The Winners:  Just five programs with a million or more viewers and A Current Affair failed to crack the million viewer list. Seven News was tops with 1.293 million and Today Tonight averaged 1.209 million in second place. 3rd was Home And Away with 1.137 million. Law And Order Criminal Intent was 4th with 1.022 million and Nine News was next with 1.016 million. ACA was on 957,000. The 7 pm ABC news was also weak with 935,000. Law And Order SVU at 9.30 pm, 930,000. For the second night in a row prime time audiences were down 10% on average from a year ago and more at times. A big loss, unexplained except for the earlier start of daylight saving this year?

The Losers: Losers? Hard to call many programs last night a loser when there seemed to be so little on. I suppose two hours of Heroes from 8.30 pm averaging 878,000 wasn’t all that hot, but it and the Model program at 7.30 pm (931,000) gave Seven a winning edge among 18 to 49s and 16 to 39s. Model beat 5th Grader on Ten at 7.30 pm (809,000). The 7.30 report had more viewers in the half hour than 5th grader did. Not even Rove can pump this deflating balloon up any more. Life on the ABC at 8.30 pm averaged 881,000 and had a few more viewers at times in that hour than heroes on Seven. The Strip averaged 957,000 and finished second behind a fresh ep of Law And Order CI on Ten with 1.022 million. One definite loser: SBS with Inspector Rex, 336,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Nine News and ACA were weak. The 7.30 Report had more viewers in Sydney than ACA did at 6.30 pm. Nine News managed to stay ahead of the ABC news in Sydney and Melbourne. The 7 pm ABC News was the weakest it has been for some weeks. Lateline averaged 252,000 and Lateline Business, 152,000. Ten news At Five, 681,000 World News. Late News/Sports Tonight, 457,000. World News on SBS at 6.30 pm, 1666,000, 167,000 for the Late edition at 9.30 pm. 7 am Sunrise, 332,000, 7 am Today up to 301,000 and a good result given daylight saving and the holidays in NSW.

The Stats:  Nine won with a share of 27.9% (26.9%) between 6.30 pm and midnight in all people. Seven was second with 27.0% (28.6%), Ten was third with 22.4% (20.7%), the ABC was next with 17.6% (19.5%) and SBS was on 5.1% (4.4%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and even Perth. Seven won Melbourne. Seven leads the week 30.6% to 27.0% for Nine. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 28.9%, from Prime/7Qld with 24.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.6%) and the ABC with 17.8%. SBS finished with 6.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: It was almost Friday night like. (When viewing levels are low) when only a few programs make a million viewers or more. Last night, just five, and A Current Affair finished with its worst figures this year with 957,000 on average nationally. That’s what it was getting late in the week late in the week (especially Friday nights) in summer. Daylight saving and school holidays might be having an impact, especially in Sydney but the stuff on TV last night wasn’t all that enthralling. Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men was, I think the second repeat of this tosh. 996,000. OK, but its losing its oomph for Nine.

There goes 7 pm in 2009? Unfortunately the ABC ended Q&A at a time when there was an opening for good intelligent programming to stand out. The financial crisis would have been an ideal basis for several programs. Better than the reheated turgid tosh that Kerry O’Brien has served up these past two nights on The 7.30 Report. The interview Wednesday night with henny penny Dr Steve Keen and then Kezza’s attempt to try and beat that up into a doom and gloom monstering of Kev Rudd simply failed. Ali Moore and Mark Bannerman had a better grasp of the issues around the crisis than Kezza did when they filled in for him.

The footy doco, The Fibros and The Silvertails was very entertaining, but there did seem to be some 60 Minutes footage from the 1979 season. Was the program about 1978, or 1979? 442,000 viewers not quite good enough though. Viewing for Pay TV this week in prime time is pretty miserable as well. It’s not one of TV’s finest weeks. The Strip plumbed the usual clichés in doing Getaway‘s job on the Gold Coast. Not even Getaway could crack a million viewers last night, and it’s perked up in recent months. But it still won the 7.30 pm slot! RPA helped Nine at 9.30 pm with 964,000, which is a bit better than some recent performances of the Footy Shows. Seven lost All People to Nine but won 16-39, 18-49 and 25 to 54s on a average , very average night of viewing. Tonight. Better Homes And Gardens on Seven. The movies on Ten, Seven and Nine tonight are tragic re-runs or failures. Ten has America’s Next Top Model. One guide earlier in the week had 90210 at 8.30 pm tonight. A later daily guide says that’s not the case. Does Ten really know what it is doing now? Taggart on the ABC and Murphy’s Law are OK, but need subtitles. Murphy’s Law is the second of a three parter, so if you missed last week, bad luck. Tomorrow night, don’t care. The ABC has a new six part series about a horse training stable in Ireland starting at 7.30 pm, Rockwiz and Iron Chef on SBS might be highlights for those not looking for an early nap on the couch.

Sunday evening: back to normal programming after the NRL GF last week. Dancing With The Stars, on Seven. Midsomer Murders’ final ep on the ABC, 60 Minutes on Nine at 7.30 pm and the second ep of The Mentalist on Nine at 8.30 pm which seems to have been its only success since the Games finished last month. If The Mentalist‘s audience falls noticeably from the 1.3 million start, then it won’t be such a success. The track record for Nine and Ten with new shows this year isn’t good. Idol and Rove on Ten. And there is a certain car race on Seven this weekend. Big carbon footprint, lots of trees need to be planted!

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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