Is Eddie headed for the top job at Nine?

Viewers
of last night’s edition of Who Wants To Be A
Millionaire?
noticed the contestant, Martin Flood, coughing and answering
questions in a rather odd fashion. So much
so that suspicions were raised and the Nine Network reviewed the tape of the
program, as this story from the Daily Telegraph reports.

Flood reached $250,000 and is going to go on next week to become
Eddie’s second millionaire in a month, after a drought of more than five
years. That
might be enough to farewell Eddie from the host’s chair, if chat around the TV
industry is correct. The
gossip is that Eddie is moving up into management at
the Nine Network, leaving Millionaire and the AFL Footy Show
behind. How far
would Eddie go? Well some claim as far as the big office on the third floor at
Willoughby,
next to CEO Sam Chisholm. Just
what Eddie would do there is open to conjecture but some claim he would fill
the CEO role that Sam Chisholm has occupied on a temporary basis since taking
over in early May. Eddie
has denied this speculation.

Australian Idol struggles on
Australian Idol isn’t doing well and for weeks now the
TV industry has been guessing when the final would be held. Well,
it will be on Monday 21 November at the Sydney Opera House. The finale will run
for two hours from 7.30pm, which means they have scaled back dramatically from the near three hours of
last year’s finale.

Sunday night’s performance episode was watched by just over 1.4
million people – that’s 39% down on a year ago when the audience was a
smidge under 2 million viewers. And last night’s verdict episode was
watched by 1.141 million – another night of underperformance compared
to last year – but still a night of “adequate” performance so far as
Ten is concerned because it’s still doing well enough to give the
Network a handy win in the 16 to 39 age group. Ten has already won that
group, its target, for this year. The
trend this year has been for the verdict episode to attract a
sharply smaller audience than the performance program on the Sunday
night. That
means Idol isn’t engaging viewers like it
did a year or two ago.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners

Seven, in a close finish from Nine, by 0.2%. A mere sniff.
Thanks to Grey’s Anatomy ( Number One with 1.527 million viewers), Home and Away
with 1.475 million, Seven News, 1.45 million and Today Tonight with 1.441
million. Nine’s best was Cold Case at 9.30 pm with 1.318 million, then
Millionaire at 8.30 pm with 1.262 million and Temptation at 7 pm with 1.207
million. Seven’s The Great Outdoors (1.130 million) beat Super Nanny ( 1.016
million) and Mythbusters on SBS averaged 965,000. Not far from Super Nanny.
Ten’s best was the verdict episode of Australian Idol: 1.141 million, almost
300,000 down on the 1.4 million who watched Sunday night. But Ten still won the
16 to 39 group. The ABC’s best was the 7 pm news with 1.079 million and
Australian Story with 1.057 million..
The Losers

Losers: nothing really outstanding except for the
underperforming 24 on Seven and Numb3rs on Ten at 8.30 with 874,000 people which
was beaten by Four Corners on the ABC with 879,000 viewers. Not a bad way for
Four Corners to end the year! The Biggest Loser at 9.30 on Ten accounted for 24,
and the Paul Anka special on the ABC ( 511,000) and ran second behind Cold
Case
.

News & CA

The News results were sort of normal, with Seven winning
nationally after big wins in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won the News and
current affairs battle at 6.30 pm in Melbourne and Brisbane. In Sydney Nine News
fell to only 262,000 people. No cricket as a lead in and down goes the news in
Sydney, but not in Melbourne or Brisbane, so it’s not quite a question of a
lead-in. Seven News in Sydney with 413,000 people was 141,000 ahead of Nine
News: Today Tonight as a result was 108,000 ahead of A Current Affair in Sydney
despite the exclusive (and good) story about Rex Hunt’s Byron Bay holiday, which
obviously helped ACA to a good win in Melbourne where Rex is better known. Seven
News was again helped by an enormous win in perth over Nine, 253,000 viewers to
just 97,000. The ABC’s 7.30 report was watched by 920,000 and featured a
strained interview between Kerry O’Brien and the Prime Minister on
terror legislation: a few hours makes a lot of difference to both points of
view.
The Stats

Seven won with a share of 27.1% to Nine on 26.9%, ten
with 22.1%, the ABC with 15,2% and SBS with 8.7% (Mythbusters) Seven won Sydney,
Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. Overall it was a pretty
competitive night.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments

Fourteen programs with a
million or more viewers and some competition between 7 pm and 9.30 pm. but when
Grey’s Anatomy finished, Nine moved clearly in front with Cold Case which had
more than 500,000 viewers more than Seven’s 24; while The Alice beat old Quincy
ME
(Seven) by 200,000 at 10.35 pm to 11.30 pm. And that nearly allowed Nine to
catch and snatch a win from Seven. The old problem for Seven, poor late night
programs Tonight it will be a different story with the final of Dancing With The
Stars
from 7.30 to 10 pm on Seven. Nine is running three new episodes of Frasier
back to back from 7.30 pm to 9 pm. No
contest!