The Winners: The Vicar of Dibley Christmas special averaged 1.288 million on Seven at 6.30pm (it was been on the ABC before). Still a classic episode. Seven News was second with 1.234 million, Border Patrol at 7.30pm with 1.198 million and the repeat of Bones at 8.30 pm with 1.127 million. Outback Wildlife Rescue at 8pm, 987,000. Nine’s most watched program was Nine News at 6pm with 948,000. Seven’s Castle was next with 881,000 at 9.30pm for a repeat. Glee on Ten at 7.30pm averaged 870,000. the 20 to 1 episode on Nine at 6.30pm averaged 820,000 and the Schools Spectacular 2009 on the ABC at 7.30pm to 9pm averaged 794,000.

The Losers: Don’t Forget The Lyrics on Ten at 6.30pm with 422,000. Glee an hour later showed what a good music program is, not a cheap sing-along. Little Miss Sunshine on Ten at 8.30pm, 663,000. Band Of Brothers on Seven at 10.30pm, 377,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market. Ten News  averaged 666,000, the 7pm ABC News, 743,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 140,000. Weekend Sunrise on Seven 322,000, Weekend Today on Nine, 244,000.

The Stats: Seven won last night with a 6pm to midnight all people share of 31.7% from Nine with 27.0%, Ten on 18.0%, the ABC with 16.7% and SBS with 6.7%. Seven won all five metro markets.

Digitally: It was another big night with more than 10% of the audience watching. Nine’s Go had its now usual strong Sunday with 4.90% (Nine with 22.10%), from 7TWO with 2.70% (Seven on 29.00%), ABC 2 with 1.10% (ABC 3 with 0.40% and ABC 1 with 15.20%). Ten’s ONE was on 1.00% (Ten was up 16.90%), SBS Two was on 0.20% and SBS ONE was on 6.50%.10.3% all up (10.2% last week as a whole).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won last week narrowly. The six digital channels had more than 10% of the audience in prime time last week.

Nine is very, very sensitive about the poor performance of A Current Affair with Leila McKinnon, against Today Tonight with Sam Armytage. They should be. The ratings for last week show Today Tonight with Ms Armytage easily beat TT with Ms McKinnon over the five nights. TT had an average of 1.119 million viewers, to 921,000 for ACA. On Friday TT averaged 1.064 million (with, Seven News, the only program to average more than a million viewers that night). A Current Affair averaged 765,000, a gap of almost 300,000 viewers.

The AFI Awards on Nine on Saturday at 9.30pm: just 343,000 people watched. Like most Australian films these days, no one wants to watch. The Arias were also under watched on Nine a couple of weeks before. No that they were on Nine, but because the industry underwhelms viewers, unlike in the US where celebrity driven programming still has a solid hold.

The highlight over the weekend was the Schools Spectacular 2009 on the ABC last night from 7.30pm . Energy, talent, good voices, great spectacle, dancers and youth. All the ingredients now totally wrung out of Australian Idol on Ten. In fact the producers of Australian Idol should be made to look at the Spectacular for ideas and for inspiration for next year. 794,000 people watched last night.

TONIGHT: After the news and current affairs programs, go shopping if nothing appeals. Top Gear and Man Vs Wild on SBS. Andrew Denton’s Elders on the ABC at 8pm, The 7pm Project on Ten at 7pm from Bondi Beach in Sydney. And, GO, ABC 2, 7TWO, SBS TWO and Ten’s ONE.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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