Ratings: Dancing with the Stars has a strong start; still losing to MAFS

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Dancing with the Stars gets good ratings for Channel Seven – but still loses to Nine’s juggernaut Married At First Sight

Dancing with the Stars: All Stars delivered good ratings for Channel Seven on Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough to topple Nine’s Married At First Sight.

The dance competition attracted an average of 744,000 metro viewers, making it the strongest season launch for DWTS since 2015, reports Mumbrella

The limited series brings together past contestants (‘all stars’) with newcomers (‘wildcards’) as they compete for the glitter ball trophy.

Modest success: Dancing with the Stars: All Stars delivered good ratings for Channel Seven on Sunday night, but it wasn't enough to topple Nine's Married At First Sight.  Pictured: DWTS hosts Sonia Kruger and Daryl Somers

Modest success: Dancing with the Stars: All Stars delivered good ratings for Channel Seven on Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough to topple Nine’s Married At First Sight. Pictured: DWTS hosts Sonia Kruger and Daryl Somers

While Seven will no doubt be pleased with the modest rating success, Nine still continued his dominance at MAFS on Sunday.

The reunion dinner attracted 1.127 million visitors, making it the most watched entertainment program of the evening.

Married At First Sight holds an untouchable position in the ratings, forcing other networks to plan their programming around it.

Back with a bang: The dance competition attracted an average of 744,000 metro viewers, making it the strongest season launch for DWTS since 2015.  Pictured (left to right): presenter Daryl Somers with 'wildcard' contestant Schapelle Corby and professional dancer Shae Mountain

Back with a bang: The dance competition attracted an average of 744,000 metro viewers, making it the strongest season launch for DWTS since 2015.  Pictured (left to right): presenter Daryl Somers with 'wildcard' contestant Schapelle Corby and professional dancer Shae Mountain

Back with a bang: The dance competition attracted an average of 744,000 metro viewers, making it the strongest season launch for DWTS since 2015. Pictured (left to right): presenter Daryl Somers with ‘wildcard’ contestant Schapelle Corby and professional dancer Shae Mountain

Channel 10, for example, is holding back the premiere of its flagship reality show MasterChef until MAFS has ended its run.

Despite having a large number of viewers, Nine’s social experiment has sparked a lot of controversy this season.

Nearly 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling on the network to apologize for failing to fulfill its duty of care to contestant Melissa Rawson.

The petition states that Melissa has been subjected to “gaslighting, emotional manipulation, isolation, and myriad other textbook signals of a controlling and / or abusive relationship” by her “husband” Bryce Ruthven.

Unbeatable: Married At First Sight's reunion dinner had an audience of 1.127 million on Sunday, making it the most watched entertainment program of the evening.  Pictured: MAFS couple Johnny Balbuziente and Kerry Knight

Unbeatable: Married At First Sight's reunion dinner had an audience of 1.127 million on Sunday, making it the most watched entertainment program of the evening.  Pictured: MAFS couple Johnny Balbuziente and Kerry Knight

Unbeatable: Married At First Sight’s reunion dinner had an audience of 1.127 million on Sunday, making it the most watched entertainment program of the evening. Pictured: MAFS couple Johnny Balbuziente and Kerry Knight

However, executive producer of Married At First Sight, John Walsh, released a statement denying that Melissa and Bryce’s relationship was “ characterized by domestic violence ” and affirming that producers always maintain a high level of concern for participants.

The petition in question does not and never did reflect the nature of the relationship between Bryce and Melissa [production company] Endemol Shine Australia of Nine consider Bryce and Melissa’s relationship to be characterized by domestic violence or something similar, ‘said Mr Walsh. B&T on Wednesday.

‘If that had been the case, we would have intervened immediately. Our first priority in creating MAFS is to make sure that all participants feel they are working in a safe environment, ‘he continued.

In Review: Despite having a high audience count, MAFS has generated a lot of controversy this season.  Nearly 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling on the network to apologize for failing to comply with its duty of care to contestant Melissa Rawson (pictured with her 'husband' Bryce Ruthven filming in Sydney in November)

In Review: Despite having a high audience count, MAFS has generated a lot of controversy this season.  Nearly 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling on the network to apologize for failing to comply with its duty of care to contestant Melissa Rawson (pictured with her 'husband' Bryce Ruthven filming in Sydney in November)

In Review: Despite having a high audience count, MAFS has generated a lot of controversy this season. Nearly 15,000 Australians have signed a Change.org petition calling on the network to apologize for failing to comply with its duty of care to contestant Melissa Rawson (pictured with her ‘husband’ Bryce Ruthven filming in Sydney in November)

Mr. Walsh further emphasized that participants are actively encouraged to report situations where they feel unsafe during filming.

He also mentioned the “rigorous processes” used during filming to protect participants from toxic situations, including access to a dedicated psychologist.

The brides and grooms will also get access to a psychologist after the show has finished producing.

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