Jono and Ben Big at 7.30

Jono and Ben’s 7.30 Thursday debut on Three last week didn’t excite critics but network executives would have been heartened by the ratings.

The Spinoff headlined its review: “Jono and Ben was a hot mess in a hot tub – and not in a good way.”

And Stuff’s Jane Bowron said: “The show carried too many pre-recorded sequences and old segments to make it feel live-ish.

“Frankly it all seemed a tad too Dunedin Toga Party, particularly the Guy Williams Show interview with Josh Thomson from The Project with its nod to inarticulate Kiwi male speak.”

But the premiere won the 7.30 hour with 18-49 and 18-39 year-olds, averaging 4.2% of the former and 4.3% of the latter.

However, it did finish third among Three’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds (3.9%), who favoured TVNZ 1’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces (5.3%) and TVNZ 2’s Men in Black 3 (4.3%).

Jono and Ben’s appeal would have been helped by that night’s edition of The Project featuring Paul Henry as a guest host, which improved the panel show’s ratings enough to beat TVNZ 1’s Seven Sharp in not just the 25-54 demo but also with viewers 18-39 and 18-49.

Last week’s launch of The Project and Jono and Ben, and the return of 7 Days, contributed to Three winning the week in the 25-54 demo for the first time in six months.

Married at First Sight Australia won all three of its nights in this contest, as did the movies Hercules, GarfieldHot Fuzz and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

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