True Stories: Like
many of the subjects it profiles, the life of the well performed Seven Network
program True Stories has been a difficult one. In fact
you could say it’s something of an orphan program in the eyes of some at the
Seven Network, especially in the programming department where head scheduler,
Tim Worner, and his offsider,
Brad Lyons, are not big fans. Which
is strange, given that it rated its socks off last year running at 8pm Tuesdays
in its first series, helped by having the lead-in Border
Security
. It
averaged over 1.5 million viewers in its first series. That
series had less than tepid support from Seven
programming and earlier this year there was an attempt by the schedulers to slip
it into Sunday evening at 7pm. That
was knocked on the head after David Leckie, Seven’s
CEO, became involved. The series was incomplete and needed more
work. Now the
Seven programmers are at it again: scheduling True Stories at 8pm Sundays,
right up against the second half of 60 Minutes, a recipe for certain
demolition. 60
Minutes
is still doing very well for Nine, even if it
is a shadow of its former self – viewers are “rusted on the Sixty”, as the saying goes. Prising them loose at 8pm for a
program like True Stories, good as it is, will be an uphill task. And to
rub further salt into the wound, Seven has scheduled
only four episodes to go to air in the first run in a complicated bit of
programming – it will run after a shortened version It Takes
Two
, cut from two hours to an hour and a half due to the number of
contestant couples being reduced by the competition. Then
True Stories will be rested for a week, at least, while a two hour final of It
Takes Two
is broadcast. There
are ten episodes of the program made, with an eleventh episode being specially
made, focusing on Sophie Delezio, the young girl badly
injured in two car crashes. According to media reports that episode will be hosted
by Sydney newsreader, Chris Bath, while the regular
host of True Stories, Ana Coren, is in Los Angeles as Seven’s
correspondent. – Glenn Dyer

Look out Jessica, now you’re really in trouble:
Eddie Somewhere-or-other continues to
generate plenty of publicity for Channel Nine in the various fish wrappers this
morning, but still for all the wrong reasons. His best effort is pledging support for
Today host, Jessica Rowe. (the Terror, Oz, SMH
et al). The Oz headline said it best:
“Eddie McGuire forced to back Today star.” Eddie tries to blame the opposition for
Jessica’s recent travails, which makes me wonder if painting black as white and
vice versa is a Collingwood thing. Eddie seems to be into the Aussie Rules talk in
a large way, but for anyone vaguely familiar with the cliches of football
clubs, the killer is Eddie’s use of the phrase that generally means the coach
is about to be sacked. “She has my full support,” says Eddie. – Michael Pascoe

Last night’s TV ratings

The winners: Wednesday night and it’s Ten’s turn to win: just, from
Seven with Nine back in third. That’s been the usual line-up on Wednesdays now
for some months. House was tops with 1.636 million, from Seven News with 1.499
million, Ten’s NCIS, with 1.475 million and Today Tonight with 1.448 million.
Nine News was fifth with 1.374 million, A Current Affair was next with 1.359
million, Seven’s Beyond Tomorrow was next with 1.346 million (and loving the
national absence of McLeod’s Daughters), Seven’s Prison Break was eighth with 1.287
million, Nine’s Temptation was next with 1.274 million, with its 7pm rival,
Home and Away, tenth with 1.247 million viewers . Ten’s Big Brother special at
7.30 pm called Housemates on Trial (all guilty, your honour) averaged 1.191
million, a lowish yield for a stunt. Without A Trace was 12th with 1.107
million, Big Brother at 7pm was 13th with1.090 million, The ABC’s Spicks and
Specks
was next with 1.062 million and the 7pm ABC News rounded out the 15 “millionaire” programs with 1.024 million.

The losers: Bert’s Family Feud down to 657,000. which is
sort of OK. Normal for a Wednesday night. Deal or No Deal averaged 977,000, Ten
News at Five
887,000. Nine is still catching up with McLeod’s Daughters which
ran in Sydney and Brisbane and averaged 638,000 across both markets (It’s for
State of Origin games). Nine is not making Wednesday nights any easier for itself,
but no doubt the ratings joys of the State of Origin are worth it. Next week
will be a big test with the third and last game to be played in Melbourne at the
Dome. It should go gangbusters in Brisbane because the poor northerners have a
chance of winning. Will Victorians understand the League
passion?

News & CA:Seven News and Today Tonight again won nationally and
again big margins in Perth helped. Seven News won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth
where the margin was 159,000. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane. The national margin
was 125,000. Today Tonight won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth where the
margin was 95,000. TT won by 89,000. Ten News At Five eased to just under
900,000, The 7pm ABC News had a solid night with more than a million
viewers (1.024 million) and The 7.30 Report, 829,000. Nine is closer to Seven
this week than it has been for some time between 6pm and 7pm.

The stats: Ten’s night, narrowly. Its share was 27.8%(28.8%) from,
Seven with 27.2% (26.8%), Nine was third with 25.0% (24.7%), the ABC was on
14.9% (13.7%) and SBS was on 5.1% (6.0%). Seven won Sydney, Melbourne and Perth,
Ten won Brisbane and Adelaide. The Adelaide win was just under ten points from
Seven which was enough to lift it past Seven nationally into top
spot.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A reader writes: “Each
week Glen Dyer talks about a program called ‘BORDER PATROL‘ on
Tuesdays. Not that anyone really going to worry too much but the show is actually
called ‘BORDER SECURITY‘. PS: Desperate
Housewives
isn’t ending next week like suggested. It’s still got quite
a few eps to go.” Yes, I always get that one muddled
up… And Desperate Housewives… why then has
Seven scheduled the following program for the night of Sunday 2 July at 10.05? “Desperate Housewives. Before the final
episode of Desperate Housewives, take a fond look back at the antics of the
residents of Wisteria Lane.” There are four or five real eps of the
Housewives to go. Tonight what will happen to the Footy Shows? Any fallout from
Eddie McGuire’s roughest week for years? Can he phone a friend, who’s his
lifeline? Is he Lost? No, that’s on Seven. But Nine should do well, the News and
ACA are having a solid week, Getaway will deliver, as will Missing Persons Unit
and Hello/Goodbye, and then the Footy Shows. Will they mark the World Cup? Ten
is still chasing its 16 to 39 year olds, and Seven is bringing two new US
sitcoms out into the open. How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl. Both will
be different, especially Earl. They will grow, slowly: Earl might be a bit too
American. Meanwhile, poor old Jack on 24 is still running: someone should tell
him he can have the night off tomorrow. He averaged 746,000 at 9.30 pm last
night, a long way behind NCIS and Without A Trace. Keep on running. (Spencer
Davis Group, great tune!)

Peter Fray

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