McLeod’s Daughters gets the chop. Nine Network boss, David Gyngell, has bitten the bullet and axed long running rural soap, McLeod’s Daughters. It will finish at the end of series 8, production of which is wrapping up shortly. The announcement was made in South Australia last night, where the program is shot outside of Adelaide (the State Government contributed $200,000 to its running costs this year). McLeod’s had been battered on Wednesday nights over the last two years by Ten’s monster hit, Thank God You’re Here. Nine has several new programs in production: it may be tempted to run Canal Road on Wednesday nights at 8.30pm while finding something else for 7.30pm. Nine screened 32 eps of McLeod’s a year so it needs to find a program from somewhere to gather the 1 million to 1.2 million it was picking up each week. McLeod’s started in 2001 and has been shown in 200 countries during that time. It was going to be called Drover’s Run, the name of the property where the central characters lived and worked, but Kerry Packer vetoed the idea and suggested McLeod’s Daughters. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Dancing With The Stars was No.1 with 1.646 million, but considering it was the second last ep, a couple of hundred thousand more viewers might have been expected. The series has been solid without the buzz of the series earlier in the year. All Saints finished for the year with 1.326 million, followed by Seven News (1.322 million), Home and Away (1.281 million), 20 to 1 (1.201 million), Today Tonight (1.159 million), the 7pm ABC News (1.147 million), A Current Affair (1.129 million), Nine News (1.103 million), NCIS (1.013 million) and the second Simpsons ep at 8pm (1.008 million). Temptation was under a million for the second time in a week with 997,000. Nine’s repeat of CSI Miami at 8.35pm averaged 976,000 and the first Simpsons ep had 966,000.

The Losers: Who Killed Harold Holt? on Nine at 9.30pm: 934,000. Some of the Crime Investigation series from Foxtel did better on a far smaller budget. The ABC doco on the Bogle-Chandler deaths is the yardstick for investigative historical docos: it averaged more than 1.7 million viewers last year. The Beckham doco on the ABC at 9.20pm: 527,000, which is about what Foreign Correspondent was getting.

News & CA: Seven News lifted from its low Monday night and easily beat Nine News. Today Tonight needed a big Perth margin to pip ACA after only winning Adelaide and Perth. There was a noticeable turn off from Seven News to TT, especially in Melbourne. The 7pm ABC News not only had more viewers than Nine News but it finished second in the timeslot behind Home and Away. The 7.30 Report averaged 834,000; Lateline, 259,000; Lateline Business, 111,000. Nightline, 352,000. Ten News, 742,000; Late News/Sports Tonight, 425,000. SBS News, 167,000 at 6.30pm; 171,000 at 9.30pm; Insight, 202,000. 7am Sunrise, 446,000; 7am Today, down to a low 246,000 after Monday’s 300,000-plus.

The Stats: Seven won with 32.0% (34.2%) from Nine with 27.2% (27.6%), Ten with 21.7% (21.4%), the ABC with 14.7% (12.9%) and SBE with 4.4% (3.9%). Seven won all five markets: Ten and Nine tied for second in Adelaide in an odd result. Ten was second in Perth, but very low in Sydney, 17.2% against its national average of 21.7%. Seven now leads the week 29.8% to 28.7%. In regional areas a win to Seven through Prime/7Qld with 32.9% from Nine through WIN/NBN with 28.7%. Southern Cross (Ten) was on 21.3%, the ABC was on 13.1% and SBS was on 4.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: This is turning out to be the closest week for three months or so. It would boost Nine if it could snatch this week or next week from Seven. Last year Nine snatched the year on the last night of official ratings to win by 0.1%, the closest ever finish. Tonight it’s the first of The Chaser election specials, Spicks and Specks and Librarians on the ABC. That’s the entertainment. Seven, Ten and Nine? Well, Cold Case, House, The Farmer Wants A Wife, Criminal Minds: take your pick. Newstopia on SBS at 10pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports

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