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In the archive
Australian content on television

All-time top-rating Australian mini-series on television, 1978–2009


2001–2009

Rank Title Year Network Total people (‘000) Rating1
1 Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Episode 1) 2009 9 2,582 17.7
2 Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities 2009 9 2,127 14.6
3 My Brother Jack (Part 1) 2001 10 1,745 13.3
4 Underbelly 2008 9 1,707 12.0
5 Jessica (Part 1) 2004 10 1,583 11.6
6 On the Beach (Part 1) 2001 7 1,526 11.6
7 Jessica (Part 2) 2004 10 1,570 11.5
8 Mary Bryant (Part 1) 2005 10 1,562 11.3
9 Sea Patrol 2007 9 1,523 10.8
10 Changi (Part 1) 2001 ABC 1,286 9.8
11 Sea Patrol II 2008 9 1,374 9.7
12 Mary Bryant (Part 2) 2005 10 1,328 9.6
13 After the Deluge (Part 1) 2003 10 1,298 9.6
14 Do or Die (Part 1) (Australia/UK) 2001 7 1,235 9.4
15 Sea Patrol 2009 9 1,332 9.1
16 Sea Patrol (Episode 1) 2009 9 1,284 8.8
17 The Farm (Part 1) 2001 ABC 1,157 8.8
18 Sea Patrol (Episode 2) 2009 9 1,244 8.5
19 The Shark Net (Part 1) 2003 ABC 1,051 7.8
20 After the Deluge (Part 2) 2003 10 1,024 7.6

Source: OzTAM; compiled by Screen Australia.

Notes:
All people, five-city metro average, 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2009.
Ranked by rating. Programs with the same rating are ranked by unrounded total number of people viewing, if known.
Although not identified as such, the screening listed may be a repeat screening of the program. Repeats are indicated when known.
Any comparison of ratings data should take into account that different methodology was used to compile top-program lists before January 2005 and that a different audience measurement system applied before January 2001. See About the data for more information, including definitions of terms.
ABC’s main channel was renamed ABC1 in February 2008.
1. Rating is equal to TARP (Target Audience Rating Point).

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1978–2000


Sydney television
    Date Network Rating1
1 A Town Like Alice 13 Jul 81 7 48
2 Against the Wind 11 Sep 78 7 47
3 Return to Eden 27 Sep 83 10 41
4 The Dismissal 6 Mar 83 10 40
4= The Shiralee 26 Jun 88 7 40
6 The Last Frontier 3 Nov 86 10 39
7 All the Rivers Run 10 Oct 83 7 38
7= Anzacs 27 Oct 85 9 38
7= Bangkok Hilton 5 Nov 89 10 38
7= Bodyline 16 Jul 84 10 38
11 For the Term of His Natural Life 23 May 83 9 37
11= Vietnam 23 Feb 87 10 37
13 Day of the Roses 19 Oct 98 10 32
14 The Challenge 14 Oct 86 9 31
14= Cyclone Tracy 5 Nov 86 9 31
14= Dirtwater Dynasty 10 Apr 88 10 31
14= Fields of Fire 1 14 Jun 87 9 31
14= A Fortunate Life 9 Mar 86 9 31
19 Shout! The Johnny O’Keefe Story 2 Apr 86 7 30
19= Waterfront 20 Mar 84 10 30
21 Kangaroo Palace 25 May 97 7 29
22 The Cowra Breakout (1) 4 Mar 85 10 28
22= The Flying Doctors (1) 29 Apr 85 9 28
22= The Potato Factory 18 Jul 00 7 28
25 Alice to Nowhere 2 Jul 86 10 27
25= Brides of Christ 4 Sep 91 2 27
25= The Far Country 4 Mar 87 7 27
25= Sara Dane 8 Jun 82 10 27
25= Sword of Honour 20 Oct 86 7 27
30 Fields of Fire 2 22 May 88 9 26
30= Fire 14 Feb 95 7 26
30= The Harp in the South 11 May 87 10 26
30= The Leaving of Liverpool 8 Jul 92 2 26
30= My Brother Tom 22 Sep 86 10 26
30= Nancy Wake 4 Nov 87 7 26
36 The Battlers 14 Jul 94 7 25
36= The Dunera Boys 3 Oct 85 10 25
36= Golden Fiddles 18 Aug 91 9 25
36= Jackaroo 7 Oct 90 7 25
36= The Last Bastion 8 Nov 84 10 25

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Melbourne television
    Date Network Rating1
1 All the Rivers Run 4 Oct 83 7 50
2 Return to Eden 27 Sep 83 10 48
3 For the Term of His Natural Life 23 May 83 9 45
4 A Town Like Alice 13 Jul 81 7 43
5 Anzacs 27 Oct 85 9 41
6 Bangkok Hilton 5 Nov 89 10 40
6= Fields of Fire 1 14 Jun 87 9 40
6= The Last Frontier 3 Nov 86 10 40
9 The Cowra Breakout (1) 4 Mar 85 10 39
10 Kangaroo Palace 28 May 97 7 38
11 Snowy 8 Sep 93 9 36
12 The Far Country 4 Mar 87 7 35
12= The Shiralee 26 Jun 88 7 35
12= Whose Baby? 30 Sep 86 7 35
15 The Last Outlaw 21 Oct 80 7 33
15= The Potato Factory 17 Jul 00 7 33
17 The Challenge 14 Oct 86 9 32
17= Cyclone Tracy 5 Nov 86 9 32
17= Day of the Roses 18 Oct 98 10 32
17= The Dismissal 6 Mar 83 10 32
17= A Fortunate Life 9 Mar 86 9 32
22 Blue Heelers 21 Nov 95 7 31
22= Fields of Fire 2 22 May 88 9 31
22= Fire 25 Apr 95 7 31
22= Golden Fiddles 18 Aug 91 9 31
22= The Great Bookie Robbery 15 Sep 86 9 31
27 Brides of Christ 4 Sep 91 2 30
27= The Flying Doctors (1) 29 Apr 85 9 30
27= My Brother Tom 22 Sep 86 10 30
27= Waterfront 20 Mar 84 10 30
31 Eureka Stockade 27 Mar 84 7 29
31= Jackaroo 7 Oct 90 7 29
31= Nancy Wake 4 Nov 87 7 29
31= Vietnam 23 Feb 87 10 29
35 The Harp in the South 11 May 87 10 28
36 The Battlers 14 Jul 94 7 27
36= Naked Under Capricorn 17 Sep 89 9 27
36= Shout! The Johnny O’Keefe Story 2 Apr 86 7 27
39 Alice to Nowhere 2 Jul 86 10 26
39= Sword of Honour 20 Oct 86 7 26
41 Banjo Paterson’s The Man from Snowy River (1) 6 Aug 95 9 25
41= The Last Bastion 8 Nov 84 10 25
41= Sara Dane 8 Jun 82 10 25

Source: AGB McNair ratings 1978–1990; ACNielsen ratings 1991–2000.

Notes:
Household viewing, 1 January to 31 December 1991–2000, survey periods only,1978–1990.
Includes only the highest-rating screening per title.
All programs screened at 8.30 pm except where indicated:
(1) 6.30 pm
Ratings figures have been rounded; titles have been ranked based on this rounded figure, with those of equal ranking listed alphabetically.
Any comparison of ratings data should take into account that different methodology was used to compile top-program lists before January 2005 and that a different audience measurement system applied before January 2001. See About the data for more information, including definitions of terms.
1. Rating is equal to TARP (Target Audience Rating Point).

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About the data