Monday night it was the Nine Network that saw its audience share drop to low levels, so low that it finished fourth for most of prime time – last night it was the turn of the Ten Network. Its share fell sharply, to the point where it ran fourth in the heart of prime time.

Nine (32.6%) won the night from Seven (26.4%) and Ten (18.3%), which finished only 0.3% in front of the ABC (18.0%) with SBS on 4.7%.

Seven’s Home and Away and Today Tonight were the top two most watched shows, but Nine did better with Nine News beating Seven News narrowly nationally and in Sydney. Today Tonight was second and maintained its lead over A Current Affair. Frasier and a non-ratings program, Super Nanny were also top ten finishers for Nine.

But the startling performance was the ABC with The New Inventors, the ABC News at 7pm and the 7.30 Report all making the top ten on a night when overall viewing levels were again down.

At Ten the 5pm News was the network’s most watched program. From then only was all downhill. From 6pm to midnight Ten finished with an average network audience of 613,700, just in front of the ABC which finished fourth with 602,200. But in the heart of prime time, from 6pm to 10.30pm (which Ten quite often treats as prime time in its ratings summaries), Ten finished a clear fourth.

Nine led the way with an average network audience of 1.356 million, then Seven with 952,500, the ABC was third with 844,500 and Ten was next with 741,800 people.

Shows like American Idol, The Simpsons repeat and Battlestar Galactica all sagged. In the important Sydney market Ten finished fourth from 6pm to midnight, 1,000 viewers (on average) behind the ABC. It was also fourth between 6pm and 10.30pm. But seeing as it’s non-ratings, it will be shrugged off.

Elsewhere The AFL Footy Show went to air last night because of the season’s kick-off tonight. An average audience of 737,000 people, with 468,000 of those in Melbourne where it was the most watched show. It will beThe NRL Footy Show’s turn tonight.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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