Seven moves Dancing With The Stars to Sunday night. The Seven Network is thinking of making one last, desperate attempt to win the 2008 ratings battle with Nine. It’s thinking of shifting its most popular program, Dancing With The Stars, from Tuesday nights at 7.30pm to Sunday evenings at 7.30pm, right against Nine’s 60 Minutes and whatever Nine will have at 8.30pm. The planning is underway for this dramatic move but will involve significant extra costs. It’s a big call. Dancing With The Stars is Seven’s ratings powerhouse and even though the last series at the back end of 2007 didn’t rate as well as hoped, it still did around 1.5 million viewers on average. Seven decided to hold it back to one series for this year to not ruin its appeal to viewers. Switching it to Sunday nights and forcing its core audience to decide between it and 60 Minutes , is a big risk. As well there will be crew and facility problems. The thinking behind the move is that Nine is now back to its powerful best on Sunday evenings because of Domestic Blitz at 6.30pm and then 60 minutes at 7.30pm, which was watched by more than 1.9 million people on Sunday night. Seven started working on switch Dancing With The Stars (it’s being done with a different producer now after Granada lost the contract) from Tuesday to Sunday evenings in the past couple of weeks. Sunday night’s performance by Seven confirms that the switch remains the only option post Olympics. Priv ate Practice , the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off at 8.30pm is fading and Lipstick Jungle at 9.30pm is a flop after a couple of episodes. Seven’s thinking is that even if Dancing With The Stars and 60 Minutes and CSI share the ratings on Sunday nights, it will be a better outcome than having Nine careening out in front and hard to peg back. As Seven has shown for the last two Monday nights, now City Homicide is back, it has a better performing Monday than Nine and Nine will struggle over the rest of the year on that night. That Seven is prepared to risk damaging its strongest brand and incur higher costs says a lot about its desperation to catch and pass Nine in the All people battle by the end of November when ratings finish. — Glenn Dyer

Will Fairfax staff care? Some Whishful thinking… A Fairfax insider writes: This is the intro to the latest Lloyd Whish-Wilson’s weekly, um, bulletin to Fairfax staff. “Good afternoon to all. Our update is a bit late out today due to Greg Moses generously passing his lurgy onto me. Pulling a calf in freezing weather early Sunday morning down on the farm didn’t help recovery. However a healthy big bull calf was worth it (the poor heifer might not agree). Mother and son are doing well.” A case of mad cow disease? I feel so bonded to him. [Greg Moses is the manager, editorial HR.]

Satin returns! Sky News reader Tracey Spicer, the original peddler of satin, thinks the Crikey office isn’t watching. But we are. Over the last couple of days, she’s returned to some of her favourite tops. We never thought we’d see white satin latice puff again. Or Anne of Green Gables tribute in dove blue. Yet there they were! Our eyes are delighted.

 

Entertainment stocks devalued by digital age. A Lehman Brothers analyst has downgraded the entertainment industry and slashed forecasts for its five major companies, saying digital downloads of movies and TV shows posed a huge threat to profits from DVD sales that the companies rely on. The stocks of News Corporation, The Walt Disney Co, CBS Corp, Time Warner Inc and Viacom Inc fell slightly more than the market by close on Monday, with CBS falling the most, by 4.7 per cent, or 87 cents, to $US17.73. — Brisbane Times

Monetising YouTube no mean feat. It’s going on two years since Google brainiacs Sergey Brin and Larry Page plunked down a jaw-dropping $1.65 billion to buy YouTube — and they still haven’t figured out how to make money from the wildly popular video site. The slow pace to monetize YouTube has its professional content partners fuming of late — as they were counting on generating a far greater level of revenues from the relationship. YouTube’s numbers for 2008 don’t look pretty: while 3 billion videos are viewed every month, revenues could total an anemic sub-$200 million this year — a reflection that less than a third of the videos generate income from ads, according to various Wall Street estimates. — New York Post

Olympian couch potatos’ viewing habits. To watch the Olympics a decade or so ago, an inveterate sports-observer would likely have plopped down on the couch and turned on the TV. And that was that. These days, that person is more likely to also sneak a peek at a competition on a computer during the workday, view video highlights on a mobile device or even glance at a match while at a bar. NBC Universal, which has broadcast the Olympics for decades, has a mission for the 2008 Beijing Games: It wants to analyze the new viewing behaviors of the Olympics audience. And in doing so, it hopes to get marketers accustomed to measuring TV audiences in a different fashion. — Adage Mediaworks

Generational change at The Post . The Washington Post has named Marcus W. Brauchli, a former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, as its executive editor, the paper announced Monday. The appointment comes as a new publisher, Katharine Weymouth, puts her stamp on one of the nation’s great newspapers. The Post’s current executive editor, Leonard Downie Jr., had said that he would step aside in September. Mr. Downie had held the top newsroom job since 1991, when he succeeded Benjamin C. Bradlee.  The ascension of Mr. Brauchli, 47, to replace Mr. Downie, 66, continues a sharp generational shift at The Post — New York Times

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
City Homicide averaged 1.583 million for Seven at 8.30pm (that was down on its return last week). Seven News was second with 1.548 million, then Border Security at 7.30pm with 1.485 million, Today Tonight 1.426 million in fourth spot and Surf Patrol at 8pm in 5th place with 1.408 million — the top five programs on one night! —  Seven will be pinching themselves to make sure its not 2007. Nine News was 6th with 1.383 million. Two and a Half Men was next in repeat at 7pm with 1.313 million for Nine and Criminal Minds finally got traction and easily won 9.30pm for Seven with 1.309 million. Nine’s The Farmer Wants a Wife battled to 1.270 million people at 8.30pm, A Current Affair averaged 1.242 million for a very average program and Home and Away averaged 1.239 million for Seven at 7pm. The 7pm ABC News was 12th with 1.205 million and the repeat of the second episode of  David Attenborough’s The Life of Mammals averaged 1.197 million (down on last week). 14th was Ten News with a very strong 1.015 million viewers. Australian Story averaged 965,000 at 8pm and Neighbours was on a high 905,000 at 6.30pm for Ten. Good News Week with 862,000 was again held back by the poor figures for Big Brother.

The Losers: The F Word on Nine at 9.30pm — just 806,000. It was beaten by Elders With Andrew Denton with 876.,000 viewers from 9.35pm. Are Australians finally getting sick of Gordon Ramsay because Nine and David Gyngell have run him into the ground? The ancient Ramsay’s Boiling Point is on Seven at 10pm tonight. Will it receive the same lack of attention from viewers? Big Brother, 867,000 on Ten and the nomination, 853,000 and Big Brother Big Mouth, 558,000. Another night of viewer indifference. Mark Loves Sharon, 676,000. Viewers don’t love either, it dropped 105,000 viewers from the previous week.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne and Adelaide, Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne. Ten News was strong, the late News/ Sports Tonight with 270,000 at 10.30pm was weak after Big Brother Big Mouth at 10pm. The 7.30 Report, 804,000, Lateline, 492,000, Lateline Business, 186,000. Nine’s Nightline returned after the tennis break and averaged 251,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 250,000, the late News at 9.30pm, 155,000. 7am Sunrise, 335,000, 7am Today, 256,000. Seeing it had a higher lead in than usual with the men’s Wimbledon final of 165,000 at 5.30am and then 214,000 at 6am, (it finished around 6.25am) — it wasn’t so good a result for Today.

The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm to midnight with 31.8% (30.0%) from Nine with 25.9% (28.9%), Ten with 18.1% (17.6%), the ABC with 16.2% (16.1%) and SBS 8.0% (7.4%). Seven won all five metro markets but Nine leads the week 30.0% to 26.7%. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 32.7% from WIN/NBN on 28.3% from, Southern Cross (Ten) with 16.5%, the ABC with 14.1% and SBS with 8.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: After its performance on Sunday night, any improvement would have been warmly embraced by Seven. Last night’s performance shows it has a settled Monday night line up in place that Nine won’t topple. While Seven struggles on Sunday nights, Nine faces some tough Mondays from now on. The F Word failed to get any bounce from Gordon Ramsay at 9.30pm. Perhaps it needed to have his name in the title. That Andrew Denton’s nice chat to legendary White House journalist, Helen Thomas, out rated Gordie on Nine says a lot about what viewers want from a TV show sometimes. Both were beaten by Seven’s Criminal Minds with more than 1.3 million viewers after City Homicide, which was a clever piece of programming. Top Gear was watchable for the review on a new go fast Honda coupe. It was savaged in a way that must have made Honda cringe, and what we can hope the local version on SBS will emulate. The car shows on Nine are nothing both glorified examples of product placement (The Car Show or Test Drive on Sundays for example). We haven’t had a good car show in this country since Torque on the ABC with Peter Wherrett. Tonight Seven has that unfortunate program on psychics at 7.30pm and All Saints. Ten has The Simpsons and NCIS. There’s not much on the ABC, SBS has petrol prices on Insight. Nine has Wipeout , the odd looking American game show and the double fresh episodes of Two and a Half Men before the appalling Ladette to Lady.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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