Has John Jarratt taken method acting too far? Leading Australian actor, John Jarratt, has this week been the central character in a tabloid battle. On Tuesday night, Today Tonight played an excerpt from a story involving a dispute over a house Jarratt had rented to friends in northern NSW and included a phone message in which he was heard to use a phrase from the serial killer movie, Wolf Creek, in which he starred. TT said it would not show the complete story because Jarratt had called late Tuesday afternoon and said he would give his side of the story on Wednesday. So the program said that in the interest of presenting both sides of the story they would hold it over. Jarratt did give his story… to rival program A Current Affair. The dispute over the house is now in the NSW Rent Tribunal and an AVO was granted against Jarratt by a court in northern NSW yesterday. If it wasn’t for this week’s events in Virginia, Jarratt’s crazed impressions, captured on tape and broadcast on TT (but not on ACA) would be laughable, the sign of an actor losing touch perhaps. But I also like the way TT, having done the right thing by Jarratt, was left in the lurch when he went off to ACA. I wonder if the folk at ACA, knowing what Jarratt had promised to TT, believe they got the right story. And it also underlines the point that TV News and Current Affairs producers face daily: the risk they will be gazumped, legalled or let down by people who promise one thing and then don’t deliver. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A much closer night last night but Nine was again pipped by Seven, which had to withstand a loss of audience to the ABC and Ten. Seven News was tops with 1.403 million viewers from Today Tonight with 1.324 million, Ten’s fresh ep of House at 8.30pm was third with 1.293 million while McLeod’s Daughters was next with 1.243 million. Nine News had 1.216 million and A Current Affair was next with 1.208 million. Spicks and Specks on the ABC had 1.205 million at 8.30pm. The Biggest Loser averaged 1.195 million and The Chaser was down on last week with 1.195 million. Seven’s 8pm program, Police Files Unlocked averaged 1.161 million and Home And Away was next with 1.136 million. Seven’s Heroes averaged 1.124 million (and third spot) at 8.30pm. Seven’s new program Last Chance Learners averaged 1.119 million at 7.30pm. That’s OK but not brilliant. Nine’s Without A Trace averaged 1.117 million at 9.30pm and Cold Case had 1.069 million (and fourth spot!) at 8.30pm. The New Inventors had its highest audience for months with 1 million viewers. Nine’s Temptation, averaged 993,000 at 7pm; Seven’s Prison Break, 960,000 at 9.30 pm. Ten’s anti skinny model body size story, The Truth About Size Zero did 944,000 and the Ultimate Donation, a program, on organ donation, 726,000 at 9.30pm.
The Losers:
It was a fairly even night of viewing. I wonder about Last Chance Learners. How about getting those who get their licences to make sure they tick the organ donation box?

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight again won but it was closer than Monday or Tuesday. Seven News won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Brisbane. TT won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth but lost Melbourne and Brisbane. TT almost ate into its big Perth margin. Nine’s Nightline averaged 342,000. Ten News averaged 840,000; Ten’s Late News/Sports Tonight, 440,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 955,000, The 7.30 Report, 927,000; Lateline 256,000; Lateline Business, 109,000. SBS Dateline, 162,000; SBS News, 157,000 at 6.30pm; 195,000 at 9.30pm. The Catch Up had 157,000 and Kerri-Anne Kennerley also had 157,000 with Kev Rudd the star guest. 
The Stats: Seven won narrowly with 27.9 (28.5% a week earlier) from Nine with 27.4% (27.7%), Ten with 23.1% (21.3%), the ABC with 10.0% (18.3%) and SBS with 3.6% (4.3%). Seven leads the week 30.0%  to 26.7% for Nine. Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Melbourne and Perth and that was enough. In regional areas a win though to Nine through WIN/NBN with 29.8% from Prime/7Qld with 26.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 23.0%, the ABC with 16.5% and SBS with 4.2%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Chaser was patchy last night. Some wickedly brilliant stuff up front involving the Grim Reaper, unemployed after the Aids ads 20 years ago, visiting James Hardie HQ. That was brilliant as was the poker machine hauled into a performance by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and a rock band crashing the HQ of poker maker Aristocrat because pokies are destroying live music. But the boring and dull was the ohh sooo long bed testing segment at the end which looked like it was someone’s pet idea (had been ripped off from Candid Camera anyway). It looked as though the program had no more ideas last night whereas Spicks and Specks was very funny and the Irish comedian on Myf’s team is what is needed on Rove Live to make it feel and sound alive! Tonight it’s the NRL and AFL Footy Shows to win it for Nine with Missing Person’s Unit, although Seven’s My Name Is Earl will do well at 8pm. Don’t know about Lost and The Amazing Race. Ten has the final Jamie Oliver at 7.30pm and two new Law And Orders. The ABC doco at 8.30pm will be better than them all. English TV bloke Tony Robinson (Baldrick in Blackadder) and his mum’s story.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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