Bastard Boys retain audience: Bastard Boys finished with 923,000 average across the second part on the ABC last night which wasn’t bad compared to the 972,000 for the first part. Last night’s was a bit more “drama” and “faction”, more in keeping with a docudrama which critics just don’t understand. Michael Duffy, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday took a terribly literalist approach to the program, which as a lover of books was quaint. What we saw on screen has been applauded in books by Bob Woodward (All The President’s Men, the Brethren etc etc) where conversations and people thoughts are given voice in a way we have no way of checking whether it was true. — Glenn Dyer 

Kerri-Anne v Kim: a fashion face off. In a daytime television fashion faux pas, network rivals Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Kim Watkins were seen wearing the same dress at the same time this morning. A longtime fan of colour co-ordination, Kerri-Anne teamed her blue floral number with matching necklace:

Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, Channel 9.

Over at Channel 10, Kim played it low-key, wearing her Leona Edminston-esque frock sans accessories:

Kim Watkins, 9am with David and Kim, Channel 10, 15 May.

With a nod to the weekly Who poll, Crikey wants to know – Who got it right? Vote for Kerri-Anne or Kim by emailing [email protected]. Thank you to the fashionistas at Media Monitors for the hot tip. — Sophie Black

Nine searching for younger viewers. The Nine Network is asking outside producers for programming ideas for new programs in the 25 to 54 age demographic because it’s growing increasingly concerned at its ageing profile. Nine now has more viewers aged 55 and over than the ABC and among the commercial networks it has a 44 per cent share of the over 55 demographic thanks to programs like 60 Minutes, the NRL Football, News, CSI and Today. On Sunday Night, Nine had a huge commercial share of 52% in the over 50 age group, even though it won the night. In contrast Ten had 13.9% (most of its viewers are in the 16 to 49 groups) and Seven had a 34 per cent share (its viewers are more widely spread across all demographics). But TV producers say Nine is not helping with its bureaucratic approach to assessing new program ideas, the continuing insistence on cross platform synergies and a heavy handed cost cutting approach to what it is prepared to pay. Nine programmer, Michael Healy can’t commit to programs he thinks are worth developing because they have to be signed off by PBL Media CEO, Ian Law, who has no TV background and is constantly try to cut the cost of development and new program ideas. That means outside producers are reluctant to bring new idea to Nine because they know they will take too long to say no or yes. Producers know they stand a better chance of pitching to Ten and even Seven, which has a full schedule at the moment. — Glenn Dyer

Commercial networks lose more ground to public broadcasters and Pay TV. Figures from Fusion Strategy show that in the ratings battle so far this year, all three commercial networks have lost ground in the major demographics, while the ABC, SBS and Pay TV continue to gain ground. Adjusted for Easter and the Commonwealth Games in 2006, the figures show that in the All People category Seven has lost 3.43%, Nine 7.75%, Ten 8.66% while the ABC has lifted its share by just over 3%, SBS is up 10.2% and Pay TV up 13.14%. In the commercial share All People battle between Seven, Ten and Nine, Seven has now lifted its share to 37.7% from 36.8% in the same period of 2006, Ten’s share is off at 28.1% from 28.7% and Nine’s is down a fraction at 34.2% from 34.5%. It is being held up by the strong gains it is making in the over 55 group. It has lost share in the 16 to 39, 25 to 54 and the 18 to 49 groups. — Glenn Dyer

Battleline drawn in daytime ratings brawl. Daytime TV is becoming more competitive than the evening prime time battle. The period 9am to 5pm is emerging as the battle ground between Ten and Seven, while Nine tries to stay competitive despite some programming blunders that have set back its chances. The loss of Dr Phil to Ten, the ditching of The Young And The Restless to Pay TV and the introduction of The Catch-Up at 1pm have slashed Nine’s day time averages. It has now moved Fresh back to 11.30am and is running McLeod’s Daughters at midday to try and give The Catch-Up a better lead in. Nine now run third behind Ten, which yesterday claimed it was the “only network to grow both its daytime audience and commercial share this year, overtaking Seven in all key demographics”.  Ten says its morning advertorial chat program, 9am with David and Kim has lifted its average audience from 110,000 to 118,000 while Nine’s Mornings with Kerri-Anne (Kennerley) has lost ground, slipping from a 2006 average of 144,000 to 137,000. That’s still a clear lead. Seven will splinter this market in the next couple of months by launching its Sunrise extension program from 9am to 10.30am when the morning news is broadcast. Ten says its average audience form 9am to 5pm has risen 2.1% so far this year to 206,000 while Nine’s has slipped 16.8% to 159,000 from 191,000 and Seven’s has shed 20 per cent to 178,000 from 222,000 (that’s Monday to Friday up to last Friday excluding Easter and the 2006 Commonwealth Games). — Glenn Dyer

