Trading places at Nine

Network Sydney news reporter, Helen Kapalos is bound for A Current Affair in a belated swap with
her replacement, Ellen Fanning. We’ve
already reported on how Fanning was put into Nightline last month when Kapalos went on leave, to return and find that she had been

But it
seems the move, while a surprise to Kapalos, was part
of a plan to see if Fanning could do what was envisaged by management: give
Nightline a heavier hitter as a host. Kapalos will be a reporter on ACA
and not a replacement for when Ray Martin is away. That will still be Fanning’s
other role.

When 50 really means 49
getting sillier: the inability of Networks Nine and Seven to count anniversaries
properly, especially anything to do with TV and its start 49 years

Sunday don’t worry when you look up from the end of 60 Minutes and you see the
start of a special on the Nine Network celebrating 50 years of Australian TV.
That will come 49 years and 10 days after Bruce Gyngell did the hurried Good Evening and Welcome to
Television in Sydney.

Nine is celebrating earlier not with just one program,
but with two. At
8.30 pm we will see 50 Years 50 Shows. The blurb says
“Counts Down 50 of the greatest Australian shows.” What it doesn’t say, is that the host is
Eddie McGuire, front man for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
And guess which program pops up in the list of top 50 programs? You guessed
it! Then at
10.40 pm 50 years of TV-Great Moments. Takes a behind the
scenes look at 50 years of TV. That continues until 11.50 pm. And it
is still not the 50th anniversary of the start of TV in this country, merely the
50th year on which TV broadcasts have been made.

Last night’s TV

The Winners Ahh, Tuesday evening and it must be Dancing with the Stars on
Seven and a win to the Network by a long way. Yep. Nine was second and Dancing
again mopped the floor with 1.9 million people watching. Home and Away, Tonight
and Seven News all followed. A Current Affair then Nine News were Nine’s
The Losers

Seven’s Last Man Standing, down sharply to 495,000 as
fans just couldn’t wait till 10.30 pm. Death by programming intent, I feel by
Seven. Nine’s mid evening weakness again notable with a repeat of CSI just doing
the business at 1.3 million but a new Ep of CSI New York a non performer with
just 1.042 million at 9.30pm. That’s one of Nine’s most expensive programs and
it is not “washing its face” at the moment in terms of revenues. Ten was
generally weak in All People. The new Simpsons Ep was the best with 1.017
million. Raymond had a small rise to 886,000, but Neighbours was more popular
before it with 921,000. Rove (9.30pm) was watched by more people, 803,000 than
the MTV Music Awards which was the lead-in from 8pm with

News & CA Same old, same old: Seven News, especially in Sydney where it
and Today Tonight has solid wins. Nine News and ACA won Melbourne and Brisbane,
Seven news and TT won Adelaide and Perth. The ABC News with 1.076 million people
was the broadcaster’s best program. The 7.30 Report weakened sharply on the
night before to only 785,000, a victim of Dancing with the Stars? Viewers
perhaps prefer a frock to Kerry’s ties and penetrating
The Stats Seven with 35.0%, the highest winning share, and better
than the Brownlow effort of Nine Monday night because it was more evenly spread.
Nine was second with 27.4%, Ten third with 20.0%, the ABC with 14.0% and SBS with
3.7%. Seven with 37.5% won by more than 10 points in Sydney from Nine. Seven also
won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. A clean
Glenn Dyer’s

Dancing With The Stars
continues to do the numbers for Seven,
even if it skews old. That means it’s a tough night for Nine, the ABC and to a
lesser extent Ten. As we saw in Sydney and Brisbane on Monday night, Nine’s mid
evening weakness is now showing. Unless it has a slew, and I mean a slew, of
local and foreign programs next year to bolster this area (which was long a Nine
strong point), the network is going to have a miserable 2006. The CSI franchise is losing its oomph, just as Cold Case and
Without a Trace are both weakening, even with first run programs. Ten has
experienced this with its Law and Order series. Already a lot depends on what
Nine and Ten have got from the US to keep up with Seven, let alone beat Seven’s
mega hits in Desperate Housewives, Lost and Dancing With The Stars. Tonight it’s
House on Ten, McLeod’s Daughters on Nine and the fading Blue Heelers on Seven.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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