The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.612 million, Spicks and Specks was second at 8.30pm with 1.607 million and The Chaser returned to the ABC at 9pm with 1.540 million. Seven’s Thank God You’re Here averaged 1.516 million at 7.30pm and Today Tonight was 5th with 1.473 million. MasterChef Australia was 6th with 1.338 million and RPA averaged 1.290 million at 8pm for Nine. Criminal Minds averaged 1.272 million for Seven and 9th was Nine News with 1.203 million. The 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men was 10th with 1.182 million and Home and Away was 11th with 1.178 million. The Mentalist averaged 1.107 million at 8.30pm for Nine and 12th spot. A Current Affair was 13th (Chk Chk switch channels) 1.091 million and Nine’s What’s Good For You averaged 1.035 million at 7.30pm and 14th spot. The new Simpsons episode at 8pm averaged 998,000 for Ten, Cold Case at 9.30pm averaged 991,000. Deal Or No Deal averaged 797,000 for Seven at 5.30pm, Hot Seat on Nine at 5.30pm with Eddie McGuire averaged 668,000. Ten News swept the 5pm to 6pm hour with 997,000 viewers.

The Losers: My Name Is Earl on Seven at 9.30pm, 793,000. The first Law and Order episode at 8.30pm on Ten, 616,000. The Cook and The Chef on the ABC at 6.30pm (and in a much tougher timeslot) had more viewers (643,000) than Ten’s program at 9.30pm. The second Law and Order episode at 8.30pm averaged 801,000. Says a lot about the impact of the ABC and Seven at 8.30pm. Moving Wallpaper on the ABC at 9.30pm, 528,000. The title did come to mind when watching some of The Chaser, but it vanished.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market as did Today Tonight. Ten News was less than 100,000 behind ACA last night in the rankings — too close. Ten’s late News/Sports Tonight averaged 365,000. The 7.30 Report averaged 736,000, Lateline, 274,000, Lateline Business, 142,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 197,000, 213,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise, 373,000, 7am Today, 300,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight All People with a 28.4% share (29.2%) from Nine with 26.3% (25.1%), Ten with 21.2% (22.2%), SBS with 19.5% (18.0%), SBS with 4.6% (4.0%). Seven won 18 to 49, 25 to 54. Ten says it won 18 to 39. Those were commercial shares, the ABC would have gone close in 16 to 39s with The Chaser and Spicks and Specks. Seven won everywhere bar Adelaide where Nine won. Ten was 4th in Sydney with The ABC third because of Spicks and Specks and The Chaser. Ten was a distant 4th during The Chaser and Spicks and Specks. Seven leads the week 27.8% from Ten on 26.0% and Nine on 25.4%. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 27.0% from Prime/7Qld with 26.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.2%, the ABC with 19.6% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The Chaser returned, but Spicks and Specks just pipped it in the audience stakes. The Chaser was OK, more of the same. Some of the jokes would be more outrageous if not so spontaneous. Tossing the rubber doll representing the Governor General over the wall (claimed to be at the back of The Melbourne Club) was funny. Spicks and Specks was funny for the talent (Ross Wilson and Cal Wilson. She must have sprinted hard from the Seven studios, where she was on Thank God You’re Here to the ABC in time for Spicks and Specks). A good hour of TV, just as Spicks and Specks and The Gruen Transfer was. Better than any hour during the week. The Chaser was the most watched show in Sydney with 514,000, the third in Melbourne with 478,000 (Thank God You’re Here was top show in Melbourne with 512,000).

MasterChef continues to skew very strong to female viewers, especially in 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. Not over 55 though. That’s valuable for Ten.

Thank God You’re Here has a rest next week because of the State of Origin Rugby League game on Nine next Wednesday night. The European Cup final this morning on SBS, great football.

TONIGHT: The Footy Shows, NRL and AFL. Getaway, all on Nine, plus 20 to 1. Seven has Ghost Whisperer, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. Ten has MasterChef, Law and Order CI, plus Rules of Engagement and Worst Week (which will do so badly as to unfairly boost audience levels on Nine, Seven, the ABC and SBS where Inspector Rex is being repeated, again). Ten also has Medium, which will do its bit to improve audience figures for the Footy Shows. Mad Men is also on SBS at 8.30pm. It if wasn’t such a swine of a program it would be more contagious with viewers. The ABC has Q&A up against the Footy Shows, especially in Sydney and Brisbane.

The new program on the ABC at 8.30pm is the BBC special, The Ascent of Money by Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson. It’s interesting (the book more so). It’s modelled in some ways on the Jacob Bronowski series from the 1970’s called The Ascent Of Man which was a groundbreaking TV series (as was Lord Clark’s Civilisation. The Ascent of Money should really have been made much earlier on, but it is worth a look tonight to test it.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports