Ten poaches Merrick and Rosso from Nine

The Ten Network makes a habit of taking the cast-offs from its competitors and turning them into gold.

Take Neighbours,
for example, which turns 20 next week. It was first screened by Seven
which couldn’t make it work and didn’t have the patience to develop it.
Now it’s the biggest thing in Australian TV and an international hit
for producers, Grundys (Fremantle).

The list also includes Seinfeld (originally on Nine), The OC (Nine), Everybody Loves Raymond (Nine and Seven), Rove McManus (Nine), and Australia’s Brainiest Kids which it grabbed last week after Seven decided not to take up series two.

And now, Merrick and Rosso have jumped from Nine to Ten because Nine couldn’t guarantee Merrick and Rosso Unplanned
a 9:30pm timeslot – the time they had on Nine last year when they went
to air midweek. But under interim CEO, Sam Chisholm, Nine is a
different ship, more interested in reaching back to the distant past
whenever it can.

Merrick and Rosso used to score around
500,000-600,000 viewers most nights, which isn’t brilliant but not bad
given that most of the viewers are aged 16 to 39. Their appeal to
youngsters is helped by their breakfast shifts on the DMG station,

With Australian Idol‘s third series starting next week, Ten’s hold on the young demographic looks safe.

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners

Seven won the night and Ten’s Big Brother Surprise Eviction (1.458 million) and
House (1.441 million) both did well. The ABC’s New Inventors had 1.026 million viewers and Spics
and Specs
1.008 million – a very good result for a program that
has grown in confident and is by far the best game show on Australian TV at
the moment.
The Losers

Nine had another win snatched away by programming confusion.
McLeod’s Daughters returned last
night but only in Sydney and Brisbane, after State of Origin
games meant that last night’s
episodes had already gone to air in other states. As a result, only 623,000 people watched in Sydney
and Brisbane. Extreme Makeover went to air in other states and it didn’t rate. But around
450,000 viewers went missing from McLeod’s. This helped to drive Seven to number one, and the second night in a row where Nine, to some extent, has robbed
itself of victory.

News & CA

Seven’s Today Tonight and News again won nationally from Nine
and A Current Affair: a bigger win than Tuesday night. Seven News won Sydney as did TT. Nine
and ACA won Melbourne, Seven News won Brisbane, and Perth remained a Seven
town. Today Tonight went to the well for a second successive
night on Sydney law professor, Andrew Fraser and his comments on race and Australia.
ACA had a bite Monday. Hansonism reigns?

The Stats

Seven won, meaning Nine only has half a win for the week so far.
Seven’s share was 26.9% to Nine on 26.3% and Ten on 25.8%. The ABC was on
15.3% and SBS on 5.6%. Seven won because of a big win in Melbourne – its share was 28.3%, to Ten on
26.3% and Nine third on 24.5%. That offset Brisbane where Seven was a distant third
behind Nine and Ten.

Glenn Dyer’s

Nine will again be frustrated after last
night. A win was in the bag but the confusion over McLeod’s – one of Nine’s ratings powerhouses – meant second place again. All
interest tonight is on the impact the Ashes cricket on SBS will have on the
figures. Seven must be expecting some
impact because tonight’s episode of Lost “revisits the
past and present lives” of the survivors. In other words highlights, not a
fresh episode.

Peter Fray

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