The Winners: 60 Minutes was tops with 1.567 million, Seven News was second because of Perth with 1.526 million and Nine News was third with 1.507 million viewers. Nine’s 6.30pm Domestic Blitz returned with 1.462 million and Dancing With The Stars averaged a solid 1.333 million in its new time slot at 7.30pm. Midsomer Murders at 8.35pm averaged 1.319 million and Australian Idol at 7.30pm averaged 1.310 million over two hours.

The new Seven program The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie started at 6.30pm with 1.291 million (solid enough) and Nine’s much promoted Scorched (a telemovie) failed to generate any heat with viewers and averaged 1.125 million for more than two hours from 8.30pm. The 7pm ABC news averaged 1.119 million in 10th spot. Doctor Who wrapped up a two-parter with 1.119 million viewers on the ABC at 7.30pm and the 8.30pm ABC News Update averaged 1.016 million. Rove averaged 967,000 at 9.30pm. The repeat of Thank God Your Here, 943,000 at 6.30pm.

The Losers: To be fair it was a night where most programs succeeded — except Scorched. The 1 .11 million viewer audience was just enough to bring a strained smile to the lips of Nine programmers, but that’s all. Given all the hype and promotion, Nine would have expected a lot more. Seven’s repeat of Criminal Minds at 9.45pm: 645,000. If it had been around 1 million, Seven may have gone close to winning the night, but the plods on Midsomer Murders had the cops and robbers audience all tied up. What Nine really wanted last night was a fresh CSI at 8.30pm, not an Aussie potboiler that proved all soufflé.

News & CA: Seven News won nationally, but thanks to the 124,000 margin in Perth. Nine won Sydney and Melbourne, and Adelaide. Seven also won Brisbane. Ten News averaged 851,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 235,000. In the morning, weekend Sunrise, 428,000, Landline, on the ABC at noon, 262,000. Insiders at 9am on the ABC, 225,000. Inside Business, 169,000 at 10am on the ABC. Offsiders at 10.30pm, 160,000. The 8am Nine News, 113,000, Meet the Press at 8am, 76,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share 6pm to midnight All People of 27.7% from Seven with 25.0%, Ten on 23.5%, the ABC with 19.4% and SBS 4.4%. Seven got close because of a solid margin in Perth. Ten was close in Brisbane and Adelaide. The folk in regional Australia didn’t take much to Seven’s changes. WIN/NBN won for Nine with 30.4%, with Southern Cross (Ten) second with 22.1%, Prime/7Qld third with 21/8% and the ABC on 20.4%. SBS finished with 5.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven didn’t win, in fact it was running third at one stage, but switching Dancing With The Stars to Sundays at 7.30pm worked. It cut Nine’s audience back (but the ABC, by returning Midsomer Murders to 8.30pm Sundays ate into Seven’s audience) and it enabled Seven to finish a close-ish second (compared to some of the distant finishes earlier in the year). With the strong programming tonight and tomorrow and with the AFL final on Friday night, Seven has won the week.

Nine’s Scorched got what it deserved last night. It is another example of overwrought TV drama from a Network that must still be wondering how it ever came to get Underbelly right. For all the online teasers, viral marketing and heavy promotion, the 1.125 million was appalling. Beaten by the safe, boring, Midsomer Murders on the ABC from 8.35pm to around 10.10pm. That says it all. There isn’t a dramatic surprise left in Midsomer Murders — yet they provided a far more credible story.

Dr Who, the repeat of Thank God You’re Here and Rove all had more surprises than Scorched. The program came at the end of the coldest August in 64 years with an average temperature of just over 12 degrees, that’s the coldest since World War Two.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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