A skit too far? The Seven Network’s patience with The Chaser snapped late yesterday and it won a court injunction to prevent a skit filmed at the network’s Sydney HQ from going ahead on tonight’s program. Now before anyone jumps to The Chaser‘s defence, it seems they breached their previous undertakings not to break the law in filming skits: that’s why they always leave when asked to and generally respect rules and regulations … or seem to. Seven and its security people have co-operated with The Chaser in the past and know they couldn’t have set up the filming in advance, as they had done before, rather than wandering in uninvited. — Glenn Dyer

The Zemaniac can still pull a crowd. The Stan Zemanek biography was launched in Sydney last night and judging by those in the crowd at Star City’s Astral Bar, the old raver can still pull an audience. Jonesy was there, as was the mentor of the Australian (Sydney) radio industry, John Brennan, and the man who sees himself as the John Brennan of TV, Foxtel’s Brian Walsh. And while volumes were spoken about Stan’s greatness and friendships, there was no mention of the way he berated people on air, especially those who objected to his oafish right-wing views. In many respects Mike Carlton was right to take a sling at Zemanek so soon after his death. Just to add some balance to the eulogies. Neither Carlton or John Laws attended. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Nine got close to Seven last night, especially in Adelaide and Brisbane. Dancing With The Stars was the top program once again with 1.751 million viewers, followed by All Saints (1.311 million), Seven News (1.299 million) and Home And Away (1.266 million). Nine’s 20 to 1 perked up and averaged 1.239 million and A Current Affair was next with 1.223 million, in front of Today Tonight with 1.163 million. Nine News averaged 1.156 million (weak for a Tuesday night) and the ABC News wasn’t far behind with 1.093 million. Temptation had 1.058 million and the two repeats of The Simpsons on Ten at 8pm (1.045 million) and 7.30pm (1.033 million) rounded out the million viewer club.

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The Losers: Hard to see very much, except for the ABC which had a very low share by its recent standards. That was due to the screening of the Liberal Party’s election launch at 7.30pm, pushing The 7.30 Report back to 8pm. The combined audience for the two programs matched what the 7.30 Report normally gets at 7.30pm. Tonight its the ALP’s turn. The ABC News beat Temptation at 7pm but the quiz still had more viewers than Who Wants To Be A Millionaire the night before. Nine ran another ep of Crime Investigation Australia, averaging 895,000 viewers. It looked at the Snowtown serial killings but left us no wiser as to why it happened. It was simply a gratuitous series of re-enactments with no purpose, except a bit of titillation at low cost for Foxtel.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. In Sydney, Nine fell under 300,000 viewers to 288,000. In Melbourne, the 7pm ABC News (383,000) bested both Seven (379,000) and Nine (368,000) in the news rankings. The ABC even beat Home and Away in Melbourne. Today Tonight was beaten by A Current Affair for the first time in months. TT won Sydney and Perth, but lost Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Not even the big win in Perth could help. Ten News averaged 781,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 411,000. Nightline, 283,000. The 7.30 Report, 433,000 at 8pm after the Liberal Party Launch with 448,000. John Howard out-rated Kerry O’Brien! Lateline, 202,000; Lateline Business, 111,000. SBS News, 132,000 at 6.30pm; 113,000 at 9.30pm; Insight, 254,000. 7am Sunrise, 410,000; 7am Today, 289,000.

The Stats: Seven won 34.2% (33.4%) from Nine with 27.6% (24.9%) from Ten with 21.4% (22.1%), the ABC with 12.9% (15.0%) and SBS with 3.9% (4.7%). Seven won all five centres but the margin in Brisbane was only 0.2% and 0.5% in Adelaide. However Seven won by more than 12% in Sydney! Seven leads the week 30.7% to 26.2%. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 35.3% from WIN/NBN with 26.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.3%, the ABC with 12.3% and SBS with 4.2%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won but Nine had its best Tuesday night for weeks, thanks to Bert Newton on 20 to 1. Bert was almost a winner, while wife Pattie was the loser on Dancing last night. CSI Miami (999,000) beat NCIS (952,000) in the battle of repeats at 8.30pm: Seven was miles in front with Dancing, which once again emphasised the need for credible judges who viewers and the contestants can trust (and who know what they are talking about). It’s a message Ten should take on board next year for Australian Idol, even though Kyle Sandilands has already been confirmed. There are two, maybe three Idol judges who should be flicked. Tonight Seven runs off Prison Break and Criminal Minds against Ten’s House and Life. Farmer Wants A Wife has made Nine competitive at 7.30pm and Cold Case is benefiting. The ABC has Spicks and Specks, The Chaser and The Librarians. Newstopia is on SBS at 10pm. David Gyngell has ordered a re-design of Nine’s on air look, as suggested last week. More balls and less The One next year?

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports

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Peter Fray
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