The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.507 million, followed by the first episode of Criminal Minds at 8.30pm with 1.472 million. Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.457 million. The second episode of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.414 million at 8pm and 1.406 million at 7.30pm. Seven’s Medical Emergency averaged 1.318 million at 8pm and Spicks and Specks averaged 1.237 million at 8.30pm for the ABC. Seven’s 7.30pm program, Crash Investigation Unit averaged 1.223 million and the repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.200 million in 9th spot. Home and Away was 10th for Seven at 7pm with 1.190 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.100 million. The 6pm Nine News averaged 1.068 million in 12th and final spot. Seven’s repeat of Criminal Minds at 9.30pm averaged 964,000. A Current Affair averaged 964,000 in 14th spot — a terrible figure.

The Losers: Nine’s Fringe at 8.30pm, 671,000. Jamie’s Ministry of Food in the 7.30pm slot on Ten: 700,000. House on Ten at 8.30pm, 885,000. No lead-in. CSI New York at 9.30pm, 669,000, because of the terrible numbers for Fringe. The repeat of Summer Heights High on the ABC at 9.30pm, 509,000. I know the ABC doesn’t worry about ratings, and the decision to repeat Summer Heights High shows that line of thinking. The ABC is really saying it doesn’t care about viewers. Lazy programming. That’s over 800,000 fewer viewers than watched the series first up a year ago.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Ten News, 769,000, Ten’s late News/Sports Tonight, 353,000. Not bad after so much rubbish earlier in the night. The 7.30 Report, 851,000. It had more viewers in Sydney than ACA. Lateline, 304,000, Lateline Business, a solid 187,000. SBS News, 118,000. Dateline, 216,000, the 9.30pm SBS News, 202,000. 7am Sunrise, 371,000, 7am Today, 304,000.

The Stats: Seven’s night. The end of ratings can’t come quickly enough for the others. Seven had 33.4% (31.6%). Nine was on 25.1% (25.0%); Ten on 18.9% (19.2%), the ABC on 18.7% (20.1%) and SBS was 3.9% (4.2%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 31.3% to 25.8% for Nine. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 32.1% from WIN/NBN with 24.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.7%, the ABC with 16.4% and SBS with 6.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Ten and Nine are firing popguns at Seven and having no impact. Last night saw Seven win despite its line up being weaker on paper than what on Mondays and Tuesdays. Ten had another night it would rather forget, and apart from the success of the fresh episodes of Two and a Half Men, Nine wasn’t anywhere near competitive.

A Current Affair’s audience fell under 1 million for first time in quite a long time for a Wednesday night. The change from Anna Coren to Matt White as host of Today Tonight on Seven hasn’t impacted that program. ACA host, Tracy Grimshaw looked as though her heart wasn’t fully in the job last night. It’s a thankless task having to front a program that is such a concoction of crap segments. Its making Today Tonight look brilliant (and I’m not saying that because I featured in one of the TT segments last night). It’s just that ACA and Nine management have done nothing to make the move by White into the host’s chair at TT difficult.

White’s had the easiest of introductions because the opposition has been so weak. Outsiders always blame the hosts in these programs for problems, but it’s really a failure of the management of the program and those who oversee them. The content is driven by the EP and senior producers and at ACA its been especially weak. Anna Coren did TT and Seven a big service by agreeing to go early. She had been prepared to work up till the end of ratings in November, but Seven saw a chance to make the switch earlier with Matt White being exposed last weekend hosting the Bathurst carbon emitters race. It was a bit of a gamble, but in the end, Nine made it a no-brainer. TT beat ACA by 457,000 viewers last night nationally, a huge margin.

Tonight, Nine can at least hold up its head because of RPA and Getaway. But the appalling The Strip will be on at 8.30pm to deter viewers. Seven has The Amazing Race back at 8.30pm, which meant Heroes is pushed out to 9.30pm from last week’s return. Prison Break is still there at 10.30pm and Scrubs at 11.30pm. Make Me a Supermodel at 7.30pm on Seven — nooooooo! Ten has Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? at 7.30pm. Ten then has the now standard two hours of Law and Order. The ABC has a program on The Pharaoh’s Lost Treasure (where did they leave it? on the BBC, on Cable TV somewhere?) at 8.30pm and then a Doco called Playing In the Shadows (gee we miss Q&A). SBS has Inspector Rex, again — grrrr!

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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