Clever clobbered. First Millionaire was “rested”, now it’s happened to Clever,
Nine’s poorly performing variety program rip-off in the prestigious Sunday
6.30pm timeslot. Clever
was a rip-off of Brainiac on Ten (from
Britain) and Mythbusters, a program produced by Beyond for SBS and the
Discover Channel. The
only good thing about Clever was the use of Georgie
Parker as the host who valiantly held it together. It
barely managed a million viewers the five weeks it went to air, while on Seven
Where Are They Now (a nostalgia show with a hint of Nine’s 20 to 1) went from strength to strength, culminating
with the 1.7 million average audience last Sunday night. In the ratings battle so far this year, Nine has bombed badly with new
shows: only Missing Persons Unit is doing well. While Ten has
successfully started The Biggest Loser, Bondi Rescue,
Friday Night Games and last night, the new Working Dog
property, Thank God You’re Here. Glenn Dyer

Eddie finally heads north. It’s taken him a long time to do it
but at long last Eddie McGuire is heading north to Brisbane for a meet
and greet BBQ with the much reduced staff of QTQ 9, the third of Nine’s
East Coast stations. Staff in Brisbane aren’t all that thrilled with the
idea; after all, it’s only taken Eddie two months to come
north to meet the people in the one area
where Nine is taking it up to Seven every night, especially between
5.30pm and 7pm. Eddie has already had a chat with staff at GTV in
Melbourne and TCN in Sydney, but neither are not doing anywhere near as
well as QTQ. Eddie’s recent radio appearances have also dismayed staff at Nine who are cautious
about his eagerness to get on the blower and reveal management decisions before the staff are
told about them. It’s a
blokey, football club type of approach that is not the
way things happen in the Sydney business
community. Nine staff hope this doesn’t become a
trade mark of Eddie’s management style at Nine. They
want him to pull his head in and give direction. – Glenn Dyer

Fighting discrimination at The Mercury.News Ltd is spending mega bucks to knock out a claim by Mercury
sub-editor John Lawler in the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in Hobart.
He is seeking an upgrade from level 7 to 8 – which would result in a
$47 a week pay rise. Lawler alleges he has been discriminated against
by editor Garry Bailey (and former editor Ian McCausland) because of
his union activity. The claim is denied by Davies Bros, publishers of
The Mercury and a wholly owned subsidiary of News Ltd. While dulcet
tones were maintained by all during the three day hearing, which ended
yesterday, the Tribunal did hear that Bailey had shouted Lawler was a
“dumb f*ck” in front of another journalist. Lawler, who has been house
committee secretary for many years, was last upgraded in 1986 (apart
from an upgrade given to all subs in 1995 after the introduction of new
technology). News hired a top silk for the inquiry before Margaret
Otlowski, Sydney barrister Harry Dixon SC. Dixon was instructed by
Andrew Cunningham of Minter Ellison – the thirteenth largest law firm
in the world. And News’ Group Industrial Relations Manager Andrew
Biocca, was also down from Sydney for the duration. Lawler was
represented by Richard Grueber of Hobart law firm Ogilvie Jennings.
Professor Otlowski will hand down her finding in due course. – Margaretta Pos (who is Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Tasmania Branch president and a former Mercury journalist)

More funny anti-Chevy ads.
As reported earlier this week, American car manufacturer Chevy has
discovered the downside of viral marketing when a competition to create an ad
for its new SUV was hijacked by environmental groups – here is the funniest so far. Send any more examples
found to [email protected]. – Margaret Simons

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Ahh, Ten was the narrow winner over Seven, with Nine
third in a night that saw Ten launch another new program. This on a day when
Nine axed Clever, one of its new programs for 2006. The TV momentum is clearly
not with Willoughby and rougher times lay ahead if last night is any guide.
Ten’s House was the most watched program with 1.597 million, with Today Tonight
next with 1.573 million and Seven News, 1.494 million. Then came Ten’s new
program Thank God You’re Here, with 1.478 million. A very successful start. It
was just ahead of The Biggest Loser with 1.469 million, its biggest audience so
far, topping the previous best on Tuesday night. McLeod’s Daughters was Nine’s
best with 1.361 million and Seven’s Prison Break was 8th with 1.337 million.
Nine News’ impetus from Monday and Tuesday night eased and its audience averaged
1.270 million and Ten’s NCIS rounded out the top ten with 1.189
million.
The Losers Losers? Bert lost ground and fell under the 600,000 mark
to 596,000, down 37,000. Deal or No Deal had 60,000 fewer viewers on Seven with
839,000. But Ten News lost 22,000 but was the clear winner of the timeslot with
945,000 and has got the biggest benefit from the end of daylight saving (which
is why early evening audiences are now higher, especially Sydney). Temptation
continues to run fourth behind The BiggestLoser, Home and Away and the 7pm ABC News with
940,000; although it was close, averaging
936,000.
News & CA Seven News won easily as did Today Tonight. The end of daylight savings saw Seven News in Sydney top the 400,000 mark last night for the first time in
months. Its 415,000 was 112,000 in front of Nine’s 302,000, which had beaten
Seven the night before. Today Tonight won in Sydney with an audience of 434,000
to ACA’s 300,000. In Melbourne Today Tonight beat ACA easily, but TT‘s audience
topped the half million mark and Seven News was 464,000. Nine News won Brisbane
with more than 300,000 viewers and Adelaide with a high 162,000 for that market.
Seven won Perth. TT has a clean sweep.
The Stats Ten with 28.3% (27.0% last Wednesday) from Seven with 28.1%(26.3%) ,
Nine with 24.2%,(27.6%) the ABC with 14.7%(15.1%) and SBS with 4.7%
(4.1%). Seven won Sydney, over Ten and Nine; Ten won Melbourne over
Seven and Nine, with the same result in Brisbane; in Adelaide it
was Ten from Nine and Seven, while in Perth it was Seven from Ten and
Nine. It was Ten’s best night of the year and Nine’s worst.
Glenn Dyer’s comments Last Wednesday night Nine said good night
to Eddie and introduced the new look AFL show in the southern markets. That
helped Nine snatch a close win from Ten and Seven. No AFL this week and Ten
comes out on top, thanks to the debut of Thank Good You’re Here (TGYH), House
and The Biggest Loser. Ten has the constant mantra that it’s not really
interested in the broader ‘All People’ race than Seven and Nine are, but do you
think Ten will give up this win? Nope. It’s having a justifiable bit of basking
in the sun of yet another successful debut, to add to TBL, Friday Night Games
and Bondi Rescue.
Seven would be happy with its performance, its gap over Nine this week
has grown a touch (30.3% to 27.0%) and its early evening programming
led the way again. Nine though is finding Wednesday nights a bit
frustrating. McLeod’s Daughters is the anchor and can Nine really afford to get
rid of it when a new police drama is supposed to be in the works and networks
don’t like running two expensive local dramas, unless they have to? That may be
the case with Nine in the next year, just as it was for Seven in 2002-2005.
Tonight there’s again no live AFL: game, but the AFL and NRL Footy Shows are on.
So too is Lost and The Amazing Race for Seven. Getaway will again be Nine’s
anchor.

Peter Fray

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