ABC has climate change covered. “Keep an eye on how we are going to screen it,” was the word from ABC management earlier this month when the controversy broke over the decision to buy and screen the controversial program – scientists hesitate to call it a documentary – The Great Global Warming Swindle. Today the ABC has released some of the details, and it is clear that the screening will be an interesting exercise in using all of Auntie’s platforms and multimedia reach to give a wall to wall coverage of the global warming issue. You won’t be able to use the ABC that night without encountering the global warming debate. It’s likely to be a landmark night. The documentary will screen on 12 July at 8.30pm, and will immediately be followed by an in-depth interview between the writer and director, Martin Durkin, and Tony Jones, followed by a discussion with an expert panel and a studio audience. All this will be simulcast on both the ABC’s main television channel as well as ABC 2 and ABC NewsRadio. Meanwhile there will also be internet-based forums, and so on and so forth. See the details here. — Margaret Simons

Nine loses an Origin ratings week for the first time ever. The suits at PBL Media have managed to set some sort of record in their first week controlling the Nine Network. Thanks to the dopey management of the just-departed Packer empire, Nine managed to lose what should have been one of its strongest weeks of the year with Game 2 of rugby league’s State of Origin played on Wednesday night. Nine won the week including Game 1 in late May by the narrowest of margins, 0.1%, but last week it lost the primetime battle to Seven by 0.4%. So you could say the new owners can’t really go much lower and that the only way is up… eventually. Seven won last week, 28.3% (28.7% the week before) to 27.9% for Nine (27.4%). Seven won the Friday night battle to give itself a real chance of winning the week. Seven’s AFL broadcast in southern markets, plus the News, Today Tonight and Better Homes And Gardens easily beat Nine with Seven winning 28.9% to 26.2%, Ten on 21.1%, the ABC on 18.6% and SBS was on 5.2%. Nine won Saturday night, 27.4% to 25.2% with Ten on 23.4%, the ABC on 18.5% and SBS on 5.5%, but it wasn’t enough to claw back Seven’s margin. Overall, Seven won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights. Nine won the other nights with the Wednesday margin boosted by the State of Origin game. If Nine had programmed a fresh ep of CSI on Sunday night it may have gone close to winning the week, but its third place on Tuesday made it hard. Seven News and Today Tonight continued their domination of their Nine rivals. Sunrise beat Today, but the margin is a bit tighter than earlier in the year. — Glenn Dyer

Seven’s rugby coverage drops the ball. It is 19-all with a couple of minutes to go. Australia is in with a chance for one of the great sporting upsets of all time. Bad enough that Channel Seven chooses to cut to a commercial break at the climax of the Springboks v Wallabies test in the early hours of Sunday morning, but instead of crossing back to show the final stages of a thrilling game, it began the late-night movie. If ever there is a case to discipline a free-to-air television network, this surely is it. — Richard Farmer

News Ltd’s TV flop. Reliable source tells us that Confidential TV debuted on Foxtel with less than impressive results last week:

Sydney: 11,000

Melbourne: 10,000

Brisbane: 11,000

Adelaide: 1000

Perth: 0000

National: 33,000

What about that Perth figure! Nobody watched!

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A good night for the Nine Network with a very solid win over Seven and Ten weakening to third slot. Nine’s 60 Minutes was the most watched with 1.831 million people, Nine News second with 1.570 million and CSI Miami averaged 1.566 million at 9.30pm for third place. That proved the difference, along with a solid effort by Survivor: Fiji (605,000 viewers). Grey’s Anatomy was next with 1.522 million and just in front of a fresh CSI ep with 1.490 million. Seven News had 1.422 million, but it was pre-empted by AFL in Adelaide — a normal news broadcast there would have pushed Seven News close to Nine nationally. Nine returned Backyard Blitz to 6.30pm and it won the slot with 1.281 million. Seven’s Ugly Betty averaged 1.251 million at 7.30pm, followed by Where Are They Now (1.222 million), the 7pm ABC News (1.092 million), Big Brother‘s   live eviction (1.022 million) and Ten News (1.001 million). That, however, didn’t help Ten in the primetime battle.

The Losers: Ten’s schedule hardly sparkled last night: from the two Big Brothers to Rove (937,000) it was a less than outstanding evening. Ten was closer to the ABC than it was to its commercial rivals. Only one program with a million or more viewers in prime time isn’t really strong enough.  Hamish and Andy’s Real Stories repeat at 9.40pm only had 644,000 viewers. Seven’s What About Brian at 9.30pm, 873,000. Ten’s Sunday morning golf broadcast of the US Open, 117,000.

News & CA: Nine News won nationally and won Sydney, Melbourne and didn’t have any opposition in Adelaide. Seven won Brisbane and Perth. The NRL continues to help Nine more in Sydney than in Brisbane on Sunday afternoons and early evenings. Sunday mornings saw Seven’s Weekend Sunrise average 439,000; the ABC’s Landline, 345,000; Nine’s Sunday up to 253,000. The weather in Sydney and Melbourne helped. But not Insiders on the ABC at 9am with 158,000; Offsiders at 10.30am with 117,000 and Inside Business at 10 am with 108,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 33.1% from Seven with 27.6%, Ten with 18.3%, the ABC on 15.8% and SBS on 5.3%. Nine won all five metro markets.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last night was a perfect example of why it’s not clever to run dead these days. You never know what the viewer will think. The week before Nine ran dead on Sunday evening and paid the price by losing the week. Last night it programmed properly and had one of its best Sunday evenings this year. Backyard Blitz was brought back and did better than anything Nine has tried at 6.30pm in recent months. That helped 60 Minutes and the rest of the night. Nine is running the last six eps of Blitz in this timeslot as a spoiler to the Jamie Durie hosted gardening series that’s due to start shortly on Sundays at 6.30pm on Seven. It shows the short-sightedness of killing off Blitz and the silly fight between Eddie McGuire and Durie last year. Nine’s Sunday evenings look better when it is there, even if it isn’t as strong as it was two years ago. Tonight should be Seven’s with the combination of The Rich List, Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. Nine’s line up of What’s Good For You, 1 vs 100 and the repeat of CSI will do OK, but fall short. Ten is Big Brother times three and the start of the new UK series, Torchwood, which is anagram for Dr Who and a spin-off of that program. The ABC has the usual suspects and SBS has a repeat of Mythbusters.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and protect yourself against news that goes viral.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW