The Winners: Seven News was tops with 1.501 million. The fresh episode of Two and a Half Men, averaged 1.438 million at 7.30pm. Nine’s 8pm program, Destroyed in Seconds, a sort of 20 to 1 of prangs, averaged 1.300 million and Highway Patrol at 7.30pm on Seven averaged 1.294 million. Today Tonight was 5th with 1.278 million, just ahead of A Current Affair with 1.259 million. The 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men averaged 1.253 million, with Home and Away next with 1.191 million for Seven. FlashForward averaged 1.189 million at 8.30pm for Seven and 9th. The Mentalist was a repeat at 8.30pm for Nine, but still averaged 1.185 million and Nine News was 11th with 1.160 million (weak). Nine’s 8pm program, Big Bang Theory, averaged 1.131 million in 12th and 13th was the returning Criminal Minds at 9.30pm for Seven with 1.127 million. Australian Story averaged 967,000 at 8pm for the ABC and Good News Week, 844,000 for Ten from 8.30pm to 10pm.

The Losers: The Apprentice Australia, 747,000 at 9.30pm for Nine. Jamie’s American Road Trip on Ten at 7.30pm, 704,000. Top Gear, 781,000 not a failure for SBS, but down on recent offerings and a worry for Nine which has committed millions to it next year and in 2011. For all Nine’s claims to be able to boost the audience, Top Gear is not unknown in Australia for viewers. Mercy at 10.30pm on Seven, 456,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. A Current Affair won Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with a strong interview and TT only won Adelaide and Perth by enough to move ahead nationally. The 7pm ABC News averaged 959,000, The 7.30 Report, 699,000. Four Corners, 819,000, Media Watch, 821,000. Lateline, 260,000, Lateline Business, 132,000. Ten News, 873,000, the late News/Sports Tonight, 159,000 at 11.10pm. SBS News at 6.30pm, 214,000, the 9.30pm edition, 173,000. 7am Sunrise on Seven, 350,000, 7am Today, 337,000. Close.

The Stats: Seven won with a 6pm to midnight All People share of 29.0% (26.8%) from Nine with a combined share of 27.9% (29.0%). Ten was on a combined share of 18.3% (20.1%), the ABC’s combined share was 16.2% (15.7%) and SBS was on a combined 8.6% (8.4%). Nine won Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane. Seven won Adelaide and Perth by bigger margins. Nine leads the week with a combined share of 8.6% to Seven with 28.2%. (Seven leads the week with Nine’s main channel share less than that).

In regional areas a won to Prime/7Qld with 30.4% from WIN/NBN with 25.8%, Southern Cross (Ten) was on 16.7% and narrowly in front of the ABC on 16.6% and SBS was on 10.4%.

Digitally: Nine’s GO won with 2.00% (which cut Nine’s main channel share to 25.90%). ABC 2 was second with 1.50% (ABC 1 was on 14.70%), Ten’s ONE averaged 0.70% (17.60%), SBS TWO was on 0.30% and SBS ONE was on 8.30%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The highlight of the night was A Current Affair with Tracy Grimshaw again reminding everyone when the program’s producers get a good one, she delivers. The interviews with the woman whose baby slipped under a Melbourne train, and the young bloke who pulled the baby free, were gripping TV. It’s a pity that viewers in Adelaide and Perth are so wedded to Seven and Today Tonight, which floundered with a passerby interview from the same incident.

Nine might have paid money for it (don’t worry, TT was waving dollars at the woman and the 18 year old man), but Ms Grimshaw showed why she’s a class act. Her dig at the producers at the start of the program about a new wonder bra story should have been taken on board by the blokes who run ACA.

At TT they are angry that ACA grabbed the story and paid more money. Are the bean counters from KKR and Seven Media now running everything so minutely that TT doesn’t have the freedom to bid freely? TT‘s Wayne Carey interview didn’t even play well in Melbourne. The ACA story and interview were a Melbourne story and negated the impact of Carey’s tears. He’s got a book to sell and the words were trotted out in the News Ltd tabloids at the weekend, so it wasn’t new news.

For a program that averaged less than a million over the end of last week, it was a good comeback by ACA. The big test is backing up tonight. Now to lift figures when there’s not a start interview to be had, that’s the key and where TT has ACA on toast.

TONIGHT: Packed to the Rafters on Seven, Foreign Correspondent on the ABC at 8pm on an Airbus problem. NCIS on Ten at 8.30pm. Nine has zilch — Two and a Half Men is on, Curb Your Enthusiasm is again being marketed as the second part of the Seinfeld re-union. It’s nothing of the sort. SBS has Insight at 7.30pm and East West 101.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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