Flash Forward fires up as The Apprentice flops

The first night of the TV networks’ biggest week of spring was comprehensively won by Seven, with new sci fi drama FlashForward scoring nearly 1.8m, while Nine’s The Apprentice rated what will be for the network a very disappointing 692,000.  

Both shows were heavily promoted by their respective networks.

And while FlashForward is likely to deliver Seven’s biggest audience of the week, The Apprentice Australia was third in its time slot, well behind Seven’s Mercy (just under 1.1m) and also Ten’s Good News Week (828,000).

The first episode of the show – in which contestants vie for the chance to work as a business development manager for Mark Bouris – saw two teams take part in a gardening challenge.

The evening was otherwise a fairly strong one for Nine, with The Mentalist holding up relatively well against FlashForward.

Ten was more squeezed though, with Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? pulling in only 606,000 and The 7pm Project 675,000.

  1. Flash Forward – Seven 1.8m
  2. Highway Patrol – Seven 1.6m
  3. Seven News – Seven 1.5m
  4. Border Security – Seven 1.5m
  5. Today Tonight – Seven 1.4m
  6. Two and a Half Men 8:00pm – Nine 1.3m
  7. Two and a Half Men 7:30pm – Nine 1.2m
  8. Home and Away – Seven 1.2m
  9. Nine News – Nine 1.2m
  10. Two and a Half Men 7:00pm – Nine 1.2m
  11. A Current Affair – Nine 1.1m
  12. Mercy – Seven 1.1m
  13. ABC News – ABC 1.1m
  14. The Mentalist – Nine 0.988m
  15. Top Gear – SBS 0.833m

Network shares:

Seven – 32.7%

Nine – 24%

Ten – 16.8%

ABC1 – 14.9%

SBS1 – 7.3%

ABC2 – 1.4%

GO! – 1.4%

ONE – 1.3%

SBS2 – 0.3%


  1. Are You Adam
    29 Sep 09
    11:23 am

  2. Hmm, maybe Nine should mash the show with their other hit show and make Two And A Half Apprentices? Surely Charlie Sheen could make an appearance.

  3. lm
    29 Sep 09
    1:10 pm

  4. I would have watched the apprentice, but was busy last night, so it could have been 692,001, however if the ratings are this bad by the end of the month it won’t be on at the same time, and then I will loose track of it and never see the ending. I imagine its tedious, damn my love of ‘reality’ tv.

  5. Matt.A
    29 Sep 09
    1:25 pm

  6. Hmm. I watched The Apprentice as Im a big fan of the US version. Mark Bouris is no Donald Trump that’s for sure! Where’s the charisma? Someone more recognisable would have been a better move.

  7. Renee
    29 Sep 09
    1:26 pm

  8. Perhaps if it didnt start so late (9.30pm) more of the population could watch it… It finished just in time for the mobile/text booby ads to start!…
    I liked it but not enough to stay up late for…

  9. Ben Shepherd
    29 Sep 09
    1:29 pm

  10. i reckon harold mitchell would have made a good trump type character.

    plus he could have brought advertisers on board

  11. C K Cash
    29 Sep 09
    1:40 pm

  12. No surprise that it was not going to rate well…it should have been made years ago when the Trump one was popular…a FAIL for the Nine Network….

  13. C K Cash
    29 Sep 09
    1:41 pm

  14. It will probably get bumped to late night

  15. lloyd
    29 Sep 09
    1:52 pm

  16. Bouris certainly was quite boring. Sure he made some money in his time, but he doesnt have near the personality that Trump or ‘Siralan’ in the UK had, and those two guys were a huge part of the attraction of the show. I think this might improve with time, i’d be very surprised if it tanks totally. If it does its because of a piss-weak attempt at promoting the show from 9, i dont think they did nearly enough.

  17. C K Cash
    29 Sep 09
    1:57 pm

  18. Think how much they have spent promoing the show…Also tough to put it up against a new drama series that seems interesting…

    Not everyone is interested in “business”….young people and old people don’t really care for it.

  19. DD
    29 Sep 09
    2:23 pm

  20. I have been a huge fan of the apprentice – until now! What an absolute load of tired old rubbish. Where do they find all these people who hi-5 when they ‘score a deal’? Do people like this still really exist?

    As for the Trump character – BORING! zzzzzzzzz

    Scrap it now 9. I reckon at least half of the 692K will switch off next week.

    Love love loved Flash Forward – I think it’s going to be a winner.

  21. C K Cash
    29 Sep 09
    2:34 pm

  22. Agree with you DD….Aussies are not typically a hi-fiving culture like that, where the Seppos are… From the promo footage, it reminded me of either a car yard or some other dodgy sales team

  23. Great Strategy
    29 Sep 09
    3:19 pm

  24. I think they could have tried to put Apprentice @ an earlier timeslot. Although they advertised it quite a bit, the people seeing the ads for it may have already been doing something else by the time 9:30pm rolled through.

    I think having Hey Hey Its Saturday on Wednesday night will also be a flop… people expect the reunion to be on.. hm… maybe… Saturday????

  25. C K Cash
    29 Sep 09
    3:28 pm

  26. I think HHIS will rate okay…don’t know if they can make a new season but I think nostalga will win over for Wednesday….The Paul Hogan Show was just shy of one million viewers…

    Ten are putting up Celebrity MasterChef (god help us!) against it..

  27. Matthew Gain
    30 Sep 09
    8:53 am

  28. I watched and enjoyed The Apprentice though I came at the show with a legacy of watching and enjoying The UK Apprentice with Sir Alan. Like most good reality TV shows I expect the series will increase its ratings as we get to the pointy end of the competition, assuming that is that Nine doesn’t move the time slot and if the shows generates some decent PR.

    In the UK around the launch it was impossible to miss PR for the show. There was profiles of the contestants, commentary from previous winners and losers about the challenges and then eviction programs directly after the show with big name celebs. There was PR here, but the quick poll of some people I know suggests it missed the mark by missing them. Hopefully this will increase as the tension builds?

    Regardless, as I said at the start, I watched the show and enjoyed it. I will be tuning in again next week.


  1. The Apprentice Australia – where was the PR? « MatthewGain.com