Peter Overton cops it on 3AW. Logies night was difficult for Peter Overton. His wife, the freshly-boned Jessica Rowe, didn’t attend, leaving Overton to field questions about her new found unemployment. But according to 3AW’s Jon Anderson, Ross Stevenson and John Burns this morning, any awkwardness Overton might have experienced on Sunday night has not dented his sense of self worth. Click here and here to hear the trio discussing Mr Overton’s opinion of himself, care of Media Monitors. — Thomas Hunter

Australian Story gives a free kick to Aussie conman Peter Foster. The credibility of one of ABC-TV’s highest profile programs, Australian Story, has been compromised by a highly sympathetic profile of convicted conman Peter Foster last night. If you missed it, I would point you to the program’s website. It still hasn’t been updated with last night’s story. Foster is in jail at the moment and has a bail application this Friday in Brisbane. He has previously been denied bail on the grounds that he was an unacceptable flight risk. And Australian Story profiled him. Last night’s program — which was watched by an average 912,000 people at 8pm — included claims that “Foster’s former lawyer Sean Cousins says he once feared UK security service MI5 would kill him and Foster over a photo he claims proved the disgraced Gold Coast businessman met British Prime Minister Tony Blair.” It was a program which had all the weight and credibility of Foster’s infamous Bai Lin tea con. How a program with the solid reputation of Australian Story could stoop so low to promote these latest claims (which are not new) is something the top level of management of ABC TV should investigate. Australian Story did a self-promoting profile last year on Wizard Home Loans founder, Mark Bouris: it was uncritical and unquestioning, just like last night’s effort. Australian Story also aired a two part profile on Alexander Downer that was unquestioning. By all means the program should do profiles, but at least if the subject is controversial, the report should carry some balancing material, critical of the person at the centre of the report. Otherwise it becomes a hagiography, just like last night amazing report on Peter Foster. — Glenn Dyer

Ten sale saga continues. We will know within 10 days if the sale of the Ten Network in Australia is going to happen after local private equity group, Ironbridge Capital, offered NZ$551 million for CanWest MediaWorks, the New Zealand arm of the CanWest Empire and an associate of Ten. MediaWorks is a NZ radio and television operator and it runs the most improved TV business across the Tasman. It has been doing better in its market than Ten has in Australia and was thought to be ready to be sold before Ten. Analysts say the Ten sale will or won’t happen within the next 10 days if CanWest sticks to its previous timing. Ironbridge agreed to pay NZ$2.43 a share for CanWest Global Communications Corp’s 70% shareholding in the company and will offer the same price to other investors. That’s a premium of 49% above the NZ$1.63 price MediaWorks was trading at before CanWest put its stake up for grabs last October, at the same time as the controlling stake in Ten was put up for sale. According to media reports two groups remain in the hunt for Ten. Both are US private equity groups, believed to be Blackstone and Carlyle. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A surprising clear win to Seven last night after the last couple of Mondays had been a bit closer. 13 programs with a million or more viewers. Seven News has 1.649 million, Today Tonight had 1.585 million, Home And Away won the 7pm slot with 1.376 million (a gold Logie winner helps) and Desperate Housewives (1.356 million) just pipped Eddie’s 1 vs 100 in the 8.30pm slot with 1.348 million. Nine News had 1.328 million, A Current Affair with 1.276 million, The Rich List with 1.271 million and Brothers and Sisters lifted for Seven at 9.30pm (having star Rachel Griffiths at the Logies on camera helps) to average 1.113 million. Nine’s Temptation was next with 1.093 million and ahead of Big Brother at 7 pm. Nine’s 7.30 program, What’s Good For You 1.083 million; the 7 pm ABC News 1.052 million and the Live Nomination of BB, 1.038 million at 7.20 pm. Australian Story, 912,000 for a dodgy profile on the very dodgy Peter Foster. Mythbusters on SBS 687,000 at 7.30 pm

The Losers: Nine’s What’s Good For You: 1.083 million is OK but it is still a shadow of itself from its Logie winning 2006 efforts. Nine split the 9.35 to 11.35pm timeslots with CSI New York (774,000 everywhere bar Melbourne where a Carl Williams special — 274,000 — was run) and of course at 10.30 Nine ran the AFL program, Footy Classified (324,000) in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and a repeat of The Closer in Sydney and Brisbane (205,000). Seven’s Boston Legal easily won the slot with 633,000. Nine’s 1pm The Catch-Up down to 120,000, Days of Our Lives at 2 pm, 160,000. Big Brother (980,000 at 7 pm) and the Live Nomination at 7.30, 1.038 million, both looking weak.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally by big margins and won all five metro markets. Ten News At Five was solid with 963,000 viewers and the Late News/Sports Tonight averaged 376,000. Nine’s Nightline, 249,000 at 11.35 pm. The 7pm ABC News helped The 7.30 Report to the solid average of 918,000. Lateline 249,000, Lateline Business, 124,000. SBS World News Australia at 6.30pm, 222,000, and 211,000 at 9.30 pm. 7am Today, up to 287,000, 7am Sunrise up to 435,000. Four Corners was good last night, 811,000 with the grannie drug factory and Media Watch was improved as well with 691,000. Difference of Opinion finished last night earnestly, as always, and averaged 427,000.

The Stats: Seven won with 31.0% (29.3%) to Nine with 26.7% (25.8%), Ten with 19.8% (21.7%), the ABC on 14.2% (15.1%) and SBS with 8.2% (8.1%). Seven won all five metro markets but Nine now leads 32.5% to 28.3%. A different outcome in regional areas where Nine won through WIN/NBN with 29.8% from Prime/7Qld with 26.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.0%, the ABC with 13.5% and SBS with 8.8%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven halved Sunday night’s gap last night and depending on how It Takes Two and All Saints go tonight, it could be neck and neck tomorrow. Nine has programmed an inflationary two hour version of 20 to 1 called 50 to 1, Great Movie One Liners. Will viewers give a damn, m’dear? The ABC has the Budget at 7.30 and 8pm and then in Lateline Business. There should a flood of refugees to the commercials, so the Seven and Nine efforts could be boosted. Ten has a fresh Simpsons ep at 7.30pm and then a fresh NCIS at 8.30pm.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW