The Winners: 11 programs with a million viewers or more. Seven won the main channel battle, Nine had more viewers including its separately programmed digital channel. Seven wins the night. Nine News was the most watched with 1.568 million, boosted in Sydney by the NRL qualifying final (and Brisbane) and a solid performance in Melbourne. Seven returned Border Security at 7.30 pm and it finished second with 1.543 million people, with The Force third with 1.529 million at 8 pm on Seven. Seven News was 4th with 1.464 million. Midsomer Murders was 5th with 1.366 million at 8.35 pm for the ABC (and why it finished third on the night and Ten 4th). The ABC News update around 8.30 pm or just after averaged 1.324 million and the last Domestic Blitz for the year averaged 1.244 million viewers at 6.30 pm. That was just in front of Seven’s returning Sunday night with 1.241 million. 60 Minutes was 9th with 1.230 million at 7.30 pm and the final ep of Stephen Fry’s US journey averaged 1.110 million people. 11th was Nine’s Rescue Special Ops. It has lost something since it’s been on, or perhaps not grown into a solid enough program for viewers.

The Losers: Losers? Idol and Ten last night (again with the honourable exception of Rove). His 816,000 viewers from around 8.40 pm is a tribute to his pulling power, not the help from Idol in the preceding two hours. CSI Miami at 9.30 pm for Nine, 631,000. The viewers have this one for what it is. A cheap idea. Las Vegas, likewise. Only 320,000 viewers watched it on Seven last night after The Bourne Ultimatum (965,000 from 8.30 pm).

News & CA: Nine News won nationally and Sydney and Melbourne. The 7 pm ABC news averaged 981,000. Ten News At Five averaged 620,000. World News Australia at 6.30 pm averaged 183,000, Dateline at 8.30 pm, 132,000. In the morning Weekend Sunrise, 378,000, Sunday Today, 270,000. Landline 247,000 at Noon on the ABC, Insiders on the ABC at 9 am, 197,000, Inside Business at 10 am, 122,000, Offsiders at 10.30 pm, 136,000. Meet The Press on Ten, 32,000.

The Stats: Nine won with a combined main channel and digital share of 27.6% for All People 6 pm to midnight (25.6% last Sunday) from Seven on 27.1% (30.3% a week ago). The ABC was third with 21.8% (19.2%), Ten was on 19.8% (17.9%) and SBS with 3.7% (6.9% with One Day International cricket last Sunday). Nine won Melbourne and Adelaide, Seven won Sydney and Brisbane and Perth. In regional areas a win for WIN/NBN for Nine with 29.8% from Prime/7Qld with 25.6%, the ABC on 21.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 18.5% and SBS with 4.7%.

Seven won the battle of the primary channels: Nine was a second, but its digital channel Go, had its best figures. In fact the digital channels attracted over 7% of the audience in free to air prime time last night. Go averaged 3.70% for Nine and the main Nine’s channel averaged 24.0%. Ten’s One averaged 2.30%, Ten’s main channel 17.50%. ABC 2 averaged 0.80%, ABC 1, 21.00%. SBS TWO averaged 0.30%, SBS ONE, 3.50%. Seven averaged 27.10%. Big Bang Theory from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm averaged 231,000, Wipeout at 6.30 pm on go, 248,000. Nine is really cannibalising its main channel audiences.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: NRL on Saturday night won the week for Nine as Seven was weak, again, even without the Rugby Union. The AFL final Saturday night was also strong for Ten, forcing Seven back to third, after it had won Friday night and Ten finished with a derisory 14.9% share in All People the same night. But strip out Nine’s Go with its weekly share of 21.% and Nine’s main channel share falls to 25.9% and second place behind Seven’s 27.9% share in All People.

Idol had its second sub 1 million audience in a row last night. It was better than the previous week when it averaged 883,000. But not much. It is in trouble. Rove at 8.40 pm again attracted more viewers from the 16 to 39 groups than Idol. (Idol won the 16 to 39 group for the two hours, but that group is not supposed to be as important for Idol these days, but is keeping it alive). The 6.30 pm start is not helping Idol.

Midsomer Murders on the ABC from 8.35 pm: 1.366 million. It’s not taxing, it doesn’t threaten viewer IQs, but it provides more attractive viewing than Nine’s tiring Rescue Special Ops with 1.017 million and Seven’s movie The Bourne Ultimatum. Next Sunday it uses an idea from Gulliver’s Travels and thereby opens up a whole new genre of whodunnits for TV: adapting classic literature to run of the mill police procedurals. Mining Dickens for murder plots and victims could mean the re-invention of Midsomer Murders and making it vaguely uplifting. Agatha Christie was a bit of a pioneer of course in this field..

Seven returned Border Security and The Force to 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm and they made a mess of the other network’s figures, as did Midsomer Murders at 8.35 pm to 10.10 pm on the ABC. Domestic Blitz ended the year for Nine at 6.30 pm with 1.244 million. It just beat Sunday Night by 3,000 viewers. Next Sunday Nine starts a new list program called The Best of The Best, which is another archival list program (20 to 1 by another set of numbers).

Sunday Night returned better than it left us on Seven and managed to get more viewers than 60 Minutes on Nine at 7.30 pm. Seven will soon have to decide if Sunday Night is to become something bigger next year, which will require more reporters, producers and crews. At the moment is it’s a programming option, rather than a mainstay. The double header intro with Mike Munro and Chris Bath still looks cheesy and uncomfortable. Why she is doing it now when she is supposed to be next in line for the Sydney 6 pm news reading gig when Ian Ross goes is odd. Ian Ross is on holidays from last night. I would have though it would have been in Seven’s interest to have Chris Bath in the chair and replacing him and not at 6.30 pm sharing the screen with Mike Munro.

TONIGHT: City Homicide tonight on Seven (and Wednesday night, also at 8.30 pm). Australian Story on the ABC at 8 pm. Farmer Wants A Wife on Nine at 8.30 pm: it ends tonight with a two hour special. Ten has Good News Week at 8.30 pm. The 7 Pm Project will be worth a look. SBS has Top Gear at 7.30 pm for the revheads.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports.