Seven lets brainy kids slip through its fingers

It’s not
like a TV network to let a successful program slip it by, especially
one that’s been successful. But that’s what the Seven Network has done
with Australia’s Brainiest Kids, a family-friendly program
which went to air last December in the off-season and achieved very
successful numbers with around 1.2 million people watching most Sunday
nights in the 6:30pm timeslot.

Seven had plans to run it later
this year, but yesterday Ten announced it had picked up the second
series, which is made by Mark Fennessy’s Crackerjack Productions in
Melbourne. Ten will screen it in the next couple of months, perhaps as
a solid lead-in to Australian Idol on Sunday nights.

Seven famously let Neighbours slip through its fingers. Ten picked it up and turned it into an iconic program. Oops.

The power of SBS’s Mythbusters

It can be argued that SBS program Mythbusters on Monday nights has
been the most influential program in viewing patterns on Monday and
Tuesday nights of this week. With Seven dropping Desperate Housewives to return the fourth series of 24, its audience at 8:30pm dropped from more than two million people to around 1.3 million.

Mythbusters at 7:30 again attracted more than 900,000 viewers,
SBS’s highest audience of the week and on Monday night it boosted the
network’s share to 7.8%.

Without Mythbusters or a similar program in the schedule, last
night SBS’s audience share fell to 5.2%, a drop of a third in its
Monday night audience share. That 2.6% was up for grabs and on Tuesday
night it went to the four other networks in the following order,
Seven, 1%, Nine, 0.8%, Ten, 0.6% and ABC, 0.2%.

That redistribution boosted the audience share figures of Nine, Seven,
Ten and the ABC on Tuesday night. So rather than take viewers from each
other they were dragged away from SBS, although the presence of the
final one-day cricket game in the Seven schedule from 7:30pm was also a
major destabilising influence on viewing patterns last night.

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners

Seven for the second night in a row. Today Tonight
was the most watched program nationally for the second night in a row
and the cricket finally performed for Seven with 1.167 million viewers
– the best figures of the ODI series. Frasier on Nine (1.5 million) was a rare good performer
on another off night for Nine. Grumpy Old
was the ABC’s best performer with 1.214 million viewers.
The Losers

Someone snatched 150,000 viewers from

Nine’s Taken, as
the audience fell to 1.111 million. Boredom and cricket are suspected, not aliens. It was a tough night for Ten with Big Brother at number 13 and the two Simpsons episodes at 14
and 15, its best performers.

News & CA

Nine News back in front of Seven nationally, but not in Sydney. But Today Tonight again put a gap on A Current Affair nationally and in Sydney. Seven’s Sunrise
still leads Nine’s spluttering Today show – those mooted changes are getting
The Stats

Seven won nationally with 29.5%, from Nine on 27.0%, Ten on
22.1%, the ABC with 16.1%, and SBS on 5.1%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments

The cricket paid off for Seven at last, Dad’s Army clicking in a way that
will warm those at SBS who are showing the Ashes Tests from next week. Seven
might score another win tonight with the next episode of 24, but Nine should
finally click into gear with CSI Miami. Nine is taking a relative beating from Seven
while it rests series like CSI and McLeod’s Daughters but it will bring them back
shortly to resume the assault. With Lost in the schedule tomorrow night, Seven should have its best week for
three months or more.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey