The success or failure of a home-grown drama is often used by the industry as a powerful indicator of a network's performance, and last night's debut of House Husbands did not disappoint for Nine.
The rookie drama stars Gyton Grantley, Firass Dirani, Rhys Muldoon and Gary Sweet as four mates who are full- or part-time carers of their kids.
It drew a national audience of 1.37 million viewers and was the number one ranked show on television. It was also ranked first in the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54-year-old demographics, the three segments of the audience which soak up most of the advertising revenue.
It's a significant win for Nine and comes after a series of big ratings windfalls including the London Olympics and The Voice.
But to put those in some context, Nine's Olympic performance came a little easier to the network, because sport coverage is something Nine has enormous experience and confidence in. And Nine's success with The Voice is a feather in their cap, but it is based on an international format and, in real terms, would most likely have re-shaped the ratings landscape on any network.
But getting home-grown drama right is something that has always eluded Nine.
In recent years it has kicked some dazzling goals in true crime with its Underbelly franchise, and a slate of blue-chip drama projects based on real events, including Beaconsfield and Howzat! Kerry Packer's War.
But its attempt at more traditional fare - either classic genre shows such as The Strip, Cops LAC and Rescue: Special Ops, or character dramas such as Canal Road and Tricky Business - have either struggled or stalled at launch.
It's been a bone of contention at Nine all the way back to the 1980s, when the network lost the drama crown it earned in the 1970s with hits like The Sullivans and The Young Doctors.
Back then, a slate of new shows such as Taurus Rising, Waterloo Station, Starting Out and Family & Friends failed to return Nine its lost glory.
Intriguingly, one of the biggest strengths of House Husbands is its "un-Channel Nine-ness", that is, it neither sounds nor looks like what has become the template for a Channel Nine series drama in recent years.
In the last decade, Nine's executives have mostly demonstrated a preference for male-skewing themes and action over character nuance.
House Husbands, created by writers Ellie Beaumont and Drew Proffitt, is very much about the latter.
It features a bunch of very bold casting calls - comedian Julia Morris in a dramatic role, Grantley and Tim Campbell playing a gay couple and Marg Downey and Louise Siversen as the headmistress and deputy headmistress of the local school - all of which pay dividends.
The win for House Husbands will also repair Nine's confidence after the failure of Tricky Business earlier this year.
That series, about a family who run a debt collecting business, was given a prized timeslot after the ratings juggernaut The Voice but stalled almost immediately.
Nine has commissioned 10 episodes of House Husbands from production company Playmaker Media and producers David Taylor and David Maher. Based on last night's ratings performance there is no reason why Nine would not immediately commission a second series.
Before that, however, Nine may have other concerns. Big Brother did not perform well last night, pummelled down to 949,000 viewers. It has been delivering a season average of around 1.2 million so far, so to drop below the one-million viewers watermark for a Sunday night "live eviction" is worrying.
It will regain some ground once adjusted for correct start and finish times and after seven-day time-shifting data is applied.
Top 10 shows last night
1 House Husbands (9) 1,376,000
2 Sunday Night (7) 1,357,000
3 Seven News (7) 1,335,000
4 60 Minutes (9) 1,328,000
5 Border Security (7) 1,264,000
6 Nine News (9) 1,206,000
7 Border Security (7) 1,056,000
8 Call The Midwife (ABC) 988,000
9 Big Brother: Live Eviction (9) 949,000
10 ABC News (ABC) 934,000