The Winners: Ten cleverly programmed MasterChef Australia for 90 minutes from 7pm and the wedding special obliged by topping the list with 1.883 million viewers. Seven News was second with 1.606 million and Today Tonight was third with 1.411 million. Seven’s Criminal Minds easily won the 8.30pm to 9.30pm slot with 1.343 million and Nine News was fifth with 1.296 million. Thank God You’re Here was hurt by the longer Chef episode and averaged a low 1.291 million. Spicks and Specks was seventh with 1.281 million and A Current Affair was eighth with 1.235 million. Home and Away averaged 1.095 million and was ninth. 10th was the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men for Nine with 1.058 million and the hour long episode of RPA averaged 1.026 million from 8pm for Nine, was about 300,000 less than what RPA did with a half hour episode last week. Nine’s 7.30pm program What’s Good For You averaged 976,000. The 8.30 episode of Law and Order averaged 975,000 for Ten. That was over 900,000 down on MasterChef and a good indication of the continuing novelty value of the Chef program and the lack of interest in Law and Order these days (and in CSI and Cold Case on Nine).

The Losers: My Name is Earl on Seven at 9.30pm, 779,000, How I Met Your Mother on Seven at 10pm, 677,000. Cold Case on Nine at 9pm, 774,000; The 10pm repeat, 564,000. How I Met Your Mother beat Cold Case the repeat in the 10 to 10.30pm slot. Ten’s Law and Order SVU at 9.30pm (the repeat) won the slot with a low 789,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market (Brisbane was closer than it has been for a while, around 1,000 viewers). ACA and Nine News have gone back to being weak in Sydney. The 7pm ABC news with 328,000 viewers had more viewers than Nine’s 6pm news did in Sydney with 324,000, and more than ACA’s 323,000. That hasn’t happened for a month. Today Tonight lost Melbourne by 1,000 viewers or so to ACA, and Brisbane. It won nationally. Ten News averaged 994,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 431,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 983,000 nationally. The 7.30 Report, 780,000, Lateline, 200,000, Lateline Business, 142,000. 6.30 pm World News on SBS, 153,000, 260,000 for the 8.30pm edition. Nine’s Late News, 281,000. 7am Sunrise, 402,000, 7am Today, 314,000.

The Stats: Seven won 6pm to midnight All People with 28.9% (28.6%) from Ten with 28.3% (22.8%), Nine with a share of 22.9% (27.2%), the ABC on 15.3% (17.3%) and SBS with 4.6% (4.2%).

Seven won Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. Ten won Melbourne and Adelaide. Ten still leads the week with 28.4%, from Seven with 26.7% and Nine behind on 24.4%. In regional areas Ten’s programs again didn’t make a splash at all. Prime/7Qld won with 27.6%, from WIN/NBN with 25.2%, with Southern Cross (Ten) with 24.6%, the ABC on 16.6% and SBS with 6.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won All People but Ten won the jackpots in the demos and is having its best week since Australian Idol and Big Brother were raging hot back in 2004 and 2005. The special of MasterChef Australia did the trick holding a huge audience for a long time and beating off Thank God You’re Here on Seven, which had dominated the 7.30pm slot on Wednesdays. Weddings are generally a bit of a nightmare for all concerned, so the choice of such an event for an episode of the program was inspired, although why you’d want to cater for one is beyond me.

Nine was squeezed out for the second night in a row and did surprisingly poorly. Ten’s audience in prime time is up around 10% in the past month or this year, Seven’s is up 1.7%, but Nine’s is off more than 5%. Ten’s News ratings are up more than 13%, Seven’s is up slightly but Nine’s ratings are down. (But have picked up a bit for Peter Overton in Sydney and for ACA as a whole since Hot Seat started at 5.30pm and since the Matthew Johns story for ACA in early May). Ten News, MasterChef, NCIS and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation are the big winners for Ten at the moment. But its third quarter results, to the end of May will be out next week and will show that it’s had no impact on its bottom line. That should come later in the year and into 2010, if the TV ad market improves.

Next Wednesday is the Rugby League’s second State of Origin game on Nine. It’s also the night when The Chaser is due to reappear at 9pm on ABC TV, suitably chastised. Seven and Ten will go all minimalist next week in Sydney and Brisbane.

TONIGHT: The NRL and AFL Football shows on Nine, with Getaway as the lite start to the night (Why do the ads on the NRL related programs on Nine and on some AFL programs from Brut deodorant for men style itself as “Still Brutally male”. In view of all the bad publicity, it’s the last thing you want to be known for. Tune in tonight to see if those old fashioned blokes ads are still being shown). The ABC has The Ascent of Money at 8.30pm, up against Mad Men on SBS, which is after Inspector Rex at 7.30pm. MasterChef Australia is on and it’s a half hour rest tonight, but is Ten’s highlight. Law and Order Criminal Intent for escapist drama. Seven has Ghost Whisperer, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, all aimed at female viewers.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.