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 that soak up most of the advertising revenue.
In the following two weeks it has held onto much of that audience - with about 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. Some shows lose up to half their launch audience in the first year.
House Husbands is produced by Playmaker Media. It was created by the 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 children while their wives or partners work.
House Husbands caps off a successful year for Nine, which has spent the last half-dozen years playing catch-up to Channel Seven.
It has a number of feathers in its 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 based on true stories, such as Underbelly, Beaconsfield and Howzat! Kerry Packer's War do well for the network, but fictional dramas have, in recent years, not done well on Nine.
Among recent attempts that 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.