TVNZ's Seven Sharp programme, which debuted last week, hit rock bottom on Tuesday night when ratings showed TV3 rival Campbell Live was on top.
It is the first time this has happened since John Campbell's show appeared on television screens in 2005. It is also the first time TV3 has beaten TV One in the 7pm weekday slot since TV3 began in November 1989.
Ratings for Tuesday's programme illustrate the danger that older Seven Sharp viewers - carried over from its predecessor, Close Up - are migrating to TV3.
The figures for Tuesday also back up indications it is not reaching the younger viewers it is targeting with its focus on social media.
Nielsen TAM figures show Campbell Live had 352,600 viewers compared with 296,700 for Seven Sharp. It is the smallest audience for the programme since it started last Monday.
In the demographic for people aged 25-54 - the target demographic for TV3 and TV One - Campbell Live had 127,600 viewers compared with 99,100 for Seven Sharp.
In the 18-39 age group, Campbell Live had 55,500 compared with 40,800 for Seven Sharp. The audience for people aged over 5 years is an indicator of the total audience, which is dominated by TV One.
Media commentator Brian Edwards said the ratings were not a reflection of Seven Sharp's content on Tuesday night.
"It was actually the best it's been since it started. The figures are a result of an accumulation of seven or eight programmes that people just thought really weren't very good."
Mr Edwards said the shift between channels was a major development.
"In all the years that John's been on, they weren't able to achieve this and now they have."
Tuesday's ratings are significant, with Seven Sharp providing the most accomplished performance so far, however fewer people would have seen the signs of improvement in the show.
Mr Edwards said changes in the show indicated that producers had taken into account criticism it had received over the past week.