Bert’s GMA looks shaky


What’s
the future for Bert Newton and his Good Morning Australia
show on the Ten Network? Judging by the lukewarm reaction from the
Network, Bert’s “time to go” is fast approaching. Now safely tucked
away in a distant second to Kerry Anne Kennerley on the Nine Network
(one of Nine’s consistent winners), Bert’s had a tough year. There’s
been talk of ill health, which he has belied with a role in the stage
show, The
Producers,
and now there’s some wondering whether he will be back to host GMA in
2006, or if GMA will appear next year in its present form, which is closely tied
to his persona.

There
have been concerns amongst Ten management with
too many of Bert’s family members appearing on GMA, while other personal problems
are also of concern. KAK’s show is modelled on her hosting of Midday years ago: studio based
and a combination of live and pre-recorded, it’s all advertorial and a gold
mine for Nine with revenues estimated around $18
million a year.

Bert’s
GMA used to be the revenue king of morning TV, but in the past two and a bit
years KAK has zoomed past him in terms of audience and
revenue. It’s believed GMA is still a good
earner for Ten, but not the cash cow it was a few years ago. This
week KAK’s program has had a huge gap on Bert.
Wednesday morning she was watched by an average of 156,000 people from 9am to
11am. Bert‘s audience averaged 97,000.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine won thanks to the good performance of a quartet of
programs from 8.30 to 10.30pm, all with some medical background. There was the
season finale of Body Work (1.147 million), You Are What You Eat (1.18
million), RPA, which was returning (1.373 million), and the first of a number of
cut down documentarties from Britain’s Amazing Medical Stories (1.242 million).
Nine needed it as Seven had four of the top five programs: Today Tonight with
1.504 million, Home and Away with 1.424 million, The Mole, 1.324 million and
Seven News with 1.304 million. Nine had the other other six programs in the top ten
including Getaway with 1.301 million.
The Losers

Again, no outright losers although being Thursday night,
Ten struggled. Law and Order SVU was watched by 1.155 million people and the
repeat 950,000. They were the top programs for Ten. Nine’s Temptation with 1.201
million was again well-beaten by Home and Away. Seven’s Alias
is fading: 576,000 viewers at 9.30pm, just not in the race compared to RPA and
Amazing Medical Stories which had double the
audience.

News & CA One of the soundest wins for some weeks for Seven
News and Today Tonight. The usual big margins in Perth added to huge 100,000
plus margins in Sydney. Seven News beat Nine News in Sydney 381,000 people to
281,000. At 6.30pm, Today Tonight with 431,000 accounted for A Current
Affair
with 295,000. Today Tonight also won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Seven News lost to Nine in Melbourne and Brisbane but won Adelaide and
Perth.
The Stats Nine won 30.6% to 27.6% for Seven, Ten on 20.7%, the ABC
a solid 16.1% and SBS on 5.0%.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
The Seven Network will be pleased with this result, but will
look at the performance of its various programs, especially in Sydney and
Brisbane, and wonder how did the night getaway from us? Nine’s four programs over
the 8.30pm to 10.30pm timeslots proved the difference, particularly in
Melbourne. Those four programs were in the top seven programs in
Melbourne last night, all with 400,000 or more viewers. The drop off in the audience for Alias was offset by Seven’s
strong results early in the evening. Crossing Jordan did OK with 1.155 million,
but Seven needed a lot more from Alias. With Body Work and You Are What You Eat
finished, Nine introduces 20 to 1 next week at 8.30pm which will be an
interesting test of a different style of program. Just on indications and
promos, it should do well with baby boomers. That means it will “skew old” like
so many of Nine’s programs. Tonight the second ODI cricket match between Australia and the World side will do the business for
NIne.

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