With 1.3 million viewers tuned in, the Julian Assange telemovie, Underground, has been heralded as a reversal of fortune for the embattled Ten Network.
But one swallow does not a summer make, and one night of excellent ratings cannot turn around an entire network, or a ratings year.
All eyes are on Ten's coming 2013 sales launch for indicators the network can arrest its dramatic decline in the past year. The launch, at which the chief executive James Warburton and chairman Lachlan Murdoch will unveil their vision for next year, will be held in Sydney on October 23.
Within Ten there was unease about Underground, and fear that despite its high quality it would be damaged by the ratings malaise that has claimed a number of scalps, notably the talent shows Everybody Dance Now and I Will Survive.
However, those fears proved unfounded and Underground managed to draw 1.34 million viewers, peaked at 1.55 million and won the three key demographics: 16-39-year-olds, 18-49-year-olds and 25-54-year-olds.
The telemovie, which starred Alex Williams as a 17-year-old Assange, told the story of a group of Melbourne hackers, including Assange, who hacked into US military computers and attracted the attention of international authorities. Michael Idato