The Winners: Despite Underbelly‘s dominance, 17 programs had a million or more viewers (16 really but for an SBS stuff up on South Park). Underbelly averaged 2.291 million, Seven News, 1.659 million and Today Tonight was third with 1.505 million. Nine News was fourth with 1.294 million, its concocted program Customs was next with 1.269 million at 8pm and the recut Oscars broadcast on Nine from 9.30pm to around midnight was sixth with 1.251 million. Two and a Half Men at 7.30pm averaged 1.234 million viewers for Nine and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.195 million in eighth. Home And Away averaged 1.191 million for Seven at 7pm and A Current Affair was tenth with 1.147 million.

SBS’s South Park repeat averaged 1.069 million, but it didn’t. That was the extra half hour of Top Gear which was a 90 minute edition. It shows that SBS didn’t change the ratings codings, despite it being in the guides for 90 minutes duration!

Ten News averaged 1.039 million, the results edition of Ten’s So you think you can Dance averaged 1.037 million in 13th spot and the elimination episode of The Biggest Loser averaged 1.034 million from 7pm to 7.30pm. Desperate Housewives on Seven at 8.30pm hung for 1.013 million viewers, Top Gear averaged 1.011 million from 7.30 to 8.30pm and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men on Nine was 17th and averaged 1.009 million.

The Losers: The Cut on the ABC at 9.35pm averaged 562,000. Passable, a great storyline — football team and agent dad, plus cheerleader in betting scam and a love triangle between said cheerleader and morally straight player who gets stiffed by nasty club. Good News Week on Ten at 8.30 pm, 757,000. Dexter on Ten at 9.30pm, 508,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Today Tonight won everywhere bar Melbourne where ACA snuck home. News programs in Melbourne were boosted by fire coverage: Seven’s News averaged 516,000, Nine’s 472,000, Ten’s 406,000, the ABC’s 412,000. In Sydney Nine’s 6pm woes continued — Seven’s ACA did better: as did the 7pm ABC News. The 7.30 Report in Sydney had more viewers than ACA. The 7.30 Report averaged 944,000 nationally. Ten News/Sports Tonight averaged 305,000. Lateline on the ABC averaged 266,000, Lateline Business, 141,000. Four Corners, 659,000 at 8.30pm, Media Watch, 650,000 (which included a very good case of the rottenness of A Current Affair). The 6.30pm SBS News, 222,000, 188,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 366,000, 7am Today on Nine, 301,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to midnight All People share of 35.9% (34.2%) from Seven with 23.2% (24.9%), Ten with an unchanged 17.6%, the ABC with 14.5% (16.5%) and SBS with 8.9% (6.8%). Nine won all five metro markets and leads the week 32.1% to 24.4% for Seven. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 33,5% from Prime/7Qld with 22.3%, the ABC with 16.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 16.1% and SBS with 11.7%. Nine didn’t win Queensland again where Prime/7Qld was a narrow winner.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Underbelly did it for Nine again last night, even though it was an uneven episode. There was a small loss of audience, but not enough to worry the network. Although more and more holes are being picked in its fiction with a good column in today’s Herald Sun. Still, inaccuracies won’t concern viewers.

Top Gear on SBS was one long travel show and unmitigated egotistical pap, yet over a million people tuned in. They must have been wanting travel tips for Vietnam. Running the cut down version of the Oscars after Underbelly worked. The audience was over 200,000 better than last year when it sank under its own weight. Hugh Jackman as host meant it had more appeal here. Certainly Today Tonight and A Current Affair, not to mention the Nine and Seven News in Sydney, thought Hugh and the Oscars was the big story last night, and in doing so showed what they really thought of the renewed bushfire threat near Melbourne late in the day. It was low down in the news, and not at all on ACA and TT. At least the 7pm ABC news in Sydney led with the fires.

Tonight, Packed To The Rafters, Find My Family and All Saints, plus Animal Rescue on Seven. Nine has the silly Wipeout and three episodes (two repeats) of Two and a Half Men then Aussie Ladette To Lady at 9.30pm. Ten has the strong NCIS and Lie To Me. It also has Bondi Rescue and The Biggest Loser. SBS has Insight back and the Harvey Milk story later at 10pm. The ABC has Lead Balloon (worth a glimpse) and Foreign Correspondent tonight if the fare on commercial TV is boring.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.