Hang the injustice, Seven News watchers say yes to capital punishment. Seven News in Melbourne ran a poll last night questioning whether viewers supported the use of capital punishment. An overwhelming 64% of viewers responded that they were in favour of capital punishment. That in itself is not surprising, especially given the 6pm news bulletin’s audience. However, one may be somewhat concerned about the judgment of Seven News viewers — the poll was taken after Seven ran a story on the pardoning of the infamous Gun Alley murderer who was hanged in 1922 for a crime which he did not commit. — Adam Schwab

Who bagged Seven? This is from this morning”s Media gossip column in The Australian:

ACA has been pulling out the chequebook frequently in the past few weeks, forking out $70,000 for an interview with Tania Zaetta — who denied having s-x with soldiers during an entertainment tour of Afghanistan — and some more for the rescued scuba divers. Seven’s Today Tonight, which is in there bidding for most of the stories, claims ACA is desperately handing out money to improve ratings. But a spokesman for Nine hit back: “This sort of dishonesty speaks volumes about why Seven is in second place this far into the ratings year. Seven’s big talk is wretchedly unmatched by its performance, revealed by big ratings falls across every measurable demographic. The market is nervous and Seven is increasingly desperate … there’s no good news, so out of nowhere comes this fabricated list of so-called paid stories. It’s laughable, and even more so because it comes from that bastion of virtue, decency and moral rectitude, Today Tonight.”

Who do you reckon is the Nine spokesman quoted in bold? Former A Current Affair EP and now Nine spinner David Hurley? — Glenn Dyer

Interesting music selection ABC! Following a serious discussion about the Bill Henson matter, Melbourne’s ABC Radio 774 had a daring choice of music: “Dance little lady dance” by Tina Charles.

Who says the arts don’t pay well? Thanks to Crikey reader Patrick for spotting the hottest job in Canberra.

Curmudgeon’s lament: How S-x and the City killed West Village. When I moved into the area, the Meatpacking District was still a fresh and intriguing place full of chatty transv-stites, after-hours clubs that featured activities far more adventurous than dancing, and cool little art spaces only the locals knew. In the house where the overpriced restaurant 5 Ninth now looms teetered a charming squat occupied by the most creative drag queens of the day — Lady Bunny, RuPaul and Lahoma Van Zant … I’m sure lots of people hardly mind the idea of a squalid squat being replaced by a chic club. And, to be honest, the “S-x”-ification of my neighborhood has done miracles for property values. (I could sell my place tomorrow and buy Detroit.) But while “SATC” may have bulked up my bank account (at least on paper), it greedily took away something far more precious: a sense of place. — Jim Farber, New York Daily News

Conservative blogosphere claims another scalp. Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake [US TV personality] Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott … The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad. — Boston Globe

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops with 1.547 million people, with Today Tonight next with 1.5 million. A Current Affair was third with 1.327 million and an amazing story about a contract murder claim). The ABC’s 8.30pm program Spicks and Specks averaged 1.311 million in 4th and 5th was Nine’s Search and Rescue at 8pm with 1.311 million. Home And Away won the 7pm battle with 1.302 million and Fire 000 at 7.30pm on Nine was 7th with 1.292 million. The Gruen Transfer debuted at 9pm for the ABC with 1.287 million (which makes it successful) and Nine News was 9th with 1.280 million. Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men at 7pm averaged 1.231 million and Ten’s fresh episode of House at 8.30pm averaged 1.214 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.157 million and Ugly Betty averaged 1.136 million at 7.30pm to 8.30pm for Seven and won the younger demographics. The New Inventors averaged 1.095 million for the ABC at 8pm and Cold Case on Nine at 8.30pm averaged 1.017 million.

