Karen Gillan, who plays Doctor Who’s latest companion Amy, will be watching the Yuletide offering at home with her ‘‘Whovian’’ mother.

Doctor Who was one of the most timeshifted and most iViewed shows of 2012

There's a theory around that Australians are watching less TV than they did five years ago, because we've been distracted by a multitude of other devices. It's wrong. This table shows the average number of viewers in prime time (6pm to 10pm) every two years since 2004. The only group that is watching less TV is people under 40, but that decline is more than balanced by growing numbers of people over 40.

Average audience 6pm to 10pm  2004     2006    2008   2010   2012

Total Free to air                             4.470m   4.357  4.216  4.362  4.538

The Voice

The Voice topped the year

Total Pay TV                                  0.469m   0.666  0.767  0.808  0.908

Viewers 16-39                               1.520m   1.513   1.411  1.465  1.497

Viewers over 40                             2.912m   3.024  3.116  3.250  3.457

The dig . . . grab from the opening credits of a recent <i>The Simpsons</i> episode.

The Simpsons promote their parent company Photo: YouTube

These were the most watched series of 2012 (based on top-rating episode): 1 The Voice (9) 2.52 million viewers in the mainland capitals; 2 My Kitchen Rules (7) 1.95m; 3 The Block (9) 1.74m; 4 Revenge (7) 1.74m; 5 Downton Abbey (7) 1.64m; 6 The X-Factor (7) 1.62m; 7 Packed To The Rafters (7) 1.55m; 8 Hamish and Andy's Euro Gap Year (1.39m); 9 MasterChef (10) 1.38m; 10 Seven News Sunday (7) 1.36m; 11 Nine news Sunday (9) 1.35m; 12 Sunday Night (7) 1.34m; 13 New Tricks (ABC) 1.34m; 14 The Big Bang Theory (9) 1.32m; 15 Underbelly Badness (9) 1.30m; 16 60 Minutes (9) 1.29m; 17 House Husbands (9) 1.28m; 18 Australia's Got Talent (7) 1.24m; 19 Winners and Losers (7) 1.24m; 20 Billy Connolly's Route 66 (7) 1.23m.

The most watched events were 1 The Voice Winner Announced (3.25m); 2 the AFL grand final presentation (3.22m); 3 The Block Winner Announced (3.06m); 4 My Kitchen Rules Winner Announced (2.89m); 5 Melbourne Cup race (2.77m); 6 State of Origin Rugby League Match 3 (2.69m); 7 Rugby League Grand Final (2.57m); 8 Revenge Episode 1 (2.38m); 9 Howzat! Kerry Packer's War Episode 1 (2.37m); 10 MasterChef Winner Announced (2.31m).

 

Actor Jim Caviezel and director Mel Gibson.

Mel explains how to interview politicians about their cooking Photo: Reuters / New Market Films

What's changed is that 60 per cent of us now watch TV while simultaneously operating on another device. And we don't necessarily watch TV shows at the time they are broadcast. Half of the households in Australia can record programs for later viewing.

And these were the most timeshifted shows (peak episodes):

Description       Channel    Consolidated audience    Overnight Timeshift

1       REVENGE-EP.1        Network 7         2,379,000 2,067,000 312,000

2       HOWZAT! KERRY PACKER'S WAR -PART1  Network 9         2,374,000 2,088,000 286,000

3       PACKED TO THE RAFTERS-EP.2    Network 7         1,520,000 1,250,000 270,000

4       HOMELAND EP 2   Network TEN   961,000    712,000    249,000

5       WINNERS & LOSERS-EP.2      Network 7         1,281,000 1,067,000 213,000

6       DOWNTON ABBEY Network 7         1,643,000 1,433,000 210,000

7       ALCATRAZ -MON  Network 9         604,000    395,000    209,000

8       MISSING-EP.2 Network 7         700,000    502,000    197,000

9       DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - FINAL       Network 7         567,000    374,000    193,000

10     JACK IRISH: BAD DEBTS Network ABC1 1,146,000 953,000    193,000

11     HOUSE HUSBANDS        Network 9         1,285,000 1,097,000 188,000

12     UNDERBELLY: BADNESS      Network 9         1,297,000 1,116,000  181,000

13     CALL THE MIDWIFE Network ABC1 1,167,000 989,000    178,000

14     OFFSPRING     Network TEN   1,014,000 837,000    177,000

15     ONCE UPON A TIME-SUN EP.2      Network 7         842,000    667,000    175,000

16     SHERLOCK     Network 9         945,000    770,000    175,000

17     DOCTOR WHO         Network ABC1 736,000    565,000    171,000

18     BONES-WED   Network 7         1,036,000 866,000    170,000

19     THE VOICE -TUE     Network 9         2,524,000 2,355,000 169,000

20     NCIS         Network TEN   1,134,000 968,000    167,000

 (OzTAM mainland capitals)

Among Free-to-air stations, these were the average audience shares, 6pm to midnight: Seven and its digitals 30.6 per cent; Nine and its digitals 28.2; Ten and digitals 18.8; ABC and digitals 17.0; SBS and digitals 5.5.

Pay TV averaged 22 per cent of total viewing between 6am and midnight, and the most watched (non-sport) shows included Grand Designs Australia, The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Modern Family and Futurama. More details as soon as ASTRA supplies them.

This was the ABC's account of itself:

Top ABC1 Programs by Peak Episode (5 Cities): New Tricks (16/11/12), audience of 1.34 million; Call the Midwife (16/11/12), 1.22 million; ABC News (10/09/12), 1.2 million; Midsomer Murders (26/02/12), 1.16 million; Gruen Planet (03/10/12), 1.15 million; Jack Irish: Bad Debts (14/10/12), 1.15 million; Grand Designs (15/01/12), 1.14 million; Australian Story (Diana Bliss: Her Hour upon the Stage 25/06/12) 1.13m; Death in Paradise (30/06/12) 1.13m; Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (24/02/12) 1.1m.

Other ABC Program Highlights:

 *   7.30: its audience has grown throughout the year, achieving milestone ratings
figures during Q4. The peak episode on September 10 was the highest rating episode
since the 7.30 brand launched, with 917,000 viewers.
 *   Four Corners: Gina Rinehart: The Power of One was the highest rating Four
Corners episode since 2009, delivering a metro audience of 1.1 million.
 *   Q&A: In 2012, Q&A has delivered its most successful year since launching in
2008. The top episode of 2012 was the Religion and Atheism Debate (Pell/Dawkins)
which attracted a metro audience of 966,000 (ABC1+ABC24).
 *   Rake: Series 2 delivered over a million viewers on average across ABC1+
ABC2, outperforming the first series. The season final delivered a peak audience of
1.1 million on ABC1+ABC2.
 *   Great Southern Land was ABC's most successful Australian documentary series in
2012, with a premiere peak episode of 1 million viewers.

ABC iview:

In 2012, ABC iview program plays have grown from 8.3 million in March to 12.5
million in October - the highest ever number of iview program plays recorded in one
month.
Driving this growth has been the popularity of iview via iOS devices. Following the
launch of the iview iPhone App in June, iOS devices are now representing 45% of
total iview plays.
Traffic to the iview website has continued to grow in 2012, with September recording
the highest ever monthly traffic to the iview site (1.1 million visits and 4.1
million visitors).
In September, iview released preview episodes of Doctor Who, Series 7, which
recorded a total of 889,000 iview plays. Episode 1 recorded 76,000 iview plays in
its first night of release, the highest ever number of iview streams in one day.

And this was how we watched in the week ending December 1:

Annabel Crabb is bigger than Jesus. Jim Caviezel is best known for playing Jesus under the direction of Mel Gibson. Now that the ABC has moved Kitchen Cabinet to the mothership, it's beating Caviezel's series Person of Interest.

A reader asks how The Project is going, and we respond with data -- see below. Another reader remarks on the promised return of Spicks and Specks, and we discover that the ABC is getting great value out of old episodes before the new faces arrive. Anything you'd like to know? This column lives to serve. Our charts also reveal the audience for such silly season specials as The Simpsons Back On Ten, The Clintons, Grimm, Problems, The Wedding Band and Once Upon A Time. Have you found any rare gems in the Silly Season Schedule?

This was Pay TV's account of itself: "Live: Cricket: Big Bash League (344,000) on FOX SPORTS 2 was the highest rated broadcast for the week followed by Grand Designs Australia (173,000/ 197,000*) on The LifeStyle Channel. Also in the top 10 non-sport broadcasts (listed by channel): Modern Family (109,000/121,000*), Last Man Standing (98,000/101,000*) and The Simpsons (89,000/129,000) on FOX8; Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (93,000/ 111,000*) on Showtime Premiere; Hardcore Pawn (89,000) and Megatruckers (80,000) on A&E; The Walking Dead (88,000/99,000*) on FX; New Tricks (80,000/ 96,000*) on UKTV; and Kung Fu Panda (80,000) on Nickelodeon. Also in the top sport broadcasts: Cricket Test Aus V RSA (103,000) on FOX SPORTS 2."

