Sunday film reviews head down market.
More changes at Sunday – now I hear
Gary Linnell, the Nine Network’s Director of News, wants
the veteran film reviewer for Sunday, Peter Thompson, to change his approach to
reviewing to be more
populist and to start reviewing more blockbusters like the
Da Vinci Code, which he covered earlier this year with
the opening line … “I don’t normally review blockbusters”. Unless they’ve been a certain type of blockbuster, such as Star Wars, ET etc,
movies where there is some original thought or filmmaking (or filmmaker),
Thomo won’t touch them. The
Pianist
, yes, Schindler’s List, yes… but some of the others that have sunk from
trace, nope. Thomo is one of the originals of
Sunday and his slightly idiosyncratic style has survived a number of EPs and
News and Current Affairs bosses who have wanted him to change but who have realised the value of his independent thought. Of
course, the fact that PBL owns half of Hoyts movie
chain has nothing to do with the new approach from Linnell. Of course
not! If
there was to be any criticism of Thompson’s style, it’s that he always sees the good and
won’t “bag” a movie. If he
is forced out, the Australian film industry will not be pleased, especially
Brother Jack Thompson! Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Thursday night looks like being Seven’s night for a
while. Lost may have finished last night but the top rating program was
the sneak preview of Celebrity Survivor that only lasted a few minutes
but topped the chart with 1.692 million (it ran for just over five
minutes). It may have been a bit of a trailer and it may have been a
stunt but 100,000 fewer people watched the last episode of Lost in this
series (1.594 million). Today Tonight was third with 1.484 million, My
Name Is Earl
, 1.456 million and looking solid at 8 pm. Seven News was
next with 1.455 million, then Nine’s Getaway with 1.429 million, and A
Current Affair
with 1.339 million. Nine News averaged 1.323 million,
Temptation, 1.240 million (and again a way behind Home and Away after
neck and necking for most of the past three weeks). Seven’s 7.30 pm How
I Met Your Mother
continued its slow bounce with 1.221 million and
Ten’s Medium was at its best with 1.153 million. Seven’s Bones debuted
with 1.147 million. Enough to give Seven confidence; it’s a better look
and idea than Criminal Minds which brings to mind the Law and Order
series on Ten. Nine’s Two and A Half Men averaged 1.063 million, the 7pm ABC News had 1.060 million and the Nine Footy Shows averaged 1.039
million. In total 16 programs with a million or more viewers. And The
New Adventures of Old Christine
recovered to average 924,000

The Losers: Ten has no momentum at all. Medium was the most
watched program for the Network and that was at 8.30 pm when 1.153
million viewers tuned in. Futurama doing a Yasmin at 7pm, down to 716,000. Smallville worse at 7.30 pm, 712,000. Bert’s Family
Feud
averaged 648,000, Deal or No Deal, 873,000. Good average numbers
for both of them. Ten News at Five a touch weaker at 797,000.

News & CA:Seven News needed its 146,000 margin in Perth for
its 132,000 national margin. Seven News won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.
Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane. Today Tonight won nationally by
145,000 and by 110,000 in Perth. TT won in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth,
Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane. The ABC News was solid above a
million, Ten a bit weak at under 800,000. The 7.30 Report did 871,000.
No apparent lift in news figures because of the late breaking London
bombs foiled story.

The Stats: Seven won with a 32.6% share (29.2% a week earlier)
from Nine with 29.9% (28.8%), Ten down on 19.4% (22.1%), the ABC on
12.3% (12.7%) and SBS on 6.1% (7.1%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and
Perth, Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. Seven leads the week 29.8% to
27.9% and barring an accident, should win it.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:
Seven’s cunning preview for Celebrity Survivor was a stunt, but
it’s TV and commercial TV at that. It did emphasise that Seven has its
promotional game down pat these days. One thing about Celeb Survivor is
that it’s on a remote tropical island (sort of) and Lost, the program
it replaced, is set on a remote tropical island. Is Seven trying to
tell us about the 8.30 pm Thursday timeslot? After all 7.30 pm
Thursdays is dominated by Nine’s Getaway, which often travels to remote
tropical islands. Escapist Thursdays. Tonight its Nine’s Footy up
against Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens. Better Homes usually wins,
especially when Nine programs Bert and his Family Feud Footy All
Stars: no-neck TV. Essendon and Collingwood is the game tonight so
Nine boss, Eddie McGuire, will be working out of Melbourne for some of
today and the weekend. The NRL is Newcastle vs Manly. Will anyone
notice in Brisbane where the Footy Show audience at least recovered to
133,000 from the very low 96,000 last week? Not a mention of any sort
of interesting discussion about drinking and footballers on the NRL
program. I haven’t seen the AFL Show but booze and ball and brawl are
the biggest issues confronting both codes. Will News Ltd papers or Fox
Sports look honestly at the culture in Brisbane which is part-owned by
News or go down the tabloid route once again? How desperate is the
Nine Network this week? Well it’s programmed that dramatic duo
Crocodile Dundee and its sequel on Saturday night from 7.30pm. Tired
ideas, tired programming. Ten won’t be showing the Richmond-Brisbane
game in Sydney live. Tired old movies as well. Seven doesn’t have much.
Doctor Who and Creature Comforts and then bed I suppose.

Peter Fray

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