Since Ten started running Jamie’s School Dinners special over
the past four weeks, Wednesday nights have become the station’s best of
the week. The success of the Jamie Oliver series, which finished last
night and again attracted a solid audience (and hurt Nine’s McLeod’s Daughters
into the bargain) has given Ten some hope that the year will not be a
total loss.

So now it goes into next week
with fingers crossed, as it’s out with the old, failed X-Factor and in with Big Brother for season five. On Sunday night X-Factor
will end at 7:30pm then it’ll be immediately into
two hours of screeching Gretel Killeen.

The other networks are not making it easy. Celebrity Circus starts on Sunday night at 6:30pm on Nine and will do well after the success of the Celebrity Makeover
detox program. Four weeks of watching minor stars multi-skilling in a
circus. Why did they run away? TV stations are a circus in their own
right. Nine also has strong first run episodes of CSI and CSI Miami to
match BB. Seven is running the first of several hours of a US program
called Revelations. That will run in two-hour blocks for three Sunday nights at this stage.

The ABC has UK costume drama North and South starting on Sunday which
should interest mums on their day of days. Seven’s
move on Sunday night should be watched as. like Ten, it’s edging closer to
dropping the Sunday night movie.

Last night Nine won but its margin was smaller than a week earlier,
while Ten’s share was down on a week earlier, but still at a week’s
high. Nine won with a 29.6% share to Seven on 28.0%, Ten on 23.9%, the
ABC with 14.1% and SBS with 4.3%. Seven’s Home and Away was the most watched program for the second night in a row in the five major markets.

Jamie’s School Dinners finished 6th with 1.364 million. It was beaten by 5,000 viewers by McLeod’s Daughters. It’s fair to say that without Jamie Oliver’s contribution, Ten
would now be third in its target 16- to 39-year-old age group, instead
of a close second to Nine, with Seven less than a point away in third.

Peter Fray

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