The Winners: 14 programs with a million or more viewers with Seven News tops with a huge 1.719 million, just in front of the final ep of this series of Nine’s The Farmer Wants a Wife with 1.700 million. Today Tonight was third with 1.575 million and Seven’s Border Security was next at 7.30pm with 1.488 million, followed by the 8pm program, The Force, with 1.465 million. Home And Away had a solid performance at 7pm for Seven with 1.411 million, and City Homicide was squeezed by Farmer back to an average of 1.368 million viewers at 8.30pm. Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men averaged 1.286 million at 7pm in 8th spot, with Nine News 9th with 1.259 million. A Current Affair was next with 1.255 million. The 7pm ABC news was 11th with 1.222 million and Seven’s repeat of Criminal Minds at 9.30pm averaged 1.177 million people. David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals averaged 1.161 million at 7.30pm for Nine and Top Gear averaged 1.042 million at 7.30pm for SBS. Australian Story averaged 897,000 at 8pm for the ABC and was the 14th program with a million or more viewers on the night.

The Losers: Losers? Apart from Ten News At Five and Neighbours, and perhaps Good News Week at 8.30pm, the rest of the Ten schedule. Burn Notice at 9.30pm, 609,000. Poor. The F Word on Nine at 10pm, 693,000. And that’s probably why Nine lost the night after the strong figures for Farmer from 8.30pm to 10pm.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally and in every market. The 7pm ABC News beat Nine into second in both Sydney and Melbourne. It was a narrow margin, but enough for bragging rights. The 7.30 Report was also squeezed by the likes of Top Gear and Border Security with 763,000. It couldn’t top Ten’s America’s Next Top Model at 7.30pm with 828,000 viewers. Lateline averaged 422,000, Lateline Business, 175,000. Ten News At Five averaged 867,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 259,000 at the later time of 11pm. 6.30pm World News Australia on SBS, 277,000, the 9.30pm edition, 130,000. 7am Sunrise, 381,000, 7am Today, 286,000. And the 5am Nine News turned up this morning at 5.01 am without an explanation about yesterday’s absence. And it is a direct turnaround of the Qantas inflight news because it’s “Brought To You By Qantas”, complete with onscreen logo next to the newsreader.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight All people with 30.8% (32.8% a week ago) from Nine with 28.6% (25.9%), Ten with 16.6% (unchanged); the ABC was on 16.2% (16.9%) and SBS on 7.7% (7.8%). Nine still leads the week 29.0% to 26.8%. Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. In regional areas a win for Nine through WIN/NBN with 34.7% (The Farmer Wants A Wife was easily the most watched program in the bush with 832,000 viewers). Prime/7Qld was next with 27.4%, Southern Cross (ten) with 16.6%, the ABC with 13.9% and SBS with 7.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine did well last night with the 90-minute finale of The Farmer Wants A Wife, but it wasn’t quite enough to snatch the night from Seven. Ten was the victim again for the second Monday night in a row, being squeezed by Seven and Nine. It continues to shed many of the gains from the first few rating periods in the early part of the year. Neighbours at 6.30pm was was Ten’s best performer with 883,000. From then it was a slow fall, although Good News Week and Ten News At Five had similar audience numbers. It was fourth all the way.

Seven News was absolutely dominant, with one of its highest audiences for some time last night. It beat Nine by 460,000 viewers. Today Tonight‘s audience was also a bit firmer, even though it and A Current Affair had similar stories of the Beijing drug cheat shock looms kind. Top Gear on SBS went out with a million viewer splash ahead of a two-week rest for the games (SBS is getting very commercial now, resting its best-performing program, just as Ten and Nine will be).

Enough Rope with Jose Ramos Horta being interviewed by Andrew Denton was surprisingly weak with just 752,000 viewers. Timor is no longer flavour of the month for the ABC’s core viewers who seem to prefer climate change chat, if the constant questions on Q&A (from Tony Jones and from the studio and viewing audiences) on Thursday nights are any guide. But then the story on Four Corners on the summer ice cap at the North Pole was hardly endorsed by mainstream ABC viewers. The less than 800,000 viewers was hardly a show of solid support from the core audience. Four Corners has done a lot better in the past with subjects closer to home.

Tonight, Family Fortunes on the ABC at 8pm, Wipeout on Nine and The Psychics program on Seven (followed by All Saints on Seven and on Nine, Two and A Half Men at 8.30pm and the return of the unfunny Til Death at 9pm. Ten has one fresh Simpsons, lots of repeats and repeats of NCIS. Neighbours stands out again as original (as does the 7.30pm Simpsons). Seven ends its flirtation with Gordon Ramsay at 10pm: not many viewers care any more for Boiling Point.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey