The Winners: Today Tonight was tops with 1.494 million, with Seven News next with 1.468 million. Australia’s Got Talent returned for Seven at 7.30pm, 1.314 million at 7.30pm. Seven’s 8.30pm program, Criminal Minds won the 8.30pm slot with 1.251 million, narrowly beating Ten’s returning House with 1.242 million which ran from 9pm to 10pm. Home and Away won the 7pm slot for Seven with 1.214 million and Nine News was seventh with 1.071 million. Spicks and Specks returned to the ABC at 8.30pm with 1.042 million. Ten’s Dance program averaged 1.010 million for 90 minutes from 7.30pm to 9pm. The 7pm ABC news averaged 982,000. Nigella’s Last Express, 363,000 (The Cook and The Chef returns next week). Food Safari on SBS at 7.30pm, 357,000.

The Losers: Where do we start? 24 on Seven at 9.30pm, 602,000. Started like it finished the last series — poorly. The Biggest Loser from 7pm to 7.30pm on Ten, 867,000. Not good enough. Life on Ten at 9.30pm, 851,000 (sort of OK); Domestic Blitz on Nine at 7.30pm, promoted to within an inch of its life and flopperoo, with 971,000 viewers, around 300,000 or so down from its Sunday 6.30pm finish last year. The Mentalist at 8.30pm on Nine, 948,000, which was a disappointment. From what I saw (again), it’s solid. The New Inventors on the ABC at 8pm, 776,000. I know, it starts slow. A Current Affair at 6.30pm, 971,000 on a Wednesday night. Not good enough.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market, as did Today Tonight. Nine’s effort in Sydney was rotten. Ten News averaged 868,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 871,000, Lateline, 276,000, Lateline Business, 172,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 148,000, at 9.30pm, 293,000. 7am Sunrise, 416,000, 7am Today, 304,000.

The Stats: Seven won All People 6pm to midnight with 29.2% from Ten with 25.2%, Nine with 24.2%, the ABC with 15.7%, SBS on 5.7%. Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week 35.2% to 24.4% for Ten and 22.2% for Nine. Prime/7Qld won the regional battle with 27.5% from 26.8% for WIN/NBN, with Southern Cross on 21.5% for Ten, the ABC with 16.7% and SBS with 7.9%. Ten said it had a “win” in the commercial battle with Seven and Nine between 19.32 and 23.05. Before then, apart from the news (and it doesn’t count), it was nowhere. But it did well, especially against Nine.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Nine Network will be hard pressed to do anything this year if it can’t get its act together at 6pm to 7pm and on nights other than Underbelly Monday. So far this week, it has finished third behind Seven and Ten on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in All People. It rightfully says that ratings start next week, and they do, but The Mentalist and Flashpoint, two flops from last night, will be back, as will Wipeout from Tuesday night, plus the terrible Two and a Half Men, not to mention a string of other programs.

Domestic Blitz sank last night at 7.30pm. It was so forced. Shelly Craft has all the appeal of a Laminex benchtop at times, although at other times, she’s warm and a great host. But the real disaster is at 6pm to 7pm, especially in Sydney, where the Peter Overton move to host the news has failed.

ACA fell under a million viewers last night. The Ten Network’s News at Five in Sydney had more viewers than Nine News and ACA in Sydney. The 7.30 Report had more viewers in Sydney than ACA. Tracy Grimshaw is looking tired, and she’s only been back three nights. Or is it that the program has outlived its usefulness and needs to be put down? Nine News and ACA are still competitive in Melbourne and Brisbane, but Sydney is a great, big black hole.

The 236,000 people watching Nine in Sydney last night was the lowest so far in the Overton experiment. Seven won by 168,000 viewers. TT in Sydney won by 166,000. TT and Seven News in Sydney were the most watched programs anywhere last night with audiences both over 400,000 viewers. Nine is fooling itself if it thinks it can peg Seven back. Nine doesn’t have anyone running news in Sydney, or managing it, who know how to do it.

Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm on the ABC was OK, but it’s a bit tired and a bit too insider now. Needs a bit of a push somewhere. I watched the back half of The Mentalist last night on Nine and then saw the ratings this morning and was surprised. I reckon it’s on the wrong network and would rate more highly if on Ten or Seven.

Tonight: Celebrity Singing Bee. According to Nine, a success last year, according to viewers — snoooze. It’s followed by an adults-only version of 20 to 1 from 8.30pm and then the censored Gordon Ramsay, one of Nine’s riskiest programs now. Gordie will never be seen at 8.30pm unless Nine beeps every swear word.

Seven has Ghost Whisperer, Grey’s Anatomy for over two hours, then Scrubs (Private Practice comes back at 9.30pm next Thursday).

Ten has The Loser program for an hour, then at 8pm, Bondi Vet. Law and Order SVU at 8.30pm then Life On Mars, the US version of the UK program that performed indifferently for the ABC last year.

The ABC has Red Kerry at 7.30pm and a repeat of the Bogle Chandler doco at 9.30pm (Still one of the best docos of its kind made here). SBS has my friend Rex in Rome (it’s the final, sob) and my disappointment, Carla Cametti at 9.30 pm, after Rexie.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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