Why are Sydney’s papers ignoring Tabcorp controversy? I wrote in Crikey on Monday about the strange silence in the mainstream Sydney media about the extraordinary law designed to allow the racing industry to charge businesses for displaying things like the info about which horses are running in what races. Because there are considerable doubts whether such an attempt to legalise extortion is constitutional, I speculated that the reason there was no press commentary about it might be related to the large payments made to the Fairfax and Murdoch press by Tabcorp. Now my spies tell me that the arrangements between the NSW TAB and the papers are worse than even I thought possible. The amount of money paid to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph is reduced, I am assured, every time a competitor to the TAB is mentioned which means they only get views reported very occasionally. So much for the country’s guardians of free speech! — Richard Farmer

ABC asks Hollowmen : please sirs, can we have some more? The ABC knows it’s onto a hit, even before the public has seen the program in question. ABC TV announced this morning that it had commissioned a second series of Working Dog’s The Hollowmen, even before it has gone to air. The first of six eps in series one airs tonight at 9.30pm on the ABC, after the very popular duo — Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm and The Gruen Transfer at 9pm. The first five episodes will go to air before a two-week break for the Olympic Games. (I thought the ABC wasn’t interested in ratings?) The ABC said that it will then return on Wednesday, 27 August at a new timeslot of 9pm (the Gruen Transfer will end before the Olympics) with episode six, and then will run straight onto the second six-part series. The pre-publicity for the program has been extensive and it will be of considerable interest to see just how far the program goes in revealing the ‘spinning’ of government policy. — Glenn Dyer

Satin watch: Jacinta Tynan. Why so sad Disney Princess?

They’re creepy and they’re kooky. An unkind comparison has been made by Crikey reader Jeremy between the artistic family at the centre of the child nudity in art storm… (picture originally seen in The SMH)

And the Addams Family.

Garnaut’s worrying denialism. Garnaut may be a man who urges climate change sceptics to get onside to work to save the planet but he’s in denial about an issue closer to home. It’s disconcerting to trust someone who conceals his baldness with such a shoddy combover. C’mon Professor Garnaut — quit living in denial and kidding yourself. Embrace your baldness. It’ll look good. MediaMook is sure the bloke sitting behind you at the National Press Club last week would agree. — MediaMook

First look at the new foxy morons. Crikey reader Ian writes: Just watching Leno. He interviewed Selma Blair and there was a promo for the new Kath and Kim — first I’ve seen. Here’s the joke in words, maybe it will be on YouTube:

Voiceover to Kim/Brett stuffing faces with cake: They’ve only been married six weeks…
Kim: That’s it, I want a divorce
Brett: You know, if I walk out that door, you’re never going to see me again
Kim: Oh yeah, well you know it’s a glass door
Brett: Why do you always have to be such a brainiac!

As I’m typing I just saw a second one:

Voiceover: Kath is distraught as she’s just learnt her daughter is moving back in (both teary) Kim to Kath: would it make you feel better if you got up and made us both some nachos?

Assuming they chose the good bits for the promos, I don’t hold high hopes for this one…

BBC defends its pay packets. The BBC has defended pay rises of up to £107,000 each for executive directors saying it must offer competitive salaries for top jobs. Director general Mark Thompson said the levels of BBC salary, benefits and bonuses were “in many cases, a tiny patch on what other broadcasters pay”. — BBC News

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Seven News was tops again with 1.560 million, with the Seven’s The One: Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic at 7.30pm second with 1.468 million (the Daddo factor no doubt), the fresh episodes of Two and a Half Men at 8.30pm to 9.30pm averaged 1.447 million and Today Tonight was 4th with 1.385 million people. Wipeout on Nine at 7.30pm averaged 1.339 million and the second repeat episode of NCIS at 9.30pm averaged 1.318 million. The fresh episode of All Saints at 8.30pm averaged 1.274 million in 8th spot and A Current Affair was 9th with 1.266 million viewers. Nine News was 10th with 1.229 million and Home and Away averaged 1.229 million at 7pm for Seven. The 7pm ABC News was 12th with 1.205 million and the first repeat of NCIS at 8.30pm averaged 1.071 million. The Simpsons repeat at 8pm averaged 1.053 million on Ten in 14th spot and the fresh Simpsons episode at 7.30pm averaged 1.025 million.

The Losers: Ramsay’s Boiling Point at 10pm on Seven: 616,000 viewers. Ladette to Lady at 9.30pm on Nine, 792,000 viewers. Big Brother on Ten at 7pm, 857,000: 4th and a bad 4th.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. The 7pm ABC News was third in Sydney and second in Melbourne. Nine was third in Melbourne. Ten News averaged 936,000 and the late News/ Sports Tonight averaged 576.000. The 7.30 Report averaged 935,000, Lateline, 271,000, Lateline Business 134,000. SBS News, 253,000, the late News, 328,000. Insight, 368,000. Nightline on Nine, 205,000 closer to midnight. 7am Sunrise 351,000, 7am Today, weakened to 241,000.

The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm to midnight with a share of 27.5% (30.5%) from Nine with 26.7% (26.4%), Ten with 23.0% (23.4%), the ABC with 14.8% (unchanged) and SBS with 8.0% (4.9%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne, Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Nine leads the week 28.9% to 27.0% for Seven. In regional areas, Seven won with Prime/7Qld on 30.0% from WIN/NBN with 26.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.4%, the ABC on 13.1% and SBS with 8.0%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won the battle of the wired, tacky and not so wonderful last night. Seven’s The One: Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic beat Nine’s Wipeout at 7.30pm: it was a battle to see which was the tackiest program. And Nine’s fresh episodes of Two and a Half Men won 8.30pm over All Saints. Tonight it’s the ABC versus the rest and the slots from 8.30pm to 10pm will make a mess of the viewing on commercial networks. Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm, The Gruen Transfer at 9pm and the debut of The Hollowmen at 9.30pm. Seven has Animal Rescue back at 7.30pm up against Fire 000 on Nine. Seven then has Criminal Minds at 8.30pm followed by the return of Prison Break at 9.30pm. Nine has Search and Rescue at 8pm (against Medical Emergency on Seven), then Cold Case and Missing persons Unit. Ten has BB at 7pm then Pammie Anderson in the BB house from 7.30pm. That will be a lowlight of the year. It goes for two hours. She says she’s an animal rights supporter but obviously doesn’t care about TV viewers. I say boycott her. And in news just to hand — the Nine Network is understood to have shelved the Australian version of the Japanese gameshow format, Hole In The Wall. And there will be (at this stage) a new series of The Chaser on ABC TV in 2009.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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