The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.371 million, Nine’s CSI was second with 1.318 million and the repeat of Two and a Half Men from 7pm to 8pm averaged 1.265 million. Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.248 million, with A Current Affair next with 1.202 million. Seven’s 7pm program, Home and Away was 6th with 1.198 million; the repeat of Seven’s City Homicide at 8.30pm averaged 1.167 million and Nine News was 8th with 1.148 million. The 7pm ABC news was next with 1.132 million, Til Death at 8pm on Nine had 1.032 million (and was allowed to rise by Seven resting better programs in Border Security and The Force). Seven’s 9.30pm program, Bones averaged 1.002 million and was the last program on the million viewer list. The Rich List averaged 966,000 at 7.30pm, 600,000 down on what Border Security and The Force had been averaging. Enough Rope, 901,000.

The Losers: Australian Idol, 965,000 for the verdict episode. Sad really that Australians don’t want to know about the results of these programs in the same numbers as they watch the performances. It was the same for The Biggest Loser and Big Brother. There’s a real lack of engagement there with the program. Australian Idol‘s producers should stick a late performance “get out of jail” segment into the start of the verdict episode that might change the voting. Other losers: viewers of Seven from 7.30pm through to 9.30pm with the boring Rich List in for Border Security and The Force, and a repeat of City Homicide dropped in to replace a fresh episode which is being saved for next year. Top Gear, 653,000. Talk about viewer disengagement with a program and its hosts. Supernatural on Ten, 581,000 at 9.30pm. They didn’t see that one coming. Spooky.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Sydney where Nine snuck up for a rare win, 320,000 to 312,000. Seven News won well elsewhere. Today Tonight won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, but lost Sydney and Melbourne to ACA. Ten News averaged 888,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 370,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 934,000 (Top Gear is no longer a distraction). Four Corners at 8.30pm, 794,000, Media Watch, 711,000. Lateline, 367,000, Lateline Business, 178,000. SBS News at 6.30pm on SBS, 161,000, the late News at 9.30pm, 144,000. 7am Sunrise, up to a strong 412,000, 7am Today down to a low 257,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 28.0% (26%) in All People 6pm to midnight. Seven gave share to other networks. It was second with 27.5% (31.1%) from the ABC with 19.2% (18.8%), Ten with 18.5% (18.1%) and SBS with 6.8% (6.0%). Nine won Melbourne, Brisbane, Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. It was a win handed to Nine by Seven. Seven leads the week 28.4% to 28.0% for Nine.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven has switched off while Nine battles manfully away to try and prove a point, that its performance in 2008 will be better than the nadir it hit in 2007. It will, but will still be the second worst in its proud history and nowhere near the 2005 or 2006 levels in terms of prime time share.

Four Corners was interesting with another look at the US elections: it travelled to Ohio, a major “swing state”. Paul Barry’s subprime story from the US still gave me a better handle on the problems the US was and are confronting. It’s clear many Americans are still not quite on top of what is around the corner for the country in 2009.

Tonight no repeats for Seven. Fresh episodes of everything from Home and Away through to All Saints. The ratings battle for the week still has to be won. Nine has The Chopping Block, three episodes of Two and a Half Men and 20 to 1; Ten has Kenny’s World, NCIS and Rush, the ABC has nothing really and SBS has Charles Firth (AKA a former Chaser) goes to Washington. It’s predictable, from the promos on air.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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