Australian Story returns to form. It’s amazing what a difference a week and a substantial subject can do to a program like Australian Story. Last Monday it did a light profile of convicted Queensland conman, Peter Foster, a program which diminished the standing of the program because he should not have been given the air time. Last night Australian Story profiled a man called William Barton, an inspiring musician from Mount Isa who has turned the didgeridoo from a tourist gift into a modern Australian classical musical instrument. In doing so he has given classical music in this country a flavour that is distinctly Australian. Barton was shown as someone doing something to improve himself and the country. Could anyone say that about conman Peter Foster? Last night’s effort was a high quality program that only emphasised the time wasted on Foster. The William Barton story was watched by 845,000 people last night; 912,000 viewers watched the Peter Foster effort. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A win to Seven but a feature of last night is the tit for tat stories on that Melbourne tunnel crash involving a truck: Nine’s A Current Affair has got plenty of mileage out of it, and did well last night. Seven’s Today Tonight is getting plenty of mileage out of exploiting ACA’s part in the story. The way they are going at it you’d swear Schapelle or Mercedes Corby were driving the truck/car (take your pick). 15 programs had a million or more viewers, starting with Seven News with 1.685 million, Today Tonight, 1.571 million, A Current Affair,1.432 million, 1 vs 100 with 1.381 million, Nine News, 1.337 million, Home And Away at 7pm with 1.319 million, Desperate Housewives, 1.293 million and The Rich List, Seven at 7.30 pm, 1.237 million. Nine’s Temptation was 9th with 1.154 million, The Big Brother Live Nomination at 7.30pm averaged 1.129 million, Nine’s 7.30 program, What’s Good For You averaged 1.079 million (and third), the 7pm ABC News was 12th with 1.060 million, the 7pm Big Brother averaged 1.049 million, CSI New York on Nine at 9.30pm, 1.005 million, just in front of Seven’s Brothers and Sisters in the same slot with 1.003 million. Bastard Boys on the ABC 923,000 from 8.30pm (Better than Four Corners, Media Watch and Difference of Opinion). Australian Story 845,000, Supernatural on Ten at 8.30pm, 811,000 and Mythbusters on SBS at 7.30pm, 720,000.
The Losers: Nothing really in the losing class last night. Nine’s The Catch-Up at 1pm, 126,000 up a fraction. McLeod’s Daughters at Midday, 103,000 not much difference to the hour long Fresh, which now back at half an hour at 11.30am, 107,000. Ten and Seven still well ahead.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Today Tonight had a closer battle with ACA, it won by 139,000 nationally and used up its 143,000 margin in Perth because ACA won Melbourne (where the truck/car collision happened) and Adelaide narrowly. Ten News averaged 910,000, Late News/Sports Tonight, 325,000. Nine’s Nightline, 226,000. The solid 7 pm ABC News helped The 7.30 Report to 924,000. Lateline, 342,000, Lateline Business, 153,000. World News Australia, 215,000 at 6.30 pm. 7am Sunrise, 398,000, 7am Today, 250,000.
The Stats: Seven caught and passed Nine last night. Seven won with a share of 29.5% (31.0%) from Nine with 26.7% (unchanged), Ten with 19.7% (19.8%), the ABC with 16.4% (14.2%) and SBS with 7.8% (8.2%). On the face of it Seven won but lost share to the ABC for Bastard Boys. Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Brisbane. Seven leads 27.3% to 27.2% and should extend that tonight. In regional areas a very different result with WIN/NBN on 29.9%, Prime/7Qld on 25.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) on 20.2%, the ABC with 15.9% and SBS on 8.2%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Bastard Boys has been and gone. Tonight its back to the normal battles: It Takes Two up against a new ep of 20 to 1 and then back to back eps of Two And A Half Men which is Nine’s only US program outside of the CSI group, that is capable to grabbing a million viewers. Ten has NCIS and Big Brother. Seven has All Saints as well. The ABC has an interesting program at 8pm called The Choir of Hard Knocks AKA It Takes Many and from the promos it might just show up the shallowness of the Seven program in only half an hour.