No family affair for Today

family-orientated double header hosting Today: All in the Family with Pete and
Jess? Somehow
I don’t think so.

Niners say the floated suggestion of Peter Overton of 60
hosting the Today show next year with wife Jessica Rowe, the Ten
Network co-host of the 5pm news, has been nixed. Not
by management, but by the magic couple.

Why Rowe would want to leave a program like Ten News, which has more viewers in Sydney each day than Today
has nationally, is beyond me. Likewise with Peter Overton. Being watched every
now and then by more than 1.5 million people on a Sunday night on 60 Minutes is
worth around eight days of Today audiences.

Today represents rotten hours and limelight deprivation syndrome with
viewers. And
if you’re not getting up early at the moment to work,
why would you want to change?

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners

No outstanding winners: Temptation and Millionaire both
had bigger audiences than a week earlier, but that was helped a bit by Seven
running a highlights episode of Desperate Housewives instead of a new
episode, so viewers were encouraged to move elsewhere.
The Losers

Also no outstanding losers from last night, it was a very evenly
distributed evening. Perhaps 24, the Seven program now in its fourth series.
Viewers continue to be increasingly resistant to its charms. It lost almost
200,000 viewers last night to end at 1.005 million on average. Having
a highlights show of Desperate Housewives (1.448 million) instead of a
full episode (two million plus) hurt 24. Mythbusters on SBS down around
200,000 viewers or so on recent weeks at 697,600 people.
News & CA

Seven News and Today Tonight were first (1.560
million) and second (1.539 million) nationally thanks to a good win in
Sydney and a huge victory in Perth where the audiences for Nine
and A Current Affair were half that for Seven. The ABC News and 7:30 Report attracted well
over a million viewers each in another good night, while Four Corners
out rated Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope with an average 995,500 people –
its second best audience of the year. Enough Rope was watched by an
average 932,900 and Media Watch wasn’t far behind with 893,400. But
host Liz Jackson can’t do irony, too monotone, I wish someone would
stop her!
The Stats

Nine won with 27.4% to 26.8% for Seven, 22.0% for the
Ten, 17.5% for the ABC and 6.3% for SBS (no cricket last night). Nine
had solid wins in Sydney, Melbourne
and Adelaide.
Seven won Brisbane, but streeted the
opposition in Perth,
winning by 10% from Ten and then Nine. The ABC recorded very high
figures for Perth (19%) and Sydney (19.6%).
Glenn Dyer’s comments

Seven did everyone a favour by not running a new episode of
Desperate Housewives. It only has a couple to go and is stretching them out for as long as possible. So Nine won, but Seven was still close.
Ten’s Big Brother nominations did well with 1.348 million. And with Australian Idol
and the second series of The 4400 starting tonight, the network will be very
competitive against Seven’s Border Security and Medical Emergency and
Nine’s CSI.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey