The Winners: The Melbourne Cup race was tops with 2.156 million initially, but 2.263 million based on actual race time. Packed To The Rafters climbed back over the two million mark to average 2.067 million for a very solid episode. Find My Family at 8pm on Seven was 3rd with 1.783 million and its 7.30pm lead-in, The Zoo averaged 1.721 million. Seven News averaged 1.515 million and Home and Away won 7pm with 1.416 million for Seven. Today Tonight was 7th with 1.333 million and All Saints won 9.30pm for Seven with 1.295 million and 8th spot. Perhaps the clearest and most dominant win of the year so far. All Seven’s seven prime time programs in the top seven spots, from 6pm to 10.30pm, with the cup thrown in for good measure. Ten’s 8.30pm program, NCIS was 9th with 1.239 million and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.172 million.

The Losers: The Chopping Block struggled manfully, but the competition is still unfair and off-putting. The 962,000 was okay, but not brilliant. The Two and a Half Men repeats from 8.30pm to 9.30pm: 822,000 and 877,000. Rush on Ten at 9.30pm, 886.000 — it shed 350,000 from NCIS.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally and in every market. Ten News averaged 844,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 476,000. The 7.30 Report, 907,000, Lateline, 244,000, Lateline Business, 174,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 161,000. Insight at 7.30pm, 258,000, the 9.30pm SBS News, 162,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven 459,999, 7am Today, 290,000.

The Stats: Seven won easily, across the board. It had a All People 6pm to midnight average of 36.9% (36.8% a week earlier), from daylight second and third, and then Nine with 23.3% (24.2%), Ten on 21.0% (unchanged), the ABC with 14.2% (13.3%) and SBS with 4.6% (4.7%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 31.4% to 25.4%. In regional areas a big win to Prime/7Qld with 38.6% from WIN/NBN with 21.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.4%, the ABC on 14.3% and SBS with 5.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: So the race that stopped the national only really halted 2.156 million of us (although all those at clubs and tracks around the country, and in pubs and clubs were not measured). That was better than last year’s with 2.191 million watched, but 2.272 million watched in 2006 and over 2.5 million in 2005 when Makybe Diva won. Another 808,000 watched in regional areas. So quite a few of us came to a halt.

ACA last night had one of the funniest segments on the Melbourne Cup I have seen for years as Martin King flirted, kissed and ogled his way around the crowd. Even though ACA‘s numbers were down, Today Tonight had nothing like the Martin King report — full marks to ACA for a story that was a bit OTT at times, but summed up the race day that stops the nation very nicely.

Packed To The Rafters topped the 2 million mark last night, and again it was easy to see why. Family conflicts and tensions are very accurately captured with a fine storyline and some good scriptwriting.

Looking at last night, its now clear Seven’s switch of Dancing With The Stars to Sunday nights (and “sacrificing it”) has paid off because the Tuesday night figures are now better and more even than they were for most of last year. Nine and Ten will not have a chance of winning next year or even improving so long as they fail to match Seven on Monday and Tuesday nights, and on Friday nights.

Tonight: Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm on the ABC, The New Inventors at 8pm and The 7.30 Report for an intelligent wrap of the US elections. Seven has Crash Scene Investigators and two hours of Criminal Minds with a fresh episode and a repeat. Nine is desperate: three episodes of Two and a Half Men (all repeats) and a movie at 8.30pm starring Will Ferrell — the Lotto draw near the start might be the highlight. Ten goes desperate: The Big Cat Diary from the BBC via the ABC at 7.30pm, then the listless Life at 8.30pm, for two hours. Enough is enough. SBS has Dateline and its summing up of the US polls. Wednesday nights is becoming a dead zone.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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