David Tench hangs on despite falling ratings. The Ten Network and Andrew Denton’s company Zapruder’s Other Films continues to persist with the unusual David Tench Tonight despite falling ratings. The fall is partly a result of being moved to 9.30pm on Thursday nights to allow more adult themes to emerge in the program, which is based on the cartoonish talkshow host, David Tench. It’s a complicated and expensive program to make, involving heavy use of digital technology such as motion capture. It only attracted 432,000 viewers last night (its lowest so far) but some of the target demographic of men in their 20s, would have been watching the Footy Show Grand Final editions on Nine. Whether Tench will succeed is very problematic because of the cost and the audience drop seen so far. But if TV is to use more digital facets in everyday production then the skills and the processes now being learned on making Tench, will become prerequisites for people in commercial TV. In the history of Australian commercial TV (not a notable bunch of risk takers) Tench at the moment is an interesting footnote. But it is a necessary part of the future. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
They lurve their footy in Melbourne. Why else would 660,000 people stay up past their bedtime and watch the AFL Footy Show Grand Final Special last night on Nine in Melbourne? The easy answer is that there is nothing to do in Melbourne but it does highlight one particular barrier Seven is going to have to tackle head on next year if it’s to get any value at all out of the AFL rights. The AFL and NRL Footy Shows were the most popular programs last night with more than 1.556 million people watching from 8.30 pm onwards. the earlier start helped a lot as well. Second was A Current Affair with 1.395 million, Nine News was next with 1.325 million, Home and Away was Seven’s best with 1.318 million at 7 pm, Getaway (Nine, 7.30 pm) averaged 1.290 million, Today Tonight, 1.226 million, Nine’s Temptation, 1.217 million, Seven News, 1.197 million (very low), Jamie’s Kitchen (Ten, 8.30 pm), 1.16 million and Celebrity Survivor (shifted to 7.30 pm last night), 1.047 million. Ten’s 8.30 program Jericho was watched by 947,000 and Bones on Seven at 8.30 pm (part two of the ep from Wed. night) averaged 935,000.

The Losers: Losers? Deal or No Deal down 685,000, the lowest this year, Bert’s Family Feud averaged 583,000. Ten News at Five won with 800,000. That low figure for Deal hurt Seven’s News, especially in Sydney where it got 285,000 viewers. That’s the sort of figure Nine News was getting in the bad days of late last year. Could Seven be going bad or is it the holidays and sunnier evenings? Nine’s viewers are older (more plus 55s than any other network) who tend to eat earlier and watch TV at an earlier time. No homework or sports practice either! Ten’s David Tench (432,00) and Ronnie Johns (416,000) at 9.30 pm and 10 pm. Low but with many in the target demographic on Nine, especially in Melbourne, it’s hard to judge.

News & CA: Nine News and A Current Affair had solid wins over Seven News and Today Tonight. Even the big margins in Perth couldn’t hep Seven’s pair last night. There, Nine News won everywhere except Perth. ACA won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, TT won Perth and Adelaide. The ABC News was solid with 847,000, but that was a bit lower than usual. The 7.30 Report averaged just 650,000 compared to the strike night of about 90,000 less. Not much of a difference.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 37.3%(31.4%) from Seven with 26.3% (27.5%), Ten with 19.2% (21.5%), the ABC with 11.7% (14.2%) and SBS with 5.5% (unchanged).Nine won all markets and Nine leads the week 29.6% to 27.7%. The ABC share is actually much lower than the share last week during the ABC 24 hour strike!

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Now for those who I confused yesterday, especially myself, and anyone at Seven, Seven’s Sunrise easily beat the Today Show on Nine Wednesday morning (get it right Glenn!!!) And Early Sunrise had more viewers than regular Today. But not on Thursday morning though Sunrise and Early Sunrise still easily beat both editions of Today. The Footy Show audiences last night were good but what else was interesting was the differences in viewing levels in Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney only had one program with an audience over 400,000 people, which was Home and Away with 407,000. Melbourne had six, including one over 600,000 with the Footy Shows. Audiences for all programs last night were light on for viewers in Sydney. There was nothing on Pay TV so perhaps it’s the holidays, the nearing of summer, or the boring TV. Not even the NRL Footy Show could get 400,000 people in Sydney and it wasn’t the biggest audience on the night. The Footy Show in Sydney averaged 351,000 which was around the fourth biggest. In Brisbane, with the Broncos in the NRL Grand Final, The Footy Show averaged just 187,000 but that wasn’t in the top five programs on the night up north. No local club in the grand final might explain Sydney’s less than overwhelming reception, but then no Melbourne club in the AFL final either. But in the deep south the footy is King, in Sydney and Brisbane it’s all a bit ‘so what?’and ‘who cares?’ from many people. Tonight it’s sort of a case of ‘why bother?’ and if you want to … consult a specialist.

And finally, far be it from us to suggest Australian newspapers are recycling the leads used overseas, but … 

Yesterday’s Independent:

 Today’s SMH

Peter Fray

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