The Winners: MasterChef Australia topped the most watched list last night with its highest ever audience: 1.962 million. That will go close to being the biggest audience of the week. Seven News was second with 1.792 million and Nine News was 3rd with 1.629 million. 60 Minutes was 4th with 1.431 million. Random Acts of Kindness was next with 1.421 million for Nine at 6.30pm. It beat Ten’s Merlin with 1.395 million. Seven’s Bones won the 8.30pm slot with 1.348 million. Ten’s Rove with 1.271 million was its highest of the year so far at 8.30pm and Sunday Night fell to 1.158 million for Seven at 6.30pm (but its audience was trimmed in Adelaide by AFL scheduling). Castle on Seven at 9.30pm won the slot with 1.056 million. The Force averaged 979,000 at 8pm for Seven. 3 Acts of Murder on the ABC with 975,000 did well from 8.30pm to 10pm. Border Security USA averaged 904,000.

The Losers: CSI Miami, episode 1 at 9.30pm, 771,000, episode 2 at 10.30pm, 686,000. Nine’s CSI at 8.30pm: 953,000, easily beaten by Bones on Seven with 1.348 million and Rove on Ten with 1.271 million and 3 Acts of Murder on the ABC with 975,000. Nine now knows that the core CSI franchise is dying and that CSI Miami can’t hold up an 8.30pm slot and is weak at 9.30pm and that CSI New York is weaker still.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Sydney and Melbourne. Where Nine News had big wins (and Mark Ferguson continues to smile in Sydney at 6pm). Ten News averaged 804,000 and the 7pm ABC News averaged 939,000. SBS News averaged 180,000 at 6.30pm and Dateline averaged 204,000 at 8.30pm. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise averaged 403,000 and Today on Sunday on Nine, 299,000. That was its best audience so far. Landline also averaged 299,000 at Noon for the ABC. Insiders averaged 187,000, Inside Business, 170,000, Offsiders, 158,000 on the ABC between 9am and 11 am. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 33,000.

The Stats: Ten won with a share of 27.2% (27.5%) from 6pm to midnight. It also won all the demos. Nine was second with 26.2% (24.2%) from Seven with 25.4% (27.2%), the ABC with 16.6% (16.4%) and SBS with 4.6% (4.7%). Nine won Sydney, Seven won Brisbane and Adelaide. Ten won Perth and Melbourne when Seven’s share slumped noticeably. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 28.7% from Prime/7Qld with 24.2%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.8%, the ABC with 19.3% and SBS with 5.9%. Ten’s star programs just don’t do it for regional viewers. MasterChef and Merlin were in the top 10 in regional areas last night, but Rove was missing and MasterChef was nowhere near as popular as it was in the five metro markets.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won last week from Nine and Ten and its now a new week. Seven will have a battle after its poor effort last night, which was built on a very sharp drop in Melbourne to just 22.5%, well behind Nine and Ten.

Last night saw Seven disrupt its schedule in Adelaide figures with the AFL game involving the Adelaide Crows. That affected figures for Sunday Night, Border Security and The Force. Nine started Random Acts of Kindness and it ended Sunday Night‘s run of successes. But Random Acts of Kindness is the sort of program that The Chaser should have had a go at. It’s one of those programs that is based on a cynical premise, perhaps the most cynical of all: how can we tug at the hearts of viewers and make them watch?

Seven’s AFL coverage in Adelaide of the North Melbourne-Crows game averaged 187,000 to 7pm and was the third biggest audience on the night. Ten’s audience fell 700,000 or so from the peak in MasterChef to Rove.

3 Acts of Murder on the ABC at 8.30pm was the class act last night. It was well done, had a solid, Australian storyline and had absolutely nothing to do with the Seachange idea.

TONIGHT: Patrol Boat and Missing Persons’ Unit are the highlights on Nine. Seven’s is Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters, Ten’s is MasterChef Australia and Good News Week, SBS’s is Top Gear and The Flight of The Conchords. The ABC’s is Spooks at 9.30pm with Media Watch and Four Corners worth a look to see what’s happening. Australian Story at 8pm if nothing else attracts. Nine’s has an hour of Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother on Seven at 7.30pm.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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