How have local shows fared in the ratings since the new season began? Joanna Hunkin crunches the numbers.

The Bachelor NZ

may be the most talked about TV show returning to our screens this season, but it's certainly not alone.

From news and current affairs to a brand new local game show, February saw an influx of new and returning series on our screens as networks debuted their new season line-ups.

TV3 entered a new era, launching Newshub in place of 3 News, and bringing in popular comedian Dai Henwood to host its new 5.30pm lead-in, Family Feud.

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TVNZ took a gamble on the high stakes game of local drama, backing Filthy Rich, with the aid of $8.1 million in taxpayer funding from New Zealand on Air. It also launched a new factual series, examining the world of gastric bypass surgery in The Big Ward.

So as we head into March and start settling in for more TV viewing, who have been this season's ratings winners and losers?

WINNERS

Our First Home

The numbers are slightly down on last year, but Our First Home is continuing to draw a fairly steady crowd across its thrice weekly time slots. After premiering to 286,000 viewers, week two saw the series hit a ratings peak with 340,000 viewers aged 5-plus tuning in.

Last year, the series built momentum as it headed towards the live auction finale and so far it's tracking to mirror that success.

Story ( ... briefly)

Story

and

Seven Sharp

returned to our screens in February, with the TV3 series celebrating a major victory in its first week back. The debut episode of 2016 beat rival Seven Sharp in the key 25-54 demographic. Admittedly, the margin was tight (just 5000 viewers) but it was a win nonetheless.

The second week of February saw Duncan and Heather snipping at Mike and Toni's heels, before Seven Sharp pulled away significantly. In mid-February Seven Sharp peaked at 145,000 viewers aged 25-54, while Story tanked with just 58,000.

The Big Ward

Factual reality has long been a ratings winner for all networks and TV2's latest venture appears to be paying off. The Big Ward follows the story of six morbidly obese New Zealanders as they undergo surgery to try to lose weight.

The series premiered to 325,000 viewers, or 178,000 aged 25-54. The following week saw a 20 per cent decrease but has since held steady. All-in-all, it's a good result.

LOSERS

Filthy Rich

It doesn't matter which way you cut it, Filthy Rich has been a ratings disaster for TVNZ. The TV2 drama, touted as one of the most expensive local series ever made, continued to shed viewers throughout February, with its total audience now down to almost half of what it was.

TVNZ wouldn't be drawn on whether it was disappointed by the results, instead sending through a convoluted message about consolidated ratings and streaming figures for TVNZ On Demand (170,000 streams across three weeks). But make no mistake, this is bad.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Newshub

It was a bold move. February saw TV3 turn its back on more than 25 years of branding to relaunch its news offering as Newshub. The result is a much sleeker-looking operation (albeit near identical to the BBC news set).

In terms of ratings, however, it has made no discernible difference. Newshub's average ratings across February were down on 2015's figures, while One News continued to grow its audience, drawing an average 647,000 viewers per episode versus 230,000 for Newshub.

Ratings for TV3's target demographic 25-54 paint a similar picture - dropping ever so slightly, while One News' audience grew a small amount.

Family Feud

It began with a hiss and a roar, bringing in the highest ratings TV3 has seen in its 5.30pm time slot since the departure of Home & Away. More than 160,000 viewers tuned in for the debut episode of Family Feud, before interest began to wane.

Mid-February saw ratings nose dive to below 60,000, before gaining ground again.

MediaWorks is claiming a victory as the series is outperforming TV One's Millionaire Hot Seat in the 25-54 demographic, while Home & Away continues to dominate on TV2.