Frasier v Headland

The
difference was telling: the best written and possibly most successful sitcom in
recent American TV history (ignoring the pap that Friends became) ended its run
on Australian TV last night with more than 1.7 million
people watching the last episodes of Frasier over 90 minutes.

On Seven the third episode of Headland was spluttering and
wandering, watched by fewer viewers than a week ago. Now I
know the Nine Network will continue inflicting Frasier on us viewers at 5pm
weekdays and no doubt somewhere in prime time in non-ratings periods but last
night’s final episode was well done and not all that maudlin or
soppy.

Try
using a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson to make a major point at the end of 11
years, as Frasier did last night to both his family and then to the
listeners of his radio show, and see how far you’d get at Neighbours or Headland. Frasier, with its storylines, writing and characters
took considerable risks in the vast mediocrity that is American Network
TV. Headland suffers from too
few risks being taken: it is predictable, like a metronome.

Last night, its audience dropped to 911,000 from more than 1.3 million first up a week
ago. That
was with the strongly performing Home and Away as a lead-in at 7pm and the last Dancing With the Stars dance-off following at 8.30pm. The big test will be Thursday night’s
episode.

Last Thursday it attracted an average of 830,000. It has to match that or do better
tomorrow night or it will be in trouble. But
Seven is stuck with it over summer regardless.

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners

A very narrow win for Nine thanks to the liking Brisbane
viewers have for Frasier and Nine programming generally. Nine’s very clear win
in Brisbane was the difference between winning and losing last night. Top
program was Frasier with 1.774 million viewers nationally over 90 minutes from
7.30pm: 473,000 watched in Sydney, 532,000 in Melbourne and 389,000 in
Brisbane, which is proportionately larger than Sydney or Melbourne. Frasier beat
the last episode of Dancing With The Stars, the second part of the Dance Off
which averaged 1.538 million viewers. Tom Williams’ chest isn’t as hot as it was
earlier in the year!
The Losers

Losers, Headland on Seven: only 911,000 viewers compared
to more than 1.3 million on the opening night a week ago. Not good. The repeat
of CSI on Nine at 9pm was easily beaten by the first half hour of All Saints.
CSI was watched by 1.011 million over the hour, All Saints by 1.408 million
from 9pm to 10pm. That’s a pretty good final episode figure as well and
putting it on after Dancing seems to have helped interest viewers in it once
again. All Saints was beaten in Brisbane for part of the hour by CSI, which
helped Nine.

News & CA

Mixed night for News, although Seven won both the 6pm and
6.30pm battles, thanks in the main to big wins in Perth again. Seven news won
Sydney, lost Melbourne by 2,000, lost Brisbane but won Adelaide and
Perth. Today Tonight was beaten in Sydney by A Current
Affair
, won Melbourne, lost Brisbane, and won in Adelaide and Perth. A mixed
night! Nine News in Sydney again slipped under the 300,000 mark in losing to
Seven by 50,000 viewers.
The Stats

Nine by 0.2% from Seven: 31.5% to 31.3% high share
figures. Ten was way back in third on 19.3% , the ABC was on 13.4% and SBS on
4.5%. Seven won Sydney and Melbourne and Perth. But lost Brisbane to Nine (37.5%
to 29.1%), and Adelaide by a narrow 0.3%. You can see that the huge win in
Brisbane for Nine was the reason for the close national win on the night,
regardless of what Seven did in Perth. The ABC 7 pm News was watched by 949,000
and the 7.30 Report was down to 824,000 as Frasier crimped its
audience.
Glenn Dyer’s
comments

Frasier did it for Nine
and Seven will probably say, ‘fair enough’ but will look back and think we
should have had it. Now Nine doesn’t have Frasier to prop up its schedule. No
Friends either. Ouch! And nothing new on the horizon. Double ouch! Tonight
more season enders: CSI Miami, Without A Trace, Merrick and Rosso, the improving
Ronnie Johns Half Hour
on Ten, Australian Princess and House, also on Ten; Blue
Heelers
on Seven. And of course, McLeod’s Daughters. Now why doesn’t Nine strip
that into a soap next year for 7pm or 7.30pm? Well it can’t because that would
open a problem at 7.30pm Wednesday. Not much room to move at Willoughby in 2006
on present indications. I know Temptation is at 7pm, but the way it’s being
towelled by Home and Away you’d have to be wondering about how long the quiz
game will last next
year.