HDTV Ratings: Sons of Anarchy, The Event, Modern Family

TV3’s Sons of Anarchy ended its first season last night as the network’s highest-rating hour.

It drew 7.6% of TV3’s traditional audience, 18-49 year-olds, to earn a 23.5% channel share opposite TV2’s Austin Powers in Goldmember, which averaged 7.9/24 over two hours.

The groovy spy spoof dominated against both Anarchy and lead-in Survivor: Nicaragua but was beaten in its last quarter hour by the bikie drama’s cliffhanger finale.

With the demo TV3 is targeting this year, 25-54 year-olds, Anarchy averaged 7.8/25.4 and easily beat TV One’s Real Life doco (5.8/17.9).

TV3 will be as delighted with Anarchy’s success as it will be disappointed with The Event’s failure.

In a sign of how financially stretched MediaWorks TV is, programmers took the unusual step of abandoning The Event on the eve of its double-episode mid-season finale.

With ratings having slumped to 4.1% of 18-49 year-olds (10.3 share) and 4.3% of 25-54 year-olds (10.9 share), the network lost its nerve — instead of rewarding loyal fans of the conspiracy drama by playing it in primetime for one more week, it abruptly dumped The Event post-Nightline with scant explanation.

Not surprisingly, this week’s double-episode drew only 2.4% of 18-49 year-olds (13.9 share) and 2% of 25-54 year-olds (22 share).

In a sad reflection of modern viewing tastes, The Event’s 8.30pm replacement, a re-run of the movie, Old School, drew nearly double the viewership of the previous week’s episode — although this still didn’t justify TV3’s bad faith with followers of The Event.

Meanwhile, TV3’s HD sitcom Modern Family struggles to find the love it deserves, coming a distant third behind TV One’s MasterChef UK and TV2’s Big Bang Theory re-runs in key demos.

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