Carlton Cressley saves Big Brother‘s bacon, for now Last night Channel Ten viewers, instead of the scheduled Rules of Engagement and 8pm Back to You, got another hour of Big Brother, which was invaded by Carson Kressley of How To Look Good Naked. There was the normal, sliding 7 pm half hour program which averaged 961,000, and then at 7.30 pm a surprise. The extra BB averaged 1.245 million for an ep entitled Carson Crashes Big Brother’s Closet. Whoopee. A frightened Ten went for the doctor to try and whip up interest in the fading BB, and it worked. Carson generated more viewers than for Big Brother at 7 pm or the Tuesday or Monday night eps. In fact BB starring him got more viewers than the second ep of his new program on Ten on Monday nights How To Look Good Naked (1.065 million people). It certainly helped to put a temporary halt to the worst week for BB since the program launched eight seasons ago. The 7 pm program was a reminder of how far it has fallen this year.  Is this why Ten boss, Grant Blackley launched an amazing attack on Seven and its boss, David Leckie in the Australian’s Media section this morning? After all, the loss of audience for BB wasn’t referred to in the article, and it is the biggest talking point around Ten at the moment. BB is now highly unlikely to return next year in anything resembling its present, high cost format. That’s why Ten pressed the stunt button. It was inspired, but it was one-off TV. If I was Ten, I’d throw away the key and keep him in there for as long as possible.  — Glenn Dyer

A spot of LA shopping It’s that time of year again when Australian executives gear up to attend the new US show screenings in LA. There’ll be the usual big barbeque at a high profile Australian living in LA and David Lyle, the Fox Reality Channel cable boss and probably the smartest bloke ever to escape Australian TV, will be there. The execs will be shopping for new shows, but it may be slim pickings — for starters, there are a number of casualties who’ve been axed in the last few weeks. Cashmere Mafia was axed by ABC with only seven of 13 eps broadcast because of the writers strike, and floundering ratings, as the Nine Network found here. Men In Trees, which also bombed here on Nine, has been sent back to the jungle to rest for a long time by ABC.  Fox killed off Back To You, seen here on the Ten Network after fading ratings in the US (and here on Ten as well). There are talks with CBS to try and get Kelsey Grammar’s flat show up on that network next season. Seven’s Bionic Woman crashed to earth earlier in the year, but Seven had good news with the high cost Boston Legal renewed on ABC. And the small CW network is bringing back 90210. Will Ten take the plunge on that (It helped wake Ten up to the 16 to 39 demo here)? Kath and Kim is in the NBC fall line up, and Fox has Sit Down, Shut Up, an animated series based on an Australian show about a group of mediocre high school teachers. Meanwhile, the execs might want to sample these beauties from CBS:

The Mentalist — a drama about a man with psychic abilities who works as an independent contractor for the police

The Ex List — a drama based on an Israeli show about a woman who tracks down her ex-boyfriends after a psychic tells her that she has already met the man she is going to marry;

Elemental — formerly titled Eleventh Hour, a drama about a professor who works as an advisor to a government scientific agency;

Worst Week — a single-camera romantic comedy about a couple’s nightmarish week before their wedding

Project Gary — a comedy about a recently divorced father coming to terms with his kids, ex-wife and new dating life. — Glenn Dyer


A tasteless graphic. Did the Daily Telegraph really run this graphic alongside in its website coverage of the murder of a woman and the stabbing of two children? The graphic has now been removed from the story but as Crikey reader Chris Johnson, who pointed this out to us, wrote: “who gives the nod to such a tasteless, infantile graphic for a serious story?”

Online ad spending estimates drop for social networking sites. Web ad tracker eMarketer cut its ad spending estimates for Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking sites amid growing questions over whether such sites will attract major ad dollars. Advertisers in the US will spend $1.4 billion to place ads on social-networking sites this year, down from an earlier estimate of $1.6 billion, eMarketer said in a report released yesterday. The firm also cut revenue projections for MySpace and Facebook, the two largest social networks. Spending on Facebook will total $265 million, down almost 13 percent from a previous forecast of $305 million. NY Post

Does the Sunday Times know what an exclusive is? Thanks to secretive Crikey reader “Joe in the know” for the following: “I wonder where Sunday Times journo Glenn Cordingley gets his stories from? Obviously the local rags… the goat/sheep story was in the Fremantle Gazette and other Community papers on May 6; he runs it on May 11.”

