Nine faces accusations of racism as 694,000 tune in for 60 Minutes report on Meghan Markle

The Karl Stefanovic-fronted ‘investigation’ into where it all went wrong for public perceptions of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has pulled 694,000 metro viewers overnight, according to the preliminary OzTAM ratings.

The show copped pre-emptive accusations of sensationalism and racism when it released its promo last week, however Nine said people should watch the program before passing judgement.

Was the program racist?

Some viewers also expressed disdain for Stefanovic fronting the program, when he himself has been the subject of tabloid scrutiny and judgement. Other viewers were concerned about the inclusion of UK commentator Katie Hopkins.

Nine declined to comment today.

With the addition of regional viewers, 60 Minutes had 966,000 viewers last night.

Despite the controversy, last night was very much Nine’s night, with the primary channel securing a 23.2% share.

Nine’s The Block was the most-watched program overall with 1.145m metro viewers (1.573m total), and Nine News beat Seven News in the metro markets (1.058m to 977,000). With the addition of regional viewers, however, Seven News crept ahead (1.494m to 1.476m).

Seven’s entertainment offering Australia’s Got Talent had 700,000 in the five capital cities, and 1.124m in total. Its current affairs offering Sunday Night had 390,000 metro viewers, which climbed to 648,000 with the addition of the regions.

Day Five of the fourth Ashes test also gave Nine’s multi-channel Gem a mighty bump, with session one securing 810,000 metro viewers, and 1.112m nationally. Session two had 477,000 in the metro markets and 635,000 in total.

The solid performance of The Ashes gave Gem an audience share of 17.8%, well ahead of the primary channels for SBS (5.7%), Seven (15.7%), ABC (8.6%), and Ten (6.5%).

Nine Network’s programs also dominated the key advertising demographics of those aged 16 to 39, 18 to 49, and 25 to 54. The Block topped all three, with The Ashes, 60 Minutes and Nine News also doing well. Seven News snuck into fifth place for those aged 25 to 54.

Last night also saw Ten kick off the second year of its Pilot Week experiment, with 175,000 tuning in to Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians. The show had a national audience of 254,000.

Ten says it determines Pilot Week’s successful programs based on viewing figures and consumer sentiment.

Ten asks consumers: What did you think?

Last year, following Pilot Week, Trial By Kyle, Taboo, Saturday Night Rove (then Bring Back Saturday Night), and Kinne Tonight were commissioned for runs in 2019.

Trial By Kyle’s 2018 Pilot had an audience of 385,000 metro viewers last year, and is yet to have its 2019 run.

Kinne Tonight’s 2018 Pilot Week Run had 404,000 metro viewers, making it the most popular in terms of overnight numbers for the experiment. It premiered to 389,000 metro viewers in May.

Taboo had 277,000 during Pilot Week in 2018, and had 309,000 for its first outing this year.

And Rove McManus’ Bring Back Saturday Night had a 2018 Pilot Week audience of 203,000. It was commissioned for a six-episode run in 2019. Its premiere episode had 244,000 metro viewers, however this fell to 138,000 for episode two. It was subsequently axed by Ten.

Overall last night, the network rankings remained the same as for the primary channels.

Nine Network had a huge 45.9%, while Seven Network was on second on 22.7%. ABC Network had 12.2%, while. Network Ten had 11.4%, and SBS 7.7%.


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