Redfern Now debuts with 721,000

ABC’s new drama Redfern Now premiered last night on ABC1 as the second most watched show in its timeslot behind Seven’s Beauty and the Geek.

Billed as the first TV series completely written, directed and produced by Indigenous Australians, the six-part series follows six different stories of life in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Redfern.

Last night’s episode, directed by Satellite Boy’s Catriona McKenzie and starring Leah Purcell, debuted with 721,000 total viewers, across the five city metro markets, according to preliminary ratings from OzTAM.

The drama, which was 12th for the night, beat Nine’s Australian Federal Police which rated 702,000 and Ten’s Law and Order: SVU  on 681,000.

Cameras began rolling in May on the series which is produced by Darren Dale and Miranda Dear with Cracker’s Jimmy McGovern as story producer. The Sapphires’ Deborah Mailman and Sheri Sebbens as well as director Wayne Blair will appear in future episodes with Blair, Purcell and Bran Nue Dae’s Rachel Perkins also directing. The Straits’ Jimi Bani and Dean Daley-Jones of Mad Bastards will also appear. The series received funding from Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

Seven’s Beauty and the Geek not only won its time slot but also was the number one show across all three key advertising demographics, 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54, for the night.

Nine’s Big Brother from 7-8pm rated 926,000 in total viewers and was second for the night and first in its time slot across all three key advertising demos. In 18-49 and 25-54, Big Brother Confidential, at 8pm, was third for the night and first in its time slot. It was fourth in 16-39 for the night and second in its time slot behind Seven’s How I Met Your Mother at 8pm which rated 715,000 in total viewers.

Brynne: My Bedazzled Life slipped in the ratings again. The Seven show rated 644,000 in the 7.30pm time slot, down from last week’s episode which aired at 8pm and rated 680,000.

The Chaser’s Unbelievable Truth, At 9.30pm, rated 532,000 in total viewers and first in its time slot. It was also first across the three key advertising demos.

Nine won the night in channel share with 20.2%, beating Seven on 19.9%. It was effectively a tie for third place with ABC1 and Ten both receiving 14.2% share. SBS1 was sixth for the night with 4.4% behind Nine’s multi-channel GO! on 5.5%.

Thursday’s top 15 shows
1. Seven News – Seven 1.046m
2. Nine News – Nine 1.027m
3. Beauty and the Geek – Seven 1.026m
4. A Current Affair – Nine 1.017m
5. ABC News – ABC 0.950m
6. Big Brother – Nine 0.926m
7. Today Tonight – Seven 0.897m
8. Home and Away – Seven 0.883m
9. 7:30 – ABC 0.878m
10. Big Brother – Confidential – Nine 0.783m
11. Catalyst – ABC 0.751m
12. Redfern Now – ABC 0.721m
13. How I Met Your Mother – Seven 0.715m
14. AFP – Nine 0.702m
15. Law and Order: SVU – Ten 0.681m

Thursday’s channel share
Nine: 20.2%
Seven: 19.9%
ABC1: 14.2%
Ten: 14.2%
GO!: 5.5%
SBS1: 4.4%
Eleven: 4.0%
7mate: 3.5%
Gem: 3.0%
One: 2.9%
ABC2: 2.8%
7TWO 2.7%
ABC News 24: 1.2%
ABC3: 1.1%
SBS2: 0.4%

Ratings data is copyright OzTAM and may not be reproduced, published or communicated without the prior written consent of OzTAM.


  1. Mark
    2 Nov 12
    1:01 pm

  2. What a disappointing first episode of Redfern Now. Was very dreary and sanitized. Leah Purcell is amazing, but the rest of the cast seemed to be very dull. Lacked soul. Shame.

  3. Nic Halley
    2 Nov 12
    2:06 pm

  4. Fantastic stuff.

  5. Andy
    2 Nov 12
    2:06 pm

  6. Disagree Mark… thought it was great!! cannot wait for the next ep

  7. B
    2 Nov 12
    2:13 pm

  8. The second episode was shown at The Block premier on Wednesday night and was very well received. More humour and great characters. I hope it does well.

  9. Neocube Champ
    2 Nov 12
    2:48 pm

  10. Thought it was one of the best pieces of Australian TV I have seen. Was moved to tears in the first 30 minutes and it got better from there.I grew up in the area so I guess there is a particularly strong connection there.

    Looking forward to more.

  11. Dan
    2 Nov 12
    3:28 pm

  12. I thought it was fantastic and look forward to watching next week. Leah Purcell was extraordinary, as were the children (particularly the young son) of her character’s sister. Very well scripted too.

  13. Scoop
    2 Nov 12
    4:33 pm

  14. I was disappointed and tuned out after 20 mins. Poor acting from everyone other than Leah Purcell.

  15. Tony
    2 Nov 12
    4:44 pm

  16. It was certainly a comedown after the quality of ABC’s The Slap.

  17. Mike
    4 Nov 12
    3:05 pm

  18. Dreary. “Worthy”. Ugghh.
    Where’s that unique, searingly dry sense of humour that you get from regular Aboriginal people (not inner city arts types) in everyday conversation?
    Why can’t they capture that? It’s out there if the producers would only listen – or perhaps they do and come editorial committee excises the humour from the scripts.
    With the legendary Jimmy McGovern involved, it’s hard to see how the humour was so absent. Is everyone so obsessed with “issues” that they forget the objective is to entertain?

  19. The Grim Reaper
    5 Nov 12
    3:13 pm

  20. I’m with Mark. Opportunity lost. I thought the acting was very wooden & second rate. Zero emotion, with unrealistic reactions. It was all too ‘nice’, which I doubt is what a real life scenario of that nature would be like. Would a husband who is portrayed as distant, argumentative & lazy really react so nonchalantly to wasting a $5k holiday?? There was no bite to it at all.

  21. Lauren
    12 Nov 12
    8:26 pm

  22. This show has some amazing acting ESP from the women :-)
    My mum and I just happened to stumble across it when changing channels very glad we did ! Will keep watching