The Winners: Seven News was again tops with 1.577 million, with Today Tonight next with 1.545 million. NCIS averaged 1.430 million for the repeat at 8.30pm on Ten and the fresh Bondi Rescue on Ten at 8pm averaged a strong 1.409 million people. 5th was the 9.30pm repeat of NCIS on Ten with 1.392 million. Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men at 7pm averaged 1.214 million and Seven’s repeat of Animal Rescue at 7.30pm averaged 1.212 million. The 7pm ABC News was 8th with 1.155 million and Home and Away averaged 1.150 million at 7pm for Seven. A Current Affair was 10th with 1.127 million and Nine News was next with 1.121 million. Ten’s The Biggest Loser averaged 1.119 million in 12 spot. Seven’s 8pm repeat of Find My Family averaged 1.072 million people and Nine’s clip program, Commercial Breakdown averaged 1.051 million in 14th spot. The Funniest Home Videos recut at 7.30pm on Nine averaged 1.046 million and the first episode of Two and a Half Men at 8.30pm averaged 1.020 million. That was 16th. The 9pm episode of the same program averaged 998,000 and was 17th.

The Losers: Nine viewers last night, but they deserve some sort of award for viewing while under boredom, as do those who tuned into Seven from 8.30pm for the movie called Jersey Girl (no it wasn’t about a cow). It averaged 723,000. Enough to make you change channels, go to sleep or read a book or watch Pay TV, if you pay for it. Hell’s Kitchen on Nine at 9.30pm, 440,000. Poor figures for a rotten program.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as Today Tonight. Nine News and ACA were again weak in Sydney, but ACA shed 50,000 viewers in Sydney from the News: the News averaged 327,000, ACA 276,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 899,000 nationally. Lateline, 202,000, Lateline Business, 136,000. Ten News averaged 967,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 581,000 (and won the timeslot, easily). SBS News at 6.30pm, 173,000, Insight, 246,000, the late News at 9.30pm, 257,000. 7am Sunrise, 364,000, 7am Today, 327,000: still closing.

The Stats: Ten won across the board with an average 6pm to midnight All People of 30.1% (31.3%), from Seven with 26.1% (24.5%), Nine on 22.4% (24.1%), the ABC, 16.1% (15.7%) and SBS on 5.4% (4.5%). Ten won all five metro markets: Sydney and Melbourne narrowly, the rest by wide margins. Seven leads the week, 25.8% from Ten on 25.5% and Nine on 23.9%. In regional areas a win for Southern Cross (Ten) with 28.9%, from Prime/7Qld with 28.0%, WIN/NBN with 22.6%, the ABC on 14.1% and SBS with 6.4%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another night of average to poor TV. Foreign Correspondent didn’t change itself to accommodate the situations in Thailand and Fiji: it was more of a magazine approach, which was disappointing. Here was a change to spend a half hour putting two serious situations in context. The story on the Australians caught up in the Mumbai terrorist attacks last year was fine, even if it had a strong Australian Story feel about it.

I would have preferred something a bit more timely, or even on Pakistan’s very rapid descent into hell post the Mumbai attacks. But it beat the Lead Balloon program for interest. Foreign Correspondent‘s audience of 776,000 shows that it was worth the move. That’s close to double what it was getting at 9.30pm most nights, and a good 70% or more better than Lead Balloon which averaged 365,000 at 9.30pm. The change boosted the ABC audience on the night.

Overall Ten won because it kept more faith with viewers than Nine or Seven did. Nine was simply cost saving, nothing else. It was terrible last night in Sydney. Nine News and ACA were again weak in performance and in content in Sydney. Ten’s Bondi Rescue had another solid audience, showing that it’s easy for good programs to shine. It’s working because it is simple and at times dramatic, and personal. NCIS was a repeat, but shone compared to the competition from 8.30pm. Ten won everything, and while it might be non-ratings, there’s still revenue to be won and advertisers to be kept happy, which is what Ten is doing and doing well, unlike its poor benighted parent. CanWest could be hours away from collapse. Ten won’t do well overall tonight, though, but it will battle well enough in its demos.

A peeve: Last night Ali Moore did a professional job interviewing Alan Joyce, the Qantas CEO on The 7.30 Report. Good, tough, informed questions, and no familiarity. I happened to listen to Fran Kelly interviewing Mr Joyce on Radio National this morning and she called him “Alan”. Why? A case of overly familiar, blurring the lines between interviewer and interviewee? It’s all that and a bit more. It sends a message to listeners that Ms Kelly knows Mr Joyce and therefore might not ask the hard questions. She asked them, not as well as Ms Moore the night before. But it’s completely unnecessary. Is the Prime Minister, “Kevin” the Finance Minister, “Lindsay”? Ms Moore referred to Mr Joyce twice in the interview, both times calling him Alan Joyce. Mr Joyce handled himself well in both cases and there wasn’t a sign of the Dixon shuffle.

TONIGHT: Spicks and Specks and The Gruen Transfer on the ABC from 8.30pm to 9.30pm: What’s Good for You will fade on Nine at 7.30pm because viewers will feel it’s a bit lightweight. Hopefully they will return for the classier production of RPA at 8pm. The Mentalist and Cold Case are three hours of repeats from 8.30pm. Who cares? Seven has Australia’s Got Talent back at 7.30pm then repeats of Criminal Minds until 10.30pm, then Lost (which is well and truly lost) at 10.30pm. Ten: The Biggest Loser and then Guerrilla Gardeners at 8pm are fresh. House is a repeat (which won’t do well). Life is fresh at 9.30pm, and sliding. SBS. Food Safari is a repeat at 7.30pm, but still interesting. Overall another night of TV boredom.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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