The Winners: Seven News was the most watched program with 1.463 million viewers, followed by RSPCA Animal Rescue with 1.459 million, Today Tonight with 1.303 million and Home And Away with 1.300 million. A Current Affair averaged 1.222 million and Nine News, 1.206 million. Underbelly averaged 1.195 million without Melbourne (it’s lowest figure for a fresh ep so far). The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.175 million; Spicks and Specks on the ABC at 8.30pm averaged 1.095 million in 9th spot. The Real Seachange at 8pm on Seven averaged 1.090 million and Nine’s 7.30pm program, The Chopping Block finished its run with 1.081 million. (Next week an insufferable new program starts about child stars and their parents in competition with each other. That’s a real viewer alert).

The Losers: Cashmere Mafia faded almost to light grey last night at 9.30pm on Nine: 676,000 viewers. Beaten by a repeat of a 13-year-old Bond movie on Seven, Goldeneye (865,000). The Chopping Block ended its run on Nine last night with 1.081 million. If they bring it back, pit two food critics against each other with each eatery featured: add some real tension and get into the critics, why should they be the arbiters?

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Today Tonight won nationally but also lost Melbourne. Ten News averaged 929,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 443,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 874,000; Lateline, 213,000; Lateline Business, 114,000. Nine’s Nightline, 293,000. World News Australia on SBS, 184,000 at 6.30pm, Dateline, 219,000, World News Late, 2131,000, Newstopia, 10pm, 241,000 (and the best of the current series). 7am Sunrise, 376,000, 7am Today, 283,000.

The Stats: Seven won the 6pm to 12 midnight battle with 29.2% (28.1%) from Nine with 28.3% (28.6%), Ten with 20.7% (22.6%), the ABC with 16.7% (15.9%) and SBS with 5.2% (4.7%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne; Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.Seven leads with 28.3% from Nine with 26.9%. In regional areas a close win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 30.0% from Prime/7Qld with 29.4%, Ten through Southern Cross with 20.0%, the ABC with 14.9% and SBS with 5.6%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm zone 1 battle, Fusion Strategy says Seven won with 23.90% (23.61%) from Nine with 23.82% (21.83%), Ten with 17.46% (19.83%), Pay TV with 15.49% (15.79%), the ABC with 14.89% (15.96%) and SBS with 4.44% (2.98%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Fixing up Nine’s faltering Sydney news by asking veteran reporter Brad Schmitt to resign (after 30 years) won’t fix the problem. 275,000 viewers last night in Sydney ranked it 13th: in Melbourne the news was No.1. Nine News in Sydney was beaten in the rankings by the 7pm ABC News with 320,000 viewers. Nine is awaiting the appearance of Wheel of Fortune as the lead up to try and take viewers away from Deal Or No Deal and Ten News. Last night’s Underbelly deserved to have more viewers. Again it was disturbing and a few niggles occurred, but the dramatic end was enough. Every episode of Underbelly emphasises the importance of the botched handling of the various legal issues by the producers, the Network and the funders. The writers and producers of Sea Patrol, which returned on Monday on Nine, should be made to sit down and watch Underbelly for ideas on scripts, story developments and turning each episode into a self-contained but nevertheless integrated part of a longer narrative.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports