Arrested development at Nine? Sandra
Levy is not a consultant to the Nine Network, despite what was spun by Nine’s
statement after she quit almost two weeks ago. Nine sources
and others in the industry say that Levy is no longer at Nine in any role and
there is no one doing development work. Left to handle development are chief programmer Michael Healy; head of factual, John
McAvoy; head of production, Andrew Backwell and Len Downes from GTV.
They were with Eddie McGuire at a function
in Bondi on Tuesday night at which James Packer
introduced Eddie to the independent production community. The meeting apparently wasn’t without some
humour as Nine executives
mumbled and bluffed their way through queries from independents about
ideas. James and Eddie apparently talked
the talk but the underlying questions from independents were all about money,
who will pay for development, pilots etc and just what sort of timeframes were
being looked at. – Glenn Dyer

Curtains for The Movie Show. David Stratton and Margaret
Pomeranz were looking good on the ABC
last night as they presented another edition of At The Movies, but
over at SBS it was
curtains for The Movie Show, the movie review chat program they popularised before leaping to the ABC about two years ago. The
statement yesterday spun and spun, claiming it wasn’t an axing and that the show would return in a
form “unknown”. That’s
spin up with the best from the commercial networks – it could mean
anything, including a new name and new hosts. The ABC
version with David and Margaret has consistently attracted far more viewers in
the various timeslots it has occupied (mainly 9.30pm and 10.05pm). Even
with the Commonwealth Games over the past two Wednesdays, the program has
averaged 390,000 viewers, which is quite strong for such a niche program. Last
night it averaged 343,000 viewers. Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Gold, Gold, Gold to the Nine Network, with the audience averaging 1.893
million (only 17,000 less than the night before) from 7pm to 11pm with
a spate of good gold medal performances holding viewer attention.
Seven’s Today Tonight (1.558 million) was second, Nine News (1.493 million) was third,
then Seven News (1.433 million), Home and Away (1.312 million), Prison Break
(1.187 million, all Seven). then a repeat of House on Ten (1.155 million), The
Biggest Loser
, also Ten 1.095 million, A Current Affair, Nine, 1.081 million and
Beyond Tomorrow, Seven, (969,000). And that was the
night.
The Losers Losers? Hmmm. Seven’s new episode of Prison Break did ok
with 1.187 million, about 100,000 to 200,000 down on what it was settling down
at pre-Games. ABC shows such as 7.30 Report (670,000), The New Inventors
(662,000 at 8 pm) were hurt by the Games, but Spicks and Specks (879,000 at 8.30
pm) and Little Britain (9 pm) didn’t take as much of a hit. In fact there was a
solid tune-in of more than 200,000 viewers from The New Inventors to Spicks and
Specks
, which was not a bad result. The Glass House with 774,000 also did
well.
News & CA There was a good Games impact on Nine News nationally,
especially Melbourne and Brisbane, but not Sydney last night where Seven won by
just 6,000 viewers. But that’s a win. A Current Affair was again undermined by
the live broadcasting of the Games. It lost Sydney heavily, but won heavily in
Melbourne. The ABC 7pm News was watched by 816,000, Ten News at 5pm did
better (in different timeslots) with 838,000 viewers.
The Stats Nine with 39.5%, Seven with 25.0%, Ten with 20.1%,(its
highest of the week) the ABC, 12.4%, SBS, 2.9%. Seven again won Perth. The Games
coverage on Nine finished around 8 pm, Seven claimed the rest of the night, by
1.0%. Melbourne still loves the Games, the average fell to 46%, the lowest this
week.
Glenn Dyer’s comments It’s almost over. Just tonight to go for the serious
part of the ratings week. Lost and The Amazing Race will press Nine’s coverage
from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. Nine should win the night but the performance of the
News and ACA is still not encouraging. Nine will be hoping that the recovery in
Nine News’ audience in Melbourne thanks to the Games, reverses the slide this
year and the surge from Seven. ACA‘s weakness in Sydney is the big worry for
that program because it is happening where head office is and everyone is
watching. Under Kerry Packer, it was The Viewer who mattered. These days it’s
hard to work out at Nine just who is the important viewer. Eddie?, James Packer?
John Alexander? Tomorrow there’s football in Sydney and Brisbane to help Nine,
and on Sunday evening at 6.30pm after the news and before the closing
ceremony

Peter Fray

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