The Winners: Underbelly was tops with 2.073 million viewers, down but still very strong. Seven News was second with 1.640 million people and Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.510 million. Customs on Nine at 8pm averaged 1.353 million, and the fresh episode of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.169 million at 7.30pm (which was OK, but not up to 2008 levels for fresh episodes). Nine’s 9.30pm program, Crime Investigation Australia, averaged 1.152 million (900,000 less than Underbelly). Nine News was 7th with 1.148 million and Seven’s Home and Away won the 7pm battle with 1.132 million, with the ABC News next with 1.132 million. A Current Affair was 10th with 1.117 million and Desperate Housewives was 11th with 1.064 million at 8.30pm for Seven. Nine’s 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.060 million, the elimination episode of The Biggest Loser averaged 1.047 million from 7pm to 7.30pm and The 7.30 Report averaged a strong 1.037 million people for 14th. Australian Story was next with 969,000 at 8pm and Ten’s results episode of So You Think You Can Dance Australia was 16th with 960,000 and well down on Sunday night. Seven’s 7.30pm program, How I Met Your Mother averaged 940,000. The Bold And the Beautiful, 543,000 at 4.30pm back to its best in the the best slot. No more silly 6pm adventures.

The Losers: Good News Week at 8.30pm on Ten, 856,000, Brothers and Sisters on Seven at 9.30pm, 878,000. Not so much losers actually, more underperformers because of the Underbelly influence. The Cut on the ABC at 9.30pm, 475,000. Still a good idea…?

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. In fact Seven News won by a huge 492,000 people nationally, including 156,000 in Sydney (or more than 50% of Nine News’ 303,000). The 7pm ABC News had more viewers than Nine, 320,000 in Sydney. The 7.30 Report had more viewers in Sydney, 327,000 than ACA, 308,000, and Nine News. Ten News averaged 903,000. The late News/Sports Tonight, 479,000. Four Corners, 800,000 at 8.30pm, Media Watch, 698,000. Lateline, 236,000, Lateline Business, 155,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 184,000, 167,000 for the late edition at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 373,000, 7am Today, 292,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a All People 6pm to midnight share of 31.1% (32.2%). Seven was next with 25.6% (25.7%) from Ten with 20.3% (20.0%), the ABC with 16.1% (14.2%) (the extra 200,000 people watching Four Corners) and SBS was on 7.0% 7.8%. Nine won all five metro markets and now leads the week, 28.9% to 26.8%. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 30.6% from Prime/7Qld with 22.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 19.5% , the ABC with 17.9% and SBS with 9.9%. Queensland went off Underbelly last night for the first time in three weeks and Prime/7Qld won the region.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another strong night for Nine thanks to Underbelly, but viewers are showing signs of being bored by it. The audience is still strong at 2.07 million, but that’s down from 2.58 million for the first episode, a loss of 20%. Last night seemed to be a reworked version of an earlier episode where the program was bought to you by nude bodies and women’s top bits. At this rate Underbelly will fall under 2 million viewers next Monday night.

Top Gear was another in the “Unseen Series”. Who cares? They are old and they are merely being shown to get viewers and to drag in more revenue from advertisers. Does the fact that SBS is showing these unseen eps mean that it is making sure as many old Top Gear episodes are seen on Free To Air in Australia as possible? Does this mean they fear the Nine Network’s ambitions to add the TV program to the magazine the BBC prints with ACP, will come to fruition?

From what I saw Marcus Einfeld on Four Corners needed the Underbelly-style warning: something along the lines of “Don’t look here for a answer”. He has never explained why he simply didn’t write a check or go on line and pay the bill and cop the loss of points. If ordinary people cop the plea and do it, why not him. He said he made a mistake. No, it was more than that, compounded by his knowledge of the law. People berate young male footballers for being poor role models when they drink or do stupid acts.

Why then do some people absolve people like Marcus Einfeld from being role models when they, of all people, have the maturity and knowledge about what they are doing, more so than young male sports people? Marcus Einfeld was wired up when he was walking into court in the Four Corners story. That must a first, a defendant wired up for a current affairs program and heading into court.

TONIGHT: Seven moves back to the lead and wins the night and the week with Animal Rescue, Find My Family, Packed To The Rafters and All Saints. Nine has Wipeout Australia and Two and a Half Men and the final of Aussie Ladette To Lady. Ten has NCIS, The Biggest Loser, Bondi Rescue and Lie To Me. SBS has Insight, the ABC has the aptly named Lead Balloon at 8pm and not much else.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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