Just what does Destiny mean? Gladiator beefcaketress Destiny told the Herald Sun she applauds the show’s drug-testing: “…If you do not drug-test, there is always a question. This is a kids-oriented show and shows you don’t need drugs. Which I think is why we were all chosen. The American Gladiators are all very cut and most have a professional body-building background, so you kind of know what that means [emphasis added]. Over here they went for a different kind of look. It’s a better image for kids. Strong, healthy and fit, but we are not extreme in our body size or shape. We don’t have 1 per cent body fat and we’re not massive.” Just what does Destiny mean? And will she be thwacked by some of the giants at MGM television which produces the American show and licences it to Channel Seven?

Letter of the Week. Progress Leader , Melbourne, 20 May:

Scary Blair. The scary folks at Tim Blair’s new blog at the Daily Telegraph haven’t benefited from recent retrospective learnings on Gitmo torture. Blair wonders what all the fuss is about. He justifies the treatment of Canadian detainee Omar Khadr as follows: “Say what you will about Gitmo, but unlike Khadr’s father the guards there aren’t known for encouraging prisoners to blast themselves to death.” So you can treat them as you like, as long as you don’t encourage them to blow themselves up. Maybe HREOC should appoint Blair as a consultant on how not to implement human rights. Perhaps Blair’s somewhat unorthodox views on international human rights law can be explained by the fact that his post was written at 4:59am on a Saturday morning. And it’s great to see the Tele implementing its strict moderation policy on blog comments. Regular Blair commenter ElCid explains his final solution for those pesky Moslems: “Actually, Islamaphobia is a damn good word to describe this THING. Frothing at the mouth and their bite, infects others. Next article, The Compost Solution.” Yep, nothing like a little bit of Auschwitz to keep them Saudi NewsCorp shareholders under control! Seriously, Blair has some sick people congregating at his blog. I’m particularly concerned by one such sicko who informs readers on Blair’s blog: “I believe Irfan Yusuf still lives with his parents.” He’s wrong. But if anything happens to my folks, it’s obvious who I’ll be holding responsible. — Irfan Yusuf

Tasteless Tele . Crikey has previously reported on the Daily Telegraph’s tasteless use of a splattered blood graphic that accompanied a crime story on its website. Well, the Tele has done it again (below).

A league of its own. Last night’s State Of Origin Rugby League game looks like it was the biggest so far, well the biggest since 2001 when the present system of measuring audiences was introduced. 2.092 million watched the game on the Nine Network, a figure that was boosted by a direct broadcast into the Melbourne and Adelaide markets. That probably added over 200,000 viewers to the audience compared to when it has gone on delay to those markets. It was shown in Perth on delay. A further 1.253 million watched the game on WIN in regional areas, making the total 3.345 million, which is approaching the audiences for some recent AFL Grand Finals. The previous biggest was around 2.091 million for the first match of last year. But previous games have had different broadcast mixes, going live into Melbourne and on delay elsewhere or just live in Sydney and Brisbane and regional areas in both states. This latest audience was far more than the recent League test between Australia and New Zealand and far more than the audience for the AFL Legends game two and a bit weeks ago. And yet the audience at the ground in Sydney was only just over 67,000. A further 897,000 watched in Sydney, 710,000 in Brisbane, 283,000 in Melbourne, 84,000 in Adelaide and 119,000 in Perth.

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
The list is dominated by the State of Origin. The game was first with 2.092 million, with Seven News having a very strong night with 1.601 million for second. The pre-match build up to the Origin game averaged 1.469 million in 3rd and Today Tonight was 4th with 1.373 million. Nine News was 5th with 1.3 million, ahead of the 7pm ABC News with 1.251 million. Home and Away was next with 1.214 million, closely followed by the repeat of Two and a Half Men on Nine at 7pm with 1.212 million. A Current Affair was 9th with 1.204 million and Spicks and Specks averaged a strong 1.115 million at 8.30 pm as the League fired into the first half on Nine. The New Inventors averaged 1.066 million up against the Origin start (a solid figure) and the after match coverage on Nine in Sydney and Brisbane only averaged 1.031 million. 13th was The 7.30 Report for the ABC with a sound 1.027 million people. Ten’s first House repeat at 8.30pm averaged 983,000, the second at 9.30pm, 857,000. Ugly Betty at 7.30pm on Seven averaged 983,000.

The Losers: Well, Carson Kressley’s second foray into the BB house averaged 902,000: which was OK, better in fact that the normal BB with 819,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market while Today Tonight won nationally but lost Brisbane to ACA. There was little pre-match bounce for Nine News or ACA from the Origin game. The 7pm ABC News finished second in Sydney behind Seven in the news rankings and ahead of Nine last night. Ten News averaged 827,000. There was no late News. Lateline on the ABC, 295,000, Lateline Business, 110,000. SBS News: 220,000 at 6.30pm, Dateline at 8.30pm, 258,000, the late SBS News at 9.30pm, 174,000. 7am Sunrise, 387,000, 7am Today, 282,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 35.6% (23.4%) from Seven with 23.1% (21.2%), Ten, 19.2% (24.5%), the ABC, 17.0% (17.9%) and SBS 5.1% (5.0%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane, Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine leads the week, 30.3% to 26.2%. In regional areas an easy win to Nine with WIN/NBN on 45.4% from Prime/7Qld with 20%, Southern Cross (Ten), 16.6%, the ABC on 12.6% and SBS with 5.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The State Of Origin was the only game in town or on the screen last night and Nine and the NRL will be very pleased with the two million plus metro audience and three million across the country. Going live in Melbourne and Adelaide added viewers, even if the live telecasts in those markets didn’t dominate as they did in Sydney and Brisbane. Nine’s commentary was on the whole spot on, Peter Sterling and Phil Gould are still the best analysts on TV of League. Ray Warren called it like it should be called: fast, accurate. There were no atrocities.The ABC’s audience was the least impacted by the State of Origin. It still finished with more than a 17% share in prime time, just down on the week before. The 7.30 Report had its second million-plus audience in a row, and The New Inventors also topped the million viewer mark as well. String figures. Including the news the ABC ran second from 7pm to 9.30 pm behind Nine. It’s the best weekday night for the broadcaster and last night was no different. That shows how dead Ten and Seven ran last night up against the League monster. Tonight its back to the normal stuff: the NRL and AFL Footy Shows. The NRL Show will again disappoint and underperform. Gordon Ramsay is back for another entrée but the program to watch is the debut of Tony Jones in Q&A with Prime Minister Rudd.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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