Headline of the day. You’d think they could have just used capsicum spray. Or drawn their guns…

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Monday night, and another strongish night for Seven sees it win, although viewing levels seem a little light on compared to a week earlier. A dozen programs with a million or more viewers, led by Desperate Housewives with 1.463 million, off around 100,000 on the previous week. Second was Seven News with 1.415 million, then Today Tonight with 1.399 million with Nine’s 1 vs 100 on Nine with 1.282 million 4th and down around 50,000 viewers. Home and Away on Seven at 7pm averaged 1.205 million, Nine News was 6th with 1.16 million and 7th was Seven’s The Rich List (7.30pm) with 1.163 million, down 4,000 viewers. In 8th was the elimination ep of The Biggest Loser with 1.155 million, down 49,000 viewers and 9th was Nine’s A Current Affair with 1.105 million. Ten’s Bondi Rescue was 10th with 1.085 million (and still looking good). The 7pm ABC news averaged 1.056 million in 11th and 12th was Seven’s 9.30pm soap, Brothers and Sisters with 1.029 million viewers. Nine’s CSI New York (9.30pm) averaged 992,000, the 8pm program, Motorway Patrol, 977,000 and Nine’s much hyped (by Nine) The Code, 7.30 pm, averaged 971,000. Both were down on last week, falling under the million viewer mark figure. Top Gear at 7.30pm averaged 690,000.

The Losers: That 7pm to 8.30pm timeslot for Nine stalled last night. Temptation which is being battered by Home and Away and TBL at 7pm, averaged 919,000. That hurt The Code, which was again an odd mixture of interesting bits and a bit of boredom. Motorway Patrol isn’t a patch on its Kiwi stablemate, Serious Crash Unit. Nine’s problems on Mondays aren’t with Desperate Housewives. Eddie is competitive. It’s earlier in the night. Bert’s Family Feud averaged 504,000 at 5.30pm and Deal or No Deal on Seven, 736,000.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won national and all five markets by 251,000 and 294,000 respectively. Big wins without any major story to kick things along. The 7pm ABC News’ strength helped The 7.30 Report to 910,000. Lateline averaged 268,000 and Lateline Business 141,000. Ten News averaged 861,000. The Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 402,000, Nine’s Nightline, 314,000 on at 11.35pm, an hour later. World News Australia on SBS averaged 243,000 for the 6.30pm and 174,000 for the shorter 9.30 bulletin. Four Corners had a solid 859,000 with its excellent report on the impact of alcohol on people’s lives, including Ten’s Dicko. He was brave and honest as were all of the people mentioned in the program or spoken to (friends and family as well). 4Cs and they should be congratulated. In the mornings 7am Sunrise with 426,000 beat 7am Today with 258,000. Difference of Opinion was on the ABC at 9.30pm and averaged 554,000, up around 90,000. It was on water and compared to the week before was literate and interesting: the talent was the difference on the panel. But it looks stilted at times because of Jeff McMullen’s seriousness. Lighten up.

The Stats: Seven won with 30.1% (31.9% a week ago) from Nine with 26.0% (26.9%), Ten with 21.1% (21.0%), the ABC with 15.7% (12.7%) and SBS with 7.3%, (7.5%) Seven leads the week 31.7% to 26.1%. Seven won all five metro markets. In regional areas a narrow win to Seven with 30.4% for Prime/7Qld, from Nine through WIN/NBN with 29.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.1%, the ABC with 15.3% and SBS with 7.2%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another Seven night and the ratings roles have reversed with Seven ahead and with solid lead ahead of Nine which is playing catch up. That’s how it was in 2002-2005 and the way Seven came back (putting to one side its US production deals which struck gold after a number of lean years) is the way Nine can be more competitive. News and Current Affairs and Temptation are the weak spot most nights. Temptation will lift when The Biggest Loser is finished but it is not giving Nine any traction. Tonight all interest is on whether Dancing With The Stars can regain its former glories (in ratings terms) after the indifferent performance in Series Five. Seven is giving it every opportunity with good contestants and lots of promotion but viewers are now “used” to the program and have become a bit “same old, same old”. Nine can look at Ten’s impressive Bondi Rescue and learn how to make an observational doco like The Code, interesting. Cut the v/o back and let the people in the stories tell the yarn!

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey