The Winners: No cricket again and yet it was a close run thing between Seven and Nine as the repeat of the boring Midsomer Murders on Nine almost got it home: in fact all but got the network home. Seven narrowly but only because of its dominance in Perth. Today Tonight was tops with 1.218 million, Seven News was next with 1.169 million, A Current Affair was third with 1.131 million, Nine News was next with 1.060 million, the 7pm ABC News was fifth with 1.053 million and the repeat of Midsomer Murders on Nine at 8.30pm averaged 1.002 million. The Amazing Race on Seven at 8.30pm averaged 898,000. It’s a fresh program, Midsomer Murders is boring and a repeat and yet it outrated the Seven show, which says something about The Amazing Race‘s attraction in Australia. Rome on Nine at 10.50pm continues to die. To think it was a big hope for the network a year ago!
The Losers: Well, summer is here and the time is right for… ? Not watching TV: audience numbers seemed lowish because of the usual Thursday night factor, emphasised by the oncoming rush of Christmas. But actually we’re up on the same night a year ago. But it was hard to call anything a loser because much of it was: Australia’s Brainiest Quizmasters was repeated on Ten and averaged 808,000 simply I think because people were bored. The Loop on Seven, 724,000. Numb3rs on Ten in repeat, 650,000. The ABC’s Rugby in the 70s: just 285,000 people. Definitely one for Sydney and Brisbane audiences.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally by 109,000 and 118,000 in Perth. Nine News won Sydney and Melbourne. Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Today Tonight beat ACA by 87,000 nationally and 101,000 in Perth. TT won Brisbane and Perth, ACA won Sydney, Melbourne (the biggest audience in the country last night with 413,000 viewers) and Adelaide. ABC News was solid. It had more viewers in Sydney last night at 7pm (306,000) than the more heavily promoted Seven News (259,000) and Nine News (271,000) did at 6pm. In fact, ABC News was Sydney’s most watched program last night. The 7.30 Report averaged 989,000. It had 270,000 viewers in Sydney, TT had 263,000 and ACA 269,000. I know it’s an hour later and more people are watching but it usually doesn’t happen so that makes it worth recording. Ten News was also solid with 841,000 viewers. In the morning Sunrise with 459,000 outpointed Today, which didn’t make the top 50 where the cut-off was 250,000 which Early Sunrise recorded.
The Stats: Seven won with a share of 29.5% (28.2%) from Nine with 29.2% (36.4% with Day one of The Perth Test a week ago). Ten was third with 20.2% (18.5%), the ABC was next with 15.5% (12.0%) and SBS finished with 5.7% (4.9). Nine leads the week 29.7% to 27.4%. Nine won Sydney and Melbourne, Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. No regional ratings again today.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: So that’s the year, 2006. TV is a great game; viewers are smarter than many in the industry think and will again prove that next year to programmers, CEOs, advertisers and scribblers like myself. 2006 is the year that intelligent TV showed it could work on commercial TV in Ten’s Thank God You’re Here. Witty, a bit scatty, sometimes a hit but you had to listen and look rather than look and listen and that made it a doubly dangerous show for Ten. But it works and it is my TV program of the year. It is also original and it was a big gamble for Ten as it was very un-Ten (much more than The Panel). The worst show: a dead heat between The Master and Good As Gold on Seven, Yasmin’s Getting Married and Celebrity Joker Poker on Ten and those Nine stalwarts, Clever, Magda’s Funny Bits, Big Questions and The Great Weight Debate. Best moments: the Beaconsfield miners being found to be alive and then emerging. Wonderful emotions: the last 90 minutes of the second Test from Adelaide which was the TV sport highlight of the year (the Swannies lost: sadness). Predictions for 2007: more of the same as this year. Travel and lifestyle programs will be in trouble next year as viewers continue to go off them (Great Outdoors and Getaway and food!). Will Tim Worner’s Christmas wish for a Sunday night lineup for Seven that rates be answered on Monday morning after the old bloke drops down Tim’s chimney? And at Nine, will Michael Healy wait up late at Willoughby to see if his wish for a Monday to Saturday lineup that will viewers want to watch is answered  or rejected again? Who knows, but I’m off. Best wishes for the season, enjoy yourself, keep safe and roll on 2007! 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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