Sunrise in the tally room? Is this really what Seven is secretly planning for its election night coverage, whenever it happens. Seven is certainly confident, issuing a press release over the weekend detailing its election coverage, including the hosts and staff associated with the event. Mel Doyle and David Koch will host from Election Central in Canberra, overseen by Mark Llewellyn, and supporting roles will be played by Seven’s Canberra Bureau Chief, Mark Riley and Seven News presenter Chris Bath. They will be joined by two rising stars of the Labor and Liberal parties, Tanya Plibersek and Joe Hockey. Seven has named its coverage: “Your Call ’07”. Channel Seven CEO David Leckie was quoted as saying in the press release: “This is going to be a cracking election and we’re promising a cracking coverage. It’s an important election – Australians are keenly interested and this will be a coverage for all Australians. They don’t want to be bored but they do want to be informed and entertained. We’re not about boring pollies in suits or wonky headed computer geeks.” So no analysis of seats and trends like Antony Green gives the ABC.  At last report this is one live broadcast that won’t feature Adam Boland as a producer. — Glenn Dyer

ABC and SBS missed their chance on building industry doco. Documentary filmmaker John Lewis writes in reponse to Tuesday’s tip that both the ABC and SBS have refused to screen his new documentary Constructing Fear: It is not actually the case that the ABC or SBS have refused to screen Constructing Fear – the finished film hasn’t been offered to them. What happened was that the ABC and SBS commissioning editors didn’t want to commission a full-length documentary about the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner when we took the proposal to them at a very early stage in March. Both said it was too much like current affairs and should be left to the likes of Four Corners or the 7.30 Report. I argued they were wrong – and I am a former EP of the 7.30 Report – because the story was very powerful and had slipped right under the radar of the mainstream media. We had a short sharp debate about whether documentary should deal with contemporary events – and with this particular current event. I lost. So we went to the CFMEU in Melbourne and asked them for enough money to make a shorter film. They wanted to know – quite reasonably, I thought – why the hell they should pay for a film that wasn’t going to be shown on the telly. We went away and came back with a plan to disseminate it on the internet, by word of mouth and through community screenings – with their help, of course – and they said, OK. So we did. Along the way, we got an up-and-coming punk rock band – Eddy Current Suppression Ring – to write and record a song for use in the film, and it is now on the Triple J playlist. The whole thing is going a treat – and has been a very interesting exercise in getting films out “off-mainstream”. Of course we would have liked to see Constructing Fear go to air on the ABC or SBS, but even if they wanted to screen it as it now stands, they couldn’t. At 37-minutes, it’s too short for a broadcast documentary – and in the wash-up, it was paid for by a union with a powerful – and public – interest in seeing a film about the ABCC go to air. The public broadcasters could no more put Constructing Fear to air now than they could screen a film funded by the Liberal Party. But if they’d commissioned it in the first place, it would have been a different story.

How do you transmute a cliche into a tautology? Janet Albrechtsen and the Reverend Spooner can show you how! The first sentence in her article “No place for ideological agendas in our classrooms” reads as follows: “In the gentle, uplit sunlands of Kevindom, our public schools will be places of particular virtue.” Uplit sunlands? Sounds like Kevindom might be a bit bright.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: A close night with Ten back on the winners list. Thank God You’re Here did it with 1.769 million viewers (it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be although Cal Wilson was a stand out). The Chaser was second with 1.693 million viewers (off more than 700,000 from the APEC special, but still good going) and Spicks and Specks had 1.494 million people at 8.30pm for the ABC. Seven News was next with 1.494 million, followed by Home And Away (1.384 million), Today Tonight (1.372 million), Summer Heights High (1.275 million) and Nine News (1.175 million). Ten’s movie, Kenny, averaged 1.145 million from 8.30pm to 10.35pm and beat RPA on Nine at 8.30pm with 1.129 million viewers (it didn’t screen in Perth). A Current Affair averaged 1.120 million, the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.096 million viewers and McLeod’s Daughters had 1.094 million. Nine’s Temptation averaged 1.078 million and Seven’s Most Shocking had 1.023 million at 7.30pm.

The Losers: Las Vegas at 8.30pm on Seven averaged 823,000. Nine’s Damages was down to 794,000 viewers at 9.30pm as Kenny and a bloke dressing up as teenaged high school students were more popular, which is sad. Is Damages too dark, and too conspiratorial when compared to the simple humour of Kenny? But then Summer Heights High is pretty dark when you think about it: the satire is very, very sharp. With 15 programs gaining a million or more viewers (the most for a week or so), viewers had a bit of choice last night, even if viewing levels were down on a year ago.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne as did Today Tonight. Ten News averaged 799,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 239,000 close to midnight. Nine’s Nightline 245,000. Both went to air roughly at the same time. The 7.30 Report, 792,000; Lateline, 306,000; Lateline Business, 135,000. SBS News, 221,000 at 6.30pm; 130,000 at 9.30pm. Dateline, 127,000 (better than the 99,000 the week before). 7am Sunrise, 424,000; 7am Today, 248,000 (lowish).

The Stats: Ten won with 27.7% (23.8%), from Nine with 24.5% (27.1%), Seven with 24.2% (24.0%), the ABC with 20.3% (21.7%) and SBS with 3.3% (3.4%). Ten won Melbourne (Thank God and Kenny were both made there) and Adelaide. Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (narrowly from Ten). Seven leads the week 29.5% to 25.3% for Nine and 23.8% for Ten. In regional areas though the conservatives viewers of the bush preferred the devil they know in WIN/NBN with 27.4% from Prime/7Qld with 26.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 25.7%, the ABC with 17.2% and SBS with 3.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Ten won because of Kenny at 8.30pm, which accounted for RPA, the depressing Las Vegas and Nine’s new US drama Damages, which is now in danger territory after just two outings. the 8.30pm to 10pm timeslots were won by the ABC’s trio of Spicks and Specks, The Chaser and Summer Heights High, but Ten won due to the success of Thank God and Kenny. Seven, again with a third rate line up, will be chuffed it stayed competitive, while Nine just found the going tough (McLeod Daughters and RPA not withstanding). Tonight Sea Patrol won’t be seen, nor will Getaway or A Current Affair, because there’s 150 minutes of 20/20 cricket (Australia must beat Sri Lanka) on Nine at 6.30pm followed by 90 minutes of Footy Shows at 9pm. Ten has two and a half hours of So You Think You Can Dance from 7.30pm and Seven has two hours of Ghost Whisper, which has been keeping the network in the game on Thursday nights, despite it being a second to third ranking program.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports