The Nine Network has commissioned a second series of its hit drama House Husbands only four weeks after its launch.
The series made its debut on September 3 and drew an audience of 1.37 million viewers nationally.
Significantly, it also ranked first in the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54-year-old demographics, the three segments of the audience which soak up most of the advertising revenue.
In the following two weeks it has held onto much of that audience – with around 1.2 million viewers tuned in weekly.
That sustained weekly figure is far more important to Nine than the launch figure, as it signals there is an audience who have engaged with the show and will remain loyal to it.
Weaker programs launch to big numbers and then dissipate. Some shows lose up to half of their launch audience in the first year.
House Husbands is produced for Nine by Playmaker Media. It was created by writers Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt.
It stars Gary Sweet, Firass Dirani, Gyton Grantley and Rhys Muldoon as four men who are the full- or part-time carers for their kids while their wives or partners work.
The series also stars Julia Morris, Anna McGahan, Natalie Saleeba and Tim Campbell.
House Husbands caps off a successful year for Nine who have spent the last half-dozen years playing catch up to rival Channel Seven.
They have a number of feathers in their cap this year, including Big Brother, The Block, The Voice and a successful London Olympics telecast.
But Nine’s drama scorecard is less consistent.
Dramas which are based on true stories, such as Underbelly, Beaconsfield and Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War do well for them, but fictional dramas have, in recent years, not done well on Nine.
Among recent attempts which met with mixed success are The Strip, Canal Road and Tricky Business. Other shows, such as Cops LAC and Rescue: Special Ops, delivered reasonable ratings but never won wide critical acclaim.
House Husbands appears to have reversed that trend, delivering solid numbers to Nine as well as a far more elusive prize: the approval of television critics.
“I couldn’t be happier that Australian audiences have taken House Husbands to their hearts and made it the number one drama in the country,” Nine’s director of television Michael Healy said.
“I am thrilled to confirm a second series of House Husbands will go into production with the same acclaimed cast and crew.”