Rome bites the dust. Rome wasn’t built in a day — so the old adage goes — but at the Nine Network it took less than 24 hours to level it. It was the viewers which forced the decision and Eddie didn’t even have time to fiddle or call for someone to put the fires out. Rome has gone; the Goths (AKA viewers) have forced the toga epic off Nine by ignoring it last Wednesday night. The program grabbed the attention of just over 770,000 viewers at 9.30pm — it couldn’t recover. After all the promotion, another one bites the dust in a year of some high profile failures. Who can forget Clever and Magda’s Funny Bits on Nine at the start of the year, Yasmin’s Getting Married on Ten or The Master on Seven (or You May Be Right also on Seven which has disappeared for the past fortnight). The most interesting “failure” was that of Nine to return Who Wants To be A Millionaire to our screens in the second half of the year. Millionaire with Eddie McGuire fronting it was successful but it seems Eddie and others at Nine feel he can’t be replaced in the host’s chair. That’s why there are all those rumours about Eddie hosting Millionaire again next year. — Glenn Dyer

Nine wins the week despite not cracking the Top 10. Despite snatching a close win last week, Nine didn’t have a single program in the top ten programs in the five major metro markets, a very rare event. Nine won thanks to the NRL finals on Friday and Saturday nights, even though the AFL finals still attracted larger audiences. Nine won the week with a share of 27.8% (27.1% a week earlier) from Seven with 27.4% (26.7%), Ten with 24.4% (25.5%), the ABC with 15.6% (15.5%) and SBS with 4.8% (5.1%). Thanks to the efforts of the Melbourne Storm and St George, Nine won Saturday night easily: 34.2% to 21.5% for Seven and the size of that victory saw it sneak home. On Friday night Ten beat Nine 33.0% to 27.7% as the Swans-Freo final pulled in more than 1.6 million viewers, the largest audience of the finals so far. The top rated Nine program of the week was the News (Monday to Friday) which averaged 1.37 million. It tied with Seven’s All Saints and Nine’s Sunday News, just out of the top 10 programs. The most-watched program was Border Security on Seven with 2.24 million and then Ten’s House with 1.89 million. Seven returns Dancing With The Stars tomorrow night at 7.30pm. That will be interesting to see if the public’s liking for celebrities have been drained by under performances from Nine’s Dancing on Ice and Seven’s Celebrity Survivor and It Takes Two. — Glenn Dyer

James Murdoch has penned his very own op-ed today on the urgent need to tackle “humanity’s biggest problem” of climate change, but it’s not running in The Sun or The NY Post – instead the head of BSkyb has defected to the dark side by featuring on The Guardian’s opinion page. “At Sky, we don’t claim to have all the answers,” says Murdoch Jnr, “but we have launched a major programme to manage our impact.” James slams the “CO2 – they call it pollution; We call it life” TV campaign launched by the Exxon backed Competitive Enterprise Institute and proclaims “humanity is incredibly innovative. We have the capacity to solve the problem of climate change; the only issue is whether we as individuals, governments and businesses have the courage to act together to do what needs to be done. The stakes could not be higher.” — Sophie Black

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Normal service restored for last night at least, Nine returning a new CSI to air to top the night, just ahead of Ten’s still strong (but not dominant) Australian Idol. Just ten programs with a million or more viewers. Nine News was third after Idol with 1.469 million, 60 Minutes was next with 1.345 million, the movie, Finding Nemo did well for Seven at 6.30pm with 1.345 million, just ahead of Nine’s Prehistoric Park at 6.30pm with 1.317 million. Seven News was 7th with 1.273 million, CSI New York averaged 1.245 million, The Worst Jobs in History (ABC, 7.30 pm), averaged 1.148 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.130 million.

The Losers: None really last night. Just an average night’s viewing in a week where some markets are in school holidays and we are crossing over seasons in the sport with the finals for football this weekend and the cricket (only the tests and ODIs) ahead of us.

News & CA: Nine News won easily; Seven News won Perth and that was the night. No contest at 6 pm. 60 Minutes averaged 1.450 million, lifting from the week before. The ABC News averaged 1.130 million, Ten News, 776,000. In the Sunday morning battle another easy win for Seven’s Weekend Sunrise, its audience up to 432,000, with Larry Emdur standing in for Andrew O’Keefe(Game Show Host for Game Show Host) again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Seven’s Sportsworld averaged 357,000 as a result of Sunrise’s strength and The ABC’s Landline at midday averaged 318,000. Nine’s Sunday averaged 260,000, up a touch from the week before. My Business on Seven at 11am averaged 164,000, Business Success on Nine at 8.30pm, 161,000, Insiders on the ABC was flattened for whatever reason, averaging just 94,000 from 9am and Inside Business at 10am averaged 92,000. Offsiders (Baz Cassidy without the coat) at 10.30am averaged 117,000 as it dealt with the preliminary finals in the AFL and NRL and the Grand Finals next weekend. Ten’s Meet The Press averaged 58,000.people

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 30.5% (25.5%) from Seven with 25.8% (33.9%), Ten with 24.6% (22.4%), the ABC with 16.1%, (14.9%) and SBS with 3.1% (3.3%). Nine won all five metro markets. In regional areas Nine affiliates WIN/NBN averaged 28.7% from Prime/7Qld with 25.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 24.4%, the ABC with 18.0% and SBS with 3.5%

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Well, it was just one of those nights last night and tonight will be no different: Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case (in the last ep for the year), The Kings of Comedy on Nine at 7.30pm (they are running out of material, Nine that is). Nine has been reduced to slotting in a repeat of a movie version of Midsomer Murders (it is now back on the ABC on Friday nights). Idol on Ten, Four Corners and Andrew Denton on The ABC and Top Gear on SBS at 7.30pm. Ten also has the Brownlow Medal presentation ceremony. But not everywhere — in Sydney and Brisbane its back to back repeats of Law and Order SVU after Idol.

Peter Fray

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