Eddie returns to the lukewarm seat. Eddie McGuire is going to be gainfully employed soon, but only seen in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia on Nine on Friday nights at 7.30pm. Nine is going to make fresh eps of his failed quiz show 1 vs. 100 , which was supposed to be the best thing in quizzes since, well, the best ever. That was what Eddie and former Nine chairman James Packer claimed. But it died on Monday nights at 8.30pm and Eddie’s reputation died with it. Since then he has been seen intermittently as he resembles someone on ‘gardening leave’, running Collingwood and being paid $1.7 million a year by PBL Media for his troubles. Nine is bringing Eddie back to the screen to try and combat the success of Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens on Friday nights at 7.30pm which is now close to, if not the most watched program across the network. It provides a big audience for Seven’s AFL broadcasts in Victoria, South Australia and WA and Nine will be running repeats of CSI , Closer to Home and The Closer at 8.30pm to try and boost audiences. Good luck. Nine’s NRL broadcasts in Sydney and Brisbane are also doing it tough with audiences down on last year. — Glenn Dyer

Quiz shows in bad health. The demise of 1 vs. 100 last year seems to have marked the turning point in popularity of game shows in this country. In fact, apart from Deal or No Deal on Seven at 5.30pm Monday to Friday, Australians seem to have gone off game shows, or is it just some game shows? Deal‘s new competitor, Million Dollar Wheel Of Fortune lost ground in its second outing last night with a 111,000 drop in viewers to 607,000. Seven’s Rich List quiz show which was doing OK on Monday nights last year, was returned to Saturday nights last week and bombed, winning just 729,000 viewers at 7.30pm. Nine is not yet willing to put Temptation back into the 7pm timeslot where repeats of Two And A Half Men are currently tantalising viewers with million plus figures Monday to Friday. The poor start for Wheel of Fortune does not provide any boost for Nine’s 6pm News. It is not the answer to Nine’s problems which are as much to do with the poorly performing Sydney news (Nine in Melbourne does better) and A Current Affair which has paid out well over $200,000 in the past week on exclusives with Tania Zaetta, the two divers with the funny story (which was not probed at all by the program in a disgraceful bit of fluff) and on the alleged Wayne Carey’s new girlfriend interview last night. That money has gone out the door for nothing and ACA is as far behind Today Tonight on Seven as it was before this latest outbreak of chequebook journalism. — Glenn Dyer

Wayne Carey, marketing genius Buried in this run of the mill A Current Affair interview with Wayne Carey’s latest spurned lover are these fabulous photos of the disgraced star (supposedly attempting to rebuild his lift and rehabilitate himself) and temporary fling wearing “I Did Cocaine With Wayne” t-shirts:

Tracey Spicer reckons Boned is “flaky”. Sky News presenter and Crikey fave, Tracey Spicer, today bags the hotly-anticipated novel Boned , a fictional account of life in the newsroom seen through the eyes of Kate Corish. (See the newly released extract here). Boned is written by an anonymous author with industry connections and Spicer apparently thinks it a mite unrealistic. In her words, the characterisation of the heroine is “about as flaky as the pasty of the same name”. Writing for the Daily Telegraph, she asks: “What 40-something television presenter devours coffee, cigarettes and Red Bull for breakfast? More like an egg white omelette, herbal-tea- for-my-complexion then Botox for brunch.” In noting how dull TV world has become since the chauvinistic 80s, Spicer alludes New York Post- style to some juicy gossip. Just who is the newsreader whose “profile has since risen in inverse proportion to her shrinking frame”?And the “40-something newsreader who takes a day off every week for ‘maintenance’, with an extensive cosmetic surgery regime including breast implants, collagen and, of course, botox”?

Andrew Olle alternatives. With discussion about the suitability of Ray Martin as this year’s Andrew Olle Memorial Lecturer in October, some in the Sydney media scene wonder if the ABC looked all that far. Here are three other possible speakers: Mike Carlton of 2UE would have been a better choice, according to some, given that he has remained a journalist for most, if not all his time in action; Peter Meakin at Seven is by far the best qualified person in TV to discuss the present, past and future, but he is not one to pontificate in the way that the Olle lecture sometimes demands. Senator Stephen Conroy is the new Media Minister, or rather the new Communications Minister. Seeing his predecessor, Senator Helen Coonan, spoke a couple of years ago and Senator Conroy and the Rudd Government are on the cusp of some major changes… Any other suggestions? (Humphrey B. Bear was considered, but rejected, but we will allow the Blue Wiggle). — Glenn Dyer

Take heart, sedentary bloggers. In the May 2008 Scientific American, Jennifer Wapner declares, Blogging: It’s Good for You. According to Wapner, “Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery.” That may be all most journalists, bloggers, and other writers need to hear. However, scientists want to discover what’s happening in our neurological systems while we blog, and as blogging becomes a common activity. — Poynter

Oprah’s crown slips. The average audience for The Oprah Winfrey Show has fallen nearly 7 percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research — its third straight year of decline. “Oprah’s Big Give,” an ABC philanthropic reality show, beat every program on television except American Idol in its premiere week this winter, but steadily lost nearly one-third of its audience during the rest of its eight-week run, according to Nielsen. The circulation of O, The Oprah Magazine, has fallen by more than 10 percent in the last three years, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and the magazine is now seeking a new editor in chief after the announced retirement of its longtime steward, Amy Gross. — New York Times

Mapping journalism layoffs across the US. 3,071+ and counting… Paper Cuts, the blog

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops with 1.483 million people. Nine’s 7.30pm program, 20 to 1 jumped to average 1.414 million for second place, just ahead of Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent also at 7.30pm with 1.407 million people. Today Tonight was 4th with 1.399 million; Ten’s fresh NCIS averaged 1.371 million, Seven’s All Saints averaged 1.330 million at 8.30pm and Home and Away won the 7pm slot with 1.257 million people. Nine News was 8th with 1.232 million and the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.172 million, with the repeat of Two and a Half Men on Nine at 7pm just behind with 1.145 million. A Current Affair averaged 11th with 1.142 million and the fresh Simpsons episode at 7.30pm averaged 1.134 million for Ten. 13th was the repeat of NCIS at 9.30pm with 1.079 million and the 8pm Simpsons repeat averaged 1.048 million. Nine confused by slipping a repeat of Kitchen Nightmares USA into 8.30pm which only averaged 933,000 and a new episode of Kitchen Nightmares into Perth which averaged 141,000 in that market. Ladette to Lady averaged 913,000 for Nine at 9.30pm. Neighbours averaged a solid 858,000 at 6.30pm. The Powder And The Glory on the ABC at 8.30pm, 665,000.

The Losers: Big Brother has settled down at just under a million viewers: last night it was 946,000. Ten resurfaced after a better night last night to claim victory in a release in the 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 group for BB.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but lost Sydney and Melbourne. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Adelaide where it and A Current Affair drew. Ten News averaged 895,000. The late News/Sports Tonight averaged 530,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 888,000; Lateline, 224,000, Lateline Business, 134,000. SBS News, 204,000 at 6.30pm, Insight, 276,000 at 7.30pm and the late SBS News at 9.30pm, 155,000. 7am Sunrise down to 341,000, 7am Today, 293,000; the gap closes again.

The Stats: A Tuesday night like last week. Seven wins fairly closely from Nine in the 6 pm to midnight battle. Seven finished on 28.0% (28.6%) from Nine 26.5% (25.8%) and Ten on 25.2% (25.6%), the ABC on 15.3% (15.4%) and SBS with 4.9% (4.5%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. Nine still leads the week, 29.3% to 27.5%. In regional areas a bigger win to Prime/7Qld with 30.6% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 25.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 25.1%, the ABC with 12.8% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine News had a rare win over Seven in Sydney as Seven’s regular newsreader, Ian Ross was on holidays, replaced by Chris Bath, the regular reader on Fridays to Sundays who notched up a big win on Monday night. Nine News also won Melbourne, which is sort of normal; and had a reasonable night but was well beaten by Seven in Brisbane. But the extra viewers for Nine News in Sydney and Melbourne didn’t hang around for A Current Affair and it was easily beaten by Today Tonight. Nine can’t claim that the new Wheel of Fortune helped in Sydney: it was very well beaten by Deal Or No Deal. Just one of the oddities of the meter system or are viewers really rusted on to Ian Ross? Tonight Nine brings back Cold Case at 8.30pm, up against Criminal Minds back on Seven and a new series of Missing Persons Unit on Nine at 9.30pm. Canal Road reappears at 10.30pm after going missing for a week or two. Ten has a fresh episode of House and goes the Sex and The City promo route with an Oprah special at 7.30pm. But the most interesting program tonight and possibly for the year is the Gruen Transfer on the ABC at 9pm with Wil Anderson. It’s from Andrew Denton’s production company and you won’t find the commercial networks wanting it: too commercial! There will be complaints!

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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