“But the real amazing thing is his definition of ‘exclusive’ – the Southern Gazette ran the pub crawl story on May 6, then Cordingley claims it’s an exclusive on May 11… five days later…”

The underworld populates Facebook Media coverage yesterday focused on reports jailed Melbourne underworld identity Carl Williams has a Facebook profile, allegedly maintained by his wife Roberta. Unsurprisingly Facebook have now pulled the profile from their site [boooo!]. 1phish2phish has tipped MediaMook off to the fact there’s another Underbelly star who still has a profile featured on Facebook though – Tony Mokbel. Tony – allegedly on his way back to Australia from Greece to face murder charges – is very popular with 1,401 friends to date. — MediaMook

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Another strong performance from Seven News with 1.596 million viewers. Ten’s House was second with 1.432 million. Today Tonight was third with 1.398 million and Nine News was a solid 4th with 1.276 million. The ABC’s Spicks and Specks had one of its best audiences this year at 8.30pm to 9pm with 1.273 million and the one-off stunt with Carson Kressley in Big Brother averaged 1.245 million from 7.30pm to 8.30pm for Ten (it made up for the poor 976,000 for the 7pm program). Nine’s Search and Rescue lost ground from its debut a week ago but still did a good 1.216 million and 7th overall. A Current Affair was next with 1.215 million, a good effort and Home and Away averaged 1.196 million (and still weak) at 7pm for Seven. The 7pm ABC News was next in 10th spot with 1.194 million. Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men averaged 1.155 million people at 7pm, Fire 000 on Nine at 7.30pm averaged 1.1 million, Seven’s 8.30pm movie, the repeat of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, averaged 1.052 million for 13th and last spot. The New Inventors averaged 998,000 on the ABC at 8pm.

The Losers: Ugly Betty – down under a million (987,000). Nine’s movie Hitch at 8.30pm: 710,000. A failure of rank proportions. No wonder Nine “omitted” to mark the movie in the guides with an R for repeat – it probably got more viewers than it deserved. It was a ratings stopgap. Numb3rs on Ten at 9.30pm: 789,000. Struggling.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but lost Melbourne to Nine for the first time in a few days. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne and Brisbane where A Current Affair won. The 7pm ABC News beat Nine into second place behind Seven in Sydney and topped Melbourne’s news battle for the second night in a row but beating Nine by 1,000: 400,000 to 399,000. Ten News averaged 838,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 344,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 972,000 (more than the budget the night before), Lateline, 240,000; Lateline Business, 140,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 190,000; Dateline at 8.30pm, 302,000; the late SBS News at 9.30pm, 238,000. Nine’s Nightline, 166,000. 7am Sunrise back over 400,000 to 416,000, 7am Today 294,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight with 29.2% (27.1%), from Ten with 24.5% (20.5%), Nine with 23.4% (30.3%), the ABC with 17.9% (17.4%) and SBS with 5.0% (4.8%). Seven won all five metro markets. Seven now leads the week 28.5% to 27.8%. But Nine will move back in front after tonight. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 28.2% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 26.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.6%, the ABC with 16.7% and SBS with 6.2%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Ten was glad to have fresh House episodes back last night: it did something for the ratings. Ten will need all the help it can get on Wednesday nights because I hear from the deep south That Thank God You’re Here is highly unlikely to appear on the network this year. Which will be a big disappointment because it lifted the IQ level of TV and the network every time it appeared. You can hear the corks popping at Nine, Seven, the ABC and SBS at the news. Tonight, Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay’s in the Weekend Australian‘s colour mag this Saturday, no doubt with his phoney campaign about local food and banning food imports. There’s also The Footy Shows on Nine. Seven has How I Met Your Mother with a couple of glam models to try and boost ratings. Bones returns to 8.30pm tonight (And Nine returns Missing Persons Unit to Wednesdays at 9.30pm from May 28 and Cold Case at 8.30pm on the same night). Ten has a forgettable night: Don’t Forget The Lyrics, struggling Law And Order, SVU and Medium. The ABC has Brendan Nelson at 7.30pm, SBS continues flogging poor dead Inspector Rex at 8.30pm. And Lost is lost at 10.30pm on Seven. Ten did well last night in the demos 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, but Seven won All people because of more viewers 55 and over.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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