More repeats at Nine:
Frasier
returns to the screens of the Nine Network tonight for yet another
round of repeats. Its
re-appearance raises the question: is Network Eddie, aka the Nine
Network, desperate and short of ideas as it sheds staff and
costs? Why
else would it subject Australian TV viewers to yet more repeats of Frasier. It’s like the Ten Network and its reruns
of Seinfeld and then Everyone Loves Raymond, not to mention The Simpsons. And then there’s MASH, on Ten and then Seven, and
Foxtel. Frasier
has run on Nine at 7pm Monday to Fridays after Nine ditched Sale of the Century
in 2001: it was also running at 7.30pm to 8.30pm Tuesdays for a while
last year as Nine hurried to bring us to the end of this wonderful
series, long after it ended in the US. 7:30pm on Fridays is a very
important timeslot because it is one of the most family-friendly there
is during the week, along with Sunday evenings at 6.30pm. Friday nights
there’s no pressure on children, parents from having to do homework,
prepare for work, so programs tend to be pitched towards a broader
appeal. For years Nine had a lock on 7.30pm on Fridays through Burke’s Backyard. But when it was canned at the end of 2004 by David Gyngell, then Nine CEO, the network was left with a gaping
hole which hasn’t been filled. They’ve
tried by shifting Backyard Blitz there from 6.30pm Sundays which made way
briefly earlier this year for the appalling Clever. It didn’t last longer than a
month and Blitz returned to Sunday evenings where it’s doing OK but not
brilliantly. Nine is
now making a calculating choice that for the rest of the year it may as well
give up the 7.30pm timeslot to Seven and its Better Homes and Gardens because
next year it will be broadcasting two NRL games on Friday nights, starting from
7.30pm. That is
likely to well, but families will opt for Seven or the ABC and the Rugby league is likely to struggle and not do as well
financially as the broader appeal programs like those on Seven. That
will cover NSW and Queensland markets, but what about the AFL
south where there will be no games next winter? More thinking, more money and well, Frasier again, in
Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth? Frasier
is long on irony as one of its main humour points: I
don’t think irony plays well among the Melbourne AFL clubland types now running the Nine
Networks. Sam
Newman is more their style.


Last night’s TV
ratings:
The winners: Thursday
night and a viewers’ fancy turns where? Well Seven last night, by a
whisker from Nine. Seven News was tops with 1.538 million, followed by Today
Tonight
with 1.518 million. Nine’s Missing Persons Unit was 3rd with 1.516
million, Seven’s Lost was 4th with 1.490 million, Home and Away was next with
1.392 million average, Getaway was 6th with 1.369 million, Nine News was 7th
with 1.360 million and A Current Affair was 8th with 1.275 million. At Nine we
had Seven’s Las Vegas with 1.242 million, then Nine’s Temptation with 1.227
million, Hello/Goodbye was 11th with 1.225 million, Big Brother was 12 with
1.164 million and Medium (Ten) was next with 1.091 million. Law and Order (Ten
averaged 1.082 million and was the 15th and last program on the night with a
million or more viewers. So a fairly evenly distributed night.


The
Losers:
Losers?
Bert’s Family Feud back up to 667,000, Deal or No Deal 985,000 average.
Ten’s Law and Order was tired looking, averaging 1.082 million. Ten showed The
Wedge
at 7.30 pm
instead of Smallville (Superman as a teenager which has been dying). The Wedge
averaged 925,000, around 200,000 down on Tuesday. Seven showed the second
episode (hour) of 24 last night at 9.30pm . It averaged 774,000 and is history.


News
& CA:
Seven
News won nationally and in Sydney
and Perth:
Nine won Melbourne,
Brisbane
and Adelaide.
Seven’s margin in Perth
and Sydney
was enough to put it over the line: Today Tonight had a bigger national win but
A Current Affair won Brisbane.
The 7pm
ABC news averaged
846,000, The 7.30 Report, 843,000. Ten News at Five averaged 876,000. Sunrise
beat Today.


The
Stats:
Seven
won with a 29.8% share (28.5% a week earlier) from Nine on 29.3% (29.1%), Ten
on 22.8% (21.3%), the ABC
with 12.3% (12.4%) and SBS
on 5.8% (8.6%) Seven won Sydney,
lost Melbourne
to Nine, won Brisbane,
lost Adelaide
to Nine and won Perth
clearly which probably gave it the night. Seven now leads to week 28.1% to
27.1% for Nine.

Glenn
Dyer’s comments:
The audience for the Australia v Croatia game won’t be
known until Saturday. But another solid night for all networks: Nine paid the price of a
poor performance in Perth while The AFL
Footy Show
did it in Melbourne, the NRL version in Sydney wasn’t quite as
strong. The week will be decided by tonight and tomorrow (Seven has a Rugby
union Test from Perth
where Ireland
plays Australia).
Collingwood is on Ten Saturday night, so the performance of the AFL
and NRL games tonight will be key. Will Nine lose because it is starting
re-runs of Frasier at 7.30pm tonight as a lead-in to the Football? What a crazy
game that was this morning: a Glorious win!

Peter Fray

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