The Winners: Nine’s 7.30pm to 9pm Domestic Blitz averaged 1.677 million viewers for top spot. Seven News was 2nd with 1.460 million and Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.418 million. Home and Away averaged 1.302 million and Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope interview with Dawn French averaged 1.243 million. Two and a Half Men averaged 1.224 million for yet another repeat at 7pm for Nine and 6th spot. Next came CSI at 9pm for Nine with 1.169 million, with A Current Affair 8th with 1.117 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.081 million, the City Homicide repeat at 8.30pm for Seven, 1.079 million in 10th spot and Nine News brought up the rear with a lackluster 1.064 million. Bones at 9.30 for Seven. Australian Story, 894,000.

The Losers: Viewers of Seven from 7.30pm: The Rich List, 926,000. The repeat of City Homicide at 8.30pm, 1.079 million. Good News Week on Ten at 8.30pm, 878,000. Could be stronger but Australian Idol: the Live Verdict at 7.30pm didn’t help with another off key performance: 871,000. Supernatural on Ten at 9.30pm, 634,000. Cold Case on Nine at 10pm, 706,000. Top Gear Australia at 7.30pm on SBS, 612,000. Not so much a loser in terms of SBS ratings, but last night was a bit dreary, except of the two Supercar racers who turned it into something interesting. They are a couple of replacement hosts for the program next year.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight again won nationally and in every market. The 7pm ABC program not only beat Nine nationally in the rankings, but had more viewers in Sydney. The 7.30 Report also had more viewers in Sydney (295,000) than ACA (259,000). Sydney is the most important weak spot for Nine News and they seem unable to do anything, which is a pity for reader, Mark Ferguson. The 7.30 Report averaged 955,000 nationally and has shaken off the local version of Top Gear, but the Poms are back in fortnight. Four Corners averaged 721,000, Media Watch, 810,000, boosted by a turn on for Enough Rope. Both Media Watch and Four Corners ended for the year. Lateline averaged 378,000. Lateline Business, 184,000. Ten News averaged 800,000. The late News/Sports Tonight, 312,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 169,000, the 9.30pm SBS News, 181,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 404,000, 7am Today, 280,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to midnight All People share of 31.0% (28.0%) from Seven on 25.7% (27.5%), the ABC with 18.5% (19.2%), Ten with 17.9% (18.5%) and SBS with 6.9% (6.8%). Nine and Seven drew Perth, Nine won the four other metro markets and leads the week 28.4% to 29.0%. In regional Australia, Nine won with WIN/NBN with 32.5% from Prime/7Qld with 25.6%, Ten with 17.3% for Southern Cross , the ABC with 16.5% and SBS with 8.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: There’s a rule in TV programming. Never give a viewer a reason to watch another network. It can’t always be followed across a week and a year, but it’s a handy start. Last night, for the second Monday in a row, Seven did that and paid the price. It was another night when Seven tossed away a win and Nine won strongly. There must be some financial reason why Seven is running The Rich List now and blowing off unshown episodes. It must be up for some sort of financial penalty if it didn’t show it in prime time in ratings. Otherwise why screen a dull, one pace, one shot idea and bore viewers silly?

Given that The Rich List seems a “must show”, I can understand why Seven is repeating City Homicide episodes. But it is also treating viewers with contempt. After all, they are the ones who have given the program considerable support during the year and helped Seven win strongly on most Monday nights. It’s a great way to devalue a brand: in some ways telling viewers that they will only cop repeats from now until the end of ratings.

In another respect Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope interview with Dawn French showed why he will be missed from TV. Not for the tasty 1.2 million viewers from 9.35pm, but for the way he went about the interview and realised that Ms French was the star, he wasn’t. There are not many interviewers in this country with the whit, the talent or the discipline to understand that. Certainly there are none on the ABC apart from Denton and in 2009, there won’t be one. And we viewers will suffer as a result. Nothing was shirked.

Tonight, Seven goes back to the principle of keeping viewers on board: with The Zoo, Find My Family, Packed To the Rafters and All Saints. Nine offers us The Chopping Block, which may not reappear next year, three episodes of Two and a Half Men and a repeat of 20 to 1. Ten has NCIS and then Rush, which is returning next year because Ten desperately needs the drama points for its Australian content requirements. Kenny’s World finishes. The ABC has a doco on Sir John Monash that seems not to go over the top.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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