The Winners:  Seven News on top with 1.431 million people watching; Today Tonight was second with 1.322 million and The Strip on Nine at 8.30pm was 3rd with 1.248 million. Home and Away was next with 1.234 million and Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men was 5th with 1.209 million. Getaway averaged 1.162 million, while A Current Affair was 7th with 1.071 million. Nine News was next with 1.070 million and the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.067 million viewers in 9th. Ten debuted the new series of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader and 1.057 million parents watched while their 5th graders did other things. Life for Make Me A Supermodel, back over 1 million with 1.052 million. Law and Order CI at 8.30pm, 999,000, Ghost Whisperer from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, 921,000, Law And Order SVU at 9.30pm 908,000. The Footy Shows on Nine at 9.30pm, 873,000, down 177,000 on last week.

The Losers: Taken Out, 609,000 hardy souls still watching it at 7pm on Ten (are they waiting for Friends to re-appear?) Inspector Rex at 7.30pm, 375,000 — a travesty when that repeat gets so many compared to the repeat of The Circuit on SBS at 8.30pm with 146,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight lost Melbourne to ACA. The ABC 7pm News beat Nine News in Sydney again to finish second in the news rankings behind Seven. The 7.30 Report with 291,000 viewers in Sydney was 6,000 behind ACA. The 7.30 Report had 913,000 viewers nationally. Lateline, 289,000, Lateline Business, 165,000. Ten News 766,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 394,000. SBS News at 6.30pm on SBS 228,000, the 9.30pm late edition, 109,000. 7am Sunrise, 404,000, 7am Today, 308,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 28.7% (30.2%) from Seven with 27.5% (26.2%), Ten with 22.0% (23.0%), the ABC, 17.1% (16.1%) and SBS 4.7% (4.5%). Seven won Sydney and Perth , Nine won Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven leads 30.9% to 24.9% for Nine. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 31.3% from Prime/7Qld with 25.7%, Ten (Southern Cross) with 20.6%, the ABC with 16.3% and SBS with 6.0%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A strange night of TV. The Strip again did well for Nine at 8.30pm, but it dropped almost 200,000 viewers from its 1.452 million start last week. Melbourne loves it more than Sydney (probably because of the sunshine).

The Footy Shows were weak, especially the AFL one in Melbourne which shed 87,000 viewers from last week’s 455,000. Given that it’s week two of the finals, that’s not a good outcome. Given that it’s week one of the NRL finals, audiences in Sydney and Brisbane were a touch lower than last week for the NRL Footy Show, so not a good look either. The solid audiences for The Strip and the AFL Footy show still enabled Nine to have a win in Melbourne and nationally. But in the most important market, Sydney, Seven clearly out-rated Nine and had a bigger win than Nine had in Melbourne. But Nine had a bigger win in Brisbane with The Strip doing well and Seven’s Make Me A Supermodel underperforming in that market at 7.30pm. A strange night.

The Strip was clichéd last night and its clear the story development has been rushed and not well though out. But there is still the makings of an interesting idea for a cop program. But with Queensland Government money in there its clearly a travelogue with some actors playing police people moving their way through the various scenes. Frankie J Holden remains office bound. He must be unable to walk or even drive. If The Strip doesn’t show some life in the next fortnight, viewers won’t be happy.

The trouble with the Footy Shows is the make up of the finals: In the NRL final, it will be either the Melbourne Storm or Manly who win and both do not attract big viewing audiences, anywhere. In Melbourne, apart from the Swans, it is all local AFL teams. Even if the Swans win tonight, they face Geelong next week. Geelong might argue it is separate to Melbourne, but in other states they are one and the same.

Audiences for the grand finals on Seven (AFL) and Nine for the NRL won’t be brilliant. But the NRL is again an international series with the Auckland Warriors playing Melbourne on Sunday (NZ playing Australia). No hope of that happening in the AFL. Other sport besides the NRL and AFL finals this weekend include the Bledisloe Cup game, sorry, final tri-Nations game in Brisbane tomorrow night between Australia and the All Blacks.

For non-sport, Better Homes and Gardens on Seven tonight, Dancing With The Stars on Seven on Sunday night, Midsomer Murders on the ABC Sunday night and a cleaned up Underbelly in Melbourne on Sunday night. Ten has Idol and Rove. Saturday night is NRL and AFL, plus the Thugby from Brisbane.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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