The Winners: The meandering of Pete Costello paid off for 60 Minutes last night. Top of the pile with 1.713 million as Ray Martin and the reluctant backbencher chatted to each other. In all reality readings from the book would have been just as effective. I wonder how many Nine viewers will rush to read the book when it’s published later this week?

Nine News was strong, thanks to the thrilling fourth NRL final that Melbourne lost. The news averaged 1.638 million. Seven News was 3rd with 1.490 million and Nine’s “Fringe sneak peak” averaged 1.416 million, briefly. Battlefronts on Nine at 6.30pm started with a solid debut audience of 1.286 million and Midsomer Murders averaged 1.233 million at 8.30pm on the ABC. Australian Idol was 7th for Ten with 1.224 million for two hours from 7.30pm and pushed the network in front of Seven. Next was Seven’s 6,30pm program The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie: 1.187 million — not good enough. Dr Who averaged 1.169 million from 7.30pm to around 8.15pm and was more believable than the Ray/Pete double act; Dancing With The Stars shed 200,000 viewers or so from the week before to average 1.167 million from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Thank God You’re Here was repeated at 6.30pm by Ten drawing 1.136 million viewers and last night again proved what a disappointment Hollowmen on the ABC really is and why Working Dog should really be making a new series of Thank God and not something as empty as Hollowmen. The 7pm ABC news averaged 1.113 million, Seven’s 7pm program, Outback Wildlife Rescue, 1.057 million was 13th and the ABC News update around 8.25pm averaged 1.032 million.

The Losers: None really, but Seven’s Dancing With The Stars, Outdoor Room, Outback Wildlife Rescue and Private Practice were all underwhelming, especially Private Practice which only averaged 722,000 at 9.30pm and deserves the Shepherd’s Crook to get it off TV sets around the nation by next Sunday evening.

News & CA: Seven news won in Melbourne and Perth last night at 6pm, as the NRL finals and the close and dramatic win by Auckland pushed up audiences in Sydney and Brisbane. Nine was hurt in Melbourne by showing the game live, but deserves credit for that. Ten News averaged 873,000. SBS News at 6.30pm 256,000. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise from 8am on Seven, 427,000; Landline on the ABC at noon, 327,000. Weekend Sunrise early from 7.30am, 142,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 195,000; Inside Business, 137,000, Offsiders, 114,000; Sunday morning News on Nine at 8am, 104,000. Meet the Press on Ten from 8am to 8.30am, 89,000. Nine’s Sunday morning News was beaten in the first half hour by Meet The Press: 89,000 to 80,000 from 8am to 8.30am.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 29.8% from 6pm to midnight in All People. Ten was second with 22.8% (21.4%), Seven was third 22/5% )27/3%), the ABC was on 19.6% (20.9%) and SBS was on 5.3% (7.3%). Nine won everywhere but Perth where it and Seven drew. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN for Nine with 28.5% from Prime/7Qld with 23.0%, the ABC third with 22.0%, Southern Cross for Ten with 17.0% (Australian Idol bombed in the bush) and SBS, 9.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A ratings turnaround as last Sunday’s winner, the Seven Network, finishes third last night, behind Nine (boosted by Underbelly in Melbourne) and the Ten. Dancing With The Stars slumped as viewers opted for 60 Minutes and Midsomer Murders, and Underbelly in Melbourne. Underbelly averaged 575,000 for episode one and 594,000 for the second from 9.30pm. Some in TV reckon that’s not good as Nine might have wanted and was around 350,000 to 450,000 under what it would have got in the market first time around, if it hadn’t been banned. But Nine would have been happy with the numbers because for the first time in weeks, it has gotten clear air on a Sunday night. As chuffed as Nine might be, tonight brings a nasty reminder that Seven has a stronger Monday night.

Yanking Gordon Ramsay and his Kitchen Nightmares from tonight and shoving it into 10pm Wednesday was a blow. The success of last night’s “sneak peek” at Fringe, Wednesdays at 8.30pm, shows there’s an audience there for the spooky programs of the Lost kind. It won’t last but will help bolster Wednesday nights for a while for Nine while it still a novelty for viewers, much in the way Heroes and Lost were for Seven.

Australian Idol was solid last night for Ten and seeing it was a 9.30pm start for Rove, the 825,000 audience wasn’t bad. Better than Private Practice on Seven. Midsomer Murders on the ABC at 8.30pm again destabilised the night for Seven this time. Dexter at 10.40pm, 516,00. Not very good for Ten, at all.

Tonight it’s City Homicide on Seven after Border Security and The Force, plus Bones. Nine has The Life of Mammals and then the good Jack Nicholson movie, Something’s Gotta Give from 8.30pm to 11.15pm. That’s a long time and it will be a tough night. Ten has Idol results, then 90210. This week could very well make or break it here. The program’s US audience fell from its debut, but it didn’t get many here last week on debut. Burn Notice is being ignored by audiences, so Ten could do it tough as well. Australian Story on the ABC is for the strong of heart, Four Corners looks mildly interesting, so does Enough Rope at 9.35pm. Top Gear on SBS at 7.30pm will worry The 7.30 Report, going on the last couple of Monday nights.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports