House Rules Cast 2020
House Rules Cast 2020

House Rules: Flop or slow burn?

Audiences may not have flocked to House Rules High Stakes as perhaps anticipated, but the home renovation reality show is still off to a promising start.

Season eight of the Channel 7 series drew in 679,000 viewers from the five metro cities, the 13th highest program for Monday.

It was beaten by Seven, Nine and ABC News, Media Watch, Four Corners and The Chase.

One of two NSW teams, best friends Laith and George. Supplied by Channel 7
One of two NSW teams, best friends Laith and George. Supplied by Channel 7

The figures may seem disappointing considering the lack of entertainment competition and captive audiences due to coronavirus isolation, but Channel 7 has defended the show's performance, pointing out it has been the second highest performing entertainment debut this year, only behind Married At First Sight and beating Survivor and Dancing With The Stars.

House Rules High Stakes host Jamie Durie and co-host Abbey Way. Supplied by Channel 7
House Rules High Stakes host Jamie Durie and co-host Abbey Way. Supplied by Channel 7

A network spokesman also said it was an 18 per cent increase in viewership from the last Monday night premiere in 2018.

Seven's Director of Network Programming Angus Ross said the network was encouraged by positive early signs and said there was still plenty more entertainment to be unveiled.

"It was great to see that House Rules High Stakes was the No. 1 entertainment show for 25-54s last night and we look forward to the audience enjoying the amazing reveals still to come," he said.

Since its first season in 2013 House Rules has premiered to audiences between 600,000 to 1.2 million and maintained consistent viewership throughout the season.

This season has introduced a number of changes, including switching out long term host

Kyly Clarke for Seven's House Rules High Stakes.
Kyly Clarke for Seven's House Rules High Stakes.

Joanna Griggs for Jamie Durie and Abbey Way and introducing Kyly Clarke as a judge, who has been in the headlines recently for her high profile split with former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke.

There are also eight teams this year, the largest group ever, compared to the previous six or seven teams.

Audiences thirst for news and facts amid the coronavirus crisis has also been noted by commentators, with ratings for evening news and current affairs programs as well as Sky News seeing huge jumps.

This was also partly attributed for a huge decline in the usual sky high Married At First Sight finale ratings.

House Rules continues tonight on Seven at 7pm.

Originally published as House Rules: Flop or slow burn?