The Winners: A dozen programs with a million or more viewers, starting with The Force at 8pm with 1.549 million people, Border Security second for Seven with 1.519 million at 7.30pm (a solid lead in for The Force), Seven News was 3rd with 1.447 million and City Homicide was 4th with 1.429 million (and down from last week by over 200,000.) That was thanks to the return of CSI to Nine at 8.30pm with 1.329 million. Today Tonight averaged 1.325 million at 6.30pm for new host Matt White. Seventh was the fresh episode of Two And A Half Men with 1.229 million at 7.30pm and next was Home And Away at 7pm for Seven with 1.221 million. That was just in front of the 7pm repeat of Two And A Half Men with 1.212 million people. The 7pm ABC News was 10th with 1.137 million, Nine News was 11th with 1.10 million and A Current Affair was 12th and last on the list with 1.039 million viewers at 6.30 pm. Australian Story averaged 909,000.

The Losers: Cold Case on Nine at 9.30 pm: 837,000. Easily beaten by Seven’s Bones, 959,000, which in turn was pipped by Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope with 979,000 (though it started at 9.35 pm). Australian Idol on Ten at 7.30pm, the verdict episode, 783,000 last night, 964,000 last Monday night) dear oh dear. That hurt Good News Week at 8.30pm which averaged 756,000 and then Supernatural at 9.30 pm, 659,000. No wonder Ten was 4th overall with the ABC in 3rd place.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally and in every market. The 7pm ABC news finished ahead of Nine News in Sydney and Melbourne in the night’s rankings. The 7.30 Report averaged 840,000 (it’s not feeling quite the heat from the weaker local version of Top Gear on SBS). Lateline averaged 402,000, Lateline Business, another sold effort with 201,000. Ten News averaged 775,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 317,000. SBS News, 203,000, the Late edition, 153,000 at 9.30 pm. 7am Sunrise, 367,000, 7am Today, 305,000 (a good start to the week!). Media Watch averaged 840,000.

The Stats: Seven won All people 6pm to midnight with 30.4% (32.4%) from Nine with 26.6% (24.1%, the boost from CSI was evident, and from a poor Cold Case). The ABC was 3rd with 19.3% (17.7%), Ten was 4th with 16.8% (18.1%) and SBS was on 6.8% (7.6%). Seven won all five metro markets and now leads the week, 28.2% to 26.8% for Nine. In regional areas Prime/7Qld won with 30.5%, from WIN/NBN with 25.6%, the ABC with 18.9%, Ten with 16.9% for Southern Cross and SBS on 8.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine’s addition of CSI to its Monday night schedule stopped the rot and took viewers from City Homicide, Nine still lost the night, but it was a little closer. Seven will win the week. But replying on an hour of Two And A Half Men, plus a fresh program off the satellite, shows how short of ratings material Nine is. Ten is in the same position, but worse. It’s good news for fans of CSI and Two And A Half Men, but 2009 is shaping up as absolutely miserable years for Nine and Ten if they can’t find a hit or five over the coming summer break.

Four Corners is commented on elsewhere: except to say, Can Do Better. The original Paul Barry report was strong and remains so, but the US subprime mortgage crisis has morphed into something vey, very different, and Four Corners has the resources to explain that to us. Lateline Business was again solid. Matt White started cautiously in the host’s chair at Today Tonight. There won’t be much difference to Anna Coren, but I wonder for how long will viewers like a bit of vanilla in such an aggressive program. Tracy Grimshaw lived up to reputation for being solid by carrying a boring episode of ACA to the finish of what looked like a very long half hour.

Last night Top Gear averaged 668,000 and seems to have settled there. It was barely okay. Mr Cox and Mr Brown are the worries as hosts. Not enough gravitas or cheek, or whit!

Tonight, Seven’s Find My Family, Packed To the Rafters and All Saints will again prove to be more popular with viewers than The Chopping Block, three eps of Two And A Half Men and 20 to 1 on Nine. Ten has Kenny’s World back at 8pm, according to some guides. Then NCIS and then the disappointing Rush. The ABC has Two In The Top End and then The Burning Season. SBS has episode two of The First Australians.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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