Downton Abbey’s return down on last year’s premiere

The series return of period drama Downton Abbey failed to match the heights of last year’s premiere for Seven in last night’s ratings.

The British costume drama ranked third – behind Nine’s The Block, which won the night, and Seven News.

Nine’s renovation show took 1.678m across the five metro market, according to preliminary reports from OzTam. Seven News took 1.612m and Downton Abbey took 1.53m, down 300,000 viewers on last year’s premiere of 1.807m.

However, Downton Abbey did win its 8:30pm timeslot, beating Nine’s The Mentalist on 0.814m, The ABC’s Midsomer Murders on 0.62m and Ten’s Touch on 0.602m and SBS’s Prophets of Science Fiction on 0.23m.

Seven’s Dancing with the Stars which, over a two-hour time slot took 1.232m, lost to Nine’s The Block. But the show beat 60 Minutes, which rated with 1.118m. The show also beat Ten’s Modern Family, which rated with 0.865m, but lost to MasterChef, which took 1.33m.

In the demographics, The Block won in both the 18-49 and 25-54 markets with MasterChef in second. But the results were reversed for the 16-39 market. Downton Abbey placed 5th in 16-39 and 18-49 and 6th in 25-54 demos.

Sunday’s top 15 shows
1. The Block – Nine 1.678m
2. Seven News – Seven 1.612m
3. Downton Abbey – Seven 1.530m
4. Nine News – Nine 1.443m
5. Masterchef – Ten 1.330m
6. Dancing with the Stars – Seven 1.232m
7. 60 Minutes – Nine 1.118m
8. The Diamond Queen – ABC 0.968m
9. ABC News – ABC 0.954m
10. Modern Family – Ten 0.865m
11. The Mentalist – Nine 0.814m
12. New Girl – Ten 0.665m
13. Midsomer Murders – ABC 0.620m
14. Touch – Ten 0.602m
15. AFL on Seven – Seven 0.587m

Sunday’s channel share
Seven: 27.0%
Nine: 21.7%
Ten: 15.4%
ABC1: 12.0%
SBS1: 4.0%
GO!: 3.5%
7mate: 3.2%
7TWO 2.8%
Gem: 2.7%
One: 2.2%
Eleven: 2.1%
ABC2: 1.5%
SBS2: 0.8%
ABC News 24: 0.7%
ABC3: 0.5%


  1. Wake up CH 7
    21 May 12
    10:10 am

  2. I doubt that I am the only person who bought the dvd on six months ago, and of course it has been widely borrowed since.

  3. kate
    21 May 12
    11:07 am

  4. What has happened to the writing on Modern Family this season!? It’s just not funny any more. Previous seasons have been laugh out loud at least twice an episode, this season, not at all.

  5. robbo
    21 May 12
    2:44 pm

  6. Kate, I personally feel Modern Family is just as good as ever – in fact two or three of the latest batch have been even better than before.
    It’s subjective, I guess.

  7. Alison
    21 May 12
    2:45 pm

  8. I’m with ‘wake up CH 7″ – I too bought the Downton dvd and it is on its 4th loan. If Ch7 had screened it closer to its UK release I might just have waited for it…maybe. Disappointing that the commercial FTA channels just cant get away from their old programming habits.

  9. jean cave
    21 May 12
    6:33 pm

  10. I actually prefer a binge on DVD approach to watching a great series and the extras are always fascinating too.
    I think MacArthur’s Park would be a great subject for similar retro-gaze Aussie series.
    It’s all there . . fractured family, male bi-polar/depression, pioneering women, world travel, colonial distopia, genocide, military uniforms.

  11. frank
    21 May 12
    6:49 pm

  12. Had the day off today(monday) and watched the breakfast shows. it seems channel 7 and nine have the same show. ads at the same time, news at the same time, same news segment. channel tens breakfast show is a welcome change but sadly is not getting the ratings. it is quite original in its format and cut away to Julia Gillards press conference the minute it happened.