The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.724 million. MasterChef Australia on Ten at 7pm, 1.473 million. Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.469 million and Nine News was 4th with 1.339 million. The fresh episode of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.289 million at 7.30pm for Nine and A Current Affair was 6th with 1.286 million. Nine’s Sea Patrol averaged 1.282 million at 8.30pm for 7th spot and Home and Away averaged 1.144 million for Seven at 7pm. 9th was Desperate Housewives on Seven at 8.30pm with 1.143 million and Ten’s 8pm program, Recruits, averaged 1.134 million in 10th spot for Ten. Good News Week averaged 1.113 million for Ten at 8.30pm and You Saved My Life averaged 1.113 million for Nine at 8pm. The 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.072 million, Ten News, 1.052 million, Australian Story at 8pm averaged 1.033 million and the 7pm ABC News with 1.020 million and was 16th. Scrubs at 8pm on Seven averaged 958,000 and Brothers and Sisters on Seven at 9.30pm averaged 927,000 (and won the timeslot for Seven). Hot Seat on Nine at 5.30pm averaged 612,000, well behind Deal Or No Deal on Seven with 940,000. Ten News of course won the 5pm to 6pm slot.

The Losers: How I Met Your Mother on Seven at 7.30pm: 773,000. At that level and in the 7.30pm timeslot, it’s an act of charity or enormous self belief to keep in it the schedule. It did better on Thursdays at 7.30pm, which isn’t as competitive night. Supernatural, 762,000 at 9.30pm for Ten. Not even the solid Ten audience stayed around to support this fading program. Top Gear, 595,000. For SBS it’s not a loser, but the slide continues, bit by bit each week. It has to rate above 600,000 to be considered a success, apparently.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Today Tonight lost in Sydney and won everywhere else. The big surprise was the way Ten’s 5pm News beat the 7pm ABC News two hours later. That’s a very rare occurrence, very rare. The 7.30 Report averaged 884,000 viewers, Four Corners, 922,000 and Media Watch, 764,000. Lateline averaged 310,000, Lateline Business, 132,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 203,000, 224,000 for the late News at 9.30pm. Nine’s late News, 312,000. 7am Sunrise, 367,000, 7am Today, 294,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a 6pm to midnight All People share of 26.2% (26.5%) from Ten and Seven on 25.3% each (26.8% last week for Seven and 23.9%) for Ten. The ABC finished with 17.3% (16.9%) and SBS, 5.9% (6.0%). Nine won Sydney, Melbourne and tied with Seven in Brisbane. Ten won Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads the week 26.5% to 26.1% for Nine and 25.1% for Ten. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN with 28.5% from Prime/7Qld with 24.3%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 22.5%, the ABC with 17.5% and SBS with 7.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A solid win for Nine last night, but it has to work out what to do with Home Made. There was a story last night that it had been taken out of the Sunday night line up from next Sunday to be replaced by a new program being fronted by Karl Stefanovic called Random Acts of Kindness. But Nine later said Home Made was in the Sunday scheme for the next three weeks. Then I was told that last week Nine ordered more episodes of Domestic Blitz much earlier than expected.

The production team was rehired and work will begin as soon as possible (this week). It has run in the 6.30pm timeslot on Sundays where Home Made is. It will return there and the plot seems to be to bring the Karl Stefanovic program into either Monday nights between 7.30pm and 8.30pm or at 7.30pm Tuesdays. If this is followed, it means Nine will be weak for the next three Sunday nights at least. Since Merlin started on Ten at 6.30pm and since Seven’s Sunday Night lifted its game, Nine has lost ground on Sunday nights because Home Made is being squeezed.

I think MasterChef Australia got lucky. Because of the financial crisis and the recession, more people are eating at home. Two years ago this program would have had a bit of a struggle. It’s the program for current times, with some Big Brother overtones. Take last night; why would anyone fret over a dish of paella? Most people haven’t eaten it and most wouldn’t be interested in cooking it because of the fiddly bits involved. And yet it was the cause of obvious tears and frustrations.

MasterChef is doing what Ten hoped it would do and win: so last night it dominated all demos and gave it the winning edge in 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54.

TONIGHT: More MasterChef, more NCIS (fresh and repeat); Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. Nine has three episodes of Two and a Half Men, plus Home Made, plus a movie in Sydney. In Melbourne Nine has Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen. Seven has Find My family, The Zoo, All Saints and 10 Years Younger. SBS has Insight and the ABC has Foreign Correspondent.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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