Seven wins another week but Nine closes the gap. Another win for the Seven Network, but Nine closed to within two points in week four of the 2007 ratings battle. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and tied Brisbane with Nine. Seven beat Nine by 30.2% to 28.7% compared to the previous week’s win of 29.6% to 27.4%. Nine won Sunday in a surprise and then picked up Thursday and Saturday, while Seven won the other nights. Nine will hope to get closer this week with the Footy Shows returning on Thursday and the NRL starting Friday night with the new, expensive double header games. But that’s only likely to narrow the gap until the AFL starts at the end of the month. Seven will have the NAB Cup final live into Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on Saturday night, which will go someway to offsetting the impact of the NRL. Seven again won Friday night fairly comfortably while Nine was a narrow winner on Saturday night. Seven News and Today Tonight won the week nationally. TT seems to have shaken off the ill effects from the phony “chains” story. Nine’s new daytime chat program. — Glenn Dyer

Trading off Sunrise. The Seven Network is trying to get into the mid-morning battle between Ten and Nine with a new program that will trade off its successful Sunrise brand. Seven wants its share of the $30 million in revenues or so Ten and Nine have battled over for the past seven years. Ten was first into the timeslot with the Bert Newton’s Good Morning Australia and had the market to itself before Nine countered with Mornings with Kerri-Anne. KAK now regularly out-rates 9am with David (Reyne) and Kim (Watkins) (who replaced Bert this year) but last week the Ten program won two mornings (Wednesday and Thursday). The two programs share around 250,000-270,000 viewers Monday to Friday while Seven lags with children’s programming and repeats of old programs like Sons and Daughters (that’s almost pre-historic) and failed US soaps. Seven’s audience is around 60,000-70,000, which makes the total commercial audience available around 350,000. But Seven’s new program will find it tough to crash the revenue streams being earned by Nine and Ten. One way would be to cut rates and to trade heavily off the back of the Sunrise program, as Nine did with KAK. There are suggestions the Weekend Sunrise hosting team of Lisa Wilkinson and Andrew O’Keefe could be involved but that then would see a new hosting team for the Sunday program or O’Keefe would be over exposed (and we saw what that did to Ray Martin on Nine), with Deal or No Deal, The Rich List, Weekend Sunrise and this new program. Helping Seven though is the fact that it has an overflow of demand for ads in Sunrise at the moment and most, if not all are placed at a premium to normal rates for that time of day. This demand would help underwrite the new program. Seven can differentiate its program from being less infomercial driven than the offerings from Nine and Ten. — Glenn Dyer

The Catch Up ain’t Oprah. The Catch Up was watched by 151,000 people on Friday and remains a distant and costly second to Oprah on Ten. Nine soon loses the repeats of Dr Phil it has been showing at noon to Ten which will mean The Catch Up will have to find another way of building its audience. Dr Phil averaged 211,000 on Nine at Noon last Friday. Sixty thousand fewer viewers on average hung around to watch The Catch Up. At this rate and with the costs involved, it won’t hang around for long. Viewers know they can afford to miss the program and not feel as they have missed something important. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A win to Seven, just, over Nine. 11 programs with a million or more viewers and audiences were more evenly distributed across the night. Ugly betty was back Number 1 with 1.503 million, Grey’s Anatomy was second with 1.498 million, Nine’s CSI was 3rd with 1.402 million, Seven News was next with 1.318 million and Seven’s 6.30pm program, Australia’s Got Talent, averaged 1.307 million, CSI Miami (Nine, 9.30pm) averaged 1.279 million. Nine News was 7th with 1.231 million, 60 Minutes eased to 1.194 million from a week ago, 20 to 1 (Nine, 6.30pm) averaged 1.117 million for a new program. Not brilliant. Tenth was 10’s The Biggest Loser Weigh-In with 1.104 million and the final program over a million was the ABC’s Planet Earth at 7.30pm with 1.083 million. Miss Marple at 8.30pm on the ABC averaged 994,000, which is a lot better than the 496,000 a week ago for the Kylie special! Thank God You’re Here averaged 765,000 repeated by Ten at 6.30pm and the network shuffled in the tired movie School of Rock at 8.30pm instead of Jamie Oliver’s return to school lunches (bet that thrilled quite a few viewers, like me!).

The Losers: What About Brian (9.30pm) bumped up above 900,000 for Seven last night at 901,000. But it was still beaten by 378,000 by CSI Miami while Nine’s True CSI at 10.30 pm with 572,000 easily beat Cheaters on Seven with 444,000. And that’s why Nine was in the hunt all night.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Nine News won Sydney and Melbourne. The 7pm ABC news averaged 939,000, Ten News (half hour) averaged 767,000. Ten’s Meet The Press at 8am averaged 45,000, a down a touch from last week. Seven’s Weekend Sunrise was easily the most watched of the morning programs with 378,000. Nine’s Sunday was down to 216,000. The ABC’s Landline averaged 311,000 at Noon. Insiders on the ABC at 9am averaged 150,000, which was up, Inside Business was higher with 104,000 and Offsiders at 10.30am, was also up at 92,000.

The Stats: Seven pipped Nine in the 6pm to midnight battle, 28.8% (32.2%) to 28.7%(34.8%). Ten had its best Sunday of the year so far with third with a share of 20.1%(14.9%), the ABC was fourth with 17.5% (13.8%) and SBS was on 4.9% (4.3%). Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane. Ten finished fourth in Sydney. In the 6.30 to 10.30pm battle Seven won with 29.6% to 28.3%. Ten finished fourth behind the ABC but a distant third behind Seven and Nine in the commercial share in the same timeslot. In regional Australia the positions were reversed with Nine winning through affiliates WIN/NBN with 29.4% to 29.3% for Prime/7Qld, the ABC was third with 18.8%, Ten was fourth with 17.2% and SBS was on 5.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Looking at those numbers last night Nine would think: “Well with the NRL next Sunday afternoon and a more people to early evenings in Sydney and Brisbane we have a chance.” And Seven would look and think. “Well Nine might get closer next week and the week after but we’ll have the AFL from the last weekend in the month. What About Brian is building but needs more work. Nine is shooting both barrels at us until 10.30pm with CSI and CSI Miami (which should be anchoring Wednesday evenings).” Ten would think: “a bit better but fourth in zone 1 (and a distant third in commercial share again). We’ll do a lot better next week worth the Joanne Lees telemovie.” And the ABC programmers would saying “Must not move outside the demographic, must not move outside the demographic and if we have to, be current and relevant. No old Kylie shows. Planet Earth and Miss Marple are King and Queen!” Tonight, is there new life in Eddie McGuire’s 1 vs 100 at 8.30pm, up against Desperate Housewives? Will the Rich List again do the biz at 7.30pm? Will Ten bounce? Will Nine’s What’s Good For You find ratings joy at 7.30pm? These questions and more you the viewer can answer tonight. And the lads are on SBS at 7.30pm with their go fast cars.