Brett Lee sings Hindi. Everyone knows Brett Lee can bowl. And he’s been seen strumming his guitar with Freddy Flintoff. But did you know he can sing, in Hindi? Check out his Indian Top 10 hit, featuring Ashe Bhosle, a sort of Indian Charles Aznavour, and his lurid green shirt here. — John Addis

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Monday night and a close win to Nine which will score heavily tonight with the one-off international 20/20 game of tip and run cricket from 7.30pm. Seven programs gathered a million or more viewers last night, starting with Seven News on top with 1.349 million, followed by Today Tonight with 1.331 million, Nine News was third with 1.197 million, A Current Affair was next with 1.196 million, the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.165 million, Nine’s appalling The King of Queens averaged 1.017 million from 7pm to 7.30pm and the equally horrible That ’70s Show on Seven in the same slot averaged 1.013 million: and optimists everyone of them. A case of “if we watch it will improve” Ha! CSI Miami averaged 968,000 for the repeat at 8.30pm, the ABC’s Dynasties at 8pm averaged 905,000.
The Losers: Hmmmm… Motorway Patrol on Nine at 7.30pm 589,000 for a new program, 528,000 for a repeat. But its figures were cut by variable programming around the network. It is summer and viewers obviously deserve to be confused. Seven’s The Master, averaged 799,000. A loser in prime time (it lasted just one ep) and a loser in summer! Standoff, Seven’s 8.30 program with 797,000: outrated by a loser like The Master, need we say more? And Vanished at 9.30 pm on Seven, 679,000: the name says it all. Nip/Tuck on Nine at 9.30 pm 717,000 and in need of some surgery.
News & CA:
Solid wins for Seven News and Today Tonight which didn’t need the usual big wins in Perth to win nationally. Seven News won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth: its margin there was 113,000, its national margin was 152,000. Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven’s Sydney summer reader, Chris Bath (and part time prime timer in ratings) beat Nine’s returning ratings anchor, Mark Ferguson by a solid margin: 356,000 to 312,000. Today Tonight beat ACA by 134,000 nationally and 119,000 in Perth. TT won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. ACA won Melbourne with 421,000 viewers on average, easily the biggest audience in any market last night and the only one over 400,000 people. The 7pm ABC News was again solid and this helped The 7.30 Report with Ali Moore now summer hosting for a couple of weeks; it averaged 988,000 viewers and easily won the 7.30pm timeslot. Ten News averaged a solid 855,000 and in the morning Seven’s Sunrise, 413,000 from 7am beat Nine’s Today, 234,000.
The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 27.6% (28.0% a week ago) from Seven with 26.0% (26.9%), Ten with 21.5% (19.3%), the ABC with 16.9% (17.0%) and SBS with 8.1% (8.7%). Nine leads the week 27.6% to 24.7%. Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven won Adelaide and Perth. In regional areas Nine’s affiliates WIN/NBN won with 31.9% to Prime/7Qld with 24.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.2%, the ABC with 13.7% and SBS with 8.6%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: From 7.30pm the Seven network wasn’t really a contender, but then nor was Ten while Nine had some average repeats and the ABC wandered along with the 7.30 Report and Dynasties easily winning the 7.30 and 8pm timeslots. If Seven’s 7.30pm and 8.30pm programs had attracted an extra 200,000 or so viewers over the two hours, it probably would have just won the night. Just one of those nights in early January when almost anything will be screened on commercial TV just to fill the screen. Tonight its the tip and run on Nine which will rate well and give Nine another cricket success story. But although it’s 11 months away, the 2007-2008 summer of cricket is looming as a disaster for Nine: India and Sri Lanka. Hardly compelling with Warne, McGrath, Langer and Damien Who gone plus a couple of others who may fly the coop after the World Cup, Nine is looking at lower revenues (a sharp drop) and lower earnings. But for now enjoy the games, even the tip and giggle tonight.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey