The Winners: TV viewing was up around 10% on a year ago according to figures from Fusion Strategy. The Biggest Loser Winner averaged 2.097 million people for the announcement. Seven News was second with 1.821 million and the finale part (that is up to the announcement) of The Biggest Loser averaged 1.798 million. Underbelly was 4th at 8.30pm on Nine with 1.705 million people and Today Tonight was 5th with 1.649 million people. The final 7pm daily show of The Biggest Loser averaged 1.538 million and MasterChef Australia‘s debut at 7.30pm to 8.30pm averaged 1.426 million people. Nine News was 8th with 1.358 million, A Current Affair was 9th with 1.286 million and Home and Away averaged 1.195 million at 7pm. 11th was Nine’s repeat of Two and a Half Men with 1.126 million and 12th was Ten News with 1.105 million. Missing Pieces on Nine at 8pm averaged 1.080 million, the 7pm ABC News, 1.073 million and Seven’s How I Met Your Mother averaged 1.023 million at 7.30pm. Neighbours averaged 1.011 million at 6.30pm, its highest audience for years and it was in 16th spot. Next came You Saved My Life on Nine at 7.30pm with 1.004 million and Australian Story at 8pm averaged 1.002 million was 18th. Top Gear averaged 972,000. Desperate Housewives on Seven at 8.30pm, 831,000 (Squashed by The Biggest Loser and Underbelly).

The Losers: A bit hard last night with the final of The Biggest Loser and the start of MasterChef and Underbelly. But, Eleventh Hour on Nine at 9.30pm: 811,000. Over 980,000 viewers left Nine from Underbelly when this new program started. Not a good look. Brothers and Sisters on Seven at 9.30pm: 635,000. Squashed almost flat by The Biggest Loser. Spooks on the ABC at 9.30pm, 566,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight won everywhere but lost Brisbane. The 7.30 Report averaged 888,000, Four Corners, 798,000, Media Watch, 731,000. Lateline, 302,000, Lateline Business, 161,000. Ten’s late news/Sports Tonight averaged 702,000. SBS News at 6.30pm 253,000, 154,000 for the late news at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 373,000, 7am Today, 302,000.

The Stats: Ten cleaned up for the second night in a row. It had a 6.30pm to midnight share in All People of 32.0% (18.9%), from Nine with 24.5% (31.4%), Seven, 21.5% (24.4%), the ABC on 14.8% (16.3%) and SBS on 7.2% (8.1%). Ten won all five markets. Ten leads the week 31.1% to 25.0% for Nine and 23.9% for Seven.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: MasterChef Australia started and did better than expected and certainly outperformed the start of the last series of Big Brother a year ago. It’s aimed at 18 to 49s, with a slightly lesser skew to the younger part 16 to 39. That’s what it did last night. It will make life tough for Seven’s Home and Away at 7pm.

Underbelly did OK last night, and was well beaten. But it was solid across all demos against The Biggest Loser and MasterChef.

Seven was the big loser (The Biggest Loser?) except for the 6pm News and Today Tonight which had to their best night this year so far. It might have been the Swine Flu story, it might have been the weather, it might have been holidays for school kids, but Seven News creamed Nine News, which had a rare night above 1.3 million viewers. Today Tonight was also strong against ACA, which was also solid, compared with its efforts late last week. Hot Seat had its biggest audience: 651,000, but Deal Or No Deal on Seven at 5.30pm averaged 963,000 and Ten News more than 1 million viewers from 5 m to 6pm. The result, Hot Seat‘s higher audience didn’t help. The Simpsons repeat at 6pm, 973,000. So why would Ten flick that and replace it with sport and news that wouldn’t do as well against Nine and Ten?

The second episode of Australian Story was as strong as the first last week. It concluded a very good examination of Keith Miller’s Life. It was up against MasterChef on Ten and beat Top Gear on SBS.

TONIGHT: MasterChef on Ten from 7pm to 8pm, Bondi Rescue at 8pm, a fresh NCIS at 8.30pm. Lie To Me at 9.30pm (only if you are desperate or haven’t seen it before). Seven is also strong with Animal Rescue, Find My Family, All Saints and Home and Away. At 9.30pm the second episode of 10 Years Younger in 10 Days. It averaged over 1.3 million viewers last week on its debut. The ABC has Foreign Correspondent at 8pm. Nine has three episodes of Two and a Half Men then the failing Funniest Home Videos recut show then the failing Commercial Breakdown (both from 7.30pm to 8.30pm) and then two hours of Underbelly uncut from 9.30 pm. SBS has Insight at 7.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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