The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.712 million, with Today Tonight second with 1.527 million. Home and Away was next with 1.190 million (and a big turn-off from TT). Ten News averaged 1.154 million (and benefitted from the AFL in the afternoon from Melbourne). Nine News was next with 1.149 million and Nine’s Customs program at 8pm finished with 1.104 million (which is what it deserved without having fresh Underbelly episodes follow it to boost the audience as viewers turned on earlier). Two and a Half Men averaged 1.081 million at 7.30pm and A Current Affair was 8th with 1.077 million. Ten’s The Biggest Loser averaged 1.046 million from 7pm to 7.30pm. The 7pm ABC News averaged 1.032 million in 10th and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.032 million in 11th spot. Just For Laughs, the Montreal Comedy program on Ten at 8.30pm averaged 1.026 million in 12th spot. Top Gear averaged 991,000. from what year, I could not tell. Australian Story averaged 924,000. the movie on Seven, Picture Perfect, averaged 861,000 and easily beat the repeats of Underbelly from 8.30pm, as did Ten’s comedy program.

The Losers: Viewers. It was a miserable night for viewers. Top Gear was hoary, repeats galore and not much on the ABC. Underbelly died completely last night. (627,000, 496,000 for the two repeated episodes). Nine must be hoping this over repeating doesn’t affect the fresh episodes when they return next Monday. Spooks on the ABC at 9.39pm, 681,000 (it beat the second Underbelly easily, but it deserves more). Ten’s 7.30pm to 8.30pm program called I Get That A Lot, 689,000. Another stupid clips show.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Seven News was dominant. Nine News plunged to just 276,000 in Melbourne (318,000 in Brisbane). The AFL in Melbourne on Ten saw Ten News have more viewers than Nine (335,000). The 7.30 Report had more viewers in Sydney, 302,000 than ACA, 264,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 921,000 nationally. Ten’s late News/Sports Tonight averaged 377,000. Lateline, 261,000. The 6.30pm SBS News, 238,000, the 9.30pm late edition, 136,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a share in 6pm to Midnight All People of 26.6% (25.9%), from Ten on 24.1% (22.4%), Nine with 21.3% (24.8%), the ABC 19.1% (18.3%) and SBS with 8.8% (8.5%). Seven won Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide. Seven leads the week, 25.7% to 24.6% and Ten on 23.1%. In regional areas a win for Prime/7Qld with 24.2%, from WIN/NBN with 24.2%, Southern Cross (Ten), with 23.0%, the ABC with 18.3% and SBS with 10.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven and Nine won last with with the same share of 26.1%. But Ten really won because it topped the 16 to 54 age group, which encompasses the main demos the networks chase, 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. Nine’s Today Show beat Seven’s Sunrise on Friday, 279,000 to 275,000 for the first time in five years (that’s from 7am to 9am). Yesterday morning Sunrise won, 282,000 to 233,000, but Today tied Sydney with Sunrise and again beat it in Melbourne. Nine won Sunday night from Seven and Ten. Last night it was Seven in front of Ten and Nine third.

It’s the worst week of the year so far for TV programs. Repeats and non-performers on Nine and Seven, and to a lesser extent on Ten. Ten has kept some original programming because it has had to, sort of this week. The Biggest Loser and one episode of the So You Think You Can Dance Australia. The ABC and to a lesser extent, SBS have kept some fresh programming on and started new ones (Spooks and the returning Midsomer Murders on Friday night). There was lots of sport and little else over the Easter break.

Next Sunday the ratings fairy reappears and waves its wand and hey presto, all the fresh episodes reappear. It’s cynical. The ABC’s “holiday” Sunday morning for Insiders, Offsiders and Inside Business was commercial TV at its best. But while Seven rested Sunday night, Nine at least kept 60 Minutes in the schedule. Today on Sunday and Weekend Sunrise remained on air as well, but the ABC found it all too hard. But what was stunning last night was the way the audience turned on to Seven between 6pm and 7pm and then vanished. Their viewing day was over.

TONIGHT: The ABC has Foreign Correspondent back at 8pm. Will it have the flexibility to whip up an update on Thailand and or Fiji, or will it be locked into its existing programming. Backgrounders for both situations would be handy, something to flesh out what The 7.30 Report and Lateline may or may not be doing. Lead Balloon has been pushed to 9.30pm from 8pm. Will we be better off for that? Nine has three episodes of Two and a Half Men, and a couple of clips shows from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, plus Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay at 9.30pm (or how the mighty have fallen). Seven has Home and Away and repeats of Animal Rescue, Find My Family and then a poor movie. Ten has The Biggest Loser, Bondi Rescue (both fresh) and repeats of NCIS. SBS has a fresh Insight and then a program at 8.30pm which looks at the GFC. Ten and SBS are to be thanked, followed by the ABC.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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