The Winners: Seven News averaged 1.806 million viewers, with Dancing with the Stars second with 1.592 million. Nine News was third with 1.512 million and the repeat of The Devil Wears Prada averaged 1.238 million from 8.30pm for Ten. Seven’s fresh Bones averaged 1.190 million at 8.30pm, 60 Minutes was 6th with 1.190 million and the movie Eragon averaged 1.175 million from 6.30pm for Ten. Rescue Special Ops debuting with an underwhelming 1.135 million for Nine at 8.30pm. Random Acts Of Kindness at 6.30pm averaged 1.099 million for Nine. The 9.30pm repeat of Bones averaged 925,000. The Test cricket on SBS, 348,000 for the little bit of play before lunch and 301,000 for the second session.

The Losers: It’s too soon to label Rescue Special Ops as a loser. Random Acts Of Kindness finished last night with 1.099 million. It seemed contrived at times, and never set the set on fire, it’s so much like next week’s program, the returning Domestic Blitz. CSI Miami, 645,000 at 9.30pm. How any one could like this version of Miami Mice is beyond me. But it is better than CSI New York. Oh, Las Vegas on Seven at 10.30pm, 410,000. The repeat of CSI Miami at 10.30pm rightfully beat Las Vegas with 415,000 viewers.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Ten News averaged 660,000. The 7pm ABC News averaged 866,000. SBS News at 6.30pm averaged 195,000. Weekend Sunrise, 412,000. Today on Sunday, 272,000. Landline on the ABC at Noon, 228,000, Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 214,000, Inside Business, 143,000, Offsiders, 115,000.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6pm to Midnight All People share of 30.0% (29.7%) from Ten with 26.8% (29.8%), Nine with 23.5% (21.3%), the ABC with 11.7% (13.7% and SBS with 8.2% (5.6%). Seven won all five metro markets. Ten won 16 to 39 and 18 to 49s. In regional markets a win to Prime/7Qld with 27.7%, from WIN/NBN with 25.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 24.0%, the ABC with 13.3% and SBS with 9.1%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Another win for Seven, from Nine in second and Ten third. If Seven wins this week and next it will have won the top line All People group for 2009. Today‘s win over Sunrise proved fleeting on Thursday. By Friday Sunrise, with 368,000, was back in front of Today with 339,000.

And The 7pm Project averaged a solid 678,000 on Friday when viewing levels are normally lower. That was more than 20,000 above the previous Friday (which was the first Friday of the program’s life). In the widest demographic, according to Fusion Strategy, Nine finished third behind Seven in first, then Ten. Fusion also said Nine had had its worst two weeks of 2009 in the fortnight to August 1.

Ten out programmed Nine for the second week in a row. Nine didn’t finish as far back as it did the previous Sunday, but climbing back to second, behind Seven, will be a big task once again.

60 Minutes was flattened again by Dancing with the Stars on Seven and Ten’s movie. 60 Minutes is now rating under its 2009 average of 1.2 million, which is down around 300,000 from 2008. Last night it was forced to drop a segment on teen suicides in Geelong at the last minute. Let’s hope silly 60 Minutes didn’t have under age kids talking about such matters with no parental supervision. This was what the pre-publicity for 60 Minutes said on Friday the segment was about:

Searching for Answers

In the town of Geelong, four families are searching for answers. How could their children die? Even more mystifying and more devastating, why would they all take their own lives? Last week, the community farewelled Chanelle Rae, the fourth death in the last six months. The fourth teenager from the same local high school to die by suicide. It seems extraordinary that there could be so much pain, so much tragedy in the one place. But the truth is, with all the pressures teenagers face these days, what ‘s happened in Geelong could happen in any school, in any town, anywhere in Australia.

Reporter: Tara Brown

To be there’s an alarm bell or two, such as: is there a police investigation, has it finished etc etc? What about the family concerned?

The disappointment for Nine would have been the 1.13 million who tuned in to watch the debut of Rescue Special Ops at 8.30pm. It was barely OK. Nine executives have said they want to give the audience “meat and potatoes” in their drama. Last night it was a bit more like turkey and limp salad.

Nine is also working on a new police series. Hopefully they will have learnt from this expensive experiment and bring it back towards strong writing, good storylines and solid characters who are believable, not an idea built on a premise derived from opinion polls. Let’s hope the first episode was a settler for everyone concerned.

TONIGHT: Nine has Farmer wants a Wife at 8.30pm and Drop Dead Diva at 9.30pm. The former returns, the latter is a debut and probably worth a look. In fact ignore the cricket tonight on SBS after last night’s efforts and Shane Watson’s lollipops.

Spooks is a final on the ABC at 9.35pm. Seven goes for the first run movie, Knocked Up at 8.30pm. Ten has The 7pm Project (Crikey‘s Deputy Sophie Black will be on tonight’s show) and then Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? and then Good News Week.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports