Seven blows Nine and Ten away Yesterday Nine’s veteran producer and media attack dog, David Hurley issued a witty statement headlined Dwindling Dancing To The Stars to take a poke at the way the Seven program’s return was ‘unsuccessful’ compared to Nine’s 60 Minutes in the same slot at 7.30 pm Sunday night. On the face of it, it was.

Nine ignored that Dancing With The Stars then did better than Nine’s fatuous telemovie, Scorched at 8.30 pm for a while (as did Midsomer Murders on the ABC and Idol on Ten). Dancing With The Stars was put into the 7.30 pm timeslot for a purpose and it worked. Last night Seven just programmed normally and blew Nine and Ten away, for the second Monday night in a row. So what press release will be issued today about Nine’s heroic loss to Seven, or for that matter, how will Ten spin was was a rotten night? Australian Idol might have done well, but that was only one hour out of six in prime time. Neighbours was solid at 6.30 pm and everything else went on leave for Ten.

‘Nine Missing in Action” perhaps? On Sunday night TV critics said Nine won ‘easily’ beating Seven 27.7% to 25.0%. So when Seven won last night 33.0% nationally to 24.5% for Nine, and moved into the lead in the week with 28.9% to 26.1%, and will go further ahead after its strong line up tonight, how will Nine be telling its ‘clients’ and that Seven is Dwindling? Dancing With The Stars only has to bring Nine back to the sort of margin it did on Sunday night for Seven to stand a very good chance of winning every week from now until the end of ratings.

Nine has fluffed its relaunch after the Olympics, just as Seven stuttered at the start of the year. It took Seven months to get up to full speed, but it found viewers had decamped to Nine and Ten. The Olympics proved to be a circuit breaker for Seven and gave Seven big audiences every day to promote its news line up to. Seven is now reaping the benefits of that opportunity. Wednesday night is a problem, Nine is pushing a blokey Thursday night again with The Strip and The Footy Shows, which only have a month to go anyway. It’s still there for Nine to fight back, but it will need more than just a cute headline on a press release about just one night; just as Seven will need to keep at it until the end of ratings in three months’ time. — Glenn Dyer

Close to the bone, or close to home? And it was a good thing that Seven’s City Homicide had a big disclaimer at the end of last night’s program that the events and characters portrayed in last night’s episode were fictitious etc etc.. And it obviously needed that sort of legal escape clause, because the story had an AFL team whose strip was in black and white; a club chairman who was pushy, young, wore sharp suits (Armani?) worried about the club image, sponsors and was ‘well-connected’ around town with government ministers and senior police; and with the storyline centering on a footballer (club star, captain, best and fairest) who was bashed and murdered, but who was having an affair with his ‘best mate’s wife.

And the best mate was a fellow team player, salt of the earth and not as talented, the parallels would have been obvious to quite a few people. The team colours were black and white vertical stripes and their was the outline of a bird on the front: Seven rented the MCG for shots of the club practice and in the club offices. And, not only did the dead star player have an affair with his best mate’s wife, he was also prone to mauling and propositioning other women and other wives, so the storyline went.

City Homicide last night would have had as much legalling by lawyers as any fictional drama has had. Only Underbelly would have had more (should have in Melbourne). For someone in far away Sydney, but knowing some of the events in recent years in Melbourne and the colours of the club strip, I was stunned. It’s no wonder last night’s episode averaged 520,000 viewers in Melbourne, second only nationally to the 532,000 who watched the half hour Border Security in Sydney at 7.30 pm to 8 pm.– Glenn Dyer

Now that the ‘sub-editors’ are going we may see more of this?


 — Crikey reader Steve Woods

  Russian police kill Web site owner. The owner of an independent Web site critical of authorities was shot and killed Sunday by police in a volatile province in southern Russia, his colleague said. The killing of owner Magomed Yevloyev could incite tensions in the province of Ingushetia west of Chechnya, which has been the site of frequent attacks on police and other officials. — Sydney Morning Herald Seeking to sell? Alliterate like hell. Coca-Cola. I think we can all agree that’s a pretty good brand name, right? Ever think about why? It’s not just the billions of ad bucks behind it. It’s all the K-sounds — three of them in quick, cute, clever succession — not to mention two soft A’s. In other words, Coca-Cola is a name bubbling over with mnemonic devices: alliteration and rhyme. The two devices don’t have a lot of today’s ad folk behind them. “There’s a lot of stigma attached to alliteration,” says Chris Bettin, associate creative director at Moroch Partners in Dallas. — AdAge Onion gets serious The Onion, a “fake news” source, announces the launch of Decider, a serious local entertainment website featuring interviews, event information and restaurant reviews, writes Tech Crunch. The site’s content will focus on the Chicago area, although more cities are planned to be included soon. Decider”s “clean” interface will use Google Maps to locate reviewed restaurants and provide a calendar showing future events. “Regular” editorial content would be accompanied by users’ own reviews and comments, reports Tech Crunch. — The Editor’s Weblog