The Winners: MasterChef Australia had its biggest audience of the year so far with 2.119 million from 7pm to 8pm on Ten last night. Seven News was second with 1.814 million (a massive 607,000 ahead of Nine News). Today Tonight was 3rd with 1.699 million and Ten’s 8pm program, Recruits was 4th with 1.375 million. Sea Patrol on Nine at 8.30pm averaged 1.350 million and Nine News was 6th with 1.207 million. Desperate Housewives on Seven at 8.30pm averaged 1.170 million and Home and Away was 8th with 1.139 million viewers. A Current Affair was 9th with 1.132 million and Australian Story on the ABC at 8pm averaged a solid 1.119 million people and was 10th. Nine’s repeat of Two and a half Men averaged 1.061 million at 7pm and 11th spot nationally. Seven’s Brothers and Sisters averaged 1.018 million at 9.30pm, Ten News was next with 1.005 million, the 7.30pm fresh episode of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.002 million for Nine and 15th was Missing Persons Unit on Nine at 9.30pm with 1.001 million.

The Losers: Scrubs on Seven at 8pm, 765,000 and How I Met Your Mother, also on Seven, at 7.30pm, 707,000. Crushed by MasterChef and Recruits on Ten, Top Gear on SBS with 742,000), Two and a Half Men at 7.30pm with 1.002 million and Big Bang (902,000), both on Nine. In other words, Seven finished 4th between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. It didn’t help build viewer numbers for Desperate Housewives. THISafternoon on Nine at 4.30pm, 233,000 and not helping Nine one bit. Supernatural on Ten at 9.30pm, 609,000, beaten by Spooks on the ABC with 708,000.

News & CA: Seven News’ huge margin over Nine was one of the largest in memory. It was equal to 50% of Nine’s national audience. In Sydney Seven had a record 562,000 viewers for the 6pm News (that’s the largest outside the Olympics). The winning margin over Nine was a huge 274,000, the biggest ever. Nine didn’t help by falling under 300,000 viewers in Sydney for the news and ACA. Today Tonight won nationally by 567,000 viewers and in Sydney by more than 270,000. Both are incredible margins in this day and age. Ten’s late News averaged 292,000 (Ten’s audience quickly vanished after MasterChef). The 7pm ABC News averaged 986,000, The 7.30 Report, 771,000, Four Corners (on Bernie Madoff), 983,000, Media Watch, 819,000. Lateline, 298,000. Lateline Business, 141,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 240,000, 203,000 for the 9.30pm edition. 7am Sunrise, 364,000, 7am Today down to 289,000.

The Stats: Ten won everything. Its 6pm to Midnight All People share was 26.6% (25.3%), with Seven next with 24.4% (26.0%), Nine third with 23.8% (24.0%0, the ABC on 17.3% (16.6%), and SBS with 7.9& (8.7%). Seven won Sydney because the News and TT were so far ahead of Nine. Ten won Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Ten leads the week 25.8% to 24.0% for Seven and 23.4% for Nine.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: MasterChef Australia and two pies were the only items of interest to Australian viewers last night. Pies, savoury and sweet. Confection and collapse. A tough task. I would have preferred smaller morsels that one could chomp on while writing this column today, but what the heck. I’m glad people who can chef better than me, can make the same mistakes with pastry and pieces, as I have. This time next week, Ten will come back to the field in a rather rude way. It starts its new 7pm news talk program on Monday night. Ten’s lack of program depth will hurt.

TONIGHT: Packed To The Rafters on Seven at 8.30pm. The Harry Potter movie on Nine in repeat at 7.30pm (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). On Ten, MasterChef, then Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. Grand Designs on the ABC at 8.30pm after Foreign Correspondent at 8pm, which is now worth recording if something else diverts you. Little Britain on Nine at 10.30pm. It’s a repeat. And stage 10 of the Tour De France, now in France proper for Bastille Day.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports