The Winners: Seven News was top of the list with 1.617 million viewers, RSPCA Animal Rescue was next with 1.569 million at 7.30pm and Medical Emergency followed with 1.523 million viewers at 8pm. The Gruen Transfer was 4th in its final episode of the series at 9pm for the ABC with 1.456 million people. Seven’s Criminal Minds averaged 1.427 million at 8.30 pm and Spicks and Specks averaged 1.373 million at 8.30pm on the ABC. Nine’s repeat of Two and a half Men at 7pm averaged 1.304 million for 8th spot and Seven’s Home and Away was 9th with 1.293 million viewers and the 7pm ABC News was 10th with 1.253 million.

Seven’s 9.30pm repeat of Criminal Minds averaged 1.243 million at 9.30pm and 12th was A Current Affair with 1.211 million people. Nine News was 13th with 1.204 million, the evening update for ABC News was 14th (and brief) with 1.165 million people and Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance from the US was 15th with 1.026 million. Nine’s celebrity This Is Your Life averaged 1.012 million at 7.30pm and third in the timeslot. The New Inventors averaged 961,000 at 8pm. Ten’s House repeat at 9.30pm: 824,000. At The Movies at 10pm, 651,000, which is close to a new high.

The Losers: A weak night for Nine as McLeod’s Daughters (880,000 viewers at 8.30pm) sank under the weight of the ABC’s Spicks and Specks and the final episode of The Gruen Transfer. With The Gruen Transfer over, Seven, Nine and Ten might have a better chance next Wednesday night in the timeslot, but then there’s the Olympic Games. But at least McLeod’s Daughters has had a long career.

The much vaunted The Hollowmen on the ABC at 9.30pm with 996,000 isn’t moving to 9pm until after the Games. But on the basis of last night’s episode the move might not do it much good. It continues to disappoint. It’s as insular and inward-looking as Canberra and the Press Gallery. Missing Person’s Unit, 815,000 — OK, but not brilliant. Ten has shifted Friends to 7pm (732,000). It’s a repeat of the episodes seen on Nine. Ten stopped Bondi Rescue there and brought back the old standby The Simpsons at 6pm. It feels like 2006 and 2007 again.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, as did Today Tonight. Seven news still won by 413,000 nationally, including a huge 164,000 in Sydney. The 7pm ABC news was second in Sydney behind Seven and second in Melbourne behind Nine News in the rankings. A real night of clear choice by news viewers. ACA‘s audience slipped to 292,000 viewers in Sydney. Ten News averaged 812,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 421,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 849,000. Lateline 318,000; Lateline Business, 172,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 187,000, Dateline, 8.30pm, 224,000; the 9.30pm SBS News, 155,000. 7am Sunrise up to 381,000, 7am Today, 284,000.

The Stats: For the second time this week Ten finished 4th, beaten into third by the ABC (Monday was the previous night) Seven won 6pm All People 18 to 49s and 25 to 54s last night. It’s share was 31.7% (28.3%) from Nine with 23.3% (23.6%), the ABC with 20.6% (18.4%) , Ten with 19.9% (21.4%) and SBS with 4.5% (8.3%). Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week 29.4% to 27.3%. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 30.8% from Nine through WIN/NBN with 28.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.5%, the ABC with 17.1% and SBS with 5.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine was weak again, but with the next three to four weeks taken up by the Olympic Games, ratings will be confused. Nine is planning a bit PR blitz post games; Seven is planning a PR blitz during its games broadcasts. How will Seven News and Today Tonight handle the stories of Chinese Government restrictions and the internet bans? After all, its owner, Kerry Stokes is a very “honoured” person in China and very privileged with businesses in Shanghai, Beijing and the Caterpillar franchise in the north of the country. Will Seven News websites carry stories critical of what’s happening in China during the games? It might pay to watch. But last night Seven won well and will win the week with the AFL and Better Homes and Gardens to dominate Friday night. The ABC did well for 90 minutes, but that will now be down to an hour with the ending of The Gruen Transfer.

Tonight it’s The Footy Shows: how will the NRL program handle the Sonny Bill Williams defection? Phil Gould has been banned from a segment where David Gallop, the League CEO, will be interviewed. That’s after an on air argument on radio involving Gould and Gallop in Sydney on Monday night. Nine is trying to inject interest into the faltering program by starting a more issues-orientated coverage. It’s only taken more than a decade to introduce a serious note. Seven has Bones and Ghost Whisperer. The ABC has The Gil Mayo Mysteries at 8.30pm and at 9.30pm Q&A will challenge The Footy Show in at least Sydney or Brisbane. Ten has Rules of Engagement, Back To You and Law and Order CI and SVU.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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