The best and worst of ACA. Anyone who watched A Current Affair last night would have been stunned for two very good reasons. There was one example of tough minded, high quality reporting about a group of women standing up in the face of incompetence at a local hospital, offset by two ridiculous stories about other women which went from the absurd to the exploitative. First off was one of the strongest stories seen anywhere in Australia in recent years from talented reporter, Amanda Patterson, on acts of a utter bastardry at Wagga Base Hospital in southern NSW, as a long list of mothers detailed their problems giving birth or inept handling of their cases by the hospital.It was an unusually strong story for Nine’s faded daily current affairs flagship. But ACA didn’t let us down with its next item about a woman who imitates a mermaid and worse was to come. Host Tracy Grimshaw promoted a story about a middle-aged woman who was baring all: a shot of a nice looking woman, with a graphic in shot of well known soap brand, Dove. No doubt Dove’s owner, the huge multi-national consumer products group, Unilver, loved this special promotion, which smacks of one of those cross platform promotional deals involved in “selling” the TV, magazine and internet benefits of a combined campaign. Wonderful for Unilever, grubby for ACA and its viewers. Dove ads featured prominently during the break and then the during the actual story, up pops Deborah Thomas, editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, published by Nine’s sister company, ACP. It turns out that Dove’s middle-aged model was found in a contest run by the Weekly, which features the woman on the cover of the current edition. Then Grimshaw returned to tell us that the Weekly was on sale today and that more details on that story could be obtained from the ACA website — including a helpful link to Dove. This cross promotional stuff is something dear to the heart of new CEO, David Gyngell.

Classic correction. Share tipping service Fat Prophets sent this email to subscribers today:

Dioro correction

Yesterday’s report stated that with regards to Dioro’s nickel spin off, shareholders would receive 27 Lodestar shares for every 1 Dioro share currently held. A case of wishful thinking perhaps! This in fact should have read 1 Lodestar share for every 27 Dioro shares currently held.

We apologise if this has caused any champagne wastage.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Dancing With The Stars returns and what more is there to say except Dazza Somers was outshone by Sonia Kruger, who continues to show that she is talent with a big T! That made it a benefit night for Seven. The week is won. Dancing averaged 1.757 million, Home And Away had 1.457 million, followed by Seven News (1.454 million), Today Tonight (1.420 million), Nine News (1.211 million) and A Current Affair (1.200 million). The two Simpsons repeats on Ten had 1.123 million and 1.122 million respectively. The 7pm ABC news averaged 1.081 million and beat Nine’s Temptation with 1.054 million people. Ten’s repeat of NCIS had 1.011 million. All Saints averaged 962,000 at 9.45pm, its lowest figure for some years. Nine’s repeat of the Foxtel series, Crime Investigations Australia averaged 953,000 from 9.30pm to 11.15pm.

The Losers: Nine’s Surprise Surprise Gotcha at 7.30pm (916,000) and the repeat of CSI Miami at 8.30pm (873,000) are not completive. Nine’s dilemma is: do we throw the towel in on Monday and Tuesday nights against stronger opposition or do we try to compete. Cost cuts and the bottom line says go with the towel, competitive urges and a desire to be No. 1 again says get new shows and spend. Which will it be Mr Gyngell and CVC? Seven buried Life Begins back at 10.45pm for its final ep and it averaged just 430,000 people, after struggling to the top of the heap in the 9.30pm slot last week.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, Likewise Today Tonight. Sydney, Perth, Adelaide are the worries for Nine from 6pm to 7pm and it can only do something about Sydney and Brisbane. Adelaide and Perth are WIN’s responsibility. Ten News averaged 787,000 (dropping as the evenings get longer — daylight saving will make a mess). The Late News/Sports Tonight, 376,000. Nightline, 209,000. The 7.30 Report, 773,000; Lateline, 171,000; Lateline Business, 132,000. SBS News, 159,000 at 6.30pm; 130,000 at 9.30pm; Insight, 242,000. 7am Sunrise, 428,000; 7am Today, 284,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share of 36.6% (32.7%) from Nine with 25.3% (25.9%), Ten with 20.5% (21.6%), the ABC on 13.7% (15.1%) and SBS with 3.8% (4.7%). Seven won all metro markets, 40% shares in Sydney and Perth. Ten averaged 16.8% in Sydney (under its national average), which is problem. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 35.1% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 26.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.0%, the ABC with 12.6% and SBS with 4.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last night was another good example to illustrate the task ahead for David Gyngell after he rises again in November. On both Monday and Tuesday, Nine had been absolutely flogged by Seven. Last night it was the return of Dancing With The Stars. 1.7 million was OK but this is shaping up as another average series, much like the second series in 2006. The first series this year sparkled in comparison. Dancing is made for Seven by Granada, the company Gyngell ran in the US, but it was commissioned back in 2004 when he was still at Nine, so he has had no involvement whatsoever. Gyngell’s task won’t be easy, but if Seven could comeback from 2004 onwards, so can Nine — if there’s the will to spend. Tonight is another worry for Nine. Ten’s Thank God You’re Here ends, but Ten has House back at 8.30pm next week. Seven still has the unfortunate Las Vegas at 8.30pm but has moved RSPCA Animal Rescue and Medical Emergency from Tuesday night at 7.30pm. Nine has McLeod’s Daughters, which will be belted at 7.30pm by Seven and Ten, the solid RPA at 8.30pm and Damages at 9.30pm. After Thank God Ten debuts Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, a local version of a US format. Who cares, it’s better suited to Sundays at 6.30pm but Ten is off chasing 16 to 39 women for models and then Idol. The ABC has Spicks and Specks, The Chaser and Summer Heights High. Wednesday has suddenly become the most competitive night of the week. Good for viewers.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports