Too much Rope for Squires and Wilson.
fallout from the attempt by Tony Squires and Rebecca Wilson to
insinuate themselves back onto the ABC TV schedule via a
story in yesterday’s Oz media section reporting that the ABC was negotiating
to bring back the sports chat program, The Fat. They
have upset Andrew Denton, the ABC’s biggest star, with the clumsy attack on his
program at the end of the story. The final two paragraphs said that the ABC’s plans for
The Fat depended on plans for Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope: “Enough Rope‘s ratings consistently have fallen below one million viewers this
year and the quality of its guests have wavered, expectations are that Enough
will return on a reduced schedule to re-energise
its status as a ‘must watch’ program.” And from talking to ABC people it’s now clear that the proposal from Squires and
Wilson was vague and that the story in The Australian yesterday was
self-defeating. The
discussions about The Fat were described as a “what if”– the sort the ABC has every day with producers and people with program ideas. So the
story only produced these quotes: Marena Manzoufas (Head of ABC Programming): “ER is perfect for
our schedule and the audience loves it. Enough Rope will be back on ABC TV in
2007 at 9.35pm on Monday nights – Monday nights wouldn’t be the same without
it”. And, Andrew Denton: “I’m
very happy doing Enough Rope on ABC TV with all the possibilities it offers, and
I’m looking forward to doing the same next year.” And that’s the TV equivalent of a
two-fingered salute to The Fat from a star secure in his
timeslot. – Glenn Dyer

Eddie plugs his Pies on Today. When he’s not boning someone, Eddie McGuire is, of course, a
Collingwood man through and through. So
wasn’t it nice of Eddie and Collingwood to give away a Wobbles jumper on
the Today
show this morning – with sports jock, Cameron Williams doing sports
updates from the MCG where the Pies play tonight in Nine’s AFL game for
the southern markets. Somehow I don’t remember Nine giving away a Swans
or Lions jumper on the program, or any other program, this week. And
what about a promotional NRL jumper for tonight’s game featuring the
Sharks vs the Knights? Isn’t that game worth promoting after 8am on a
Friday? No wonder the NRL is worried about Eddie and the push the AFL
is getting on Nine. It’s a wonderful conflict of interest and more
evidence of the AFL football club management approach that is now
dominating the Nine Network. Meanwhile, Jessica Rowe had this morning
off after falling and breaking her wrist on Wednesday afternoon. And it
was a welcome sight to see the talented Today
newsreader, Sharyn Ghidella filling in. She was a bit nervy, but no
giggling and she did her interviews smoothly – she is, after all, a
trained TV journo, unlike Ms Rowe who is a newsreader and nothing else.
And an interesting move was Ben Fordham (thanks Dad) reading the news
in place of Ghidella. That boy is ambitious, wants to get out of A
Current Affair
and move anywhere. 60 Minutes was his preference, but he’s too
young. Liam Bartlett got the gig. – Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Thursday night is still a close night. Lost is coming to an end but is
still doing the job for Seven. Last night it was the most watched
program with1.453 million viewers. Today Tonight and Seven News were
second and third with 1.419 million and 1.4 million respectively.
Nine’s faithful Getaway averaged 1.391 million in 4th spot and a win in
the 7.30pm to 8.30pm slot. Seven’s My Name Is Earl averaged 1.297
million. It’s holding up and getting interesting. Why doesn’t someone
here have a go at a comedy about Australian poor whiite trasshh, or is
that what The Wedge on Ten is really about? Nine
News was 6th with 1.254 million, A Current Affair followed with 1.242
million, Seven’s 7pm Home And Away with 1.238 million, beat Nine’s
Temptation with 1.178 million and Ten’s Medium was 10th with 1.150
million. Next came How I Met Your Mother (is this Friends, nostalgia
and Joey mixed up into a comedy with a long name?) with 1.139 million.
Ten’s Law And Order averaged 1.123 million and the ABC News averaged
1.1 million people.The NRL and AFL Footy Shows averaged 977,000, just
257,000 in Sydney was average but not brill. 352,000 in Melbourne was a
lot better; a 9th spot in the top ten, 19 in Sydney. 152,000 in Brisbane
was better than a week ago but that was around Number 19. The NRL Show
doesn’t have the embedded feeling that Eddie McGuire gave the AFL
version, even now at Willoughby!

The Losers:Bert’s
Family Feud
finished with 644,000 viewers and Deal or No Deal with
899,000. Ten News at 5pm split them; audiences this week just seem to
be down a bit. SBS had two programs in the Top 31 – Hoover’s Gold (29
and 469,000 and a repeat of Inspector Rex, 31, with 451,000). Two and A
Half Men
averaged 992,000 for Nine at 8.30pm and The New Adventures Of
Old Christine
940,000, a little better than last week. Big Brother,
Ten, 7pm, sagged to 924,000. Tonight is the last 7pm show, then we
have the Friday night prizes show. Gretel apparently hosts tonight. We
are over Big Brother, judging by last night’s numbers. And poor old
Jack, 682,000 viewers watched 24 and only a couple more eps to go.

News & CA:
Seven News again won nationally as did Today Tonight. The winning
margins were greater than the usual big margins in Perth, some some
restoration of normality (from Seven’s point of view) but Nine is
keeping up the pressure. Seven News won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and
Perth, Nine won Brisbane. Today Tonight won Sydney, lost Melbourne (ACA
beat Nine News, 427,000 to 378,00, a big turn on!) won Brisbane,
Adelaide and Perth. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.101 million, another
good result, the 7.30 Report 900,000. Ten News at 5pm was OK with
823,000, but they would have hoped for more (don’t we all!). Sunrise
beat Today , 444,000 to 268,000 from 7am, and the early Sunrise beat
Early Today, 236,000 to 101,000.

The Stats:
A narrow win
to Seven on an even night. Seven finished with a 29.2% share last night
(unchanged from the previous week) with Nine on 28.8%(29.4%). Ten was
on 22.1% (21.4%), the ABC was on 12.7% (11.5%) and SBS was on 7.1%
(8.5%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne (AFL
Footy Show) and Adelaide. Nine still leads a close week, 28.8% to 28.2%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:

With Collingwood playing tonight on Nine in the AFL, Nine will go close
to winning the night. The network has flicked old Frasier for a tired
old idea: a sort of stunt version of Family Feud with AFL and NRL teams
playing off for an hour from 7.30pm. Give me Better Homes and Gardens
any day – Joanna Griggs is eye candy compared to Bert, although the old bloke
still has that timing. It’s just the idea of a stunt like that
is just boring. Frasier was better, even Two and a Half Men with the
sound down. I’d watch West Wing before an hour of boofy people trying to
be funny and jolly. The Swans play tomorrow night, the Wallabies play
the NZ handbag throwers (aka the All Blacks) tomorrow night and on
Sunday night on Seven there’s a movie about a group of itinerant Kiwi
panel beaters who roam their green country doing good. It’s the third
and last Lord of The Dings.