The Winners: Seven News was again tops with 1.522 million people, Today Tonight was next with 1.488 million and Home and Away was a clear winner at 7pm with 1.337 million people and third overall. Nine’s Getaway averaged 1.300 million at 7.30pm and Nine’s The Celebrity Singing Bee averaged 1.276 million at 8.30pm for 5th overall. Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men at 7pm averaged 1.256 million. Nine News averaged 1.206 million for 7th spot and Ghost Whisperer cleaned up the female demos with 1.204 million at 7.30pm for Seven. Bones was average at 8.30pm for Seven with 1.167 million in 9th spot; and A Current Affair was 10th with 1.124 million. The 7pm ABC News was 11th with 1.114 million and Ten’s Law And Order Criminal Intent averaged 1.006 million for 12th spot and Law And Order SVU was on 861,000 for the repeat at 9.30pm.

The Losers: Back To You on Ten at 8pm, 817,000. Looking at it you can understand why it was axed in the US. It’s not funny and tries too hard. Rules of Engagement on Ten at 7.30pm — ditto. The 7.30 Report was more interesting and Clarke and Dawe funnier than either. Inspector Rex, SBS 7.30pm, 379,000. The Amazing Race moved out of intensive care to 918,000 viewers at 9.30pm for Seven.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, as did Today Tonight which actually won by a huge 364,000 over ACA nationally, despite the loss in Melbourne. The 7.30 Report averaged 901,000 viewers. Lateline, 326,000, and Lateline Business, 155,000. Ten News was solid with 817,000, the late news/Sports Tonight, 382,000. 6.30pm SBS News, 165,000 and 131,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise on Seven down to 346,000, 7am Today on Nine just 36,000 behind with 310,000 — it’s getting closer.

The Stats: Nine won 6pm to midnight All People with 30.1% (28.0% last week), from Seven with 28.7% (28.3%), Ten with 19.7% (20.1%), the ABC with 17.1% (16.7%) and SBS with 4.4% (6.9%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne. Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads the week 29.2% to 27.8% over Nine. In regional areas — a win to WIN/NBN with 30.6% from Prime/7Qld with 27.9%. Southern Cross (Ten) was on 21.1%, the ABC on 14.7% and SBS on 5.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven is still on track to win the week as Nine snatched back Thursday night. The decision to turn the NRL Footy Show at 9.30pm into something interesting with talking heads worked, as the audience in Sydney jumped from 196,000 to 287,000 and in Brisbane, from around 100,000 to 161,000. There was a panel, interviews and comment on the question of Sonny Bill Williams breaking his contract and heading off to France to play Rugby Union. It was the first time (apart from the Andrew Johns interview last year) that the NRL program has taken the game and its events seriously.

The sharp rise in the audience shows there’s an interest in this sort of TV (as Q&A on the ABC at 9.30pm shows with a high 562,000 last night). But the AFL program saw its audience slump sharply to 331,000 in Melbourne. That’s close to the lowest figure in two years. There’s a message for the AFL version from the initial success of the NRL program — it’s cheaper and keeps faith with fans and the audience by showing that Nine is taking the game seriously and not as an outlet for vaudeville or the egotistical ravings of some hosts. The decision to return Sam Newman to the AFL show hasn’t paid off and the audience is now much lower than when he was removed for four weeks’ “counselling”.

Nine’s The Celebrity Singing Bee got back on track last night and won the 8.30pm timeslot, maintaining Getaway’s solid figures at 7.30pm. But Seven will win tonight because the AFL and Better Homes And Gardens will offset the NRL on Nine and whatever Ten and the ABC have. Over the weekend there’s sport in the shape of AFL, NRL and the second Bledisloe Cup Rugby Union Test from Auckland around 5-5.30pm on Seven and Pay TV respectively. Sunday night it’s the last Foyle’s War, the last Battle of The Choirs on Seven and the last Sunday program at 7.30am. Watch all three and enjoy!

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports