The Winners: Nine won easily, thanks to its quickly organised Don Lane tribute special which averaged 1.261 million people from 8.30pm. Getaway on Nine at 7.30pm averaged 1.213 million and Seven News was third with 1.141 million. Today Tonight was 4th with 1.090 million and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.060 million for Nine. Secret Millionaire at 9.30pm averaged 1.015 million and Home and Away was 7th with 1.005 million. The 7pm ABC News was 8th with 1.003 million. Rush on Ten at 8.30pm averaged 973,000; Seven’s 8.30pm program, Beauty and the Geek averaged 952,000.

The Losers: Ghost Whisperer on Seven at 7.30pm, 843,000. It’s being beaten by Ten’s Glee in the same slot (951,000, which is a solid, not a loser rating). The Amazing Race on Seven at 9.30pm, 716,000. Burn Notice on Ten at 9.30pm, 796,000.

News & CA: Viewers might have noticed Nine News and A Current Affair were out of the million viewer list for a second night in a row. Nine News averaged 943,000, ACA, 929,000. Seven News won nationally, ACA won Melbourne, TT won the rest. The 7pm ABC News actually topped the news rankings in Sydney last night with 320,000 viewers, to 295,000 for Seven and 277,000 for Nine. The 7.30 Report averaged 701,000 viewers, Q&A at 9.30pm, 525,000. Lateline, 289,000, Lateline Business, 155,000. Ten News, 741,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 436,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 171,000, 9.30pm edition, 140,000. 7am Sunrise, 367,000, 7am Today, 321,000.

The Stats: Once again Nine won easily, even on a main channel basis. Nine had a combined All People 6pm to Midnight share of 30.5% (28.9% a week ago), with Seven second on 24.1% (27.1%), Ten on 22.6% (unchanged), the ABC was on 17.7% (16.5%) and SBS was on 5.1% (4.9%). Nine won all five metro markets. Nine leads with a combined share of 28.3% to 26.8% for Seven. Seven should do better tonight.

In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 29.0%, Prime/7Qld with 23.9%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 23.2%, the ABC with 18.3% and SBS with 5.6%.

Digitally: Nine’s GO, 2.10% (Nine’s main channel, 28.40%), ABC 1 with 1.80%, ABC 1, 15.80%, Ten’s ONE, 1.50% (Ten’s main channel, 21.10%), SBS TWO, 0.50%, SBS ONE, 4.60%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nine’s clever rushed programming of a tribute to Don Lane worked well last night (and helped remind us all that there are some stunning no-talents on Australian TV at the moment). It also told us that Bert Newton is the big remaining variety talent in this country.

TONIGHT: Read a book, go out, but if you have to, watch Better Homes and Gardens at 7.30pm on Seven, then go out. Midsomer Murders returns on the ABC (so brief a holiday!) at 8.30pm. Perhaps The 7pm Project on Ten.

SATURDAY NIGHT: A new series (UK, of course) on the ABC called Hope Springs at 7.30pm. If you speak Scottish, Taggart at 9.20pm. Rockwiz on SBS at 9.20pm after Iron Chef. Apart from that it’s movies, movies and movies on the commercial channels as the bean counters continue their iron grip on programming. It might be cheaper if Seven, Nine and Ten turn themselves off after 6.30pm and go black and not incur transmission costs. That is what they are in effect doing by screening so many average movies, or repeats of repeats, like on this night.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Sunday Night, Bones on Seven. Wuthering Heights on the ABC. Nine has 60 Minutes and the last episode of Rescue Special Ops. Ten has Australian Idol for those inclined, then Rove. Sunday morning chat shows will be full of refugee talk. Meet The Press on Ten has the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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