortgage is paid out.
    That’s never been done before? Guess Seven execs. haven’t been watching too much TV over the past decade. Done. Several times.
    But maybe I’m wrong. Like so many, I didn’t watch it.

  39. Micky May 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm -

    I have a feeling that a lot of viewers may have been put of watching anything on FTA last night knowing that all programs would be interrupted with budget updates.

  40. David Knox May 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm -

    Yes expect The Mole soon.

  41. Benji77 May 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm -

    Quick Seven! Introduce some gate crashers who happen to be a couple of ethnically diverse yet bitchy girls. That’ll keep people glued to your crappy program.

    So which Seven program will be the next to tank? The Mole?

  42. kushkook May 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm -

    Ten is nearing 700,000 with some of its show. Maybe a blip for Seven will allow for Ten to find some audience again?

  43. Secret Squirrel May 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm -

    @glennc – haha, of course! Rove McManus on SBS was the reason that the launch of House Rules was very soft. The execs at Seven will be so relieved to know that it wasn’t anything to do with them deciding that another reno comp show should start half an hour later and on a Tuesday. Mr Lyons can wipe all that egg off his face now.

  44. The Moops May 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm -

    Very disappointing launch figures for HR, Seven will be none too pleased, given the enormous amount of hype it has had over the last month. I watched it and thought it was quite good, but I think the Block has too much advance momentum on them. I think it is a better concept than The Block and the prize is way better. In fact, the prize is probably too high stakes (getting mortgage immediately paid off in full) and I imagine the bitchiness, sabotage and stress in weeks to come is going to be intense.

  45. Pertinax May 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm -

    Everybody knew The Voice was going to run way over, 17 minutes of it was in the EPG.

    House Rules is the 3rd Renovation show in the 3 months, and it is a new format which always comes with risk. The Networks just can’t keep serving up more and more stripped competition based shows and expect 2m for them.

    There are only so many hours a week people will watch TV. Some of them are going to have to fail, just like Yasmin, EDN, Excess Baggage and The Renovators did.

  46. Nettorqy May 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm -

    We pvr the block and started watching it at 7.30, already have favourite team and disliked team.
    Also pvrd house rules and Rafters and watched them after the block. .Not sure on HR couldnt find anyone to like, probly give it another chance tonight.
    Also pvr the NCIS Shows
    It will be interesting to see the figures for HR after the PVR figures are added

  47. Sammee May 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm -

    I liked the show although I did watch it on catch up tv because I was watching the Biggest Loser. Don’t yank it yet channel 7, give people a chance to find it. House Rules should have been on instead of Celebrity Splash. @Jennome, I too was concerned about the virtual demolition of the house. Lucky the couple who own it can’t see what’s happening! As for the prize I kinda thought that’s what it would be.

  48. JoshS May 15, 2013 at 11:34 am -

    Kev, if Seven showed a test pattern, they’d outrate TEN’s offerings…

  49. tomothyd May 15, 2013 at 11:29 am -

    I’ve PVRd the first three episodes of The Block, and watched two so far. Most of it was viewed in Fast Forward as I am already bored with it. There is so much padding. I’ll probably just watch the room reveal episodes I think.

    The problem for me with a lot of these reality shows are they are on too often. I much preferred back in the day when The Block was on Sundays and Tuesdays for one hour, even with the heavy product placement scenes, they still managed to capture what happened in the week without any filler. There were no mini competitions and day outings.

    The same went for My Restaurant Rules on Sunday and Thursday nights. Once or twice a week is fine, 3-5 nights a week for 60-90min shows is asking too much.

  50. glennc May 15, 2013 at 11:26 am -

    I think I’d wait to see how House Rules goes next week when there isn’t Rove McManus on SBS sucking away the viewers. 583k is a fantastic result for SBS, I’m sure 7 didn’t have that in mind when launching House Rules!
    NCIS might very well be The Voice’s next victim. Big drop (850k ish – 665k). Hopefully Ten stick by their gun.

  51. Bella May 15, 2013 at 11:26 am -

    I am only watching House Rules for the Perth couple. I think watching 5 more couples house being renovated may get a bit repetitive. I prefer The Block format.

  52. mason May 15, 2013 at 11:26 am -

    Looks like 10 programming to me. I hope Celebrity Splash continues to bite them in the arse after what they said about TV Tonight.
    Those in my house that watch building shows didn’t even know that House Rules was on and have already started on The Block anyway.

  53. Jason May 15, 2013 at 11:25 am -

    Someone who used to be at TEN now in Programming at Seven? Hmmm.
    OMG, how many repeats – oh, sorry, have to use that incorrect word “encores” – will this disaster get. I’ll have to get a rubber stamp made to fill in all of those “TBA”s in the weekend TV guide.

  54. james23 May 15, 2013 at 11:18 am -

    The launch of The Shire also beat it by over 140K.

  55. Darcey09 May 15, 2013 at 11:16 am -

    So it wasn’t the AFL which caused the fall in numbers for the Voice, after all.

  56. The Other Adam May 15, 2013 at 11:08 am -

    Yeah I didn’t understand why they’d create another “The Block” and then start it …During “The Block”

  57. kimbeth May 15, 2013 at 11:08 am -

    Ch7 have no option but to stick it out now. Not doing so would signal instability and is going to be a second free kick for ch9 in particular.

  58. Kev May 15, 2013 at 11:07 am -

    Still beat Biggest Loser… just saying

  59. ohdenny May 15, 2013 at 11:06 am -

    I did not even know House Rules premiered. Ouch
    Maybe because I don’t watch anything on Seven in the first place.

  60. Jennome May 15, 2013 at 10:57 am -

    I thought I’d give it a go and quite enjoyed it, even though the almost total demolition of the house was alarming. Presuming this bunch of (mostly) amateurs are being closely supervised behind the scenes, apart from the 2 visible experts. But what really annoys me is that these shows are scheduled for 1 1/4 hours (and go longer), completely buggering up any other viewing plans you might have. Rafters no longer appeals, so I had nowhere to go.

    This puts me off watching it at all, as there’s always a cliffhanger at the end, although no doubt there’ll be repeated re-iterations at the beginning of tonight’s show.

  61. FanOfTen May 15, 2013 at 10:43 am -

    Looks like celebrity splash was not the years biggest blunder ….


  62. steviem May 15, 2013 at 10:37 am -

    Woweeeey, boy oh boy…..it will build because its not going anywhere and i watched it and it was well made. However Ch7 made a huge mistake with celebrity splash taking the momentum and killing it and then running this later (after the block had started)….bad , very bad. Seven will be really angry but only have themselves to blame.

  63. AllanPo May 15, 2013 at 10:34 am -

    Two renovation shows on at the same time are simply too many.
    Seven should have launched HR last week or the week before. The show is almost DOA. This could be the biggest TV blunder of 2013.

  64. Chris B May 15, 2013 at 10:34 am -

    Anxiety attacks and heartbreak at Seven.
    Back slapping at Nine.
    It’s a beastly business!

  65. paddock boy May 15, 2013 at 10:25 am -

    Channel 7 is swallowing the same bitter pill that channel 10 munched on when they launched The Renovators. Just because you have a successful format in MKR this doesn’t mean you can just use the same ideas, look and feel on a different genre. Bigger and louder is not better. Collective ch 7 hubris has cost them dearly, this will give ch 9 the next few weeks of ratings at least, while they sort the mess out. They’ve spent bugger all on other programs preferring to throw all their programming budget at tent pole series…..when will they learn?

  66. MuchoTB May 15, 2013 at 10:24 am -

    Yes!! Shaun the Sheep

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