Life after Housewives and Lost

Next Monday
night, Desperate Housewives ends its block-busting run of two million+ audiences. That
will expose Seven to attack on Monday
nights because its replacement, Grey’s Anatomy, won’t be as successful as the housewives of Wisteria Lane. Lost will also end in a
couple of weeks, which poses another problem for
Seven. Last
night Lost attracted more than 1.9 million viewers, helping the network to another big win. Replacing those numbers won’t be easy.

Next
Tuesday night at 8pm Seven runs the first of a four-episode series called True Stories, hosted by reporter Anna Coren. It’s an experiment for Seven and the most “serious”
attempt at a current affairs program since the failure of Witness and The Times
several years ago. It’s a commercial version of Australian Story, the successful ABC
program that started this trend of reporter-less story telling.

Nine
has received the pilot for a similar type of program from Andrew Denton’s
production company. True
Stories
will replace Medical Emergency, which attracted
around 1.4-1.5 million people during its run, boosted by the presence of the
very popular Border Security. True
Stories
will also have that lead-in.

Musical chairs at Nine

Nine’s Today Show has a new host from later this month,
though no-one is being flicked – well, not yet anyway. Co-host Tracy
Grimshaw is going away for a month and Leila McKinnon is standing in,
re-uniting her with Karl Stefanovic. McKinnon was pushed out of Today ten days ago and moved to the 11am newsreading shift, but Nine said she would fill in if Grimshaw went on holiday.

Elsewhere in Nine’s newsreading line-up, it looks like Mike Munro will
be reading the 4:30 news on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, plus the 6pm
news in Sydney at the weekend, so Nine is searching for someone to help
reduce his workload.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners

Seven, again – that’s five nights in a row. Lost again demolished the opposition
with 1.917 million viewers. Seven’s Today Tonight (1.443 million), Seven
News (1.437 million) and The Amazing Race (1.387 million) completed the top four
programs nationally. Nine’s top program was Getaway with 1.347 million people,
while This is Your Life
finished indifferently with 1.141 million people. SBS beat the ABC
into fourth with its broadcast of the first day of the second Ashes
Test, attracting an average of 652,100 people between 7:30pm and
1:59am. The World
News Australia
went to air in the lunch break and was watched by 527,600 people.
That made a mess of the ABC’s and Ten’s audiences. Big Brother at 7pm was the only Ten show to
attract a million or more viewers, at 1.010 million.
The Losers

Nine, again, Ten big time as it fell in a very large
hole without a good Law and Order or Australian Idol to anchor
its night. Nine’s Footy Shows dropped under a million
viewers (967,600) with an average audience in Sydney of 241,000, 397,000 in
Melbourne but a poor 105,000 in Brisbane. Ten did poorly after 7:30pm.

News & CA


Seven News
and Today
Tonight
again won nationally and in Sydney where Nine News fell under
300,000 for the second Thursday night in a row (292,200) and was beaten by more
than a 100,000 by Seven News (398,300). A Current Affair‘s audience in Sydney was
298,600 and Today Tonight was more than 100,000 ahead of ACA. Nine won the news
and TT/ACA slot in Melbourne and Brisbane, Seven won both timeslots in Adelaide
and Perth.
The Stats

Seven won clearly thanks to Lost and The Amazing Race in
particular. The numbers were: Seven on 30.5%, Nine on 26.4%, Ten way down in
third on 16.4%, SBS fourth on 14.1% and the ABC down on 12.1%. Ten was so uncompetitive that SBS
beat it in Melbourne and Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments

Tonight there’s more cricket to upset the commercials’ figures. Nine’s
AFL and NRL games will attract viewers, but not enough to put a dent in Seven’s
lead for the week of 29.4% to 26.1%. The cricket, and a strong ABC line-up
coupled with a strong schedule for Saturday night should be enough to see Seven
home for the week. It will be a week Nine especially will like to forget. There
will be a couple more like that before ratings finish at the end of
November.

Peter Fray

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