Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: 16 programs again with a million or more viewers. Seven got the bragging rights, Ten claimed the demos in the main commercial zone, Nine was squeezed, again. MasterChef Australia did the biz for Ten at 7 pm with 1.718 million, Seven News was second with 1.646 million and Thank God You’re Here averaged 1.492 million at 7.30 pm for Seven and 3rd spot. Today Tonight was 4th with 1.380 million, Spicks And Specks on the ABC at 8.30 pm was 5th with 1.378 million (and was quite warm and generous last night, with great laughs). A Current Affair was 6th with 1.239 million and Nine News was next with 1.235 million. Seven’s Criminal Minds averaged 1.232 million at 8.30 pm and The Chaser at 9 pm averaged 1.202 million. RPA was boosted to an hour and did a so-so 1.154 million at 8.30 pm for Nine and Ten’s Jacko special averaged 1.151 million at 8 pm. Home And Away at 7 pm averaged 1.149 million, the 7.30 pm fresh ep of Two And A Half Men 1.133 million and the 7 pm repeat of the same program was next with 1.120 million. 15th was What’s Good For You on Nine at 8 pm with 1.082 million and Nine’s Jacko special at 9.30 pm averaged 1.078 million. The Cook And The Chef, 634,000.

The Losers: Losers? Nine changed its schedule, pushing RPA to an hour and it made little difference. My Name Is Earl on Seven at 9.30 pm, 775,000. How I Met Your Mother at 10 pm, 653,000. THISafternoon at 4.30 pm on Nine, 238,000 (See below).

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, as did Today Tonight. Nine’s audience in Sydney for the 6 pm news is down: 296,000 last night. THISafternoon to blame? The 7 pm ABC News averaged 946,000, The 7.30 Report, 748,000, Lateline, 264,000 and Lateline Business, 160,000. Ten News At Five, 954,000, the Late News/Sports Tonight, 296,000. 6.30 pm World News Australia on SBS, 185,000, the 9.30 pm edition, 131,000. 7 am Sunrise, 410,000; 7 am Today, 317,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6 pm to midnight All People share of 27.4%, from Nine on 26.3% (no comparisons with last Wednesday which was State Of Origin night for Nine). Ten was third with 24.9%, the ABC, 17.4% and SBS, 4.0%. Seven won Sydney and Perth, Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane, Adelaide was won by Ten. In regional areas a close win for Prime/7Qld over WIN/NBN, 27.6% to 27.5%. Ten was well back on 21.7% for Southern Cross, the ABC was on 17.5% and SBS, 5.8%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Live at Five at Nine in the early 1990s got to be known as “Dead At Six” and it was. THISafternoon started on Nine on Monday at 4.30 pm. After yesterday, it might be dead by Friday. The audience fell sharply, down from 321,000 on Monday and 314,000 Tuesday to 238,000 yesterday. Seven’s 4.30 pm News sailed on, averaging 429,000 yesterday. The Bold and The Beautiful on Ten at 4.30 pm averaged 487,000 as it serenely drifted (stared) towards the Ten News At Five, (where the nice Deb Knight is back in Sydney). THISafternoon is leaving no impression on viewers. It’s back to the drawing boards for Nine’s News boss, Mark Calvert (AKA Little Britain). Mark Ferguson again looked like he wanted to be elsewhere yesterday, Mr Daddo can at least talk to camera without offending (but not saying much of note). Ms Blowers squeaks and looks like Mark’s daughter. Nine is now offering $5,000 a day to a ‘lucky viewer’ who is watching THISafternoon. The cunning will watch knowing the odds have gotten a lot better from Monday to now, judging by yesterday’s poor 238,000. You may have a better chance of winning than Auslotto.

Another problem: There was THISafternoon reporting on some of the same stories that we were about to see at 6 pm, especially in Sydney. No wonder Nine News fell to 296,000 viewers in Sydney last night We are seeing the news before Peter Overton tells us.

Meanwhile an exclusive on Nine on Monday night’s News about 870 thefts of prescription drugs from NSW Hospitals is so old that it’s approaching its second coming. It was a story in early January, according to a SMH report on January 3. Now the same story was recycled by Nine News in Sydney where WickieWestacott is running the show and boasting about coming second. It’s great to see that he’s also encouraging Nine to recycle old news. How very green on him. Now what was this guff in the Nine promos about Seven being late to report a story that Nine had already broken? Nine was almost 6 months late on this one!

Nine revamped its night last night, pushing the half hour RPA to an hour from 8.30 pm. It didn’t do much. That meant we had to endure another ep of Two And A Half Men after the repeat at 7 pm (Like Monday night). It also didn’t do much. Nine stayed close to Seven and moved past Ten by mining the Whacko memory again with Jeff Goldblum’s killer, Dickie Wilkins, fronting a last minute exploiter at 9.30 pm instead of Cold Case. It was called “What really happened”. Duhhh, he died and we knew as much before Nine told us what really happened, because the real cause of death isn’t known and the burial circus apparently comes tomorrow. Now who will go live and for how long? The Whacko thing averaged 1.078 million until the tennis started at 10.30 pm. Ten though had the last laugh, winning 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54s from 6 pm to 10.30 pm. Why not a special call and The Vultures, come to pick over Jacko’s body and memory?

Ten also mined the Whacko memory with a cute little special at 8 pm to 9 pm called Picking Up The Pieces (syringes and tablet holders?). It averaged 1.151 million people. 560,000 people who watched MasterChef couldn’t be bothered to continue on Ten which says a lot about the interest in the wider viewing public in Jacko. Ten won the battle of the specials, through earlier programming, but Seven’s Monday night effort at 7.30 pm still holds the ‘record’ with over 1.3 million people.

TONIGHT: Getaway and football shows and then tennis on Nine (and Hewitt-Roddick was gritty from 4 am onwards today after the cat woke me and told me the match was getting tense) Tonight it’s the women’s semis. Seven has its female skew with Grey’s Anatomy the highlight. Private Practice maybe. The ABC finishes Ascent of Money at 8.30 pm. Ten has MasterChef. SBS has Rexie and Mad Men.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.