Australian reality show brings in 1.5 million

SYDNEY — The seventh outing of reality skein “Big Brother” has had a solid start for Network Ten with an aud of 1.5 million tuning in for the Sunday night preem.

Result helped Ten to a win in its target 18-49 demo for the night taking a 40.7% share, compared to Nine Network’s 29.3% and Seven Network’s 29.9%.

“‘Big Brother’ continues to draw in big audiences and this year’s opener was no exception,” said Ten’s programming topper David Mott. “Whatever magic ‘Big Brother’ sparks, the Australian public never seems to tire of the show.”

Two years ago, “Big Brother” was beginning to slip in the ratings and there were whispers the show could be cancelled, but a controversy-filled sixth season — which saw housemates evicted for alleged sexual harassment and the show get talked about in parliament — saw a return to ratings form.

Seventh season has started with its own buzz as three aud members were ejected from the opening show after they were caught streaming the proceedings — which is recorded 24 hours earlier — straight to the Net; despite the aud evictions a full video of the new housemates still wound up on YouTube before the Sunday night bow.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more