Nine finds its voice: talent show hits right note for viewers
Channel Nine has found its voice.
The once-dominant network, more recently battered into second place by Channel Seven under the leadership of former Nine CEO David Leckie, has fought back.
The second episode of Nine's new talent series The Voice delivered an extraordinary 2.54 million viewers.
Ratings hit ... from left, The Voice's Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Joel Madden and Seal.
It is a significant lift from Sunday night's debut, which saw 2.1 million tune in.
A lift in ratings that significant suggests word of mouth about the show is extremely positive.
Seven launched its own talent franchise Australia's Got Talent against it last night, but it drew only 1.19 million viewers.
New series ... Australia's Got Talent judges Brian McFadden, Dannii Minogue and Kyle Sandilands.
Australia's Got Talent's numbers will undoubtedly build in coming weeks, but the massive margin between the two shows - more than 1.3 million last night - means that fight back will be tough.
Nine also launched a new season of its renovation reality series The Block last night. That was watched by 1.4 million viewers.
It is too early to know if Nine can parlay the ratings turnaround into longer-term recovery, but with the London Olympics later this year, there is every indication we may be seeing the first signs of real recovery after several years in the wilderness.
It has been a tough week for Seven, which comes off a market-leading position thanks to the 1.5-2 million viewer audiences for its own show, My Kitchen Rules.
Nine is traditioinally unable to launch large-scale programming franchises until after Easter because of its cricket commitments.
As a result, all of Nine's eggs were effectively in the one basket, with a post-Easter launch for The Voice, The Block and the still to air Celebrity Apprentice.
Sunday night was the first night of ratings post-Easter, and Nine made a solid start with 1.8 million watching the TV Week Logie Awards red carpet, 1.3 million watching the Logies telecast and 2.1 million tuned into The Voice.
Against those programs, Seven's Dancing with the Stars, even with Nine's former queen of daytime Kerri-Anne Kennerley, took a hiding to 1.1 million viewers.
And in true television style, there is still more after the break. Nine will launch Celebrity Apprentice this week, and Ten will launch a new season of MasterChef in coming weeks.