The Seven Network lost another of its usually strong ratings nights to Nine as the Dancing with the Stars formula weakened last night with a make-good program designed to try to extend the interest.

Nine had to use a lot of ratings firepower to beat Seven, but a repeat of CSI ended up the top show nationally, while Survivor: Palau’s audience rose with the weaker episode of Dancing , and CSI New York also did well.

Seven has programmed the “dancing boys” episode of Dancing with the Stars to try and maintain the momentum from the high-rating second series. It did well, but the 1.5 million viewers fell short of its usual 1.8 million.

Nine won with a share of 30.0% to Seven’s 29.8%. Narrow, but a win and the third night in a row, setting Nine up to win the week. Ten was third with 20.3%, the ABC was on 15.6% and SBS on 4.3%.

Seven did have the satisfaction of winning Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, but a massive win in Brisbane – 36.3% to 25.2% – where CSI is really liked, saw Nine home.

Nine News won nationally and in Sydney but Today Tonight moved back ahead of A Current Affair nationally and in Sydney.

Seven will consider itself a bit stiff by the result last night, but that’s the joys of TV ratings and programming. The Nine Network is burning up a lot of its ratings winners and may have a very lean back half of the year if it can’t find more product, while cutting costs.

Peter Fray

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