WIN holding out on McLeod’s Daughters swansong. Will the final series of McLeod’s Daughters be seen on regional broadcaster WIN in 2008? It will certainly be seen on Nine in metro markets and on NBN in northern NSW and parts of Queensland, but there are suggestions that WIN and Nine are struggling to reach a deal. Instead of the normal 32 episodes, Nine has only commissioned 22 in the final series for next year and industry sources suggest that WIN is seeking a lower fee due to the shorterned series. That’s a bit odd because all Nine sourced programming is supposed to be covered by WIN’s new affiliation agreement, which was negotiated a couple of months ago. And why WIN would allow one of its better performing Nine programs to disappear is also unclear. McLeod’s rates near the top in Adelaide and Canberra, two key markets for WIN, and gets better than metro numbers in all regional markets. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.273 million, followed by Today Tonight (1.247 million),  the 7pm ABC News (1.231 million) and the year end Chaser wrap up with 1.201 million for an hour from 8.30pm. Air Crash Investigations filled in nicely for Seven at 7.30pm with 1.160 million and A Current Affair was next with 1.151 million, followed by Nine News (1.122 million) and Seven’s repeat of A Touch Of Frost (1.071 million). Ten’s new series The Starter Wife averaged 1.012 million at 8.30pm and the last ep of The Librarians averaged 1.001 million for the ABC. Newstopia averaged 225,000 on SBS at 10pm.

The Losers: A bit hit and miss last night. After the News and ACA, Nine’s next best was the appalling King of Queens, 851,000 at 7pm, and it was downhill from there on. Like Seven the night before, the Nine programming department must have had an early function to attend and forgot to turn the network off. Viewers did.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane and Melbourne. Likewise Today Tonight which lost Sydney and Brisbane but won Melbourne (a rare result in recent nights) and won nationally. But the ABC 7pm News was the star. It again won the 7pm timeslot and was the most watched news, this time in both Sydney and Melbourne. The 7.30 Report averaged 967,000; Lateline, 287,000; Lateline Business, 140,000. Ten News, 847,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 408,000. Nightline, 253,000. SBS News, 134,000 at 6.30pm; 200,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise 415,000; 7am Today, 269,000.

The Stats: A very different line up with Seven winning with 30.3%, the ABC second with 22.0%, Ten third with 21.8%, Nine next with 21.2% and SBS with 4.8%. Seven won all five metro markets and even though it’s summer, last night was the worst night of the year for Nine as it finished 4th in quite a few markets. Seven leads the week 27.3% to 24.5%. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 30.8%, Nine was next through WIN/NBN with 23.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) was next with 21.4%, the ABC was on 19.2% and SBS was on 5.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Foxtel finished second behind Seven in the key 6pm to 10.30pm period last night, as Nine’s effort verged on the contemptuous towards viewers. The other networks are at least going through the motions, Nine is programming stuff that provides no reason to watch. The ABC finished second, thanks to the Chaser recap special and the last ep of The Librarians. Tonight its East West 101 on SBS at 8.30pm. Worth a look, another local drama in the mould of The Circuit. For all the oaffery at the top of SBS, there’s some stuff that’s going right. Nine has precious film folk on the AFI Awards at 9.30pm. Will the audience be bigger than those for most of the local fims up for awards? Jamie Oliver is back on Ten at 7.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports