Entertainment

Molly Meldrum miniseries 'Molly' watched by a staggering 2.6 million viewers on Seven

Seven's Molly miniseries has recorded astronomical ratings during its Sunday night premiere, with 2.6 million tuning in around the country.

Trailer: Molly

The greatest superstars of a generation. You know them because of one man. Molly.

The two-part special on music industry icon and Countdown host Molly Meldrum won the evening, beating runner up My Kitchen Rules by 400,000 viewers.

In the capital cities, 1.79 million watched Molly, compared to 1.39 million viewers for MKR.

Samuel Johnson received acclaim as Molly Meldrum in Molly.
Samuel Johnson received acclaim as Molly Meldrum in Molly. 

The ratings for the biopic are on par with last year's MasterChef finale on Ten, which recorded its best ratings in four years with 2.7 million.

The results will come as a win to Seven who are already riding high with My Kitchen Rules, which remains Australia's highest rating television series.

Reviews for Molly on Twitter were universal in their praise of actor Samuel Johnson's portrayal of the enigmatic music icon.

"Samuel Johnson is incredible as Molly - how tough would that role be? And he nailed it without resorting to parody, just passion," tweeted one person.

Samuel Johnson, right, as Molly Meldrum and Ben Gerrard as transgender friend Caroline Jenkins in <i>Molly</i>.
Samuel Johnson, right, as Molly Meldrum and Ben Gerrard as transgender friend Caroline Jenkins in MollyPhoto: Ben Timony/Seven

"Wow, Samuel Johnson has absolutely nailed Molly. Brilliant portrayal," said another.

"Samuel is Molly! The twitches, the nerves, the anxiety, the big heart. Wonderful."

For Seven, Molly Meldrum's bad turn is a publicity boon.
For Seven, Molly Meldrum's bad turn is a publicity boon. 

Publicity leading up to Molly had been fraught, with Meldrum revealing he went to Thailand to escape the attention surrounding the series.

"When I left Melbourne I was more sick than anybody of seeing Molly on TV all the time," he wrote in the Herald Sun.

It was in Thailand that the 73-year-old suffered another fall, which was conveniently detailed in exclusive coverage by Seven News.

Johnson also pulled the plug on a radio interview just minutes before it was supposed to go to air last week with rumours he arrived at the Adelaide studio "barefoot and dishevelled".

In January, Johnson revealed he was "dead broke" after not being cast in any more roles since Molly wrapped filming in early 2015.

Molly is on Seven on Sunday at 8.30pm.