Ten’s programming shake-up: There’s nothing like a bit of
success to focus the mind of the opposition: no matter if its sport,
business or even the sport of TV programming. Take yesterday’s surprise
announcement from the Ten Network that David Mott, in charge at the network
since 1997, will step away from day-to-day programming to focus on
strategy and direction, with the new title of chief programming
officer. Ten has gone to Kiwi land and its old Canwest affiliate, TV 3
to recruit its programming director, Beverley McGarvey, as network
program manager. This came three days after Ten emerged as the winner
of its first week in TV ratings for 12 years thanks to decisions made
by Mott, CEO Grant Blackley and the board last year to invest heavily
in new local programs to fill a rather tired and holey-looking 2006
schedule. The opposition networks have immediately hinted that all is
not happy at Ten: that Mott had been promoted sideways, that Blackley
was taking charge, but it doesn’t look like that. Mott’s new roles
effectively locks him tighter to Ten (meaning Nine can’t snatch him
away in the event they need a new programmer if Michael Healy is
replaced). Mott can now concentrate on the rest of the schedule, start
looking at 2007 and also ponder what Ten will put into the digital area
when its strategy is finally devised sometime this year (it’s been a
long time coming). Beverley McGarvey will manage much of the daily
programming stuff and will report to Mott, which is an interesting move
as it brings new blood into Ten and the Australian TV programming area.
The moves strengthens Ten’s programming group, puts it on a par with
Seven, and highlights how light on Nine is at the moment. If Michael
Healy were to fall under the proverbial bus, Eddie McGuire might
struggle, even though veteran Len Downes is still at GTV 9 in Melbourne.Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV

The Winners Tuesday and Dancing With The Stars, Seven’s remaining
megahit. Big audience, 2.3 million, close to the biggest ever, and a big win for
Seven. Seven has four top programs. Normal transmissions restored for time
being. All Saints sat on the back of Dancing and averaged 1.589 million, Today
, 1.574 million at 6.30 pm and Seven News, 1.546 million. Nine News was
5th with 1.381 million, then Big Brother on Ten with 1.320 million, CSI New York
with 1.279 million, Temptation with 1.251 million, ACA, 1.249 million and Home
and Away
with 1.22 million was 10th. A repeat of CSI on Nine was 11th with 1.10
million and that was the list of million plus programs last
The Losers Bert’s Family Feud eased to 602,000 but still
ran a long way behind Deal or No Deal with 952,000 and Ten News at Five, also
with 952,000 people. Survivor Panama averaged 944,000: so far off the pace while
Dancing is on and only the hard core cares.
News & CA Seven News won nationally and in every market bar
Brisbane. Today Tonight had a national sweep. There was a 165,000 margin in
favour of Seven news, built on the big Perth win and solid margins in Sydney and
Melbourne, but Today Tonight beat ACA by 325,000. TT added 28,000 viewers from
Seven news, but ACA shed 132,000 viewers from Nine News. Not good. The 7 pm ABC
News averaged 995,000 and was the network’s best performed program) and The 7.30
721,000. on SBS Insight looked at what Labor has to do to win Government
in Canberra. Bomber Beazley, Ruddie and Jules Gillard didn’t front and Beazley
wouldn’t have been listening anyway. The swinging voters don’t like him. 316,000
viewers watched from 7.30 pm, the program’s third highest ever audience. George
Negus hosted, looking like a cross between a greying Dr Phil and Oprah, wearing
a suede coat. Regular host Jenny Brockie was away.
The Stats Seven won with a 36.7% (36.5% a week earlier), Nine was
second with 26.0%(26.3%), Ten was third with 21.3% (29.2%), the ABC with 11.5%
(11.9%) and SBS with 4.4% (5.0%). Seven won every market, Nine was second in
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and Perth but third in Adelaide (by
Glenn Dyer’s comments Only one more Tuesday night for Dancing, next week
though it’s the biggie, The Grand Final which will go a very long way to
offsetting Nine’s win on Sunday night with The Logies. It was just an average
night’s viewing: the domination by Dancing distorts the entire night across all
networks. Nine’s Easter-holiday rebound in News and Current Affairs has come to
a halt, but Nine News in Sydney seems to have a few more viewers. Tonight will
be close: Ten should go close to a win with Big Brother, Thank God You’re Here
and House from 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Seven will give some cheek. Nine will depend on
McLeod’s with assistance from a stronger Temptation at 7 pm.

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Peter Fray
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