Eddie finally delivers on Millionaire

It’s taken all year, but finally
Eddie McGuire and Who Wants to be a Millionaire
have done the business for the Nine Network and driven the network to a
good win on Monday night. Boosted by its first millionaire dollar
winner, Rob Fulton, the show was watched by 1.810 million people, with
the biggest audience in Melbourne with 599,000 people watching. The
audience peaked at 2.4 million people around 9.15pm.

That’s
very good, although not up to the levels set by Desperate Housewives or Dancing With The Stars, which will give Seven a big
win tonight. But it
was more than 500,000 above the average for Millionaire this
year.

60 Minutes’ stale interview

The
Nine Network’s 60 Minutes had a big year in 2005, despite the management
instability. Its ratings are pretty good, helped by the
weakness at 7.30pm on the other Networks (especially Seven) and the
show biz approach that now characterises the show
seems to be what viewers want to see.

But the
program’s producers are being more than a little arrogant when they screen
interviews like the one with actor George Clooney that went to air on Sunday
night. It was
with reporter Diane Sawyer from the US program
20/20. The interview went to air a few weeks ago in the US. Nothing wrong with that, but
that edition of 20/20 was shown on Sky News, part-owned by Nine three
weeks ago.

Viewers didn’t mind all that much. 60 Minutes was still watched by 1.529 million
viewers in the five major markets on Sunday night – but
that’s besides the point. 60
Minutes
used to do as many
interviews as it could and concentrated on big news stories during its golden
era in the late 70s and 80s. Now
it’s driven more by the occasional big story such as the tsunami and medical, social and
show biz “flirt” interviews.

Why
couldn’t 60 Minutes arrange its own interview with George Clooney and send
Liz Hayes or Tara Brown? Using foreign reports is cheap and mutes the “voice” of
the program when over-used.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine won thanks to Eddie Everywhere and Millionaire‘s first millionaire – more than 1.8 million people tuned in. Home and Away
(1.542 million), Today Tonight (1.469 million), Grey’s Anatomy (1.358 million up
against Eddie at 8.30pm) and The Great Outdoors (1.243 million) were all
solid for Seven.
The Losers

Australian Idol only had 992,000 for the Live Verdict last night
versus more than 1.4 million for the Sunday night performance, which would be a worry for Ten. It’s
doing the job for Ten, but not at the level they had hoped for. Nine’s Super
Nanny
had 1.186 million viewers on average. That’s OK but certainly not
awe-inspiring. It’s a definite second place to The Great Outdoors on Seven. And 24 continues to lag down around the 800,000 or so viewer
mark (last night it was 825,000). The clock can’t tick fast
enough.

News & CA Monday night and Nine News had a good time, coming within 3,000 viewers
of Seven, thanks to a huge win in Brisbane that offset Seven’s big win
in Perth. But Seven still won Sydney easily and snuck to within 43,000
people of Nine in Melbourne. Seven also won Adelaide. Today
Tonight
won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth but lost Brisbane. The ABC 7pm news finished with 1.060 million and the 7.30 Report had
992,000.
The Stats Nationally, Nine had 32.5%, Seven with 26.5%, Ten was low with
18.6% (but still won the 16 to 39 demographic), ABC with 14.9% and SBS
with 7.4%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Seven won
Perth.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
There would be a sense of
relief around Nine in Sydney and Melbourne that the first millionaire has
happened for Eddie. Next week though it’s back to the humdrum competition with
Grey’s Anatomy. Tonight it’s Dancing With The
Stars
!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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