Seven Network’s Programming boss, Tim Worner took
exception to my story of yesterday suggesting that he and his offsider,Brad Lyons were not totally committed to the
factual series, True Stories and that is why it had been dropped into the 8 pm
timeslot on Sunday nights for at least four weeks from July
9. That
was nonsense Tim said and totally untrue and how could I write it. True
Story! He said
True Stories had the same audience profile as It takes Two in that it ‘skewed’
towards older women who made up a large part of the audience. That is
why it was going to be used. True
Stories averaged around 1.5 million last year off the back of the very popular
Border Security on Tuesday nights at 8 pm. But
Border Security averaged around 1.8 million viewers or more. Worner says that with Medical
Emergency still at 8 pm on Tuesdays and doing well (like True Stories did last
year) he had to put it somewhere and that was Sundays at 8 pm while It Takes Two
was reduced to 90 minutes for its last but one (the final) episode. It
takes Two is grabbing around 1.3 million viewers on average (its down from
around 1.5 million) so True Stories will not get the same audience figures as it
did last year when it was helped by Border Security and not up against very much
on Nine or Ten (Frasier from memory on Nine). From
July 9 it will be up against the second half hour of 60 Minutes and that will be
a big ask. It
won’t be averaging 1.5 million this year, so will Seven
persist with it? – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The winners:
Now last night, Thursday, was a knock-em down struggle
between Nine and Seven for supremacy that Nine eventually won because the Footy
Shows attracted larger audiences from 9.30 pm to 11 pm than did the programming
Seven had on from 9.30: poor old Jack on 24 (even though the audience perked up
to 851,000) and Family Guy. It was the difference between winning and
losing and the antics of Sam Newman, Fatty Vautin (why does he think raising his
eyebrows and pulling faces is funny?), and the like proved enough to slide Nine
home over the line. But for Seven its new program, My Name is Earl was the most
watched in its first episode and it has promise, but will he be great? He does
look like a bit like a white Richard Pryor. Nevertheless My Name is Earl
averaged 1.602 million at 8 pm. Second was Nine’s Missing Persons Unit with
another very tasty result, 1.555 million. Seven News was third with 1.502
million, Lost was 4th with 1.476 million, Today Tonight was 5th with 1.406
million and Nine’s Getaway was 6th with 1.371 million. Next came Nine News with
1.346 million, then How I Met Your Mother, Seven’s other new debutant at 7.30
pm. That’s fine, but the switch on for Earl from this program would have made
the hearts of Tim Worner and others in Seven programming beat a little faster:
more than three hundred thousand people turned on for Earl!Drinks for the bar
boys and girls! Nine’s Hello/Goodbye flew out on its last ep averaging 1.287
million.It’s a same old, same old program but with a nice charm: personal
stories. Temptation was 10th with 1.232 million, then A Current Affair with
1.227 million, Seven’s Home and Away with 1.216 million, Ten’s Medium was 13th
with 1.075 million and the Footy Shows were 14th with a combined 1.053
million(only 107,000 in Brisbane on the eve of The 3rd State of Origin.They
don’t care up there about Fatty and the lads) Big Brother was 15th with 1.046
million at 7 pm, Law and Order was 16th with 1.027 million, Deal Or No Deal
bounced back above a mill to average 1.006 million and Neighbours was program
number 18 with a million or more viewers. So a fairly even night’s viewing for

The losers: Losers? Bert’s Family Feud back up to 711,000, but Deal
did better and Ten News at Five was ahead on 903,000 for the hour. Such an even
night that there were no real losers.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in Sydney, Adelaide and
Perth where the margin was 93 thousand viewers. The national margin was 156,000.
Today Tonight had a bigger win, taking Sydney, Melbourne and Perth where the
margin was 133,000. The national margin was 179,000 viewers. The ABC 7 pm news
averaged 950,000 and the 7.30 Report, 840,000. Sunrise averaged 448,000 between
7 am and 9 am, Today was up to 254,000.

The stats: Nine won with a share of 31.2% (29.3% a week earlier)
from Seven with 30.0% (29.8%), Ten was third with 22.8% (22.8%), the ABC
finished with 11.8% (12.3%) and SBS with 4.3% (5.8%) : the World Cup Soccer is
becoming more sporadic (this weekend will be full of it). Nine won Sydney and
Melbourne and Adelaide, Seven won Brisbane Seven leads a close week, 28.6% to

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Well what more is there to say except to ask the
question, will the AFL and NRL do it for Nine this week after not doing it last
Friday? By running repeats of Frasier at 7.30 pm up against Seven’s Better Homes
and Gardens, Nine is weakening the night. But the fare on Seven and Ten is
hardly gripping tonight anway. Silent Witness on the ABC (oh those tortured
pathologists!) might be the choice. Tomorrow night its a battle of the
programming vaults: the movies Prince Charming and Beetlejuice on Nine up
against Grease on Seven and then the Rocky Horror Show: (it should be the other
way round). Ten has AFL with the Swannies playing in Sydney. Maybe a narrow win
to Seven based on its Saturday night movies (It’s just a step to the

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey