The Winners: Today Tonight was tops with 1.590 million viewers (don’t ask me why), Seven News next with 1.513 million. 3rd was Home and Away with 1.306 million and Nine’s Weddings, Where Are They Now at 7.30pm was 4th with a solid 1.242 million. The Rich List on Seven in the same slot perked up to 1.210 million, while Nine’s 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.207 million. Nine’s repeat of CSI at 8.30pm averaged 1.157 million in 7th and 8th was Nine News with 1.135 million. City Homicide averaged 1.089 million in repeat at 8.30pm for Seven and beat The Howard Years on the ABC at the same time with 1.089 million. Next came Top Gear with 1.067 million people. Enough Rope With Andrew Denton averaged 1.066 million at 9.35pm, the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.1.052 million in 13th spot and last in 14th was A Current Affair with 1.026 million.

The Losers: Cold Case on Nine at 9.30pm, 842,000 — not good and not helped by the repeat of CSI at 8.30pm with 1.157 million. Good News Week, 877,000 for two hours from 8.30pm — okay, but deserved more. It was Ten’s most watched program and came in 18th overall.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. They had one of their most dominant nights of the year in Melbourne and Brisbane. Tonight that will probably all disappear. The 7.30 Report averaged 899,000. Lateline, 425,000, Lateline Business, 190,000. Ten News was solid with 868,000 people. The late News/Sports Tonight, 212,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 206,000, the 9.30pm edition, 134,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 358,000, 7am Today on Nine, 309,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm midnight All People with 28.2% (27.3%) from Nine with 26.6% (25.8%), the ABC with 19.4% (20.3%), Ten with 17.0% (19.5%) and SBS with 8.8% (7.1%). Seven won Sydney and Melbourne, drew Brisbane with Nine, and won Adelaide and Perth by bigger margins. Seven leads 27.8% to 26.7% for Nine. In regional areas a close win to WIN/NBN with 27.3% from Prime/7Qld with 27.1%, The ABC with 17.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 17.2% and SBS on a solid 10.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: It was a narrow win by Seven in All People, but summer started last night for the Ten Network when it finished a distant fourth behind the ABC. It should do better tonight as the ABC is a relative wasteland compared to yesterday. But with Australian Idol gone, it’s now hunker down time at Ultimo and keep a weather eye on the fortunes of the Canadian parent, CanWest Global whose CEO and Ten board member, Len Asper, seems to be in denial about debt and the way it is dragging down his company.

Ten has a much better appreciation of the situation and it is clear that the network will continue to do what it knows best: low cost, aiming at 16 to 39s (and 18s to 49s as a bonus) until ratings return in 2009.

The ABC did well because of The Howard Years and the Enough Rope interview with Ms A Jollie and Mr C Eastwood. Both deserved programs of their own, but unfortunately, the needs of the modern movie PR campaign demanded the double header. The Howard Years was as depressing as they seemed at the time, especially with Kim Beazley leading the ALP.

Tonight: Finals for Find My Family on Seven at 7.30pm and Packed To The Rafters at 8.30pm and All Saints at 9.30pm. Home and Away keeps going. Seven wins the final week tonight and wraps up the year. Nine has three episodes of Two and a Half Men, a repeat of 20 to 1 and The Chopping Block at 7.30pm. Ten has a fresh NCIS at 8.30pm and the final Rush of the year at 9.30pm. It has three episodes of The Simpsons and Will and Grace — all repeats. The highlight for the ABC is the final episode of Foreign Correspondent for the year.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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