Hiccups at Nine:

What’s wrong with the Nine Network and its producers and programmers? People
bang on about how Crikey makes mistakes, but when one is made in a highly produced TV program finished weeks ago, you have
to ask, does anyone care at Nine? Last night as Australia was watching the second episode of 20 to 1: Greatest Dummy Spits on Nine (and how come it didn’t include the decision by David
Gyngell to resign from Nine in May?) and up came that
blue between author Sher Hite and 60 Minutes reporter,
Ian Leslie from 1987.

In a
comment on the interview and the flare-up, Overton referred to it as being 27
years ago. What?
1987 isn’t 27 years ago, it’s 18 years ago. 27 years would make it 2014 – not according to my calendar. Now that episode, the
second, was the most watched program on Australian TV last night with 1.6
million viewers.

So why was the
mistake allowed to go to air? Why
couldn’t one of the producers simply have explained to Pete that he got his grab
wrong and to redo it? And, by
the way, in a comment on the top dummy spit (which was that on-air Midday brawl
between Ron Casey and Normie Rowe), Today host Tracy Grimshaw was all
darkish brunette, when she’s now a blonde. Which means that comment was recorded before
she went on holidays in August.

Summer Bay kids vs Temptation:
The Seven Network should
feel more than a little chuffed. One of its stalwart
programs is showing signs of renewed life, despite having a high profile program
pitched against it, not to mention the naughty folk of Big
Brother
. The 7
pm battle between Seven’s soap, Home and Away and Nine’s revamped game show,
Temptation

(Sale of the Century in a new guise) has taken an interesting turn in the past
six weeks, with a sudden widening of the gap in favour of the kids at
Summer Bay. Thursday night marked a
shift as Home and Away opened up a 40% gap in the
respective audiences.The Seven soap was the second most
popular program on the night with 1.509 million viewers. Temptation was the 10th
most watched with 1.079 million. And the
past month has seen Home and Away as one of the three most popular programs on
quite a few week nights.

That
gap of 430,000 viewers Thursday night means that since it started in May, Temptation’s audience has slowly fallen, while Home and
Away’s
dipped and then rebounded. Home
and Away
has survived the departure of Bec Hewitt and the arrival of her
replacement. In fact, the figures have improved since that swap
happened.

Temptation started in May with a first week audience
average of 1.4 million, which is where Nine wanted it
to be. Its peak was 1.41 million. Last week it averaged 1.19 million, the week
before 1.33 million. It’s
had a couple of very good winners in that time which have helped boost viewers,
but only on one night. The casual viewers do not return the next few nights,
preferring to tune in to get the big prize going off.

In
contrast, Home and Away trailed Temptation at the start.
Home and Away’s audience averaged 1.23 million the
week Temptation started, trailed, and then started building about two months
later. Its audience last week averaged 1.47 million people. Home
and Away
has added around 200,000 people in that time to its audience levels,
Temptation has lost between 70,000 and 200,000, depending on the week you
use.

Last night’s TV
ratings:

The Winners Nine with a solid performance, led by 20 to 1 and RPA and also Getaway. Seven’s efforts were hurt by the weak finale of Las Vegas and Alias
where viewers once again went missing. The second episode of 20 to 1 was the most
popular program with 1.633 million. It was a collection of celebrity dummy spits,
which made for amusing viewing and nothing more. Home and Away was again strong
in second place for Seven with 1.509 million, RPA was third with 1.448 million,.
Then came Today Tonight, Getaway, Nine News, Seven’s News and The Mole, followed
by A Current Affair and then a weakening Temptation. The ABC’s best performed
program was the 7pm News with 982,000. Ten’s best program was Law and Order: SVU
with 1.007 million.
The Losers

Inside Idol, The Surgeon, Everybody Loves Raymond and
the umpteenth repeat of The Simpsons all did poorly for Ten last night. The
second episode of The Surgeon shed a third of its opening audience and averaged
622,000 at 9.30pm to 10pm which is a bit of a pity. But the real thing on
Nine’s RPA is just too powerful. Las Vegas has gone and will be unlamented by
viewers: it’s final audience averaged 1.017 million. Alias at 9.30pm averaged
604,00 and was fourth, behind RPA, The Surgeon and Auschwitz on the ABC
(722,000).

News & CA Nine News beat Seven News nationally for the second time this
week, but again lost Sydney to Seven.Today Tonight accounted for A Current
Affair
nationally and in Sydney. They shared the other capitals, with Nine
having good wins in Melbourne and Brisbane and Seven winning Adelaide and
Perth.
The Stats Nine won with a share of 32.7%, from Seven with 27.2%,
Ten down on 18.6%, equal to its lowest share this week so far. The ABC was on
16.6% and SBS with 5.0%. Nine won all
markets.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments
Nine is firmly in the lead
for the week, Seven having been undone by that weakness last night from 8.30pm
onwards when it was anything but Seven for many viewers. Tonight, Nine has the
second Rugby League test between Australia and New Zealand to boost viewers in
Sydney and
Brisbane.

Peter Fray

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