The Losers: Big Brother, Ten, at 7pm for half an hour, 870,000. Criminal Minds on Seven at 8.30pm, returned with 874,000. Canal Road back on Nine at 10.30pm, 372,000. Beaten by Seven’s The Unit with 438,000 which won the timeslot. Ten’s Twenty20 cricket from India at 10.30pm to 1.30am, 191,000. The audiences have been getting softer. Missing Person’s Unit at 9.30 on Nine. It returned with 841,000. It should really be at 8.30pm where it is much stronger. Ten’s Oprah and the cast of Sex And The City at 7.30pm: 706,000. Why do TV executives still think promos about even popular movies will rate. Viewers only want the movies, not the fluff. Ten finished fourth in the timeslot as a result with the ABC third). Million Dollar Wheel Of Fortune, 596,000 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. At 6.30pm, against ACA, TT and Neighbours. The Cook And The Chef on the ABC got 620,000 viewers, because it entertained.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Seven news in Sydney bounced back from Tuesday’s loss to beat Nine by 129,000 viewers, despite Nine exclusive leak from Laurie Oakes). Today Tonight lost Melbourne and Brisbane but won elsewhere. The 7pm ABC News finished second in Melbourne behind Nine in the night’s news rankings and in front of Seven. The 7.30 Report averaged 934,000. Lateline 334,000, Lateline Business, 170,000. Ten News averaged a solid 932,000; the late News/Sports Tonight was pre-empted by the Twenty20 cricket, which didn’t do as well. 6.30pm SBS News, 205,000, Dateline, 257,000, the late SBS News, 166,000. 7am Sunrise 371,000, 7am Today, 289,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight with 27.2% (23.1% a week ago) from Nine with 26.4% (35.1% last week for the State Of Origin game). Ten was next with 21.2% (19.2%) and the ABC was on 19.9% (17.0%). SBS finished with 5.4% (5.1%). Seven won Sydney drew Brisbane with Nine and won Perth. Nine won Adelaide. Ten finished 4th in Melbourne and Brisbane. Nine still leads the week 28.6% to 27.5% for Seven. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 31.2% from Prime/7Qld with 27.4%, the ABC on 17.8% and then Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.7% and SBS with 5.9%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Despite a problem with pace, The Gruen Transfer successfully launched for the ABC last night and if they play their cards right, can become more than just a passing fancy. The Gruen Transfer, according to the ABC’s figures, was the best entertainment show launch since 1991 and topped Kath and Kim in 2002. Ten boasted about how well House did in the 16 to 39 and 18 to 49 demos, and it did, compared to Nine and Seven. The bulk of the viewers in those demos were watching the ABC at 8.30pm. In fact the Nine Network should have a chat to Andrew Denton and his production team because Nine’s launch this week of The Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune is a disaster. Wheel averaged 596,000 viewers last night compared to Deal‘s 890,000. That’s a loss of 222,000 from Monday night when it debuted. Nowhere near what Nine would have wanted to see. Meanwhile ACA had an amazing story from Ben Fordham about a claimed contract killing he was involved in setting up. If true it beats any alleged story from a girlfriend or otherwise of Wayne Carey. With his reputation why any woman would go near Carey is something I find hard to understand and good reason to ignore the story. Spicks and Specks had one of its best audiences of the year last night. The combination of it with The Gruen Transfer worked just as the mix of Spicks and Specks and The Chaser did last year for the ABC. The ABC’s two programs won the 8.30pm to 9.30pm slot and beat House on Ten which while Criminal Minds on Seven never got out of the starting blocks. Cold Case was also hurt. The viewers were off being entertained on the ABC, which I suppose might be a crime in the minds of some Liberal and National Party Senators in Canberra. Nine had a lot of viewers over 55 last night and finished third among the commercials in the under 55’s. Tonight its The Footy Shows. Will the AFL version bounce back from its Sam Newman induced slide, or will, his “resting” see viewers return? Nine also has Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen which is a pale imitation of Kitchen Nightmares. Nine also has Getaway. Seven has Bones and Trinny and Susannah. Ten has Law And Order SVU. Compared to last night, the ABC is a bit of a wasteland, although Q & A might be worth a second look. SBS continues to exhume Inspector Rex at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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