The Winners: 18 programs with a million or more viewers last night. very democratic on a night where Seven had another big win. Seven News was tops with 1.538 million, Criminal Minds was next with 1.478 million and Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.422 million. Nine’s Two and a Half Men (very popular with men and most women last night in the younger demos) — 1.405 million for the fresh 7.30pm episode. Seven’s Medical Emergency averaged 1.353 million at 8pm and Crash Investigation Unit, 1.320 million at 7.30pm. The 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.308 million and Home and Away was 8th with 1.308 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.221 million and the appalling boring Hole In The Wall averaged 1.145 million at 8pm for Nine in 11th spot. Next was Nine News with 1.141 million and then in 13th was A Current Affair with 1.138 million. Kenny’s World on Ten at 8pm averaged 1.128 million (I’ll give it another couple of weeks — the movie was much better). The 9.30pm repeat of Criminal Minds on Seven averaged 1.109 million and the 9pm first episode of series two of The Hollowmen averaged 1.053 million. The 7.30 Report averaged 1.030 million and The New Inventors on the ABC at 8pm averaged 1.026 million for 18th and last spot.

The Losers: Nine’s movie from 8.30pm: Fun With Dick And Jane, 732,000. Not funny at all. Next week it’s The Fringe from the US, a supposedly hot new show with Lost overtones. We will see. Lost died here, if Nine hadn’t noticed. Taken Out, Ten, 7pm, 650,000. Repeats of Friends were doing better (I think I may have pointed that out before, but the point is worth making again). Bondi Rescue Bali at 7.30pm on the cusp with 815,000. There’s a good idea there about cultures meeting and accommodating each other, but will we see it? It was a bit of a travelogue, but it was episode one and the story line has to be established. So You Think You Can Dance on Ten for two hours from 8.30pm: 808,000. Very Small Business on the ABC at 9.30pm — droll, dry, but the odd smile — 758,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Brisbane. Nine News finished third in Sydney and Melbourne behind the ABC News in second and Seven News in front. Ten News averaged 805,000 viewers. The late News/Sports Tonight, 478,000. Lateline, 310,0900, Lateline Business, 186,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 194,000, Dateline, 184,000, 9.30pm SBS News, 136,000. 7am Sunrise, 376,000, 7am Today, 301,000.

The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm to midnight as well as 18 to 49 and 25 to 54s last night with a share of 31.6% (31.5%) from Nine with 24.0% (25.1%), the ABC with 21.1% (18.7%), Ten with 19.7% (20.5%) and SBS with 3.5% (4.1%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 31.7% to 24.0%. (Nine will improve that tonight with the Footy Shows). In regional areas another big win to prime/7Qld with 33.6% from WIN/NBN with 24.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.8%, the ABC with 17.8% and SBS on 5.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Strange as it might seem but the ghost of Eddie McGuire seems to be back among the ruins at the Nine Network. Not on air or anything, but Nine’s performance since the Olympics has been as ham-fisted as anything Eddie McGuire could dream up during his time as CEO. And this week is no different, Nine has simply allowed Seven to have four strong nights in a row, with only the occasional spoiler, from programs like Two and a Half Men.

Last night the ABC ran third for the second time this week as Ten’s programming holes kept opening as well. Being beaten by the ABC doesn’t mean much in commercial TV competition, but it does matter in terms of what the viewers would like to see. Nine and Ten have started drifting and need to toss out a couple of very heavy anchors, very quickly, to halt their drift.

So tonight, the NRL and AFL Footy Shows are approaching season’s end, with the AFL once again expected to rate well. With Getaway and the second episode of The Strip, that’s Nine. What will be of interest is whether The Strip holds all of last week’s 1.4 million plus viewers. A loss would be a blow to Nine. The program is okay, but with viewers deserting Ten’s Rush on Tuesday night, a similar thing happening to The Strip wouldn’t surprise. For the sake of local production, I hope it doesn’t happen. But can someone fix up the scripts, please?

Seven has two hours of Ghost Whisperer, Make Me A Supermodel for an hour from 7.30pm and Home and Away. SBS has poor old Inspector Rex at 7.30pm, but a strong (even in repeat) episode of The Circuit at 8.30pm. Ten has the next series of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? returning at 7.30pm and then two hours of Law And Order (CI and SVU). The ABC has Family Footsteps (which would rate its socks off on Seven or even Nine); and Q&A at 9.30pm.

Watch The Strip, to see if it improves and to support local Australian TV drama. There’s a shortage of that on the ABC, if you hadn’t noticed. Strange how the reviled commercial networks are again taking more risks with Australian drama (and so is SBS in its own way) than the ABC.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports