The
Seven Network scored its biggest win of the year so far Monday night,
whipping rival Nine by more than 11 points as it reversed the weak
Sunday night outing won by Nine. There was nothing positive Nine could
take from the night such was the size of the loss.

Audience
numbers for some of Seven’s shows swelled above the 1.4 million mark
from 6pm and stayed above that level until 8.30pm, when hundreds of
thousand more joined to watch Desperate Housewives. Compared to a week ago, Seven’s audience from 6pm to 9.30pm was between 100,000 and 200,000 people more than a week earlier.

Desperate Housewives led five Seven shows into the top five slots of most watched shows, with a peak of 2.315 million viewers. The Great Outdoors finished second with 1.451 million; then Home and Away, 1.432 million; Today Tonight, 1.423 million; and Seven News, 1.402 million.

Seven
won every capital city market, with big wins in Sydney (over 11 points)
and Melbourne (over 13 points) as Nine crumbled. Seven’s audience never
fell below 1.273 million people on average from 6pm to 10.30pm (that
was the audience for Crossing Jordan which finished seventh).

The
surprise is how Nine weakened so dramatically from its strong Sunday
night performance. In Last Friday’s report from Nine it pointed out
that Seven had lost viewers the night before, which it had. But Seven
still won. Last night Nine lost viewers, and Seven won!

Seven News beat Nine News last Monday and that was repeated last night, but the margin was much bigger: 1.402 million to 1.316 million for Nine.

That in turn produced another whopping loss for Nine’s ACA. It finished eighth with 1.164 million people. TT finished fourth with 1.423 million people, or more than a quarter of a million viewers in front.

Some analysts will point to a higher audience for Seven’s Deal or No Deal which was watched by 870,000 people compared to 834,000 a week ago. Nine’s The Price is Right
had 500,000 viewers last week and 488,000 last night, so those lead-ins
don’t explain the jump in Seven’s audience from 6pm onwards.

Joey, Nine’s Friends spin-off now joins Ten’s X-Factor an endangered species, even though the X-Factor edged towards the million viewer mark (994,000). Joey had 853,000 viewers and finished 21st overall.

The ABC’s Australian Story finished second at 8pm to The Great Outdoors. 1.13 million people watched part two of the story of the woman abused by an Anglican priest and Bishop.

Nine’s Cold Case was comprehensively beaten at 9.30pm by Crossing Jordan on Seven. Cold Case, Nine’s new show star last year, was watched by 960,000 and finished 16th. Crossing Jordan finished 7th, more than 300,000 people in front.

Media Watch returned last night to the ABC with Liz Jackson of Four Corners in the chair. It was watched by 604,000 people, representing a sharp fall from the 733,000 who watched Four Corners and the 800,000 who watched Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope at 9.30pm (a big drop from the 1.538 million who watched the Mary and Fred interview a week earlier).