The Winners
10 programs with a million viewers or more last night. Seven News was tops with 1.346 million, followed by Today Tonight with 1.301 million and the ABC’s Harold Holt doco with 1.241 million at 8.30 pm. Home And Away won the 7 pm slot for Seven with 1.168 million, ahead of Nine’s repeat of Two And A Half Men at 7 pm with 1.143 million people. 6th was Ten’s 8.30 pm Law and Order, Criminal Intent, with 1.118 million and Nine’s 9.30 pm program RPA was 7th with 1.044 million. Getaway averaged 1.039 million at 7.30 pm for Nine and the repeat of Law And Order SVU at 9.30 pm averaged 1.016 million in 9th spot,. Last in 10th was Seven’s The Amazing Race with 1.008 million. Make Me A Supermodel on Seven at 7.30 pm averaged 978,000.

The Losers
Losers? The Strip on Nine: 843,000. Cut back by the success of the Harold Holt doco on the ABC. 5th Grader on Ten at 7.30 pm: 891,000. Not good. Heroes on Seven at 9.30 pm, 696,000. Prison Break on Seven at 10.30 pm, 389,000. Inspector Rex on SBS at 7.30 pm, 384,000. All the usual losers for a Thursday night!

News & CA
Aware readers might have noticed the absence of Nine News and A Current Affair from the million viewer group of most watched programs last night, and the 7 pm ABC News. The latter was just the normal rise and fall of viewer numbers. Nine News’ absence is explained in detail below in comments. A short explanation is incompetence and confusion by programming departments. A Current Affair suffered from the low numbers for Nine News (The News seems to have averaged 1.009 million). ACA got 976,000. A bad figure. The program is looking more and more like an easy cost savings for PBL Media. According to the scattered Nine News lost Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to Seven and drew with Seven in Brisbane. The 7 pm ABC news in Sydney again had more viewers than the 6 pm Nine News. ACA lost everywhere bar Brisbane where it managed another narrow win. The Perth version of ACA from WIN averaged 59,000 and is being rejected by viewers there. The 7 pm ABC News averaged 979,000 people. The 7.30 Report, 816,000, Lateline, 307,000 and Lateline Business, a still solid 183,000. Ten news At Five averaged 719,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 489,000. 6.30 pm World News Australia on SBS, 166,000, the 9.30 edition. 131,000. 7 am Sunrise on Seven, 343,000, 7 am Today on Nine, 303,000. Close again!

The Stats
Nine All people 6 pm to midnight with 26.9% (29.2%) from Seven with 26.8% (27.6). Ten was third with 23.0% (222.0%), the ABC was on 18.9% (16.6%) and SBS finished with 4.5% (4.6%). Seven said it 16-39s, 18-49s, 25-54s 6 pm to midnight. Nine won Brisbane (where its doing well at the moment). Seven won Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads the week 30.6% to 26.9% for Nine. In regional areas a clear win to Nine win WIN? NBN on 27.2%, Prime/7Qld on 24.8%, Southern Cross on 22.7% for Ten, the ABC on 19.9% and SBS on 5.4%

Glenn Dyer’s comments
What’s happening at 6 -7pm on the Nine Network across the country? It looks as though a version of ratings suicide is being practised. Mistakes programming novices would make are appearing. Earlier in the week there was the one night blip when the new WIN version of ACA was coded differently too Nine’s regular ACA and the impression was left that the regular ACA had a lower audience than it (the overall figure was still rotten). But last night coding differences saw Nine News (PBL Media Nine, that is) with figures together for Melbourne and Brisbane of 576,000 in total. The Sydney News was coded separately as Nine New and averaged 273,000 (Not brilliant) and then the WIN News were down as National Nine News with 109,000 in Adelaide and a very low 60,000 in Perth. It sounds like the ‘clerks’ in programming all had a brain snap , or were out to lunch.

What was not in dispute was that for the second night in a row ACA failed to get more than a million viewers: 994,000 on Wednesday night and 976,000 last night. And the confusion over the codings for the news (and the subsequent amendments to sort out the mess) are a sign of a media broadcast group whose internal processes are collapsing. But the confusion at Nine, while important, wasn’t the big story on TV last night.

It was the solid reception given to the Harold Holt doco at 8.30 pm on the ABC. It ranked Number 3 on the most watched list last night in metro markets with 1.241 million and Number 1 in regional areas with 540,000 people. It deserved it. It was solid, well made and well acted and coherent (like the Bogle Chandler doco from the same maker back in 2006). it again shows the commercial networks what can be done with a bit of time and money and good people. It made the opposition (The Strip on Nine, Law And Order on Ten and The Amazing Race on Seven) look clunky. Just as Seven is having enormous success with local product, the Harold Holt doco was an Australian production supported by Australian viewers. Must be a message there for Ten and Nine, but it doesn’t seem to be getting through.

Tonight Better Homes And Gardens on Seven, the various Statewides around the country on the ABC, Taggart, on the ABC and that’s it. Tomorrow night there’s keep a good book handy or get some movie tickets, a DVD or videogame. There’s nothing on except perhaps Rough Diamond on the ABC and Rockwizz on SBS, and the repeat of the Bob Dylan doco on SBS (Part 2). The Rugby league World Cup starts on Nine tomorrow night, but its out of season, while Sunday night Australia plays NZ in the League World Cup’s second game. Again, who cares, its out of season. Elsewhere Dancing With The Stars on Seven, local repeats of Kath and Kim, the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line on Seven at 9 might be worth a look. Nine also has 60 Minutes. Ten has Idol and Rove and the return of the US version of The Office. The ABC, well, the Galapagos Island’s final part at 7.30 pm looks the highlight.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.