Will Seven put a hit out on its new police drama? The Seven Network has been curiously silent on the future of City Homicide, its only new local drama of the year (at this stage). A pilot of the program, which is based in Melbourne, was completed about six weeks ago and went to Seven programming for a look. Here’s where the story diverts: some sources say it tested great, second only to Always Greener, which was axed after starting well, slumping and then starting to show strength, so comparisons might not be the strongest recommendation. The other story is that Seven head programmer Tim Worner didn’t like it. Seven says no decision has been made and it is still being assessed. Meanwhile there is good news on two other fronts. Seven is well into producing Animal Rescue (Nine and the ABC have had versions, Nine had the first one years ago – it’s based on the great BBC series that was hosted by Rolf Harris) and has just commissioned a second series of the John Howard-fronted The Real Seachange. But City Homicide will be the big test. Seven has always liked police dramas and has been looking for a new one to replace the dear departed Blue Heelers. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Thursday night and Lost went missing with a recap program. That didn’t interest viewers and Nine did well. Nine won easily and there was a better performance from A Current Affair into the bargain, or rather another sinking performance by its rival, Today TonightRPA was tops with 1.554 million, Missing Persons Unit was next with 1.357 million, both on Nine. Ten’s Law And Order SVU was third with 1.179 million, followed by A Current Affair (1.177 million), just ahead of Today Tonight (1.157 million – it has had a falling week while ACA hasn’t moved!), Seven News (1.148 million). My Name Is Earl (Seven, 8pm) averaged 1.142 million and a second ep averaged 1.122 million. Nine News had 1.094 million and Home and Away was tenth with 1.085 million. Law And Order CI (9.30, Ten) averaged 1.067 million; Getaway hovered at 1.042 million; Jamie at Home on Ten at 7.30pm averaged 1.018 million and Seven’s How I Met Your Mother had 1.018 million. The Lost recap averaged just 894,000 at the unhelpful time of 9.10pm. Nine repeated the average The Code at 10.30pm and it averaged 799,000 (to increase “the sampling”). And that was it.

The Losers: Bert’s Family Feud at 457,000, Deal or No Deal; at 641,000. Both a bit low. Nine’s Temptation down to 877,000 but at least it beat The Biggest Loser on Ten with 876,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally because of Perth. Nine News was all over Seven in Sydney and Melbourne. Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (95,000 and 54,000 nationally). A Current Affair also beat Seven’s Today Tonight in Sydney and Melbourne easily to win nationally for the first night for weeks. TT did win Brisbane and Perth. ACA won Adelaide. The 7pm ABC News was down to 928,000, The 7.30 Report averaged a high 878,000 (for a Thursday night) with Mal Turnbull and Peter Garrett’s debate of Two Millionaires Really Concerned About The Climate And The Environment. Kerry O’Brien, Mal and Pete were ponderous and at times, boring. Worthy, like I hear the new Jeff McMullen program will be on Monday night at 9.30pm. Ten News averaged 847,000, which was solid (compared to Bert and Deal). Ten’s Late News/Sports Tonight at 10.30pm averaged 504,000. Nine’s Nightline, 309,000 at 11.30 pm. The ABC’s Lateline averaged 225,000 and Lateline Business 139,000, both at kinder times. SBS News averaged 173,000 at 6.30pm and 139,000 at 9.30pm. In the morning 7am Sunrise back up to 400,000, 7am Today a little easier at 239,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 32.3% (30.7% a week ago), Seven was on 25.6% (25.9%) and Ten was on 24.8% (26.2%). The ABC finished with 13.5% (12.5%) and SBS with 3.7% (4.7%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Perth. Nine leads the week 29.9% to 28.2% for Seven. in regional areas Nine won with NBN/WIN having a share of 31.8% from prime/7Qld with 28.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) 12.9% the ABC with 13.1% and SBS with 3.8%

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine’s week already and it will be cemented with the first ODI final today and tonight between Australia and England. if You don’t like cricket the ABC has Dalziel and Pascoe returning but they are not a patch on the original series based on the books of Reginald Hill. Ten and Seven have a collection of spakfilla: Ten does have The Biggest Loser at 7pm and that’s about all. With The second ODI final on Sunday, Nine will win so Ten and Seven are going through the motions (a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy at 9.50pm on Seven). TBL is on Ten for an hour. Planet Earth on the ABC and Foyle’s War. Nine will win the first night of 2007 ratings and then the battle starts Monday.

Peter Fray

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