Bert x 2.5 = lazy TV. Have we sighted a new form of inflation that should trouble the Reserve Bank? Certainly TV viewers should be afraid, very afraid. Not content with boring viewers to the point of distraction with its series of 20 to 1 list programs hosted by Bert Newton, Nine has gone and inflated the idea by a factor of 2.5 times. A press release from Willoughby yesterday revealed this new, original approach to TV programming: ”Join Gold Logie nominee Bert Newton as he lines up one of the biggest countdown shows yet in 50 to 1: Great Movie One Liners, Tuesday, May 8 at 7.30pm on Channel Nine.” It’s no coincidence that this is going to air on the night of the week where Nine has tossed in the towel: Tuesdays. Dancing With The Stars finished last night with almost 2.2 million viewers for the two-and-three-quarter hours it was on. Next week, Seven drops the second series of its celebrity singing show, It Takes Two, into the Tuesday 7.30pm timeslot for two hours. — Glenn Dyer

The Catch Up continues to struggle. Yesterday was another bad day for Nine’s chat show, The Catch Up, not to mention its cooking show Fresh. Nor was it a great debut for Dr Phil on the Ten Network after his move from Nine. Dr Phil started on Ten at midday yesterday with an average 157,000, around 100,000 and more down on the audience he was getting on Nine, but Ten viewers and other fans have to get used to his new location. The Catch Up saw its audience slide to 122,000 from 129,000 on Monday. Days of Our Lives added 3000 to 133,000 viewers yesterday (soap is a bigger draw than chat) and Fresh fell to 100,000 at midday on Nine (145,000 on Monday, a big drop). These changes coincided with reports that Mia Freedman, Nine’s creative services director and creator of The Catch Up, had resigned. Nine says that’s not the case. Freedman is a former senior publisher at ACP Magazines and is well-regarded in the PBL Empire. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven Network won the night and the week with the Grand Final of Dancing With the Stars. The program had its best audience since series four with a time adjusted average of 2.199 million viewers. It ran around 45 minutes past its scheduled 9.30pm finish, forcing Seven to pre-empt All Saints. The audience peaked at 2.50 million viewers just after 10pm when the result was announced with Kate Cerbrano the winner because more viewers voted for her than the judges’ winner, Fi Fi Box. Seven News was second with 1.560 million and Today Tonight was third with 1.522 million. Crossing Jordan, which followed Dancing, had its best audience ever with 1.295 million from around 10.15pm. Nine News was next with 1.255 million, followed by Home And Away (1.238 million), A Current Affair (1.203 million), Temptation (1.140 million), Big Brother (1.119 million), and the 7pm ABC News (1.106 million). The new ep of The Simpsons was next with 1.093 million, Ten’s NCIS had 1.071 million and the second Simpsons ep on Ten with 1.013 million. Nine’s 20 to 1 repeat averaged 930,000 at 7.30pm (blitzed by Dancing); and Nine’s 8.35pm repeat of CSI averaged 850,000. The 9.35pm I Shouldn’t Be Alive averaged 683,000.

The Losers: Nine’s schedule from 7.30pm onwards which was just weak. Ten’s wasn’t all that flash either. The ABC disappeared. Blame Dancing.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight again won nationally. Seven lost Melbourne to Nine by 1000 and won the four other metro markets. Today Tonight won all five for the second night in a row. Nine’s Nightline averaged 296,000. Ten News, 859,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 381,000. The 7.30 Report was squished by Dancing with its audience down to 759,000 after the 1.1 million plus for the ABC News. Lateline averaged 238,000; Lateline Business 128,000. SBS Insight, 261,000; SBS News, 194,000 at 6.30pm. 7am Today, 258,000, 7am Sunrise 409,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 40.8% (37.0% a week ago) from Nine with 21.4% (22.9%), Ten with 20.7 (20.4%), the ABC with 12.9% (13.2%) and SBS with 4.3% (5.4%). Seven leads the week 32.6% to 26.3%. Seven won all five metro markets. In regional areas a similar result with Prime/7Qld winning with 35.8%, WIN/NBN with 25.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.3%, the ABC with 11.8% and SBS with 4.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nothing more to be said. Dancing completed its recovery from the boredom of the previous series at the end of 2006. The audience was up 23% from series boredom. Even Daryl Somers was alive! This was more entertaining and conducted in better spirit by all concerned, competitors, judges, hosts etc. Now we will see if the singing version, It Takes Two gets any sort of rub-off with Kate Cerbrano backing up as an “expert” this time. Seven has won the week after the big victory last night so the contest has lost some of the ooomph. Tonight, it’s focus on the ABC from 8.30pm with Spicks and Specks and The Chaser at 9pm. The Chaser is getting all the publicity but without S&S as a lead-in it would be a bit of a battle to break through. Watch for the ghost of Mark Latham tonight. Seven has its learner drivers program, then Police Files Unlocked followed by Heroes at 8.30pm and then Prison Break. Nine has McLeod’s Daughters which has recovered (but is boring), followed by Cold Case And Without A Trace. Ten has BB then House who should consult Medium at 9.30pm to see if there’s a way out of the absurd storyline.