Nine axes early news

There are renewed signs this morning that all is not well at the
programming and executive level of the Nine Network. In a worrying move, Nine very quietly axed its 4:30pm news yesterday.

The decision was made yesterday morning and with no announcement, the American chat show Dr Phil appeared at 4:30pm, and also replaced the repeat of Frasier at 5pm, which has been steadily dying.

like this may be made by Michael Healy the head of programming, but
they are signed off by interim CEO Sam Chisholm and it’s a sign that
even these experienced TV executives are baffled by Nine’s continuing
early evening weakness and have little idea how to fix it.

Where’s Seven’s Headland?

So where’s Headland, Seven’s long mooted drama series formerly called Campus? It was meant to be on air in July according to this industry guide.

It’s been in production since April and all Seven will say is that it
will probably appear at some time in 2005. There have been reports
around Seven and the industry that the network may have been too
ambitious in its plan to produce an hour a week of the soap/drama

reckon Seven might drop it in late in the schedule this year and run it
through summer to build up interest. Seven says it doesn’t have much
room at the moment in its schedule, but what about the weak Sunday

Last night’s TV

The Winners

Seven and Desperate Housewives (2.035 million), Ten’s Big BrotherNominations (1.338 million), plus the other usual suspects: Seven News (1.523 million) and Today
(1.539 million).
The Losers

The Alice (990,100) at number 16 nationally. Nine’s highest rated
program was ACA at number five, and from then until 9:30 it ran second or third, and
lost the night.
News &

Today Tonight and Seven News won
nationally and in Sydney. Media
(735,000) and Four Corners (730,000) were lower
than a week before, while Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope was also down at 867,500. The impact
of a new episode of Desperate Housewives shouldn’t be

Seven won easily for its second night in a
row as Nine stumbled badly. Seven won 29.5% to Nine on 25.8% and Ten with 21.8%. The ABC was on
15.5% and SBS on 7.8% thanks to Mythbusters. Seven won in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth but lost
Adelaide to
Glenn Dyer’s

Another round of meetings at Nine today, so
stand by for more short-notice tweaking of the schedule. Nine will
struggle again tonight against Seven’s strong 6pm to 8:30pm line-up,
especially Border Security and
Medical Emergency. Ten’s Australian Idol will also add to the pressure. Nine has two
episodes of CSI to keep itself competitive. One didn’t work last
Tuesday, so will tonight be any

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey