The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.498 million, Home and Away was next at 7pm with 1.410 million, Criminal Minds on 8.30pm to 9.30pm with 1.402 million and Today Tonight was 4th with 1.393 million. Nine’s hour of Two and a Half Men repeats averaged 1.366 million from 7pm, Seven’s Medical Emergency at 8pm averaged 1.307 million in 6th spot. Nine News was next with a solid 1.303 million and Seven’s new local version of Serious Crash Unit averaged an encouraging 1.281 million. Spicks and Specks averaged 1.253 million at 8.30 pm for the ABC and 9th spot, The latest audition episode of Australian Idol averaged 1.240 million for Ten at 7.30pm and Hole In The Wall on Nine at 8pm averaged a low 1.188 million. A Current Affair was 12th with 1.182 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.177 million in 13th and final spot. The New Inventors averaged 941,000; The Hollowmen at 9pm now, 926,000. Neighbours on Ten at 6.30pm, 907,000. So You Think You Can Dance for two hours 15 minutes on Ten, 868,000. Click, Nine’s 8.30pm movie, 849,000.

The Losers: Seven’s attempt to convince Australians, that a British version of The Apprentice, with Alan Sugar (Amstrad computer fame) was some how more interesting than the US version with Donald Trump, which ebbed away on the Nine Network. Seven brought us the Alan Sugar version at 9.30pm: it’s doubtful that it will remain in that timeslot for much longer after averaging just 583,000. It bombed, in other words, and allowed Nine to creep closer on a night that, up to 9.30pm, Seven was again a very clear winner. It still won the night, (although lost in Melbourne) but it was no thanks to this aggressive and nasty program. Just because it is a success in Britain doesn’t mean it will be a success here. It’s another in the long line of Yobbo TV: Ladette to Lady, Mistresses, Footballers’ Wives, Gordon Ramsay, etc etc etc. It was a case of “Alan who” in Australia: at least Donnie Trump was better known.

News & CA: Seven News again and Today Tonight won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. In Sydney Nine News was again very weak: 302,000 compared to 482,000 in Melbourne. In Sydney the 7pm ABC News beat it again with 398,000 to run second behind Seven with 435,000. The 7.30 Report eased back to average 892,000. It got to within 1,000 viewers of ACA in Sydney (307,000 to 308,000) — I know, different time slots, but The 7.30 Report‘s slot is tougher. Seven News was easily beaten in Melbourne by Nine. Ten News averaged 811,000; the late News/Sports Tonight, 349,000. Lateline, 251,000, Lateline Business, 169,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 187,000. Dateline, 232,000 at 8.30pm and the 9.30pm SBS News, 275,000. 7am Sunrise, down under 400,000 with 351,000. Today, 274,000. The war is back on.

The Stats: Seven won more narrowly with a 27.9% share from Nine with 26.5%, Ten with 22.5%, the ABC with 18.5% and SBS 4.6%. Seven won everywhere but Melbourne. Seven leads the week 34.9% to 23.4% for Nine. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 27.9% from WIN/NBN with 26.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.2%, the ABC with 17.2% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven allowed Nine to creep closer last night, despite successfully debuting the local version of the NZ format, Serious Crash Unit — 1.281 million at 7.30pm was solid. Medical Emergency at 8pm accounted for Nine’s Hole In The Wall on Nine at 8pm which went backwards from its sneak preview before the Olympics. The second half hour of repeats of Two and a Half Men beat SCU, but then Nine’s audience fell away, just as Seven’s audience from Criminal Minds at 8.30pm to 9.30pm collapsed from an average 1.4 million to just 583,000 for Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice. Seven should get the sheep crook out and give Al the treatment. Exit stage left and quick mate, and don’t close the door, we will! Spicks and Specks was as good as usual, The Hollowmen as vacant as usual (shifting it to 9pm just exposes it to more people who can turn off in its current form).

Tonight is interesting. Seven have gone with a major change of approach. From 7pm onwards the network has programmed for female viewers because from 8.30pm Nine has gone down to the gutter for a dip. Home and Away at 7pm, Make Me a Supermodel at 7.30pm, Ghost Whisperer at 8.30pm and Trinny and Susannah Undress the Nation at 9.30pm are all female skewing programs. Nine has the older skewing Getaway at 7.30pm which will do well, but they lurch downwards at 8.30pm with the Naughtiest Home Videos program Kerry Packer had pulled off air years ago. And then Nine stays male with the AFL and NRL Footy Shows at 9.30pm. Ten has Australian Idol from 7.30pm to 8.30pm then its usual Law And Order fare from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. The ABC returns the good Family Footsteps at 8.30pm and then Q&A at 9.30pm. Seven’s deliberate counter programming is going to be watched very closely. If it polishes off Nine and Ten tonight, it will force changes. If it doesn’t then crassness wins.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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