The Winners: Seven News won the night with 1.329 million people, Today Tonight second with 1.283 million, Law and Order Criminal Intent on Ten at 8.30pm, 1.211 for third, 4th was Home and Away at 7pm for Seven with 1.203 million and Seven’s The Amazing Race averaged 1.015 million at 8.30pm. Seven’s 9.30pm program Bones averaged 942,000. Seven’s Make Me a Supermodel averaged 985,000 at 7.30pm. Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men at 7pm averaged 997,000 and was a repeat of the first ever program, so we will now see yet more repeats from now on like a dog chasing its tail. RPA, 838,000 at 9.30pm.

The Losers: Well, Nine’s 6pm News: 903,000 nationally, A Current Affair, 879,000 nationally. Neighbours beat it in Sydney, 232,000 to 188,000. The Strip on Nine at 8.30pm, 834,000, Getaway at 7.30pm, 968,000 (Only a loser because he has done a lot better during the year). Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? on Ten at 7.30pm, 805,000. Viewers actually turned off TV last night. Numbers were low across the board. Not very good. Inspector Rex on SBS, 371,000 at 7.30pm.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market, as did TT. Nine News and ACA were beaten nationally by the 7pm ABC News and The 7.30 Report. The two ABC programs had more viewers in Sydney, ACA had more viewers in Melbourne, where the ABC News finished ahead of Nine as well. Even if it’s a blip, its an enormous warning that Nine’s slide in the back half of the year in the 6pm to 7pm slots is accelerating. Ten News averaged 762,000. The late News/Sports Tonight, 454,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 995,000, The 7.30 Report, 926,000, Lateline, 317,000, Lateline Business, 187,000 (it’s having a great financial crisis). 6.30pm SBS News, 171,000, the 9.30pm SBS News, 149,000. 7am Sunrise, 374,000, 7am Today, 294,000.

The Stats: Seven had a surprisingly easy win (Nine had been winning Thursdays fairly regularly after the footy season). Seven won All People with 29.2% (26.1% last week) from Nine with 25.3% (28.9%), Ten with 22.9% (21.9%), the ABC with 18.2% (unchanged) and SBS with 4.4% (4.8%). Seven won Sydney and Melbourne and Perth by good margins, snuck home in Brisbane by 0.1% and lost Adelaide to Nine. Seven leads the week 31.2% to 26.1%. In regional areas a different result with WIN/NBN winning for Nine with 28.5% from Prime/7Qld with 24.8%, Southern Cross (Ten), with 23.0%, the ABC with 17.9% and SBS with 5.8%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: One of then most momentous nights in TV for quite some time. For the first time in my recent memory, the 7pm ABC News and The 7.30 Report both finished ahead of Nine News and A Current Affair on a normal, everyday night. It’s not so much a sign of how much the ABC has improved: its 7pm news is still the same mixture of good and average that it normally is, and The 7.30 Report is still Kerry O’Brien and a supporting cast of guests and others. No, it’s a sign of how far Nine News and ACA have slumped. And they haven’t a clue about how to stop the rot.

The hour difference does make a difference at times when Daylight Saving is in place, but Nine News and ACA are promoted more heavily, and have more money spent on them, reporters, producers etc than the ABC product. Seven News and Today Tonight did okay last night, so daylight saving isn’t the reason. In Sydney Nine News came with in a wink of being beaten by Ten News in the rankings: 224,000 for Nine, 218,000 for Ten and its hour long news from 5pm. Ten’s News is low cost, deliberately so, Nine’s is more expensive. I know which network is getting more value for money.

Tonight, the ABC with Taggart and Murphy’s Law, Seven with Better Homes and Gardens. Nine has a Harry Potter repeat at 7.30pm: Ten has Ice Road Truckers and then the X-Men movie. Seven has a movie at 8.30pm called Transporter 2. SBS has a program called My Biggest Fan with Tara Morice that looks worth watching.

Tomorrow night, take your chances. But Seven has the great Wallace and Gromit movie, The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Sunday night is a bit of League on Nine and 60 Minutes. Seven has the grand final of Dancing With The Stars for two and a half hours, along with a Kath and Kim repeat. Ten has Australian Idol, Rove, Thank God You’re Here and an NCIS repeat. The ABC has another 2005 UK drama that has been moldering in a vault somewhere.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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