What Australia watched, week ending December 1

Description Total         Sydney      Melbourne Brisbane    Adelaide    Perth

1       NINE NEWS SUNDAY   Network 9   1,315,000  366,000     468,000     238,000     109,000     133,000

2       SEVEN NEWS - SUN    Network 7   1,172,000  347,000     249,000     260,000     139,000     176,000

3       SUNDAY NIGHT  Network 7   1,108,000  313,000     293,000     222,000     106,000     175,000

4       THIRD TEST - AUSTRALIA V SOUTH AFRICA SESSION 3         Network 9   1,104,000  296,000     396,000         213,000     112,000     88,000

5       NINE NEWS         Network 9   1,065,000  306,000     344,000     230,000     93,000       92,000

6       60 MINUTES       Network 9   1,033,000  265,000     320,000     218,000     87,000       143,000

7       NEW TRICKS-FRI        Network ABC1     1,028,000  254,000     302,000     200,000     114,000     158,000

8       SEVEN NEWS     Network 7   1,023,000  243,000     238,000     225,000     128,000     187,000

9       SEVEN NEWS - SAT    Network 7   974,000     209,000     274,000     238,000     106,000     146,000

10     BORDER PATROL      Network 7   966,000     293,000     282,000     182,000     94,000       114,000

11     THE BIG BANG THEORY -TUE      Network 9   917,000     278,000     247,000     199,000     85,000       107,000

12     DYNAMO: MAGICIAN IMPOSSIBLE         Network 7   898,000     249,000     245,000     171,000     93,000         141,000

13     NINE NEWS SATURDAY       Network 9   888,000     239,000     347,000     162,000     96,000       44,000

14     TODAY TONIGHT        Network 7   878,000     229,000     204,000     183,000     110,000     153,000

15     ABC NEWS UPDATE   Network ABC1     878,000     219,000     252,000     182,000     98,000       128,000

16     ABC NEWS-SA   Network ABC1     865,000     237,000     283,000     135,000     91,000       120,000

17     ABC NEWS         Network ABC1     856,000     260,000     255,000     137,000     91,000       113,000

18     MOTORWAY PATROL         Network 7   825,000     269,000     228,000     156,000     73,000       99,000

19     DOC MARTIN RPT       Network ABC1     797,000     208,000     236,000     163,000     83,000       107,000

20     A CURRENT AFFAIR   Network 9   795,000     228,000     266,000     170,000     63,000       68,000

21     MODERN FAMILY MON RPT         Network TEN       793,000     203,000     256,000     175,000     66,000         93,000

25     BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS SUMMER    Network 7   755,000     225,000     199,000     155,000     77,000         98,000

26     MICHAEL PALIN'S BRAZIL    Network ABC1     738,000     222,000     190,000     136,000     65,000       125,000

30     HOMELAND        Network TEN       688,000     200,000     226,000     110,000     52,000       100,000

35     ONCE UPON A TIME    Network 7   673,000     195,000     188,000     129,000     60,000       100,000

36     JAMIE'S 15 MINUTE MEALS TUES Network TEN       670,000     195,000     210,000     118,000     72,000         76,000

38     GRIMM       Network 7   660,000     207,000     186,000     109,000     85,000       74,000

41     WEDDING BAND Network TEN       649,000     157,000     218,000     125,000     52,000       96,000

43     WALLANDER-SU         Network ABC1     648,000     202,000     159,000     93,000       76,000       118,000

47     A MOODY CHRISTMAS        Network ABC1     612,000     149,000     200,000     101,000     60,000       103,000

48     ELDERS WITH ANDREW DENTON: DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH RPT     Network ABC1     611,000     178,000         165,000     111,000     64,000       93,000

49     REDFERN NOW Network ABC1     604,000     185,000     143,000     122,000     68,000       86,000

50     GREY'S ANATOMY-TUE       Network 7   604,000     158,000     184,000     117,000     63,000       82,000

58     RICK STEIN'S SPANISH CHRISTMAS SPECIAL        Network ABC1     568,000     178,000     173,000     88,000         60,000       69,000

68     KITCHEN CABINET      Network ABC1     539,000     154,000     152,000     109,000     55,000       69,000

70     PERSON OF INTEREST       Network 9   526,000     126,000     192,000     101,000     54,000       54,000

72     THE PROJECT   Network TEN       504,000     132,000     165,000     114,000     39,000       55,000

73     GRIMM-EP.2       Network 7   500,000     177,000     108,000     92,000       62,000       61,000

(OzTAM mainland capitals)

 

This is the daily update of The Sun-Herald's Who We Are column by David Dale, who teaches Communications at UTS, Sydney. He is the author of The Little Book of Australia - A snapshot of Who We Are (Allen and Unwin). For continuing conversation about Australian attitudes, bookmark The Tribal Mind.