TV ratings show a not-so deep side of us

WE'RE a nation of fast-food TV junkies, bingeing on sport and reality.

But is that really you and me? Yes, if the list of the 100 most-watched shows for 2014 is anything to go by.

The ratings year winds up on November 29 (you know, the time of year for explosions, fires and mysterious death-cliffhangers on Neighbours and Home and Away).

Check out the top five programs of the year: State of Origin second match (4.064million average audience, metro-regional combined); State of Origin first match (3.981m); rugby league grand final (3.965m); My Kitchen Rules winner announced (3.793m) and the AFL grand final (3.643m).

Evidently, we are a nation of beer-swilling footy bogans with a food Dream. And I am appalled AFL has been beaten not once, but thrice, by that other sport with the oval ball.

The Block Glasshouse rated well, and the excellent INXS miniseries took out positions 13 and 17.

Something to note, although CEO Hamish McLennan would prefer we brushed it under the carpet, is that you have to scroll all the way down to number 41 to find the first mention of Network Ten.

It shows 2.63m people tuned in to see the winner announced in Masterchef.

Every single entry above it is a tussle between Seven and Nine.

Other notable mentions are A Place To Call Home coming in at number 76 with 1.794m viewers; Sunday Night just pipping 60 Minutes at the post, at numbers 79 and 80 respectively; and the Big Brother launch show at number 100, with 1.547m viewers.

Original dramas The Killing Field and Love Child take up spots in the middle of the list and Downton Abbey came in at number 67.

An interesting question is will this sport-reality trend continue into 2015?

How often have you heard people say they are sick of all the cooking shows and all the renovation shows? There is undeniably a flabby glut The Biggest Loser cannot cure.

I think it's time for the tide to turn in comedy and drama's favour.

But of course, these are expensive pursuits that demand resources. They may not be as popular an option, especially in the wake of budget cuts to the ABC and SBS.

Topics:  opinion rebecca marshall

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