The X Factor made a loud and resonant return to the television schedule last night before a national audience of 1.59 million viewers.
That's good news for Channel Seven which has endured months of headlines about the resurgence of its old nemesis Nine, and had to watch in horror earlier this year as Nine's talent franchise The Voice steamrolled everything in its path.
The war isn't over yet, but it's a much-needed win for Seven.
This year has seen a newly resurgent Nine claw back a large slice of lost ground and, for the first time since 2007, pose a legitimate threat to Seven's ratings primacy.
Nine's The Voice effectively re-shaped audience expectations with regard to TV talent shows.
Australia's Got Talent, one of Seven's biggest performers in 2011, was savagely worn down in The Voice's wake. Another Seven franchise, Dancing with the Stars, was also flattened.
Had last night's debut of The X Factor failed, Seven would have faced the humiliation of seeing the third of its three key "shiny floor" shows stall against a resurgent Nine.
In terms of increasing risk, there are indicators which would give any network dependent on talent shows a headache. In global terms, evidence suggests the popularity of reality TV talent shows is declining.
In the UK this week a new season of the British version of The X Factor debuted to an audience of 8.7 million viewers, its lowest launch audience since 2006. Last year the same show drew 11 million viewers to its premiere.
In the US, American Idol's popularity peaked in 2006 with around 30 million people watching weekly. Since then it has been shedding audience each year.
The most recent series of American Idol, which aired earlier this year, drew a weekly average audience of around 19 million.
Seven also launched a new US drama, Good Christian Bitches - abbreviated to GCB to avoid antagonising the Christian lobby, who responded fiercely when the show was launched in the US.
It was watched by 873,000, a soft result in real terms, though many viewers would already be aware the show has been cancelled in the US so its long-term prospects are poor. (Only 10 episodes were made.)
Nine's Big Brother settled firmly into 1.21 million viewers, but dipped slightly for its "live nominations" program to 1.18 million.
That isn't quite how it's meant to go. The live nominations introduce jeopardy to the Big Brother "game" and jeopardy is supposed to keep viewers in their seats.
The dip suggests that while Big Brother is popular, the audience isn't yet loyal enough to avoid being sapped away by other programs, particularly when you have an eyeball-soaker like The X Factor in the schedule.
Underbelly: Badness, starring Jonathan LaPaglia, drew 1.23 million viewers.
Over at Ten two new shows were launching last night, the re-booted Can of Worms, hosted by Chrissie Swan, and Don't Tell The Bride, hosted by Kate Ritchie.
Both made soft landings. Can of Worms drew 590,000 viewers and Don't Tell The Bride drew 583,000 viewers. Neither result is brilliant and for the social media and marketing noise both shows were creating Ten would (and should) have expected a little more.
The big disappointment was The Shire, shifted to a new night and a 9.45pm timeslot, which slipped to 251,000 viewers.
It isn't, as many will claim in the rush to crucify it, a demonstration that no one wants to watch the show, but rather a demonstration that the audience don't stay with shows when programmers move them around too much.
All commercial networks do it to varying degrees, but Ten, in particular, has a track record of killing strong performers with too much re-scheduling. We give you exhibit A: Modern Family.
Top 10 shows last night
The X Factor (7) 1,598,000
Seven News (7) 1,327,000
Nine News (9) 1,250,000
Underbelly: Badness (9) 1,233,000
Today Tonight (7) 1,222,000
Big Brother, Monday (9) 1,213,000
Big Brother, Live Nominations (9) 1,180,000
A Current Affair (9) 1,178,000
Home and Away (7) 1,109,000
ABC News (ABC) 1,055,000