The Block All Stars premiere opened last night with 959,000 viewers tuning in, well down on previous seasons and not enough to win the timeslot.
The reality check came from Home & Away, which had a narrow win in the 7pm time slot, but then My Kitchen Rules easily trumped The Block at 7.30pm both on Channel 7.
While both The Block and MKR overcooked their promotional opportunities in the days and weeks leading up to the big night, Seven triumphed with the select offering of contestants "the Spice Girls", Jessie and Biswa.
Their dishes, however, scored the lowest in MKR history, just 41. They served pani puri, lamb samosa, yoghurt lassi as entree, goat sindhi biryani for main and galub jamum as dessert.
Last year the first-night Channel 9 ratings for The Block series set in South Melbourne rated an average 1.4 million viewers, which bettered 2011’s 1,342,000 debut viewers of the Richmond renovation.
This year's season returned to Bondi, but the Melbourne audience outnumbered the Sydney audience, according to the OzTAM five city metropolitian report. Melbourne's audience was 354,000, Sydney had 247,000 and Brisbane was 215,000 on the 2013 opening Monday night which was a one hour 10 minute program at 7pm.
Excluding the news and current affair programs, it was the night's fifth most watched show.
The first season was filmed in Bondi in 2003, with 2.2 million watching weekly – and the auction finale episode attracted 3.1 million viewers, which was the second-most watched event of 2003.
Its 2003 first series coincided with the peak of the property boom along the east coast Sydney property market.
The first series was hosted by Jamie Durie, and the past few by Scott Cam.