Nine’s programming ideas continue to look exhausted. This morning Nine announced the go-ahead of series eight of its popular rural drama, McLeod’s Daughters, for next year. It is shot on location north of Adelaide and the SA Government already pays the producers $300,000 a year to shoot the program in the state but Nine had threatened to take production to Sydney for all interior and dialogue shoots unless it got another $200,000 a year. No word if Nine and its producers managed to extract the money from the Government. And yesterday Nine revealed that it would be screening a program that had already aired on Foxtel on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm up against the end of Seven’s Dancing with the Stars. It’s called Shouldn’t Be Alive and will be “narrated” by Charles Wooley, the former 60 Minutes reporter now working for Macquarie Regional radio out of Hobart. Nine says it “tells the amazing stories of people who cheat death when caught in extraordinary, unforeseen situations. It combines dramatic reconstructions with the personal testimony of survivors to capture the full horror of their harrowing experience.” Sounds wonderful doesn’t it. Unfortunately it was shown on Foxtel last year on the Discovery channel and the “narration” by Wooley is actually just a revoicing of the original voiceover that went to air last year.

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Another Thursday night in autumn and another win to Nine thanks to the AFL and NRL Footy Shows, but not in Brisbane where the NRL program is once again on the nose. 14 programs with a million or more viewers so the ratings were shared around. A reasonable night but nowhere as good as Sunday or Monday nights, which is understandable seeing the difference in audience levels. Missing Persons Unit was tops with 1.314 million, second was Seven News with 1.222 million, third was My Name Is Earl at 8pm on Seven, with 1.222 million (it was quite screwball last night. Odd). Lost was fourth with 1.211 million (a few more viewers found it); Today Tonight was fifth with 1.148 million, ahead of Ten’s 8.30 Law And Order (SVU) with 1.129 million. Nine News was seventh with 1.107 million, Home and Away won the 7pm battle with 1.086 million, just ahead of Ten’s The Biggest Loser with 1.073 million. Getaway was tenth with 1.059 million, A Current Affair was 11th with 1.054 million. Next was Seven’s 7.30pm program, How I Met Your Mother with 1.040 million and still rebuilding audience. The Footy Shows were 12th with 1.028 million (down from last week) in 13th spot. 14th was Law And Order (CI) with 1.019 million in what was the two Law And Order programs’ best outing so far this year. Inspector Rex on SBS at 7.30pm averaged 425,000 for a repeat. Ten’s Saving Babies averaged 926,000, Jamie At Home on Ten at 7.30pm, 928.000. Temptation on Nine at 7 pm, 858,000.
 
The Losers: Seven’s Bones, 884,000 people at 9.30 pm. Not good enough to hurt the Footy Shows which have a big hole in Brisbane. Getaway snuck into tenth slot, again OK but nothing to write home about.
 
News & CA: Seven News won nationally as did Today Tonight. Seven News lost Sydney and Melbourne but won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. TT lost Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide but won strongly in Brisbane and Perth. Both had winning national margins slightly bigger than their usual big margins in Perth. Nine’s Nightline averaged 479,000 after the Footy Shows. Ten News averaged 764,000, Late News/Sports Tonight, 440,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 809,000, The 7.30 Report, 717,000; Lateline, 284,000, Lateline Business, 138,000. Nine’s The Catch-Up, 133,000, a distant third behind the Seven movie and Oprah. SBS News, 6.30pm, 178,000; 9.30pm, 144,000. 7am Sunrise up to 384,000, 7am Today down to 251,000.
 
The Stats:
Nine won with a share of 30.0% (30.5% last week) from Seven with 27.5% (27.0%), Ten with 24.0% (23.8%), the ABC with 13.2% (13.1%) and SBS with 5.3% (5.6%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne and Adelaide, Seven won Brisbane and Perth. Seven leads the week 29.6% to 27.9%. A close finish to the week. Seven to win. In regional areas a tie between Prime/7Qld with 29.1% and WIN/NBN. Southern Cross (Ten) was third with 22.2%. The ABC was on 14.1% and SBS 5.4%.
 
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine is in a quandary. It is short of money and yet it has to spend money to make money. Brisbane viewers have been quick to give the Sydney-based NRL Footy Show the thumbs down. The 107,000 who watched last night was down sharply from the 121,000 on a week ago. Queensland has three NRL teams and in football terms is the equal of NSW, but in terms of the football fan being serviced up north, its very much a Sydney-centric product. It’s why Nine lost Brisbane last night to Seven whereas the Footy Shows in Sydney, 272,00, down 49,000 viewers, and Melbourne, 371,000, down 21,000, were still enough over more than 90 minutes, to give Nine a win. I know the AFL show goes to Adelaide and Perth: they both outperformed the NRL program in Brisbane in smaller markets! Tonight Nine has the double header from 7.30 pm. The double header goes live in NSW and Queensland, 12.05 am in Melbourne and 2.05 am. After 238,000 people watched the Storm last Friday night, Nine dogged it and won’t show the two games which are both in Sydney tonight. Seven has Better Homes and Gardens and movies, Ten has movies and Smallville, the ABC has a couple of average UK police style dramas. Tomorrow night it’s the NSW election on ABC in NSW and normal programming elsewhere. In NSW the programs you would have been watching when you were being bored by the election will be shown from 10.30 pm. So NSW fans of The West Wing have to wait up until 12.15 am. The ABC isn’t keeping faith with viewers of the program in Sydney and NSW. It’s not good enough. West Wing should have followed the election coverage, People may have woken in time to see it. The Bill could wait. Elsewhere movies, movies and movies on Seven, Nine and Ten with updates in NSW. SBS has Iron Chef and Rockwiz (which could learn a lot from Spicks and Specks). Sunday night Betty, Talent, Grey’s on Seven, another Constructing Australia on the ABC and Miss Marple to follow. Nine has the one off With Friends Like This then the World Swimming Titles for two hours and the movie Tsunami – The Aftermath and Ten has The Biggest Loser, the repeat of Thank God You’re Here and two movies. A low night for the network. Remember, daylight saving ends on Sunday morning!