The Winners: Packed To The Rafters was again tops for Seven at 8.30pm with 1.945 million people, followed by Find My Family at 8pm for Seven with 1.735 million. RSPCA Animal Rescue averaged 1.705 million at 7.30pm; Seven News was 4th with 1.545 million and Today Tonight was 5th with 1.470 million and Home and Away won the 7pm slot for Seven with 1.337 million. Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.264 million at 7pm. Wipeout averaged 1.230 million at 7.30pm on Nine for an hour and All Saints finished 9th and averaged 1.220 million and won the 9.30pm slot for Seven. Nine News was 10th with 1.2 million and the 7pm ABC News was next with 1.168 million. 12th was the first episode of Two and a Half Men at 8.30pm with 1.113 million and the 9pm episode was next with 1.104 million. A Current Affair was 14th with 1.102 million. Two in The Top End of Australia averaged 953,000 for the ABC at 8pm. Ten’s NCIS repeat at 8.30pm averaged 943,000.

The Losers: Rush, Ten at 9.30pm, 883,000. It’s dying. The race is on between it and The Strip to see which will hit bottom first. The Nine Network: Underbelly in Melbourne hasn’t worked. 417,000 viewers last night. Not as good as hoped, it is being used up as quickly as possible. Nine ran another episode last night. It couldn’t keep it in the Sunday evening slot at 8.30pm for the full five weeks. The Network can’t take a trick.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Brisbane. The 7pm ABC News in Sydney had more viewers in Sydney than Nine’s 6pm News, 344,000 to 295,000. The 7.30 Report audience in Sydney of 312,000 beat the ACA‘s Sydney audience with 287,000. Overall The 7.30 Report staged its now normal recovery from Monday night with Top Gear absent. The 7.30 Report averaged 921,000 people nationally. Lateline averaged 254,000 and Lateline Business, 160,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 201,000; Insight at 7.30pm, 238,000. The late News at 9.30pm 155,000. 7am, Sunrise, 379,000, 7am Today, 284,000. Ten News averaged 803,000 and the Late News/Sports Tonight, 406,000.

The Stats: Seven won well with a share of 35.1% (34.1% a week earlier) from Nine with 27.1% (24.9%), Ten with 18.6% (20.9%), the ABC with 15.1% (16.0%) and SBS with an unchanged 4.1%. Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week, 29.5% to 24.2% for Nine and 23.6% for Ten. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 36.0%, from WIN/NBN with 24.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.4%, the ABC with 15.1% and SBS with 4.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another Tuesday, another big win for Seven. Nine was sort of competitive, but without a fresh NCIS at 8.30pm, Ten was left behind, while the ABC was also without anything of interest to viewers, or so it seems. Packed To The Rafters shows Nine’s big problem. It needs two long form Australian dramas to attract and hold viewers. It has nothing right now that McLeod’s Daughters has ended with only a few eps to go. Nine is trying to get an ambulance/medical type emergency series up, but that is done in some way already by Medical Emergency on Seven, which shows real dramas as opposed to drama. Programs like RPA have also poached part of the medical audience. That will hurt Nine’s attempts to get Young Doctors up next year as an hour a week drama.

The other question confronting producers dealing with Nine is a lack of commitment about 2009 and a lack of money forthcoming to get productions underway. Nine and CEO David Gyngell seem to be trying to get producers to start work without a signed agreement and to pay for the early work themselves. That’s a novel way to run a business. If Nine is successful, you can bet Seven and Ten will try it on as well as they face the same sort of pressures on funding as the TV market’s outlook darkens.

Part of Nine’s problems it seems is the conditions attached to the Wipeout format now running on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm. Nine is making a local series at the Endermol Wipeout facility in Argentina. That’s expensive, but it is a cheaper option than the huge balloon payment was was due at the end of the current series. Nine got the series cheap on the proviso it spend the money on a local series or make a large one-off payment to Endermol. Endermol (Big Brother’s owners) win either way. Nine was desperate for the product and signed up earlier in the year. Now the grim reality of spending more more, not the best of ideas while PBL Media approaches a confrontation with its bankers next Tuesday with a new chairman in tow.

Tonight: Spicks and Specks and The Hollowmen from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Seven has Criminal Minds at 8.30pm and a repeat at 9.30pm. Crash Investigation Unit at 7.30pm and Medical Emergency at 8pm. Nine has an hour of Two and a half Men and Hole in The Wall and then the terrible Fringe and then at 9.30pm, Swearin Gordie Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares USA. Ten has Bondi Rescue Bali and Kenny’s World from 7.30pm to 8.30pm and then a fresh episode of House off the satellite from the USA, which will draw viewers from Fringe on Nine and Criminal Minds on Seven. Dateline on SBS at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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