Warnie set for Nine comeback. Shane Warne is back in favour at the Nine
Network and is about to be re-signed to the payroll, less than a year
after having his contract terminated by Kerry Packer for bad behaviour. This story
surfaced in the News Ltd press overnight and confirms suggestions from
Nine that Eddie McGuire wanted his Melbourne sporting “mate” back in
the fold. Warne had been axed by Nine last year after Packer
Snr supposedly objected to Warne’s off field antics in the UK (his
separation and impending divorce) and the impact it was having on his
standing with Australia’s female cricket fans. It was a strongly
moralistic stance from Packer, a man noted for his big betting habits which
some would consider not appealing to Nine’s TV audience.
Then there was his “special” relationship with Julie Trethowan and his apartments in an exclusive Sydney
apartment block in Elizabeth Bay (Toft Monks). The re-hiring of Warne
comes at a time when Nine is in cutback mode, especially in cricket,
with all domestic games on Nine being flicked to associate Fox Sports
from next season. That leaves Warne to be an occasional commentator, at
best, or perhaps Nine will have a major clear out in the commentary box
for the Tests later this year (which Warne will be playing), the One
Day Internationals (he won’t) and next year’s World Cup (he might or
might not be playing). – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV
ratings

The Winners Wednesday night is becoming Ten’s night – not a benefit
like Tuesday is for Seven at the moment – and so it was last night. The
combination of Big Brother (1.224 million) at 7pm, Thank God You’re Here (1st
with 1.743 million) and House, (second with 1.586 million) powered Ten to a
narrow win over Nine and Seven. Big Brother‘s audience last night was in line
with the average for Monday to Friday in week one for 2005 and 2004, so it is
still doing well, despite its cynicism. That didn’t hurt Thank God, which again
dominated the night and it in term helped maintain lift’s audience, which in
turn added 150,000 to 200,000 to NCIS at 9.30pm which averaged 1.238 million
for a tenth spot on the most watched list. Today Tonight finished third with
1.513 million and a big lead over A Current Affair (8th and 1.351 million),
McLeod’s Daughters returned for Nine and did well at 7.30pm with 1.457 million.
Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow is looking weak at 7.30pm. It has faded in the face of
Thank God and the return of McLeod’s and the 914,000 average probably cost Seven
the night in what would have been a close finish. Seven’s Prison Break though
did well with 1.42 million, so more than half a million people turn on to Seven
after Beyond fell, which is a good sign for Prison Break. Seven News was 6th with
1.406 million, just ahead of Nine News with 1.398 million (more later). After
ACA, Temptation looked a lot better with 1.33 million people (helped by the late
turn-on for McLeod’s). Home and Away with 1.156 million has also faded. Big Brother is hurting it as it should, but Temptation has found more strength now
that The Biggest Loser has left Ten at 7pm. Nine’s Without a Trace averaged
1.148 million at 8.30pm, a big fall from McLeod’s and another reminder of the
fragility of the Nine schedule. ABC News was 14th with 1.017 million and
Spicks and Specks
again topped the million mark (1.003
million).
The LosersBert’s Family Feud faded from the joys of
Tuesday’s 700,000 or more peak, down to 587,000: solid, but a more realistic
audience figure, especially in Melbourne where the 418,000 average on Tuesday
fell to a more real 201,000. Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow needs something to perk it
up. Techies, nerds and geeky TV shows do not stack up against soap (McLeod’s) or smart
humour (Thank God). Nine’s ER with 876,000 is on life support, but Nine needs it
at 9.30pm on Wednesdays because there’s nothing else to drop in to lift
the figures. ER was a poor third behind NCIS and Air Crash Investigations on
Seven and not too far in front of the ABC on 750,000 for the Glass
House
.
News & CA Seven News won nationally and in Sydney but lost
Melbourne and Brisbane and Adelaide. Another big winning margin in Perth
clinched the win. The Sydney margin was a narrow 20,000. Seven’s Today Tonight
had a bigger win over ACA nationally by around 160,000 (smaller than Tuesday
night).TT won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and lost Melbourne narrowly.
Perth helped TT to its national win. After the 7pm ABC News topped the million
mark, the 7.30 Report eased to average 807,000 at 7.30pm.
The Stats Ten with 28.8% (28.2% a week earlier), Nine with
27.0%(22.4%), Seven with 26.4% (29.4%), ABC with 14.2% (15.9%) and SBS with
3.6% (4.1%).Ten won Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and finished second in
Sydney and Perth. Nine won Sydney and was second everywhere bar Perth where it
was third. Seven was third everywhere bar Perth, which it won, as
usual.
Glenn Dyer’s comments A good win for Ten on a very competitive night,
made so by the return of ratings and McLeod’s on Nine, a fresh Beyond Tomorrow
on Seven and a fresh House on Ten. Ten’s game thanks to Thank God You’re Here,
which is in danger of topping The Biggest Loser as the success story of 2006.
Nine will think it was the winner because its share lifted with the return of
McLeod’s
and Temptation‘s new strength. But the performance from 8.30pm onwards is
another reminder of what Nine hasn’t got – a stable of solid second-ranking
dramas like Prison Break on Seven and NCIS on Ten. Ten has the finale of The
Biggest Loser
tonight for two hours from 7.30pm after Big Bruvver.
Seven has Lost at 8.30pm which is very likely to cop a bit of a hit from TBL.
Nine? Getaway will be the peak at 7.30pm and it could very well be a third
place. The AFL and NRL Footy Shows will help at 9.30pm onwards but won’t be
enough. Ten won Sunday night and Wednesday; a win
tonight, and with the Sydney-Geelong game on TV on Saturday night, and we could be
looking at a Ten win in All People. Shock horror! But Nine
will reckon that its AFL and NRL double will help it Friday night while Seven is
hanging on to that lead. Seven leads a close week
27.9% to Ten on 27.4% and Nine on 26.7%.

Peter Fray

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