Squires and Wilson head back to the ABC. As reported in today’s Oz Media section, Tony Squires and Rebecca Wilson
have gone back to the ABC to sell the idea of doing their sports program, The
Fat
,
once again.
According to the story, they had the idea to do a program after the day’s
play in the Ashes Tests this summer, but it would seem the ABC can’t
afford that so it might only be one program per Test. Even that’s a bit
rich, after all Squires and Wilson bolted for the Seven Network –
taking the idea and some of the talent their producers had unearthed
with them. The
Fat
‘s disappearance from the ABC at the end of 2003 was a big
loss to sporting tragics who like their sport with a
touch of satire – and for that I blame Wilson and Squires. Their
Seven Network program bombed, as
most TV people said it would, because the regular ad breaks disrupted the flow
and Squires and Wilson are no where near the talents of Roy and HG. Wilson
had a brief fling with the NRL Footy Show
in a move driven by former Nine boss, Sam Chisholm. She only lasted one
night such was the enmity between her and regular members of the panel,
including Paul Vautin and Peter Sterling. And Squires and Wilson are
now all but unheard on Vega in Sydney in the mornings with Angie
Catterns. It’s a bit much for them to go trotting back to the ABC for
TV exposure after trying and failing in the commercial world. Why
should the taxpayers feed their egos? Glenn Dyer

More
changes in the Sydney media.

  • Veteran
    producer Ben Hawke has moved from 60 Minutes to Sunday in an unexplained change
    that happened late on Tuesday. Hawke
    will be filling in at Sunday to oversee the transition to the program’s new look (which will incorporate some of Business Sunday after it dies on 27 August). Hawke
    will fill the role that Peter Hiscock had and will
    help drive the changes

  • Katrina
    Nicholas, who was recruited from the Australian Financial Review to join the
    Nine business unit set up by Ross Greenwood and the departed Jim
    Rudder, left yesterday. She was working on Business
    Sunday
    , which is dying a slow death with Greenwood appropriately fronting the program in
    its last days. She will
    return to the AFR where she was a more than capable companies writer with good contacts.

  • Glen Burge has rehired Brett Clegg, the well-informed companies writer
    and columnist who jumped to the wilds of Macquarie Banking around three years
    ago. Why he’s leaving MacBank is a mystery, but he will run all the AFR‘s companies coverage, meaning that Sean Aylmer, who was
    the companies boss, has been pushed out.

  • James Chessell, the
    still newish CBD columnist for the SMH‘s
    business pages, is doing a bolt for the political life with a gig
    working for Joe Hockey, the Federal Minister for headaches like
    CentreLink and welfare policy. Chessell should now be taken off the
    column immediately. He was still writing it today. – Glenn Dyer

Former NRL Footy Show EP joins Sony BMG. Glenn Pallister, the former EP of the NRL Footy Show
(it hasn’t been the same since he left) and briefly head of Light
Entertainment at Nine under David Gyngell, has a new
gig. He went to TWI, the international TV arm of the IMG group, last year after
leaving Nine in Sam Chisholm’s first mass clear out and he’s now been named to head up Sony BMG’s new TV and film production
division (although following a ruling of the highest court in the
European Union, the Sony BMG merger is looking a little shaky and the two
companies are currently trying to convince the European Commission to give it
the green light). SonyBMG has been talking to all the
TV networks about music related programs (strongly supported by them) including a
weekend variety program (Hey Hey It’s Saturday
anyone?). These programs would be heavily sponsor supported, which is what the
networks – especially Nine – is currently looking for.

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners:
Nine won after I incorrectly forecast Ten winning
yesterday because I stupidly couldn’t read a TV guide that said they
were repeating a an episode of House. So instead of more than 1.7
million people tuning in for that and giving NCIS a big audience, half
a million fewer people didn’t and Ten finished third behind Nine and
Seven. As well, Seven News and Today Tonight bounced back and easily
accounted for Nine News across the country, especially Today Tonight.
Seven News was the most watched program last night with 1.475 million
from Today Tonight with 1.475 million as well. Isn’t that nice – joined
at 6.30 and couldn’t be separated. Nine News was 3rd with 1.317
million, Temptation was 4th with 1.299 million, McLeod’s Daughters
averaged 1.291 million, Without A Trace 1.274 million (those two hours
won it last night for Nine), Home and Away 1.255 million in 7th spot,
Ten’s House repeat 1.230 million and the ABC’s 8.30pm program Spicks
and Specks
226 million in what’s probably its biggest ever audience.
The Wednesday surprise eviction on BB averaged 1.217 million, the NCIS
repeat on Ten at 9.30pm 1.189 million, Beyond Tomorrow 1.140 million,
Born To Kill on Seven 1.087 million and the 7pm Big Brother 1.073
million. Audiences were down last night, especially on Ten with repeats
of House and NCIS. The ABC did well on the night.


The Losers:
Well, for some reason Bert’s Family Feud fell to its lowest
figures for some weeks: an average of 595,000 last night, down more
than 100,000 on the night before.. Seven’s Deal Or No Deal was also
lower at 856,000. Seven’s filler program Born To Kill at 8.30pm: not even
Ivan Milat could save it, with just 1.087 million viewers. Better than Las
Vegas
the week before I suppose, but no Prison Break and the difference
between winning and losing on the night. Well, maybe. Beyond
Tomorrow
averaged 1.140 million at 7.30pm and Seven’s night faded
from then on, down to poor Old Jack still running and looking over his
shoulder in 24 at 9.30pm, with a slowly decreasing number of viewers –
664,000 last night. One of them will get him, one day.


News & CA:
Seven News had a more comfortable win last night than
for some days. Its national margin was 158,000 viewers, the winning
margin in Perth was 99,000. Seven, though, lost Sydney to Nine. Seven won
elsewhere, even in Brisbane and Melbourne where Nine has been very
strong in recent weeks. Today Tonight bounced A Current Affair by
250,000 viewers, with a national sweep. Perth wasn’t needed. The ABC 7pm News averaged 979,000 people, the 7.30 Report 915,000. Ten news at Five averaged
899,000, Sunrise beat Today but Today‘s audience continues to rise. The aww Jessica factor has been upped now that the
girl’s gone and fallen over and broken her wrist – back on air tomorrow
she hopes. Bub’s OK, but that old Police song comes to mind.. “Every
step she takes, every bone she breaks.”


The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 26.9% (24.6% last week) to Seven
with 26.5% (24.0%), Ten was third with 25.5% (28.7%), the ABC with
16.6% (15.1%) and SBS with 4.5% (5.6%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne,
Ten won Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven’s big win in Perth lifted them
into second place nationally. Nine still leads the week 28.8% to 27.9%.


Glenn Dyer’s comments:
A close result and one Ten threw away by the
House repeat, but they obviously want to win next week with Big Brother
wrapping up: Ten starts the new 7pm series Yasmin’s Getting Married
(which is as big a gamble for Ten as it is for Yasmin who was second
choice after Renee got hitched without Ten’s help. A message there, I
think). Tonight Nine’s problems are at 8.30 to 9.30pm with Two And A
Half Men
and The New Adventures Of Old Christine. Both are duds and
looking that way in the ratings. Both have very long times for comedies
and that sometimes puts off viewers, I think. Seven has Earl and Lost
but poor Jack will make it tough. The ABC is West Winging. Oh, and the Nine Network’s management class goes to air in Melbourne at 9.30pm
and in Sydney at 11pm after the NRL Footy Show.