The Winners: 60 Minutes was tops with 1.475 million people, Seven News was second with 1.380 million and Dancing With The Stars averaged 1.344 million and Nine News was next with 1.255 million people. Nine’s 20 to 1 at 6.30pm averaged 1.255 million, Australian Idol on Ten did 1.168 million from 7.30pm, the 7pm ABC News was 7th with 1.065 million and the repeat of a 2003 Kath and Kim on Seven at 7pm averaged 1.044 million and reminded us of why the US version was so appalling.

The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie at 6.30pm on Seven, 985,000: not all that convincing, especially as it was up again a repeat of Thank God You’re Here on Ten with 817,000 and the 20 to 1 clip show on Nine. Walk The Line on Seven at 9pm (the Johnny cash biopic) averaged 830,000 and gave Nine’s Rugby League a run for its money. Ten’s Rove averaged 982,000 from 8.30pm.

The Losers: Hard to say last night. Californication on Ten at 9.40pm, 361,000. The new series of The Office on Ten after that show, 193,000. the second and last epISODE of The Long Firm on the ABC at 8.30pm, 520,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne and Adelaide. Ten News averaged 684,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 162,000. 8am Weekend Sunrise, 413,000, Landline on the ABC at Noon, 248,000. Early Weekend Sunrise from 7.30am, 185,000; Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 163,000, Inside Business, 134,000 on the ABC at 10 am, Offsiders at 10.30am, 109,000. Nine’s 8am Morning News, 102,000. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 65,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 31.6% in All people 6pm to Midnight (30.1% a week ago). Seven was next with 29.3% (27%). Ten was third with 20.5% (23.2%), the ABC was on 14.0% (14.6%) and SBS was on 4.7% (5.1%). Nine won Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Seven won Melbourne and Perth. In regional areas the Rugby League was too strong and WIN/NBN won for Nine with 33.5% from Prime/7Qld with 28.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.5%, the ABC 14.3% and SBS 5.5%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Australia-New Zealand Rugby League match did it for Nine last night by giving the network big wins in Sydney and Brisbane. That pushed it clear of Seven, but Seven will still win the week. Viewers in Sydney in particular didn’t appreciate Nine reverting to its old, arrogant ways last night. The Nine Network had promised to broadcast the Australia-NZ Rugby League World Cup game live last night when the broadcast deal was announced last year. But times are obviously tough and Nine wants to maximise earnings. So it kept 60 Minutes at 7.30pm to 8.30pm, then broadcast the “Opening ceremony” of the Cup and other preliminaries, so the TV broadcast didn’t start until 9.04pm, while the game had actually started at 8pm in Sydney.

Given the Nine and PBL Media current situation, the decision to maximise the ratings and revenue potential was understandable. Regular ad breaks and more ads in each break than a live broadcast mean more money). The audience 879,000 doesn’t sound much, but it was enough from 8.30pm to around 11pm to give Nine a consistent audience in Sydney and Brisbane. An interesting by-product of the football was that Melbourne (with 244,000 viewers) had more viewers than Brisbane (227,000).

Tonight: Top Gear. SBS has signed up for another series for 2009 of the local version. Hmmmm. The background for both programs next year will be far different as the car industry flounders around the world with the odd near miss and failure. We won’t hear or see any of that context on either program though. Seven has Border Security and The Force, then City Homicide and then Bones. Nine has two episodes of Two and a Half Men, Til Death at 8pm, then CSI and a repeat of CSI at 9.30pm. Nine has flicked Cold Case from the 9.30pm slot Mondays after it failed to find any of its old audience.

Ten has Will and Grace at 7pm instead of Friends. It is using an old Seven series to replace an old Nine series, which shows us just how desperate times are at Ten. Will and Grace comes to Ten via Pay TV, which got it after Seven. Ten also has the underperforming verdict episode of Australian Idol at 7.30pm and then Good News Week at 8.30pm. The ABC has an interesting Australian Story tonight, and then Four Corners looks at the Australian Federal Police, which should be worth a look. Andrew Denton talks to Michael Parkinson on Enough Rope at 9.35pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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