Nine keeps adding new programming fodder. Nine Network management, especially Jeff Browne, the executive in charge, and Michael Healy, the head of programming, is still beating the drum and moving new programs into the schedule before the end of ratings in late November. This Sunday, Nine has an interesting program called Damages, starring Glenn Close, which should do well and hurt Seven. But then it has also brought in Girls of the Playboy Mansion. Tits and bums TV hasn’t worked for Ralph TV on Thursday nights after the Footy Shows — it ends this week after an unsuccessful run. Next Tuesday night Nine goes back to the 1990s with Surprise Surprise, a celebrity prank show that was first aired more than a decade ago and was love child of Cos Cardone, Nine’s former head of Light Entertainment. And keeping with the 90s, Nine returns Don Burke on Sunday week with an eco-themed Burke’s Backyard Spring Special, which will go head to head with Jamie Durie’s Australia’s Best Backyards and then Hot Property. Later this month Nine has a better prospect to attract viewers in RFDS, an observational doco program (like Seven’s Medical Emergency) about the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It also has The Singing Bee, an Australian version of the NBC program, but it will probably run into either Dancing With The Stars (which will also kill off Surprise Surprise) or Australia’s Got Talent (due for the Sunday 6.30pm timeslot for Seven). Nine also has a program called The Gift, a show about organ donation — Ten had a similar program earlier this year on Thursday nights that rated OK. And then there’s Dirty Jobs, which explores the worst jobs going (a bit of a rip off of the Tony Robinson-hosted series The Worst Jobs In History?). Nine has Melbourne-made dramas Canal Road and Underbelly in production for next year and it needs them because Sea Patrol is wavering on Thursday nights. It will be replaced (at this stage) by series three of Missing Persons Unit, which has been one of Nine’s better performers this year. — Glenn Dyer
Eddie tempted back to weeknights. Nine plans to replace Temptation in the 7pm weeknight timeslot with a stripped down version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire but given how Eddie McGuire’s 1 vs 100 has faded recent, it won’t be successful with Eddie at 7pm. Millionaire already bombed in a half hour version at 5.30pm three years ago. Nine would have been smarter to flick Temptation host Ed Phillips and use his sidekick Lavinia Nixon instead. It would at least have got viewers looking for the show. Nixon is better than many of Nine’s hosts (especially Ben Dark from Getaway). If Catriona Rowntree pulls the plug from Getaway, Nixon should be used there. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven’s Medical Emergency was tops at 8pm with 1.882 million, followed by RSPCA Animal Rescue with 1.782 million. Home And Away was third with 1.477 million, followed by Today Tonight (1.462 million), Seven News (1.449 million), All Saints (1.390 million), Nine News (1.170 million), A Current Affair (1.148 million) and the 7pm ABC News (1.132 million). The first ep of The Simpsons at 7.30pm averaged 1.091 million for Ten, the repeat of NCIS at 8.30pm had 1.088 million and Temptation lagged with 1.087 million. Crime Investigations Australia was next with 1.036 million and 20 to 1 at 7.30pm for Nine averaged 1.010 million. The Sopranos averaged 461,000 late in the night. CSI Miami had 936,000 for the repeat at 8.30pm and Ten’s Numb3rs averaged 801,000 at 9.30pm. The 8pm ep of The Simpsons averaged 991,000.
The Losers: Nine struggled again. The return of 20 to 1 merely confirmed how dated it has become, likewise for CSI Miami. Crime Scene Re-enactment Australia had the virtue of covering a crime not many people would remember and The Sopranos are in a class of their own. But so were Animal Rescue and Medical Emergency on Seven. The ABC finished the Russell Crowe/South Sydney story. It was OK. Life Begins on Seven (863,000) is never going to excite Australian viewers. The Bill bores for Britain with 731,000 viewers but in some ways its more interesting than CSI Miami.
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News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. TT took aim at Bert Newton and some of the Family Feud ad libs being shown at 5pm. Tonight TT takes aim at former Seven star, Bec Cartwright and hubbie Lleyton Hewitt. Will there be a boycott of Seven by the Hewitts at the Australian Open next year? Or will Seven fold as it folded to the AFL Players Association? Ten News averaged 884,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 429.000. The 7.30 Report, 826,000; Lateline, 258,000; Lateline Business, 135,000. Nightline, 276,000. SBS News, 168,000 at 6.30pm; Insight, 246,000 and the Late News at 9.30pm, 214,000. 7am Sunrise 420,000; 7am Today, 263,000.
The Stats: Seven won with 32.2% (31.35) from Nine with 25.4% (28.0%), Ten with 22.5% (21.4%), the ABC with 14.5% 914.7%) and SBS with 5.3% (4.7%). Seven won all five metro markets. It leads the week 31.0% to 24.9% for Nine and 23.1% for Ten. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 33.3% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 26.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 23.3%, the ABC with 12.0% and SBS with 4.8%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Bad luck Nine, the week’s been lost because of two average nights. Last night saw a better performance than Monday but as forecast that was due to Crime Investigations Australia and The Sopranos doing well from 9.30pm. Unfortunately advertisers pay more for 6pm to 9.30pm because more people are watching. Tonight Gerard Henderson’s taxpayer funded leftists at The Chaser at 9pm which will dominate the night. But Spicks and Specks will provide better entertainment at 8.30pm, as will Thank God You’re Here at 7.30pm. Two million viewers (at least for the peak) for The Chaser? If The Chaser does that well plus Spicks and Specks, the ABC could go close to winning the night. Ten can’t win without House to help Thank God. Nine loses Without A Trace which finishes tonight. Seven could finish fourth.
Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports