What Is Australia’s Favourite TV Show?

What Is Australia’s Favourite TV Show?

If you judge by the ratings, then the programs we’re most fond of are The Block, Masterchef and other reality/talent show staples. But if you ask people which shows they really love to watch, it turns out that we’re much keener on comedy. And the show we like the most? Step forward, The Big Bang Theory.

[via Mumbrella]

According to a Roy Morgan survey, these are the top 10 shows across all Australians:

  1. The Big Bang Theory
  2. Packed To The Rafters
  3. Two And A Half Men
  4. Top Gear
  5. NCIS
  6. Spicks & Specks
  7. MasterChef Australia
  8. Bones
  9. Criminal Minds
  10. How I Met Your Mother

To be sure, many of these shows do well in the ratings (last night’s episode of Two And A Half Men pulled nearly 2.3 million viewers, though that’s likely down to curiosity over Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen). But for some of them, enthusiasm doesn’t automatically translate into large ratings: Top Gear has seen a steady decline in viewership ever since it jumped to Channel Nine.

For some shows in the list, sheer ubiquity may be an explanation. The Big Bang Theory itself is endlessly shown on free-to-air and pay TV, and many of the other programs here have similar saturation levels. But not all of them: Packed To The Rafters only runs for half the year and isn’t widely repeated.

The other factor that’s hard to track is how much people go back and rewatch these shows via online services. To date, those numbers have been dwarfed by general TV viewing, but that may well change as broadband speeds (and download caps) increase.

Lifehacker’s weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.


  • IMHO DVD sales are a better indication of what people *really* love to watch. Someone might answer “Packed to the Rafters” because it happens to be the last thing they watched and they liked the episode; or for a bunch of other reasons. However nobody buys a TV show on DVD unless they (or someone they’re giving it to) likes the show so much that they want to see it again.

    Firefly is probably the best example of this.

      • Shows filmed in front of a live studio audience are the shows most likely to have a laugh track added. They don’t use the audiences laughter during the episode. Before the show begins filming they have “contests” between the left and right side of the audience for laughter. They add that laughter to the episode. They did the same with Gladiators (first incarnation in the mid-90s) no one was cheering while the contest was going on. That soundtrack was added from pre-contest cheering competitions.

  • 1/ The Big Bang Theory – Most Def 🙂
    2/ Packed To The Rafters – tried but couldn’t stay interested :}
    3/ Two And A Half Men – Not sure any more?
    4/ Top Gear – Started good went to drivel :{
    5/ NCIS – rubbish
    6/ Spicks & Specks – excellent, pity it’s dying next year
    7/ MasterChef Australia – garbage
    8/ Bones – rubbish
    9/ Criminal Minds – started well slowly turning to crap
    10/How I Met Your Mother – Meh…
    Now if they could start airing more shows like Star Gate Universe, Firefly, Deadwood, Fringe and they haven’t even tried Game of Thrones #]

    • 1/ The Big Bang Theory – Never seen it, but my fiancee thinks it’s massively overrated.
      2/ Packed To The Rafters – Never seen it.
      3/ Two And A Half Men – I’m embarrassed to be a human
      4/ Top Gear – Still entertaining despite being the same format for so many years
      5/ NCIS – Never seen it, as an actual scientist, I can’t bear to watch these sort of shows.
      6/ Spicks & Specks – already a few years overdue for retirement… Would love to see it resurrected with new people in a few years though.
      7/ MasterChef Australia – Never seen it
      8/ Bones – Never seen it
      9/ Criminal Minds – Never seen it
      10/How I Met Your Mother – Never seen it

      Star Gate Universe – not interested
      Firefly – hugely entertaining
      Deadwood – superb TV
      Fringe – I’m going to have to look this up
      and Game of Thrones – possibly best show ever! (certainly the most true Book to TV adaptation)

  • From the source article: “Most loved is based on free-to-air programs about which Australians aged 14+ agree with the statement ‘I really love to watch’.”

    Peer pressure/water cooler talk probably helps influence this a little. As does the possible responses (if you can only say agree/disagree then you will probably end up with a lot of people saying they agree on a show they kind of enjoy watching on occasion).

    Personally, only Top Gear makes the cut out of these shows for me. Then again, as a regular Channel BT viewer, most of these shows aren’t on my radar anymore.

  • I don’t know why anyone would choose to watch free-to-air and even worse, shows like these…

    With a bombardment of US Fall TV hitting us as we speak (Spielberg’s Terra Nova next Monday) and plenty of quality programming on (Breaking Bad this week anyone?) free-to-air is irrelevant, serving up lowest common denominator programming chock-full of ads for those remaining people who can only grasp “TV turn on – TV have channel A or B”.

  • I don’t know when TV execs will get the message.. BUT STOP REPEATING SHIT SHOWS!.. I reckon i’ve seen 2.5 men eps nearly 10 times when it ws sown at 6.30pm and now the same is happening with BigBangTheory. Seen a few of those eps nearly 4-5 times. Its a joke and a waste of time now days. Sadly so is TopGear and believe it or not MythBusters. Seen all the eps on repeats on various stations. Nothing much is new any more. And to say they are our fav shows by voting? Most of that is blown out of proportion cuz we’re not getting the choice. US TV gets a far brouder choice… Foxtell is a slightly bigger choice but not worth the money for the choice we get given. If we actualy had sitcoms that were new and decent instead of repeates from last seasons eps we would get a far better justification of what we realy like to watch! Wake up execs !!

  • The list mostly shows only those people who probably mostly don’t stream there media.

    Can’t be bothered with any of them (except S&S)…I tend to go online and find the stuff I actually want to watch…

  • I like how the big bang theory is number one.

    because its one of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched and can’t wait for next season to start,penny sexy and Sheldon (so wants to name my next kid sheldon) is awesome!

    • I don’t watch free-to-air or pay TV (repeat after repeat and the ads OMG all the ads !!)I BT everything far more convenient and to be honest Aus has such a more range of TV shows and takes months for em to get to Aus to only be cut and edited to the shit house like Spartacus

      People really have no choice but to download

  • Love BBT, but have fallen behind as it clashes with Mythbusters on Mondays.

    Packed to the Rafters:
    LOVED season 1 and rejoiced for worthwhile Aussie TV
    Liked season 2
    Tolerated season 3
    Despising current season

  • man, i’m getting really tired of Top Gear UK, it’s slowly becoming more and more “oh look at me, aren’t i very british? oh yes, look, now i’m making a snide comment…”

    the main reason i used to watch it, was due to see three guys looking like they were having fun screwing around in cars, and the UK version (at least to me) seems to be straying away from that, whereas Top Gear US is doing that more and more.

    • I agree with you on that, The quality of the show has dropped in recent seasons, i used to love the old cheap car challenges but for some reason BBC cut back on their funding and know its kinda showing.

      Andy Wilman, the exec producer of TG says that the show is closer to the end then it is to the beginning which i tend to agree, finish the show on a high before it turns to shit.

      Top Gear Australia can work, they have to ditch the 3 clowns and stop trying to make it the same as the UK version.

      But i am surprised that TGA hasnt done all that well, it wasnt that popular when it was on SBS a while back.

  • I’m a 27 year old man and I watch so little TV now it is ridiculous.

    My TV actually is turned off and unplugged 95% of the time.

    Australia is so far behind the rest of the world and is bombarded with ads and random ad break intervals. No thank you TV stations!

    I gotta watch the latest shows like Breaking Bad, Psych, Survivor and Game of Thrones online though 😀

    I also hate the new trend of cliche cross promotions between shows (or even in-show).

  • I would have thought Rugby League would have been the number 1. I think that list must not include sport. Rugby League has held about 3-4 spots in the highest ratings for about 10 years. State of Origin is always the highest.

  • Its a shame what Australian TV has become these days, Reality TV has destroyed good, light hearted television.

    I am a huge fan of Hey Hey its Saturday and it was a shame that channel 9 didnt renew but what i found amazing is that how “civilised” peoples sense of humor has become, i put civilised in quotes because they called the show stale but failed to realise that show was always that way even when it was on originally. Its like people now are more civilised and have a higher class humor but as the list shows that cannot be further from the truth.

    I watched the show The Joy of Sets last night and i found it enjoyable (im probably the only one) but the thing that i am waiting for is the inevitable axing. The one thing i applaud channel 9 for is taking risks by putting new shows which are original and not copies of what other channels are doing.

  • NCIS is one of my favourites, so I am glad to see that on the list.. I’m a little hurt to find Fringe not on the list though.. but at the same time that is understandable.

  • I have’nt tuned into free-to-air TV for over 2 years!

    I hate the the ads, the volume of the ads, the out of order screening, months/years for a particular show.

    Why would i rely on the TV heads to provide my viewing when i get any TV show from anywhere in the world about 1 – 3 hour after it has aired?? And i can watch it whenever i want?

    Too many down sides to watching TV – the internet has provided my viewing since 2004.

    However, if it is a good show you HAVE to purchase the DVD/bluray boxset, support the content that deserves it!

  • M*A*S*H
    “the series premiered in the US on September 17, 1972, and ended February 28, 1983, with the finale becoming the most watched television episode in U.S. television history with 105.97 million viewers (though one estimate said 125 million viewers).”

  • I’d say Top Gear’s dwindling ratings would also be due to Channel Nine’s inability to show them in consecutive order or all of them together. They still haven’t aired episodes of the latest UK season. As for TBBT, Ch. 9 kept teasing and promised us Season 4, but it took ages for them to show it. And then they moved it around. Their programming is messed up. So frustrating. We’ve gone back to getting our favourite shows online just because of the unreliability of the stupid Australian TV stations.

    • You do realise that with Top Gear, there were only 6 episodes to season 17? who cares if they were played out of order, its not like TG has a plot that needs to be followed week to week.

      Again with the TBBT, it could be due many factors outside channel 9’s control maybe its due to the fact that during our winter, its Americas summer and they have a break (like our television here) so what looks like channel 9 stooging us could be due to that fact and it could be what the broadcaster in America decides to send over, they might not send over all episodes at once for some reason or channel 9 are just padding out the season so it can last a little bit longer and keep audiences interested.

    • Seriously… do people have to complain about the smallest details?

      Out of order – Who cares? as i have said above its not like TG has a plot line that needs to be followed week by week.

      Constant repeats and none of the new episodes – both can be answered by lack of new episodes to play, season 17 only had 6 episodes to air in the first place.

      • I don’t think the repeats are specificaly what people are complaining about. Its the fact of.. we’ve been there done that. Why do we want to watch endless repeats of a program. Why can’t they find something more interesting to put on other than repeat the same thing over and over again which is what they seem to be doing.

  • God big bang theory would have to be my least favourite show i have ever had the displeasure of watching.

    Why are shows like this allowed to continue when great shows like firefly, invader zim and freaks and geeks (just to name a few) are cancelled by their networks?

    Seriously sick of ratings whores..

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