Is Sam Chisholm losing the plot?

After two days of
messing about, the Nine Network has finally settled on a
program line up for the 4:30pm to 5:30pm timeslot and, surprise surprise, nothing’s changed: news at 4:30pm plus a sitcom (Friends, instead of Frasier)
at 5pm.

The two days of confusion saw upwards of 100,000 viewers drop the network, damaging
its 6pm news, A Current Affair and Temptation line-up and effectively boosting Seven’s early evening line-up.

So who was responsible? The
best bet is that Chisholm and cost-cutter, Ian Audsley, were looking
to save costs and simply didn’t realise how the changes would damage
the early evening programs – especially that vital 6pm to 7pm News and current affairs hour.

Australian TV’s Bali blind spot

Seven is going hard promoting its Sunday night Bali Special, hosted by Seven reporter Anna Coren.

At least one Australian survivor is worried about the special going to air, as this AAP report reveals: Bali victim hurt by TV documentary

Seven’s news and current affairs director Peter Meakin told the ABC
he appreciates that some survivors were traumatised and might be
psychologically affected by the program. But basically it’s news, the
Bali tragedy happened, and no-one has to watch it.

The fact that the doco isn’t Australian-made highlights the slowness of Australian TV
networks to show any interest in looking at and exploring the
deaths of 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners

Seven, again. That makes four nights in a row. Ten did will with House (number one with 1.689 million viewers) and the Idol audition (1.488 million). That kept Ten in the game and second nationally, pushing Nine down to third.
Ouch! McLeod’s Daughters was 9th with 1.242 million, up a bit from last week and
no sign of any real damage from its clone, The Alice. Spics and Specs on the ABC
with 953,300 people. Funny program. Bad news for Nine is that it beat the first half hour of Nine’s repeat of CSI Miami.
The Losers

Nine, big, big time. Four nights lost in a row. Such a poor run hasn’t been seen since Sam Chisholm
ascended to power in May and certainly not since February and March when the
David Gyngell regime was floundering. The second episode of the odd ABC comedy series We can Be Heroes did badly at 9pm – 694,600
people, down 10% on its premiere a week earlier.

News & CA

Seven News
and Today
again won nationally and in Sydney. Nine won the news and TT/ACA slot in
Melbourne and Brisbane, Seven won both timeslots in Adelaide and Perth. Nine’s
Today continues to lag behind Seven’s Sunrise, but Today is doing a bit better in
Sydney between 8am and 9am, which isn’t much to boast about.
The Stats

Seven won narrowly in probably the closest night’s
competition of the year. The numbers were: Seven on 26.8%, Ten second on 26.2%,
Nine third on 26.1%. Seven will be happy, Ten will be chortling, Nine scowling.
Seven won Sydney from Nine, Nine won Melbourne from Seven, Ten won Brisbane with
Nine second and Seven third, Seven won Adelaide with Nine and Ten equal second
and Seven beat Ten with Nine third in Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s

And no respite for Nine tonight. Seven has Lost and then The
Amazing Race
, Ten has two Law and Order series, and SBS has
the first day’s play in the second Ashes cricket test.The first test played
havoc with the commercials’ share, especially sport on Friday and Saturday
nights. So Nine’s AFL and NRL broadcasts tomorrow night will be pegged back. The
way is now open for a win this week by Seven. Back in late May when Chisholm was in his prime, Nine people said they wouldn’t
lose a week. Seven leads the week 29.1% to 26.1% for

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey