Wheel of Failure. The expensive and much hyped 5.30pm news lead-in, Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune, has been axed by the Nine Network. It finished 113th last week with 585,000 viewers, well behind Ten News which averaged 911,000 in 65th spot and Seven’s Deal Or No Deal with 891,000 and 66th place nationally. It will be replaced by repeats of the now venerable Antiques Roadshow until Nine and boss David Gyngell come up with another idea. Wheel was killed immediately on Friday. The decision calls into question the move to “rest” Temptation after 40 episodes had been made. — Glenn Dyer
Newspapers don’t give women and ethnic minorities a sporting chance. Newspaper sports departments remain nearly all white and male — and progress towards diversity is painfully slow, concludes a “report card” on sports staffing released Thursday at the annual meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). The report by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) surveyed 378 APSE member newspapers and Web sites, and said they had earned a “C” for “racial hiring practices,” and an “F” for gender hiring practices. — Editor & Publisher
Oft-Corrected NYT Critic Cleans Up Her Act. Alessandra Stanley may not be the most influential TV writer in the country, and she may not be the most error-prone, but she’s almost certainly the most influential error-prone TV writer, and vice versa. Or was. For yesterday marked the New York Times critic’s 103rd consecutive day without a story that required a correction — her longest such run since June 12, 2002, when she broke a 147-day mistake-free streak. (This is based on a Nexis search for her byline.) “I had not kept as close a count as you, but obviously I am trying to avoid them,” Stanley said, via email, when I asked her whether she was doing anything different. — Portfolio
Nine wins the week. A win for the Nine Network last week, thanks to the Schapelle Corby doco, The Hidden Truth, especially on Sunday night. Nine won with a 6pm to 12 midnight All People share of 28.8% (26.7%) a week ago, from Seven with 27.7% (28.2%), Ten with 19.9% (20.7%), the ABC with 17.5% (18.8%) and SBS with 6.0% (5.6%). Nine won all metro markets bar Perth where Seven was the victor. Nine won four nights and drew one other with Seven. However, Nine’s problems in the 6pm to 7pm timeslot continued last week Monday to Friday. Seven News finished 5th nationally with 1.564 million viewers, Nine News was 20 places behind with 1.211 million. Today Tonight again finished 12th nationally with 1.415 million. Nine’s A Current Affair was 35th with 1.143 million viewers and the ignominy of falling under 1 million viewers on Friday night to 971,000, while Today Tonight finished with 1.322 million. Nine News again finished third in Sydney Monday to Friday behind the ABC News, with Seven News clearly in front. Nine will win the week after a big win last night and the third and deciding State Of Origin Rugby League match Wednesday night in Sydney. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: 60 Minutes was the winner with 1.814 million viewers, ahead of Nine News with 1.659 million and a rare win over Seven News in 3rd with 1.574 million people. Nine’s Domestic Blitz won the 6.3pm slot with 1.512 million and CSI the 8.30pm slot for Nine with 1.470 million. Seven debuted Private Practice, a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, to a solid start with 1.262 million people watching. Doctor Who‘s 2007 Christmas Special with Kylie averaged 1.248 million and was the highlight of the night. It was a long pantomime, which is a Christmas specialty in London. The 7pm ABC News was 7th with 1.185 million, Without A Trace averaged 1.140 million at 9.30pm and Seven’s Battle of The Choirs fell to 1.021 million. Seven’s Gladiators at 11th with 1.021 million and Ten’s Big Brother Eviction at 7.30pm averaged 1.003 million. Rove was next with 933,000 after BB.
The Losers: Gladiators on Seven: the Grand Final, which continues next week: last night just 1.02 million people tuned in, down 200,000 from the week before. That was partly due to the program being pre-empted in Perth for Seven’s broadcast of an AFL game, while The Battle of The Choirs was also weaker than it seemed because it was also pre-empted in Perth. The AFL game averaged 144,000 viewers , which was the 8th most watched program in the market last night. Big Brother: just over 1 million for the eviction last night which is supposed to be the weekly highlight. BB at 6.30pm on Ten, 829,000. Lipstick Jungle on Seven at 9.30pm: 925,000 for a program with S-x And The City rip-off, like Cashmere Mafia was and heading for a similar fate if it doesn’t pick up.
News & CA: Nine News won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, Seven won Brisbane. Ten News, 907,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 287,000, which is a very solid figure. In the morning Weekend Sunrise at 8am, 425,000, Landline on the ABC at noon, 246,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 181,000, Inside Business on the ABC at 10am, 147,000, Sunday on Nine from 7.30am, 138,000, Offsiders, 133,000 on the ABC at 10.30am. Asia Pacific Focus on the ABC at 11am, 141,000. Early Weekend Sunrise, 188,000.
The Stats: Nine won 6pm to midnight with a share of 32.9% (34.9%), from seven with 25.5% (25.8%), Ten with 19.0% (18.1%), the ABC with 17.4% (16.3%), and SBS with 5.2% (5.0%). Nine won all five metro markets and had a big win in regional areas with WIN/NBN averaging a high 38.5% from Prime/7Qld with 21.7%, the ABC and Southern Cross (Ten) tied on 17.4% and SBS on 4.9%.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Sunday night was Nine’s night, without any one-off stunts like Schapelle Corby docos. Nine won with its usual line-up of Domestic Blitz, 60 Minutes, CSI. Seven and Ten struggled, even in Perth. It was a stock standard Sunday night. Dr Who provided the fun and entertainment. That allows for Catherine Tate (the sidekick from the 2006 Christmas special) who survived. Tonight Seven returns City Homicide to the schedule at 8.30pm and Nine drops the second series of The Farmer Wants a Wife up against it. An interesting battle. Ten has 90 minutes of Big Brother from 7pm to 8.30pm and Top Gear on SBS is its main opponent, after The 7.30 Report, Border Security and a repeat of the Attenborough series, The Life of Mammals. Lleyton Hewitt plays Roger Federer at Wimbledon first up at 11pm on Nine.
Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports