The Winners: Packed To the Rafters on Seven at 8.30pm averaged 1.873 million viewers, Find My Family at 8pm, 1.653 million and Seven News was third with 1.556 million. Today Tonight was fourth with 1.502 million. Lie To Me on Ten at 9.30pm averaged a solid 1.498 million first up; helped by NCIS at 8.30 pm returning with 1.481 million. RSPCA Animal Rescue averaged 1.436 million at 7.30pm for Seven in seventh. Next came Seven’s Home and Away at 7pm with 1.336 million and Seven’s All Saints at 9.30pm averaged 1.298 million. Wipeout Australia at 7.30pm for Nine averaged 1.173 million, while Bondi Rescue at 8pm for Ten averaged 1.163 million. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.128 million, just in front of the 6pm Nine News with 1.128 million in 13th spot. Fourteenth was the first fresh episode of Two and a Half Men at 8.30pm on Nine with 1.078 million. A Current Affair was 14th with 1.044 million followed by Ten’s The Biggest Loser from 7pm to 8pm with 1.019 million. The 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 988,000. The second fresh episode at 9pm averaged 985,000.

The Losers: Nine last night for its use of three episodes of Two and a Half Men when the Network was supposed to be showing us less. Three-and-a-half hours of the program this week. That’s seven episodes.

Wipeout — it’s not interesting and is an outdoor version of Hole In The Wall, which Nine boss David Gyngell last year thought would be a great hit. It bombed.

Today Tonight — it just scrambled up a bit of Prime Minster’s Rudd’s speech to the nation last night, right at the end and slyly insinuated that his extra spending on schools was somehow linked to TT‘s story on poorly maintained and old schools the night before. In their dreams. TT producers had noticed ACA had started with the PM’s speech from the top of its show. It had no impact on the ratings, but ACA forced TT to scramble while the program was on air. TT put the Rudd item to air around 7pm, just before the promo for tonight’s show. That late, why not ignore it?

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight over ACA. Seven again beat the ABC 7pm news and Nine’s 6pm News in the rankings in Sydney. Seven’s margin over Nine was over 110,000 in Sydney. People obviously tuned into Seven because of the mini-budget. Nine ran second in Melbourne, but the ABC snuck into second in the Brisbane rankings behind Seven. Ten News averaged 999,000 nationally, so it had a Rudd-boost. Ten News/Sports Tonight, 625,000. The 7.30 Report, 956,000. Why the story about people bleating on about fixed interest rates on home loans? If rates had not had fallen, but risen, they would have been crowing to anyone who listened. The banks can recommend, but it is the mortgage holders’ decision to fix or stay variable. If you fix, you are essentially betting against the bank, the economy and the Reserve Bank. Lateline, 238,000, Lateline Business, 174,000. 6.30pm SBS News, 166,000; 256,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise, 373,000, 7am Today, 302,000.

The Stats: Seven won All people 6pm to midnight with 34.5% from Ten with 26.8%, Nine with 21.9%, the ABC with 12.1% and SBS with 4.8%. Seven won all five metro markets and leads 36.9% to 24.2% for Ten and 21.5% for Nine. Nine should improve tonight. In regional areas, a win to Prime/7Qld with 35.5%, from WIN/NBN with 23.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.8%, the ABC with 12.6% and SBS with 5.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine says its ratings effort doesn’t start until next week with Underbelly on Monday night, then the following Sunday night, when 60 Minutes and CSI return. Judging on the performance on the past three nights of the week, Nine will need a bit more than that to be competitive all the year. They have already conceded Tuesday night to Seven and Ten for a large part of the year.

Tonight: Spicks and Specks back on the ABC at 8.30pm, followed by Chandon Pictures at 9pm, with The New Inventors back at 8pm. Nine has a good-looking line up on paper: Two and a Half Men at 7pm should mean a win for Seven’s Home and Away. But will Domestic Blitz at 7.30pm for a one-off appearance do as well as it does at 6.30pm Sundays? It’s followed by The Mentalist at 8.30pm. Its continued over the summer to OK but not stunning numbers for a program with a lot of hype about it.

Flashpoint also underwhelmed post-Christmas, despite lots of promotion in the cricket. Seven has Australia’s Got Talent back at 7.30pm, followed by Criminal Minds at 8.30pm and the boring 24 back again at 9.30pm. Ten has The Loser program at 7pm, the dance program at 7.30pm for 90 minutes and House back at 9pm for a new series and Life back at 10pm. That’s a solid choice by anyone’s standard.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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