Walters secures Terri Irwin interview. The legendary American TV journalist, Barbara Walters has won the race to secure the first interview with Terri Irwin, the widow of the late Steve Irwin. Walters will fly to Australia to do the interview, which will also include daughter Bindi. The interview will go to air on the ABC network in the US next Thursday night (early Friday morning here) and the Nine Network has the rights to most product from ABC, so they stand to pick up the interview. Walters probably won because Terri Irwin is American born and Walters is a legend in the US for her tenacious interviewing techniques. The Irwin camp ignored Seven, Ten and the ABC and went with Nine for their own special hosted by Ray Martin a fortnight ago. Meanwhile more people watched the Nine network’s coverage of the Peter Brock Memorial service from Melbourne yesterday (260,000) than watched on Seven (256,000). A notable absentee was Prime Minister Howard, who turned up at today’s Steve Irwin service on Queensland’s Sunshine coast, bush hat and all. — Glenn Dyer

The inflationary Fin Review. The world’s most expensive business daily, our very own Australian Financial Review, will be 8% more expensive next month with the price up from $2.50 to $2.70. Too bad lacklustre circulation wasn’t easier to lift. My local newsagent warned me of the rise, but the Fin is using it as a marketing tool on the website – beat the price hike by subscribing before 20 October. And the rise is excused as the first in four years. Mind you, the AFR has always been an expensive way to wrap fish. My copy of the 16 August, 1951, first edition carries a cover price one shilling – a pretty penny (or 12) 56 years ago. — Michael Pascoe

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Another solid Tuesday night win for Seven, although the Nine Network was more competitive than it was on Monday night. Border Security was the key, with 2.243 million people tuning in from 7.30pm to 8pm. Medical Emergency was second from 8pm to 8.30pm for Seven with 1.786 million. Seven News was third with 1.457 million and Nine News was close behind with 1.440 million. Today Tonight (1.379 million) and All Saints (1.377 million) with fifth and sixth. The repeat of CSI on Nine at 8.30pm averaged 1.363 million, Home and Away was eighth with 1.349 million, A Current Affair was ninth with 1.339 million. Temptation was tenth with 1.288 million at 7pm, 20 to 1 (Nine, 7.30 pm) averaged 1.17 million (down because it’s up against Border Security and Medical Emergency). The 7pm ABC News was 12th with 1.052 million and The Simpsons on Ten was 13th with 1.048 million and the last program on the night with a million or more viewers. The two episodes of Futurama on Ten (one a repeat, one new) averaged 934,000 (for the repeat!) and 914,000. Two Men in a Tinnie with John Doyle and Tim Flannery was charming and 909,000 people shared that view and stayed.

The Losers: The Closer on Nine at 9.35pm, just 819,000. Nine obviously has nothing in the cupboard to replace this dying series. Crossing Jordan on Seven at 9.30pm averaged 861,000 and won. Rove Live on Ten at 9.30 pm beat The Closer with 833,000. Bert’s Family Feud 621,000 about average. Ten’s duo, The Wedge with 784,000 and Real Stories with 798,000. Oh dear, slowly disappearing. Viewers say no to bogan humour.

News & CA: Much closer last night than Monday with Seven News and Today Tonight only winning nationally because of the usual big wins in Perth. Seven News and TT only won Adelaide and Perth each. Nine News and ACA won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven News won by 17,000 nationally and 115,000 in Perth. TT won by 136,000 in Perth and 40,000 nationally. ABC News was strong at over a million, The 7.30 Report was down at 726,000 (Border Security on Seven). Viewers returned to watch the dinghy thingie at 8pm: around 170,00: a nice turn-on. Ten News at Five averaged 888,000. Sunrise on Seven easily beat Today, 441,000. Today, 227,000. Early Sunrise 277,000 outrated Early Today, 123,000. Normal service restored in mornings? Nine News in Melbourne more than half a million viewers: the Brock factor? Seven News in Melbourne, 396,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 32.7% (31.9%), Nine with 28.2%(28.1%), Ten with 20.5% (19.9%), the ABC with 14.9% (13.8%) and SBS with 3.7% (6.2%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 32.2% to 25.9%. In the bush a win to Prime/7Qld with 31.9% from Nine’s affiliates, WIN/NBN with 30.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.5%, the ABC on 14.5% and SBS on 3.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: And if Nine thought it was getting closer on Tuesday nights, it knows it can only get worse. Dancing with the Stars returns next week. Nine knows it’s in for a bashing so it’s programmed a repeat of 20 to 1 at 7.30pm and a repeat of CSI at 8.30pm (as usual). It keeps the lacklustre The Closer at 9.30pm where it will be against All Saints. Tonight is interesting with Nine rotating CSI Miami into the 8.30pm timeslot with a fresh ep and then returns McLeod’s Daughters at 7.30pm, and starts the new series called Rome (HBO-BBC co pro) at 9.30 pm. Blood, guts, gore, s-x and politics, horses, swords, spears, dirty Roman streets, lot of marble, togas, Caesar, Brutus et cetera. I, Claudius it won’t be (which is still the yardstick for Roman hysterical drama type programs), although the two parter on Rome vs. Carthage on the ABC over the past two Thursday nights was pretty good and an eye-opener. Ten has Where Are They Now, House (new) and NCIS (repeat). Seven has The Force at 7.30pm, Police Files at 8pm, Forensic Investigators at 8.30pm. That’s not going to be enough to make it four nights on the top for Seven. Close between Ten and Nine.

Peter Fray

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