The Winners: MasterChef Australia won the night averaging 1.891 million people. Seven News was second with 1.780 million and Nine News was 3rd with 1.660 million. Rove was 4th with a record 1.629 million and 60 Minutes was 5th with 1.401 million. Ten’s Merlin at 6.30pm averaged 1.323 million and Seven’s Sunday Night said goodbye with a solid 1.296 million. It was in front of Nine’s Random Acts of Kindness at 6.30pm on Nine with 1.221 million people. Seven’s Bones averaged 1.190 million at 8.30pm, Seven’s Surf Patrol averaged 1.099 million and Miss Marple on the ABC from 8.30pm averaged 1.054 million. Border Security USA averaged 1.045 million for Seven at 7.30pm and The Force at 8pm averaged 1.032 million in 13th spot. The 8.30pm episode of CSI averaged 913,000, the 9.30pm episode averaged 863,000. Castle on Seven averaged 881,000 at 9.30pm.

The Losers: Nothing really could be classed as a loser: perhaps there was an underperformer or two. But it was a remarkably solid night of TV.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but lost Melbourne and Adelaide to Nine News. Ten News averaged 723,000, the 7pm ABC News averaged 929,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 180,000, Dateline at 8.30pm, 177,000. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise, 411,000. Today on Sunday up to 316,000; Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 219,000, Inside Business on the ABC at 10am, 189,000, Offsiders at 10.30am, 165,000. Landline on the ABC at Noon, 193,000.

The Stats: Ten won with 29.7% (27.5%) from Nine with 25.6% (25.2%) and Seven with 24.4% (25.1%). The ABC was on 16.1% (17.4%) and SBS was on 4.2% (4.7%). Ten won all five metro markets. In regional markets, WIN/NBN won with 28.9% from Southern Cross (Ten) with 25.6%), Prime/7Qld with 22.9%, the ABC with 17.3% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine managed to sneak home last week thanks to its 90 minute Michael Jackson special on Saturday night. Ten and Seven had football commitments and Nine got up, with Ten second and Seven third. Without the State of Origin game Nine would have finished a poor third, with Ten in the lead.

Last night: Ten won easily because Nine and Seven looked tired and old. MasterChef continues to do well. It hasn’t got long to go, but it is ratings its socks off. The strong audience stayed around for Rove, not for the Prime Minister’s appearance, but that of Bruno (AKA Borat). It was Rove’s biggest ever audience and the energy and relevance to viewers were very much in evidence. Ten’s Merlin won the 6.30pm to 7.30pm slot, so Ten was in front from 6.30pm to after 9.30pm.

Seven bid farewell for the time being to Sunday Night which finished with a bit more verve than 60 Minutes. Both went the Michael Jackson exploiter. 60 Minutes had the last laugh with more viewers than Sunday Night, which promised to return better than ever: promises, promises.

TONIGHT: Highlights. Top Gear on SBS (and a lowlight as well). Four Corners and Australian Story on the ABC. Spooks at 9.30pm if you like your conspiracies packaged and over in an hour, with some bangs. Nine has Sea Patrol at 8.30pm. Missing Persons Unit at 9.30pm has more relevance. Nine returns the flop from the end of 2008, Big Bang Theory to 8pm after an hour of Two and a Half Men. Seven has a Michael Jackson special at 7.30pm.

I am waiting for the Michael Jackson funeral and the live broadcast on every network and channel, and for the dumb commentators to tell us that this is the biggest funeral since that of Princess Diana (another person made by the cult of personality). Jackson at least had musical talent. Will anyone tell us how Diana and Michael (don’t you love the first name basis for so many TV people?) were fans of each other and are ‘together’? Spare me days.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports