The Winners: Nine programs with a million or more viewers. That tells us a lot about the low quality of viewing last night on all but Ten and the ABC. Seven News was tops with 1.586 million viewers, with Nine News second with 1.530 million and 60 Minutes third with 1.486 million. The Biggest Loser averaged 1.309 million for Ten at 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm and the Dance Australia program was 5th with 1.274 million for Ten from 7.30 pm to 9 pm. Seven’s 7.30 repeat of Border Security averaged 1.178 million for 6th. Next was Hercule Poirot (actually, Poirot) at 8.30 pm to 10.05 pm with 1.147 million. From 9 pm onwards it was most watched. Seven’s Sunday Night averaged 1.131 million at 6.30 pm, the 7 pm ABC News averaged 1.1072 million for 9th spot. Next was the repeat of 20 to 1 on Nine at 6.30 pm with 986,000. Seven’s Coastwatch at 78 pm averaged 964,000 and Nine’s repeat movie, The Shawshank Redemption (how many repeats is that?) averaged 942,000. Seven’s Bones repeat at 8.30 pm averaged 934,000. Rove averaged 833,000.

The Losers: Losers? Apart from ABC viewers, viewers of Seven from 7.30 pm onwards and 8.30 pm for Nine. Ten at least kept faith with The Biggest Loser and The Dance Australia program (although it is virtually impossible to run dead for Easter for programs like those two). Dexter at 10.10 pm after Rove, 365,000. Seeing Rove averaged 833,000, that’s a fair turn off. So much for being a cult show. it’s another marginal idea from Pay TV.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. The NRL didn’t help Nine in Sydney or Brisbane yesterday as a lead-in. Nine news averaged 349,000 in Sydney, beaten by more than 100,000 by Seven. Nine News in Melbourne averaged 501,000, so it doesn’t need a lead-in. Ten News at Five averaged 754,000. World News Australia at 6.30 pm on SBS, 157,000. Dateline, 193,000 at 8.30 pm. in the morning Weekend Sunrise averaged 427,000, Today on Sunday, 254,000, Landline on the ABC at Noon, 241,000; Insiders on the ABC, 238,000; Inside Business 148,000, Offsiders, 129,000. Meet the Press, 83,000. Everyone survived the daylight saving switch outside of WA.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6 pm to midnight All People share with 29.4% (25.3%) from Seven with 24.7% (26.4%), Ten with 23.6% (27.6%, and wins in 16 to 39 and 18 to 49s). The ABC was 18.8% (17.1%) and SBS was unchanged on 3.5%. Nine won everywhere. In regional areas a win to Nine with WIN/NBN on 28.9%, from Prime/7Qld with 27.0%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.8%, the ABC with 17.9% and SBS on 5.4%.

Last week: Seven won narrowly, 6 pm to midnight all people but Nine had more viewers in 16 to 54 group. Ten won 16 to 39 and 18 to 49.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Easter, what a waste of time it is. A great early year holiday break, buns and eggs up to the eyeballs and beyond, fish, if you are of that way, BBQs, of course and lots of sport. But not much else, especially on TV and outside of sport. Even Christian baiting, Roman style, would have qualified as a ‘sport’ in ancient times at Easter. Last night was no exception. Apart from the ABC and Ten, not much on at all. 60 Minutes fried our brains with a story on microwave radiation from mobile phones etc. Does that explain the quality of many TV programs, especially 60 Minutes, A Current Affair and Today Tonight. And Lateline which ran a similar story on Thursday evening, to the annoyance of host Leigh Sales? Seven’s Sunday Night hung in there with a non-ratings program that veered from the why, to the heartfelt. Seven has given it another 10 weeks to justify its existence. Hercule Poirot ends next Sunday on the ABC: it is at least is entertainment, but his mannerism are a bit non-amuse. Do I hear the witches and ghosts of Midsomer sharpening their murdering knives for another series on the ABC on Sunday nights at 8.30 pm? Finally we know that Seven’s Home And Away is in big trouble, not just because of the Lesb%n kiss thingie. The program hasn’t got over Kate Ritchie’s departure and the Kiss thingie was just a crude attempt to tart up the program to get some interest. There’s been a bit of pashing, bashing and violence in the storylines as well. But the real telltale sign of a program in trouble is the cash come on. Nine is using it in Brisbane for its News, now Seven is offering $21,000 to viewers of Home And Away because the program is…guess what, 21 years of age. $1,000 grand a night will be up for grabs. Gee that will get the kiddies in. Mobile phones, Maybelline make up packs etc, Billabong clothes, Ipods etc should have been offered. The cash is cheap and quick and blokey and a bit contemptuous of the audience for the program. Meanwhile Nine is trying to put out fires caused by the publication of a story yesterday in the Sundays in Sydney that mark Ferguson and Andrew Daddo will front a new program at 4.30 pm Monday to Friday: it will be an hour long and be a ‘light’ news story. Eddie McGuire will have a revamped 30 min ep of Millionaire at 5.30 pm. Is that why Andrew Daddo won’t return calls from some senior executives at a certain commercial TV Network? All the money on these programs and you know what? Nine will lose money from 5 pm to 6 pm because that hour is currently profitable. It writes makes a good profit writing revenue against Antiques Roadshow, which costs next to nothing. Nine’s revenue more than covers the station costs in that hour. Now it will reduce profits (and they are rare) in trying to boost the lead-in for the 6 pm news and Today Tonight. In reality, it’s a Sydney problem and the new line up will be in Sydney and Melbourne at the moment. Melbourne ratings have drifted, but are not the black hole that Sydney is. Peter Overton, the Sydney reader, is the problem, and the line up of reporters and the stodgy content. Ten will match it one way or another to split the audience. Seven could easily do something at 5 pm as well. Why doesn’t CVC bring David Gyngell under control and get him to justify the moves in terms of revenues, and profits forgone, as well as prospective.

TONIGHT: Top Gear, SBS mines the archives. Viewers weep. The ABC has Four Corners, Media Watch and the return of Spooks at 9.30 pm. And Australian Story. Seven has How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs and a movie repeat at 8.30 pm. Nine has an hour of Two And A Half Men, best of repeats or something). Then Customs, which isn’t real, then a repeat of an ep of the current series of Underbelly. The Lotto Draw at 8.45 pm will be the only thing new in the three hours to 11.20 pm: its worth $5 mill tonight!. It is real Beancounter TV from Nine tonight: three eps of Underbelly in an ‘encore’. It’s actually the second repeat because Nine has been repeating each ep on Sunday nights. It’s cheap, contemptuous TV. Ten has The Biggest Loser, Dance Australia and Good News Week in some semblance of new programming. NCIS is a repeat at 9.30 pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.

Peter Fray

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