The Winners: The second episode at 8pm of Nine’s Two and a Half Men averaged 1.549 million for top spot, with Seven News second with 1.517 million and the 7.30pm episode of Two and a Half Men 3rd with 1.371 million. Today Tonight was 4th with 1.327 million and Criminal Minds at 8.30pm was 5th for Seven with 1.270 million. Home and Away won 7pm for Seven with 1.206 million and the ABC’s Spicks and Specks was next with 1.202 million at 8.30pm. 8th was Seven’s Crash Scene Investigators for an hour from 7.30pm with 1.180 million. The 7pm repeat of Nine’s Two and a Half Men averaged 1.135 million and Nine News was 10th with 1.120 million. The 7pm ABC News was next with 1.103 million and A Current Affair was 12th with 1.078 million (and losing the big 1.2 million plus audiences of Monday and Tuesday nights).

The Losers: Nine’s The Mentalist recovered some viewers last night to top the million mark, but it is still down 400,000 or so from its Sunday night figures. So it’s moving out of the “loser” ward, but it’s well under previous efforts. CSI New York which followed The Mentalist, was an outright loser: 749,000 — is just not enough. Life on Ten with 757,000 was not an earth shatterer last night, but it beat the more expensive CSI New York, as did Seven’s repeat episode of Criminal Minds in the same slot. Jamie’s Ministry of Food on Ten at 7.30pm: 617,000 — keeping it on air is an act of charity on the part of Ten, a public service. House, 875,000 at 8.30 pm, edging back into non-loser range for Ten.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Today Tonight won everywhere, but Sydney. The 7pm ABC News with 347,000 viewers in Sydney had more viewers than Nine News an hour earlier at 6pm with 307,000. Nine News had more viewers in Melbourne. The 7.30 Report, 904,000, Lateline, 276,000, Lateline Business, 148,000. Ten News, 770,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 461,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 133,000, Dateline at 8.30pm, 235,000, the 9.30pm SBS News, 242,000, Newstopia, 195,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 346,000; 7am Today on Nine, 271,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share in All people 6pm to midnight, 30.9% (30.6%) from Nine with 27.2% (23.8%), Ten with 18.9% (21.5%), the ABC 18.6% (18.8%) and SBS, 4.5% (4.2%). Seven won all five metro markets: Sydney very narrowly, 0.2%. It leads the week 32.0% to 27.3%. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 31.1%, from WIN/NBN with 26.5%, the ABC third with 18.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.0% and SBS on 6.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another “usual” night for TV viewing: Seven won, Nine was a closer second than it was on Tuesday night and Seven sails on towards winning another week. Criminal Minds was tough to watch, a lot of guns from 8.30pm — it’s a grim program with a grim story line.

The program with solid form last night was Newstopia on SBS from just after 10pm. The way Nicholas Bell and Shaun Micallef discussed the Government’s efforts on the frozen mortgage trusts question was wonderful. Bell was the spokesman for the Federal Government and the way Micallef got him to go down the options for investors who couldn’t get their money out of these frozen trusts was priceless: they could try selling goods to Cash Converters, busking, or barter! Micallef’s’s tagline that there was one group of Australians not impacted by the freeze was very pointed: Australia’s Aborigines… he deadpanned.

Nothing equal to that tonight. The Strip on Nine, RPA and Getaway will make it competitive against Seven’s Supermodel, The Amazing Race and Heroes. Ten has Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader? and the usual two hours of Law and Order. The ABC has an interesting historical drama: Menzies and The War at 8.30pm, then a doco at 9.30pm looking at the NT Intervention one year on.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey