The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.624 million (the Bathurst race finished just after 5pm, so viewers stuck around). Seven’s one-off special on the financial crisis at 6.30pm averaged 1.488 million. 60 Minutes was third with 1.357 million (with Kevin Rudd on board!) and The Mentalist averaged 1.258 million at 8.30pm to 9.30pm. That was down on the 1.334 million of week one, but still solid. Seven’s Bathurst race coverage averaged 1.240 million but was out of prime time, but made the day Seven’s. Kath and Kim, the US series, just after 7pm averaged 1.238 million. Midsomer Murders averaged 1.209 million from around 8.35pm to 10.10pm for its last episode in this series.

Australian Idol averaged 1.194 million from 7.30pm to 9pm in 8th. That did well in the relevant demos, according to Ten, but that’s a bit weak. Likewise Dancing With The Stars on Seven from 7.30pm to 9pm — it was 9th and averaged 1.167 million viewers. It was okay in the parts that I watched, but flat. The 5pm to 6pm part of the Bathurst car race averaged 1.139 million for Seven, and helped boost the 6pm News. Nine News averaged 1.138 million people, CSI Miami at 9.30pm, 1.066 million and Rove from 9pm to around 10pm, 1.010 million. The ABC Galapagos Islands special, 899,000, Ten’s repeat of Thank God You’re Here at 6.30pm, 962,000.

The Losers: Well, Kath and Kim might have averaged 1.238 million and there’s no doubt Seven did get a benefit from the program, but it wasn’t a patch on the local version. In fact it was another program completely and had nothing to do with the local original. Nine’s program Battlefronts from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. 857,000. Seven’s movie from 9pm, Shall We Dance, 651,000. It lost Seven the night in All People! Californication on Ten at 10.10pm, 546,000. Ten said it won its timeslot in 16 to 39. If I was Ten I wouldn’t be boasting of the fact that this crude and vulgar program is attracting such interest from young viewers late on a Sunday evening!

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Ten News averaged 644,000. SBS News, 173,000. The 7pm ABC News, 993,000. In the morning Weekend Sunrise was pre-empted by Seven’s car coverage from Bathurst, so Nine’s Sunday Morning News benefited with 247,000 from 8am to 9am. Landline on the ABC at Noon, 249,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 226,000, Inside Business, 196,000 and Offsiders, 129,000. Meet the Press on Ten at 8am, 99,000.

The Stats: Nine won 6pm to midnight All People with a share of 26.9% (33.2% for the NRL Grand Final). Seven was second with 25.9% (25.2%), Ten was third with 22.3% (18.8%), the ABC with 19.4% (18.3%) and SBS with 5.4% (4.3%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven drew Melbourne with Nine and won Perth. In regional areas a clear win for Nine through WIN/NBN with 28.1%, from Prime/7Qld with 22.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.0%, the ABC with 20.9% and SBS with 7.3%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A win and a loss for Seven last night. The loss was the American version of Kath and Kim. The win was the half hour financial crisis special at 6.30pm: 1.4 million viewers was the reward, but it also emphasised who is the leader in news and current affairs. Why hasn’t the ABC been able to cobble together a prime time special, especially last night to match the effort of Seven? Yes it was a bit light on in places, but it ran rings around what Nine, Ten the ABC and SBS was doing.

It is in fact the third half hour special the network has done on the subject in the last month. The ABC has had more than worthwhile coverage each night with Lateline Business justifying its existence in the ABC line up and being rewarded with solid audience figures in the very late evening. Nine and Ten have gone missing. But why didn’t the ABC delay the start of the series on the Galapagos Islands and drop in an hour long special using the resources of correspondents New York, Washington, London, Japan and here in Australia? That it didn’t shows all the hallmarks of a lazy, insular approach to news and current affairs at the national broadcaster. That a commercial network had its second prime time go (and third overall) in a month and pre-empted its schedule (which is more important to it than to the ABC) says a lot about the bureaucratic sluggishness of the broadcaster’s news and current affairs and TV divisions.

Four Corners has Paul Barry returning to the subprime story in the US tonight. Why wouldn’t he have hosted it as a special last night? Nine’s Sunday Morning news is supposed to have a business content. Yesterday morning there was a solid chat between Ross Greenwood and Tara Brown, but then a cheap and out of date (and off the pace) US tape item. Why not another studio interview with a senior finance figure? Sky’s Sunday business program had an interview with Perpetual’s Matt Williams — that was on the pace!

Tonight: City Homicide after Border Security and The Force, then Bones. Matt White takes over at Today Tonight at 6.30pm. Ten looks a bit better: Australian Idol at 7.30pm, Good News Week is back at 8.30pm and Supernatural is at 9.30pm. Nine has a repeat and a “new’ episode of Two and a Half Men from 7pm to 8pm, then Til Death, and returns CSI fresh off the US Network to 8.30pm and then a fresh episode of Cold Case at 9.30pm. A real cop punch ’em up evening on Seven and Nine. The ABC has Australian Story, Four Corners, Media Watch and Enough Rope with Imran Khan. SBS has episode three of Top Gear.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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