The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.441 million people, from Today Tonight with 1.417 million and Getaway was third and averaged 1.309 million at 7.30pm for Nine. Nine News averaged 1.270 million and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.229 million. A Current Affair was 6th with 1.212 million and Home and Away averaged 1.177 million. Rush on Ten at 8.30pm averaged 1.114 million, and Nine’s 20 to 1 averaged 1.102 million. The Amazing Race at 7.30pm on Seven averaged 1.054 million and 11th was the 7pm ABC News with 1.024 million.

The Losers: Double Take on Seven at 9pm, 687,000, TV Burp at 8.30pm, 775,000. 45 Stone Virgin at 7.30pm, 753,000 for the Ten offering in the heart of prime time. Buried while the cricket was starting on SBS. Burn Notice on Ten at 9.30pm returned. It averaged 723,000; it won’t go much higher when the cricket ends.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne, as did Today Tonight. Seven is starting to need the large nightly winning margin in Perth to make sure its news and ACA are safely ahead nationally. It’s not every night, but there’s a bit of a narrowing some nights. It’s not back to 2005 or 2006 territory. The 7.30 Report averaged 839,000, Q&A, 466,000; Lateline, 240,000; Lateline Business, 131,000. Ten News averaged 835,000. The late News/Sports Tonight averaged 260,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 183,000, the late edition after the first session of the cricket, 294,000. 7am Sunrise, 370,000, 7am Today, 306,000.

The Stats: Nine won 6pm to midnight All People with a share of 27.8% (31.0% last week) From Seven with 24.8% (25.1%), Ten with 19.9% (23.4%), the ABC, 15.2% (14.7%) and SBS with 12.2% (5.9%). Nine won everywhere bar Adelaide where Seven won. Seven leads the week 28.5% to 27.0% for Nine. Seven will move ahead tonight because of the AFL. In regional areas a win to WIN/NBN with 28.8% from Prime/7Qld with 22.7%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 20.9%, SBS with 13.9% and the ABC with 13.7%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: TT moved away from ACA last night after the close win by Nine’s program the night before. Why this happened, can’t tell. Seven News in Sydney followed up the TT “exclusive” with Myer’s Jennifer Hawkins (a Seven host) with a story on the Myer fashion parade last night. Why?

Hot Seat has now clearly established its supremacy over Deal or No Deal. Eddie’s vehicle averaged 809,000 last night, Deal Or No Deal, 722,000. It is starting to help Nine News close the gap on Seven. Last night Nine’s Sydney news had a high 377,000 viewers compared to Seven’s 393,000. Earlier in the year Nine News usually tanked Thursdays, but not last night. Could Seven be losing the plot? Deal or No Deal was folksy last night and had all the appeal of backwoods TV. Hot Seat was pure Eddie, and nothing else but it has pace. Time for Seven and Southern Star Endemol to pull their fingers out and revamp Deal or No Deal.

Once again on Thursday nights, Seven was weak. TV Burp and Double Take are below par offerings. Nine’s weakest nights are Tuesdays, Seven’s is now Thursdays. Saturdays both networks run rubbish after 7.30pm and virtually close down. None of the Networks have enough product to compete full bore seven nights a week. Seven’s Thursday line up, and the fact it is leaving it there even though it is tanking, is a hint that bean counter TV programming has spread from Saturday nights.

The cricket on SBS averaged 700,000 for the first session and 270,000 for the second session. That probably saved Seven from a bigger battering by Nine last night.

Late Stop Extra: SBS is reported to have canned the local version of Top Gear after two seasons. It didn’t work as well as the UK original and the network and the producers (Freehand) had trouble getting a trio of hosts who were appealing to viewers). SBS says still in talks with the BBC, but no decision made either way, which is hardly a ringing endorsement for keeping the program going in its present form.

TONIGHT: Cricket, AFL, NRL, movies and George Gently on the ABC at 8.30 pm and is by far the best new British cop show for a while. Well over 1.2 million viewers agreed with that judgment last week. Better Homes and Gardens on Seven, The 7pm Project on Ten.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Cricket, AFL on Free To Air TV and Foxtel, NRL on Foxtel. Nothing else worth watching. A desert. The Great Outdoors on Seven or Funniest Home Videos on Nine, both at 6.30pm.

SUNDAY: Morning chat etc etc on Nine, Ten, the ABC and Seven. NRL and AFL in the afternoon on Seven and Nine and Foxtel. Then the cricket. Midsomer Murders on the ABC at 8.30pm; Stephen Fry in the US at 7.30pm. Rescue Special Ops on Nine at 8.30pm, Dancing With The Stars on Seven from 6.30pm and Australian Idol on Ten from 6.30pm. Perhaps Rove around 8.30pm. But the stuff on other channels might be better, even for the youngies. Bones is also on at 8.30pm: 8.30pm Sundays is a treat for cop show freaks.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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