The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.499 million people, from Today Tonight with 1.418 million. Getaway was 3rd for Nine at 7.30pm with 1.183 million and Home and Away averaged 1.182 million at 7pm for Seven. Nine’s 20 to 1 repeat at 8.30pm won with 1.172 million and Ghost Whisperer averaged 1.162 million at 7.30pm and 6th for Seven. Nine News was 7th with 1.129 million, in front of the 7pm ABC News in 8th spot with 1.068 million. A Current Affair was next with 1.056 million and The Two and a Half Men repeat at 7pm was 10th for Nine with 1.055 million. The Footy Shows were 11th for Nine with 1.046 million (452,000 in Melbourne alone) and 12th and last was Law And Order CI on Ten at 8.30pm with 1.038 million. Seven’s Grey’s Anatomy averaged 996,000, MasterChef on Ten from 7pm to 8pm, 982,000 and Bondi Vet at 8pm, 878,000. The Media Watch Clip Show at 8.30pm, 911,000 for the ABC. Hot Seat on Nine at 5.30pm, 615,000, beaten by Deal or No Deal on Seven and Ten News.

The Losers: Rules of Engagement on Ten at 7.30pm. It started the latest series like it ended the last, poorly, attracting only 773,000 people. Medium at 9.30pm, another black hole failure for Ten, 742,000. Mad Men on SBS at 8.30pm, 204,000. Still dark, nasty of mind and even though it has been on Pay TV here, it should be doing better among SBS viewers. Private Practice on Seven at 9.30pm, a black hole of its own, 686,000 viewers.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Ten News averaged 918,000, the late News/Sports Tonight averaged 283,000. Nine ran its late News and it averaged 411,000. It ran after The Footy Shows (and was boosted in Melbourne by the AFL Show as a lead-in). WIN is not taking it in Adelaide or Brisbane or on the network in regional Australia. Must be a cost argument again. The 7.30 Report averaged 865,000 nationally, Q&A at 9.35pm, 559,000, Lateline, 334,000, Lateline Business, 162,000. SBS News at 6.30 pm, 175,000, 9.30pm, 130,000. 7am Sunrise. 368,000, 7am Today, up to 295,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to Midnight All People share of 29.2% (27.4%), from Seven with 25.9% (25.2%), Ten with 21.8% (25.2%), the ABC with 18.6% (17.2%) and SBS with 4.6% (5.0%). Nine won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, thanks to the AFL Footy Show. Seven won Sydney (where the ABC finished third and Ten 4th!) and Brisbane, the NRL states! In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 29.2%, Prime/7Qld with 26.1%, Southern Cross (Ten), on 20.4%, the ABC on 18.7% and SBS with 5.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: It is now clear the NRL Footy Show is a dead duck and Nine has to kill it or do something to stop its terminal decline. Last night, with the Matthew Johns story regarding a s-x case in New Zealand, seven years ago, he was live on the NRL Show, talking frankly and honestly about it. It did nothing for the NRL Show’s ratings.

In Sydney it was again beaten by Q&A on the ABC, (215,000 to 207,000). The NRL Show won in Brisbane, 127,000 to 106,000. But Sydney is the main market for the program and for Nine. The AFL Footy Show lifted its ratings to 452,000 last night in Melbourne and helped Nine to easily win that market, and to finish in front in Adelaide and Perth and win the night nationally.

The Seven Network won both Sydney and Brisbane last night, and that’s the most important damage to Nine. Nine will win the week, barring a surge tonight and tomorrow by Seven in All People, but we can add Sydney and Brisbane Thursday nights to the holes now appearing in Nine’s schedule.

Next week, when there’s no Logies or Underbelly final, Nine will struggle and these holes will hurt. Even if the new version of The Block, called Home Made works a treat on Sunday and Tuesday nights, the Thursday night black hole called the NRL Footy Show will still be there.

The way Nine News handled the Matthew Johns story last night reeked of a management attempt to stop the story running away from Johns and Nine. They had heard of the ABC Four Corners story planned to air on Monday night and the Johns story was rushed to air, with the News/Footy Show reporter, Danny Wiedler fronting an “exclusive” story.

Some exclusive, handed to him on a platter. The back story to the allegations and Four Corners involvement were not adequately explained. It was as though Nine tried to kill a couple of birds: get on the front foot with the story, try and bolster the News and promote the Footy Show.

I will leave the question of the front foot to others, but the NRL Footy Show move just didn’t work at all and Nine News finished behind Seven and the 7am ABC News in Sydney in the rankings once again. ACA (292,000) by the way, also finished behind the ABC News and The 7.30 Report in Sydney (303,000).

TONIGHT: A Rugby League Test Australia vs.New Zealand from Brisbane for Sydney and Melbourne and regional viewers in the two states. Other stuff on Nine, look at your schedules. Seven has Better Homes and Gardens and then AFL (in the south for the footy) and a movie elsewhere. The ABC has Midsomer Murders and before that Collectors. Ten has MasterChef, The Simpsons repeat, Law and Order and departing Life on Mars.

TOMORROW NIGHT: Footy on Ten at various times in the afternoon and the evening. Ten has Aliens 3 in Sydney and Brisbane when the AFL is live elsewhere. Nine has Home Videos, then four movies until 4am Sunday, one of which is the nasty and miserable Wolf Creek. Seven has Billy Connolly at 6.30pm, Kath and Kim and the Vicar of Dibley and the movie is the Tom Hanks ad for a football and Fed Ex called Cast Away. The ABC has the repeat of New Tricks at 7.30pm and the repeat of Foyle’s War later on. SBS has Mythbusters and Iron Chef.

SUNDAY: Nine starts Home Made which will run Sunday and Tuesday nights. If It doesn’t work, Nine is stuffed for the next eight weeks, with only the Rugby League State Of Origins to boost it. After Home Made Nine has 60 Minutes, CSI and CSI New York.

Seven’s Sunday Night will be up against Home Made. It will place unwanted pressure on the program. Seven also has Border Security USA, The Force, Bones and Bones again. Ten has MasterChef after Merlin, and Rove at the proper time of 8.30pm. Harpers Island starts on Ten at 9.40pm: post 9.30pm is a dead zone for Ten this year. The ABC has another episode of Dirt Game. SBS has Dateline at 8.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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