Grovel of the day. From London’s commuter freebie Metro: “Metro wishes to unreservedly apologise for the mistake in Friday’s paper where a photograph of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was published in an article on page 21 about Guantánamo prisoners. His Highness is in no way connected to Guantánamo or its prisoners. We apologise for this mistake and for any offence it may have caused. Our thanks to the United Arab Emirates embassy in London for bringing this mistake to our attention. Sheikh Mohammed is prime minister and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates, the ruler of Dubai, and a leading figure in the world of thoroughbred horse racing and breeding.”

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven’s night with 13 programs averaging a million or more viewers, led by Seven News with 1.529 million and Today Tonight with 1.447million. Desperate Housewives followed with 1.435million, well in front of Eddie McGuire’s 1.293million. Ten’s 7pm elimination ep of The Biggest Loser saw its numbers perk up to 1.272 million. Nine’s A Current Affair was 6th with 1.270million, ahead of Nine News with 1.238 million. Seven’s 7.30 program, The Rich List averaged 1.228 million, CSI New York on Nine at 9.35 averaged 1.210million. Home And Away was 10th with 1.172million, Ten’s Bondi Rescue again did well with 1.093million at 8pm and Brothers and Sisters on Seven at 9.30 averaged 1.075 million. Temptation was 13th with a solid 1.006million as a week long Nine Network quiz quest started. The ABC’s Australian Story averaged 925,000 at 8 pm, Supernatural on Ten at 8.30, averaged 830,000 and the disappointment was Nine’s What’s Good For You which fell below a million viewers on its second outing this series to average 991,000. Top Gear at 7.30 pm on SBS averaged 607,000.

The Losers: The only loser was Nine’s What’s Good For You. It’s up against a game show, the back half of TBL on Ten and then Bondi Rescue and the ABC offering. Nothing much different than last year except Seven is attracting around 300,000 or more viewers to the timeslot now that The Great Outdoors is on Saturday evenings.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally and in every market for a convincing win by 291,000. Today Tonight lost Sydney and won elsewhere. TT beat ACA by 177,000 in one off the nastiest nights of TV seen for some time. Both TT and ACA should take a deep breath and step back. Ten News At Five averaged a high 942,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 416,000. Nine’s Nightline averaged 274,000 closer to midnight. The 7pm ABC news averaged 988,000, The 7.30 Report, 897,000. Four Corners, 734,000. Media Watch, 674,000. Difference Of Opinion on Iraq, Afghanistan and the South Pacific, 362,000. It was at least illuminating but Warren Brown and his cartoons were completely inappropriate. Lateline 213,000. SBS World News Australia 6.30pm, 231,000, the Late, 193,000. 7am Sunrise, 396,000, 7am Today down to 212,000, the lowest since Sarah Murdoch replaced Jessica Rowe

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 31.2% (31.5% a week ago) from Nine with a share of 27.3% (27.0%), Ten in third with 21.0% (20.0%), the ABC with 13.6% (15.2%) and SBS with 6.8% (6.3%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 30% to 28%. In regional areas a different outcome with WIN/NBN winning for Nine with a 31.2% share from Prime/7Qld with 27.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.1% , the ABC with 13.2% and SBS with 6.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Holidays in Melbourne and a couple of other centres meant that viewing levels were mixed, down in the morning, hence lower than normal figures for Today and Sunrise and up in the early evening, hence higher figures for Ten News At Five, Bert and Deal. But the evenings are darkening early now and the mornings are certainly dim, so viewing levels should start changing. It was the best outing for The Biggest Loser on Ten which will now hope that this continues and that the program has shaken off the wobbly bits from the first four weeks of survey. Apart from that another Monday night in TV land. Next Monday will be watched closely in Sydney and Brisbane by the networks to see if their is any leakage of male viewers to Foxtel for the first Monday night NRL game for this season. Tonight is Dancing on Seven and All Saints: Nine has tossed in the towel with the repeat of CSI. There’s also a 20 to 1 list and Amazing Medical Stories. Ten has TBL, NCIS, The Simpsons and that underperformer from long ago (was it only summer?) Numb3rs back at 9.30pm. For me it will be that nice doco on the Country Women’s Association on the ABC at 8pm but not the soap suds that follow AKA The Bill. And a bit of dancing.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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