The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.476 million people, followed by Australia’s Got Talent at 7.30pm with 1.417 million. Today Tonight was third with 1.413 million and Criminal Minds won 8.30pm for Seven with 1.329 million. Gangs Of Oz won 9.30pm for Seven with 1.189 million and Home and Away won 7pm with 1.155 million. Spicks and Specks averaged 1.071 million for the ABC at 8.30pm and 7th spot. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.070 million and Nine’s The Farmer Wants a Wife averaged 1.053 million (it’s numbers will rise as we get to the end). Nine News was 10th with 1.048 million. A Current Affair was well under a million with 931,000 and a terrible result. The repeat of Two and a Half Men at 7pm on Nine averaged 979,000. The New Inventors on the ABC at 8pm with 759,000. The Cook and The Chef at 6.30pm averaged 473,000.

The Losers: At 7pm to 8pm, The Biggest Loser, 848,000. Guerrilla Gardeners at 8pm, 687,000 (won’t last), House, down to 846,000. Life on Ten at 9.30pm, 810,000. Neighbours at 6.30pm with 722,000 had more viewers than Guerrilla Gardeners at 8pm, and that’s a sound judgement by Ten’s audience. Nine’s Flashpoint at 9.30pm, 632,000. A dud of the kind that Nine is well capable of screening. Ditto Lost on Seven at 10.30pm, 516,000. Just behind Cold Case on Nine (it once was also a highflier, like Lost) with 561,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Seven News won Sydney by a near record margin of 171,000, 399,000 to 228,000. The 7pm ABC News had a good night and Ten News had more viewers (935,000) than ACA did nationally (931,000). Ten’s late News/Sports Tonight averaged 444,000, even though Ten’s mid to late evening audience was weak. Ten News is easily the network’s best performing program this year and a rare high spot. The 7.30 Report averaged 917,000 nationally and had more viewers in Sydney than did ACA. Lateline averaged 249,000, Lateline Business, 139,000. The 6.30pm SBS News averaged 161,000 and 206,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise down to 348,000, 7am Today up to 290,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight All People (and won 25 to 54 and 18 to 49) with 33.7% (30.9%), from Nine with 24.4% (25.2%), Ten with 20.6% (23.0%), the ABC with 16.8% (16.0%) and SBS with 4.5% (4.9%). Seven won all five metro markets and leads the week, 30.0% to 28.8% for Nine. Ten says it won 16 to 39 against Seven and Nine from 6pm to 10.30pm. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 31.8% from WIN/NBN with 26.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.6%, the ABC with 17.2% and SBS with 6.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Hard as it might seem, but last night was an even bigger disaster for the Nine Network than just losing the night to Seven. Nine News finished 4th in Sydney and Melbourne and third nationally: Ten’s 5pm to 6pm news had more viewers than A Current Affair had nationally and in Sydney and Melbourne. The 228,000 viewers was the lowest audience total since the Peter Overton experiment started in January when he was moved in to replace a forcibly evicted Mark Ferguson.

When Ten’s cheap as chips hour news can attract more viewers than Nine’s glossier, better resourced effort at 6pm, then we know that Nine is in trouble. And it was that huge slump from 6pm to 7pm last night that allowed Seven to scoot away with the night and win easily and move back into the lead in the week. The Mentalist failed to crack the million viewer mark again. Last night saw Ten and Nine down sharply on last week.

It was probably Seven’s best win of the official ratings battle so far. Without a one off like last Thursday night’s bushfire appeal tonight, Nine will struggle to catch Seven, and will struggle again tomorrow night. It is going to be a long miserable year for Nine, Underbelly or no Underbelly.

TONIGHT: Nine brings back Getaway and  now has CSI Miami at 9.30 pm. That won’t overwhelm the audience tonight. Seven has Ghost Whisperer, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, which are hardly going to set the world on fire either. But Seven’s 6pm to 7.30pm dominance will give it a strong base for the night. Ten has Law And Order SVU after The Biggest Loser and Bondi Vet, and then Life on Mars at 9.30pm.

Q&A on the ABC at 9.30pm in the night’s highlight: Wayne Swan versus Joe Hockey. Both fighting for meaning and relevance.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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