Another weekly win for Seven. Last week saw Seven score its
third week win in a row with a share of 31.5% to 26.6% for Nine, 21.4%
for Ten, 15.6% for the ABC and 4.9%. The figures were the best for
Seven in the three weeks of official survey so far, while Nine’s were
the lowest. And a look at the top ten most watched programs list
reflects Seven’s dominance with eight entries including the top four –
Dancing With the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Commander in Chief and Lost. Lost
is still doing well, despite shedding around 300,000 viewers from its
opening episode this year, but its performance will be closely
monitored because Seven has sold advertising sponsorship based on certain audience levels. Nine News and A Current Affair
had poor weeks as well, but as gloomy as that all seems, Nine would be
more hopeful about this week with the Oscars tonight – solid
Australian involvement (Heath Ledger) would have Nine hoping for a lot
of viewer interest to provide some competition for Desperate Housewives and Commander in Chief. – Glenn Dyer

Clever ready for the chop? A better night for Clever last night, finding another
57,000 viewers to finish with an average of 965,000. But
that’s not going to be enough to save it: unless it cracks the
million viewer mark and stays above it, there could very well be no return after
the Commonwealth Games. And considering there’s only one more Sunday before the games, Clever‘s future is very much in doubt. The same apparently
applies to Magda’s Funny Bits, which has been
buried in direct competition with the ratings mega weight, Dancing With The Stars, at 7.30pm on Tuesdays. All
Nine programming except for the News, A Current Affair and Today, is due to go
on holiday for the Commonwealth Games. That
will give Nine the chance to make some serious changes
to its schedule and get rid of underperformers. But it
doesn’t have much in the way of big guns in reserve like Seven (eg, a new series of Grey’s Anatomy, plus new
programs like Bones and My Name is Earl from the US). Nine
has its forensic type program in Suspicious Minds, which is 12 months late, and US series Invasion, Close to Home and Rome.Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Nine won: its Sunday night after all, its best night of
the week. But last night saw a contraction in Nine’s share and its lead over Seven. Nine did well with CSI (1.431 million) and 60
Minutes
(1.370 million) while Seven’s best were Where Are They Now? (1.347
million) and Seven News, a surprise winner over Nine News. But that victory came on the back of a huge win in Perth where Nine
News was beaten by 100,000! Ten’s best was Australia’s Brainiest Radio Star with
1.064 million. The ABC’s best was the latest part of the Agatha Christie series
at 8.30pm with Hercule Poirot (1.087 million).
The Losers Clever on Nine, even though audience rose to
965,000. Law and Order SVU and Criminal Intent, (948,000 and 885,000) weren’t the
biggest losers, but still not performing like Ten would have hoped. Everybody
Hates Chris
debuted last night and while it did well in the 16 to 39 age
group (as Ten would have hoped), the average audience of 859,000 was less than
expected. Ten’s surprise performer is the local skit series,
The Ronnie Johns Half Hour at 10.30pm (466,000). Its audience was up more than
seven per cent, after a rise of 15% the week before and it won the 16 to 39 age
group, which will endear the program to Ten’s heart. Einstein Factor on the ABC
(6.30pm) with 617,000 is missing something from last year.
News & CA

Seven News beat Nine, thanks to the whipping in Perth as well as wins in Brisbane and Adelaide,
but Nine won Sydney and Melbourne, where viewing levels were low at 6pm (and for much of
the night it would seem). More people watched Seven News in Brisbane (358,000)
than watched Seven News in Sydney (247,000) or Melbourne (349,000). The ABC 7pm News with 1.012 million was
back to around its usual Sunday levels. More people watched the ABC News in
Sydney (326,000) than watched the Seven News at 6pm.
The Stats Nine with 28.8%, Seven with 27.9%, Ten with 20.7%, the
ABC with 18.9% and SBS with 3.7%. That gap of less than one per cent is much less than the previous Sunday when Nine won with a
share of 29.8% to Seven’s 26.5%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments Sunday is Nine’s strongest night but advertisers and others will note
the weakness from 6pm onwards. Even though a win is a win is a win, the
question must be asked, is this a further sign of Nine’s schedule
having more holes than Swiss cheese? Viewing levels in Sydney are
noticeably weaker this year compared with past years, especially in the
6pm to 8pm timeslots. Sunday morning is another area where Seven has
very confidently carved Nine up. By extending Weekend Sunrise to two
hours from 8am, Seven has snatched the Sunday morning leadership from
Nine’s Sunday, hence the changes on Sunday in the first hour yesterday. But tonight
Nine has the Oscars, Thursday night the NRL Footy Show is back in Sydney and
Brisbane (it did poorly for most of last year) and the NRL starts on Friday night
which should help.

Peter Fray

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