Ten trims its 2006 schedule
The Ten
schedule for next year makes no mention of Merrick and
Rosso, The Surgeon or Australian
. Merrick and
Rosso’s The B Team won’t be returning to Ten next year – it will be replaced by The Ronnie Johns Half Hour which followed them on Thursday
nights. Discussions are continuing about Australian Princess; it
did well for Ten in the target demographic, and has
been sold overseas as a format, but it is also a format that appears to be a
one-shot wonder. Ten will try hard to get it back on air later in the

And saddest of all, The
won’t be back or rather it probably won’t
be back unless Ten has to change its mind for local
content reasons. It was
a brave trial at 9.30pm on Thursday nights, but did Ten slaughter a good idea by programming it against

But the
most interesting comment from David Mott at the launch was about Rove, which he said would return to what it was, more live and more
edgy. Hmmm,
that’s a nice backhanded slap at the program and its producers (who number Rove
himself) about straying from the path. Mott’s comments should therefore be read as both a sign of what’s to come and a
critique of what was shown on Ten this

Last night’s TV

The Winners Nine, easily as the lottery known as summer unofficial ratings
seems to take audiences in different directions each night. Again viewing levels
are low. Last night A Current Affair on Nine was the most watched program with
1.212 million, a welcome turnaround for the embattled Nine giant. The night
before it was its rival Today Tonight that was the most watched program with a
low 1.274 million. Viewers are obviously grazing early but then drift
away. Futurama on Ten, from the stable of The Simpsons creator was second with
1.186 million, Nine News was third with 1.173 million, then its Seven rival on
1.163 million, Today Tonight on 1.086 million, the ABC News with 1.086 million
and Judging Amy on Nine with 1.013 million.
The Losers

Losers, headLand, again, slipping a few thousand more to
762,000 people.The audience for Third Watch on Nine jumped to 973,000 from
799,000 on Tuesday night. The first episode of a program called Blackpool
started on the ABC last night, with 783,000. Now that is a respectable audience
for a challenging program: pom glitz crime with overtones of The Singing
as the main character lets rip with the odd 70s and 80s hit, with the
participation of the rest of the cast from time to time. Overlaying this is a
police procedural with a randy inspector who’s calling on the main
suspect’s attractive wife! As I said very Pom. The cartoon series, Bromwell High
premiered at 9.35pm and the ABC audience collapsed to 309,000. Enuf said,

News & CA Nine’s night, but not in Sydney where Seven news was more than
80,000 in front of Nine. Nine’s audiences in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide
offset Seven’s Sydney and the usual big win in Perth. ACA won with solid wins in
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (very solid) and Adelaide that again offset Seven’s
strength in Perth. The ABC News did well and its 7 pm audiences in Melbourne and
Brisbane were ahead of Seven’s.The ABC news in Perth beat Nine and was the
second most watched program in that market. The 7.30 report eased to 912,000
from the million plus figures of Monday and Tuesday
The Stats Nine with 29.7% to Seven with 23.8% Ten with 21.9%, the
ABC with 16.7% and SBS with 8.0%. Apart from Nine it was another closeish night
for the also rans. The vagaries of summer
Glenn Dyer’s
Nine won and is now in
front for the week, 26.4% to 25.6%. Seven hopes headLand will start turning from
tonight and next week as it claims the pace picks up. Its attempts to anchor
the program are commendable but it has to watch the impact on its momentum over
the rest of summer. This time a year ago Seven was starting to climb back
against Nine and was making solid gains. Now, with headLand losing momentum
every night at 7pm to 8pm, maintaining the pressure will be hard. The final
episode of The Surgeon tonight at 9.30pm. Will it do better now that the
crushing pressure of going up against RPA is