Stokes Jr taking over at Seven? More rumours of management changes at the Seven Network. There are strong reports that CEO of Seven David Leckie will retire next year. His replacements won’t be sales boss, James Warburton, or Programming Director, Tim Worner, but Kerry Stokes’ son, Ryan Stokes, with a minder or two such as Ian Johnson and Peter Gammell, Stokes’ right hand man in his private company, Australian Capital Equity. — Glenn Dyer

Nine makes it 2-all in 2008. The two one-day cricket games last week pushed Nine to a win over Seven, but Friday night saw another ratings disaster for Nine. After two successful specials last year, Don Burke’s Autumn Special failed dismally (779,000), not only beaten by Seven’s lifestyle leader, Better Homes And Gardens (1.249 million), but also by the ABC’s gentle but steady Collectors from 8pm (800,000). From this Friday Nine returns NRL games to the 7.30pm slot in NSW and Queensland, but Better Homes and Gardens will continue to do what it did last year and attract more viewers nationally across the hour from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Seven and Nine now have two wins each from the first four weeks of 2008 ratings. Nine won last week’s 6pm to 12 midnight with a 29.1% share (27.9% a week ago), ahead of Seven’s 27.3% (28.1%), Ten’s 22.4% (21.0%), the ABC’s 16% (16.6%) and SBS’s 5.3% (6.4%). In the 6pm to 10.30pm prime time zone one battle, Nine won 24.68% (23.58% a year ago, according to Fusion Strategy). Seven was next with 23.15% (25.95%), Ten was on 19.11% (17.14%), Pay TV was on 14.69% (15.20%), the ABC finished with 14.00% (14.08%) and SBS was on 4.28% (4.05%). In regional Australia, Nine won through WIN/NBN with 29.2% from Prime/7Qld with 27.6%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.0%, the ABC on 16.2% and SBS with 6.0%. From these figures it’s clear that without the cricket, Seven would have won. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance was tops with 1.483 million, Seven News was second with 1.375 million and 60 Minutes was third with 1.244 million. Grey’s Anatomy was next with 1.155 million, followed by The Biggest Loser (1.139 million), Nine’s movie The Wedding Crashers (1.109 million), The Zoo (1.104 million), Nine News (1.085 million) and Brothers And Sisters (1.006 million).

The Losers: This is Your Life on Nine at 6.30pm, 877,000. Samantha Who, just 879,000 after Kath & Kim. Bush Doctors on Seven at 7pm, 929,000, which is down on its start. Nine returns RFDS to the 7pm slot next Sunday night, but I think the viewers have spoken: bush medicine isn’t all that enthralling (unlike RPA). Robin Hood on the ABC at 7.30pm, 724,000. It’s dragging down the audience for Creature Comforts at 8.20pm (557,000), which is one of the better programs on TV. Jekyll on the ABC at 8.30pm, 575,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. The 7pm ABC News averaged 972,000 people. Ten News, 808,000. SBS News, 144,000 at 6.30pm. Weekend Sunrise, 414,000 from 8am (209,000 from 7.30am). Landline, 289,000; Insiders, 176,000; Inside Business, 136,000; Offsiders, 128,000. Sunday, 112,000 from 7.30am. A couple of nice bits but Ellen Fanning is just plain wrong. Meet The Press, 62,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 28.7% (34.6%) from Seven with 26.5% (25.0%), Ten with 26.2% (23.8%), the ABC with 14.0% (12.2%) and SBS with 4.6%. Seven won Sydney, Nine won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. In regional markets, Seven won with 287.6% to Prime/7Qld from 26.8% for WIN/NBN, 24.5% for Ten with Southern Cross, 15.2% for the ABC and 4.9% for SBS.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A patchwork night — Nine’s movie The Wedding Crashers ending up being the difference. Seven’s Brothers And Sisters was weak in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Tonight’s Australian Story is on the inspiring Michael Milton; plus Four Corners and Media Watch (will it pick up the tempo or put viewers to sleep again?).

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports