The Winners: Seven News won the night with 1.505 million viewers and Today Tonight second with 1.420 million. Home And Away was third with 1.313 million (its best performance for some weeks) and safely ahead of Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men in 4th spot with 1.280 million at 7pm.

Getaway won the 7.30pm to 8.30pm slot with 1.273 million viewers and Seven’s Bones won the 8.30pm slot (and did very well in all the relevant demos, except the over 55’s) with 1.263 million. A Current Affair was 7th with 1.186 million, Nine News was 8th with 1.153 million and the 7pm ABC news was next with 1.137 million viewers.

The Celebrity Singing Bee at 8.30pm on Nine averaged 1.118 million. The Law and Order SVU repeat averaged 1.092 million in 11th and Law and Order Criminal Intent was next with 1.086 million. Both were on Ten. Ghost Whisperer returned at 7.30pm on Seven and averaged 1.019 million without Perth where Seven had to show season ending episodes of Earl and How I Met Your Mother. The ABC’s Catalyst was next with 997,000 viewers. The Gil Mayo Mysteries on the ABC at 8.30pm, 823,000.

The Losers: The Footy Show: it added a whole 9,000 viewers to 861,000. And even though the 383,000 in Melbourne for the AFL version was the third biggest audience in that market on the night, it is no longer the ratings dynamo it was.The NRL program in Sydney added 6,000 viewers to 186,000, the Brisbane audience rose 8,000 to 100,000 but it the AFL version lost ground in Adelaide and Perth. Rules of Engagement on Ten at 7.30pm:756,000. It’s just holding up the slot until someone has a better idea at Ten. Likewise The Amazing Race, 783,000 on Seven at 9.30pm. SBS and Inspector Rex with 353,000 at 7.30 pm. Tombstone TV at its worst.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne and Brisbane. TT beat ACA by 126,000 in Sydney, and then did it tough in Melbourne and Brisbane. Very strange. Ten News averaged 806,000; the late News/Sports Tonight, 425,000. The 7.30 Report, 887,000.

Lateline, 299,000, Lateline Business, 167,000 Q&A at 9.30pm, 484,000. It’s still improving and is a good watch — but how about a non political issue? Say something a bit less obvious to show how a good general chat could be had. It doesn’t always have to be the BIG issue, does it? The 6.30pm SBS News, 231,000, the 9.30pm edition, 191,000. Nine’s Nightline, 335,000. 7am Sunrise 323,000, 7am Today, 267,000.

The Stats: Seven finally got up in All people between 6pm and midnight because the NRL Footy Show in Brisbane is so weak. Seven won with a 28.3% share (28.0%) from Nine with 28.0% (28.1%), with Ten third with 20.1% (19.9%), the ABC with 16.7% (17.0%) and SBS unchanged on 6.9%. Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 30.0% from Prime/7Qld with 27.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.0%, the ABC with 14.7% and SBS with 7.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: For all of the Nine Network’s confident talk about the second half of the year, it has a couple of unwanted holes to repair. Monday, Wednesday and now Thursday nights are much weaker than they were in the front half of the year. Last night’s All People win by Seven was narrow, but it was rare. The strongish performance of The Footy Shows from 9.30pm has pushed Nine home in front of Seven this year during the football season. But the AFL program is now weakened and the NRL program is a ratings joke.

Last night in Sydney it beat Q&A on the ABC, the week before it was beaten by a bunch of classier talking heads. But that bunch of ABC talking heads did beat the NRL program in Brisbane, 107,000 viewers to 100,000 for Nine’s effort. In fact the ABC is showing Nine’s producers, led by Gary Burns, how to do talking heads, which is essentially what The Footy Shows are. Why have all the chat coming from the panel: why not get questions from the audience, questions from the TV audience about different subjects.

The Sunday Roast program on Sundays on the NRL is far more entertaining because there’s some viewer comments — more please. It is easy to arrange and you never know, the audience might like some intelligent questions answered intelligently. The same applies to the AFL program. Both should get out of the Sunday night football club variety approach and into a format that respects the audiences’ interest and involvement in the codes.

Seven will use Better Homes And Gardens tonight and the AFL to win and go onto win the week. Over the weekend. Foyle’s War on the ABC on Sunday nights at 8.30pm is the highlight (it’s also an Iview program), the bike race ends on Sunday, with the time trial to decide if Cadel Evans can move into the lead. There’s a real game of football tomorrow night. Australia vs. NZ in the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Test and tonight Geelong play Hawthorn in the AFL at the MCG and that would be worth the price of admission.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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