The Winners: MasterChef was the top program with 1.611 million people from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. The Pacific was second on Seven at 8.30pm with 1.476 million. Seven News was third with 1.425 million viewers and Today Tonight was next with 1.382 million. Nine News averaged 1.320 million and A Current Affair was 7th with 1.218 million. The two hours of Hey Hey on Nine from 7.30pm averaged 1.202 million and the 7pm ABC News was 8th with 1.128 million. So You think you Can Dance Australia, the finale, averaged 1.076 million and the 7pm repeat of Two and a Half Men on Nine averaged 1.065 million. Home and Away averaged 1.042 million and the winner on So You think you Can Dance Australia averaged 1.041 million and 12th. 13th and last on the million viewer list was The Dog Squad on Seven at 7.30pm with 1.019 million.

The Losers: Even though it still had 1.2 million viewers, Hey Hey is a loser because it failed to change to grab viewers. Its audience is now down 50% from the average of the specials from 2009 and down 20% from last week.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally but took a big loss in Sydney to Nine, 320,000 to 374,000. Nine also won Melbourne, but closer: 424,000 to 419,000. Seven News won the rest. Today Tonight also won nationally, but lost Sydney as well. TT beat ACA in the other four markets. Ten News averaged 825,000, with the late News/Sports Tonight averaging 449,000. The 7.30 Report was again squashed by the competition with 706,000 viewers. Lateline, 173,000, Lateline Business, 100,000. SBS News at 6.30pm, 192,000, 156,000 for the late program. Nine’s Nightline, 199,000. Nine’s Today its second win in three days over Seven’s Sunrise, 355,000 to 344,000.

The Stats:

FTA: Seven won with a share of 29.3%, from Nine with 27.2%, Ten with 25.0%, the ABC with 14.3% and SBS with 4.1%. Ten won Sydney, Nine won Melbourne, Seven won Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads the week with 27.8% from Nine with 27.5% and Ten on 26.4%.

Main Channel: A win here to Seven as well with 27.5%, from Nine with 24.6%, Ten with 24.3%, ABC 1, 12.4% and SBS ONE, 3.7%. Ten won Sydney, Nine Melbourne, Seven the rest. Seven leads the week, 25.3%, from Ten with 25.1% and Nine third on 24.6%.

Digital: GO won with 2.6%, from 7TWO with 1.8%, ABC 2, 1.5%, ONE, 0.8% and SBS TWO and ABC 3 both on 0.4%. the six FTA digital channels had a total share of 7.5%. GO leads the week with 2.9% from 7TWO with 2.4%.

Pay TV: Seven won with 24.4%, from Nine with 22.6%, Ten with 20.8%, Pay TV, 14.6%, the ABC with 11.9% and SBS with 3.4%. The 11 FTA channels had a total share of 85.4%, the 100 plus Pay TV channels shared in the 14.6%.

Regional: A win to Prime/7Qld with 30.7%, from WIN/NBN with 28.4%, SC Ten with 20.7%, the ABC 15.1% and SBS with 5.0%. Prime/7Qld won the main channels with 29.6% from WIN/NBN with 26.5%, Go won the digitals with 2.0%, from ABC 2 with 1.8% and 7TWO back on 1.1%. Prime/7Qld leads the week with 28.3%, from WIN/NBN on 28.2%.

(All shares on the basis of combined overnight All People 6pm to midnight)

Glenn Dyer’s comments: MasterChef‘s judges again proved to be kind in their rejections last night, which is the toughest part of the gig.

Spicks and Specks showed Hey Hey Its Saturday how to use good guests. Spicks and Specks had the fabulous Darlene Love (she of The Crystals and Phil Spector and Danny Glover’s wife in Lethal Weapon movies) and it was hilarious. Ms Love told a great story about how she almost slept with Tom Jones, but didn’t. You wanted more from the program when it ended.

That sadly wasn’t the situation for Hey Hey. Daryl Somers started by saying thanks, we rated really well last week, but of course forgot to mention that The Pacific on Seven had beaten it. So after last night, what will Daryl say next week? If Nine goes for a second series later this year it will be a waste of several million dollars.

MasterChef won the night because it is still entertaining and fresh. The Pacific came second because Seven promoted last night’s episode with its Australian theme (the episode was set in war time Melbourne). Compared to Hey Hey, The Pacific was also fresh and an unknown that held viewers. It dropped by around 120,000 viewers from last week, which was solid. Hey Hey dropped the best part of 300,000, which isn’t.

MasterChef had its highest audience of the three programs so far in the second series. The 7pm Project continued its association with MasterChef as the lead-in, averaging a solid 835,000.

Ten may have finished third in All People and third on the combined and third on the main channel measures, but it scooped the demos, leaving Nine and Seven looking a bit threadbare last night. Nine was only in the hunt because of the strong performance of Hey Hey in Melbourne over two hours.

TONIGHT: Seven’s a black hole at 7.30pm, especially in Melbourne. In AFL markets Seven has The Bounce scheduled for 7.30pm. Another bad night will add to the question already asked: will it survive until the next ball up? The NRL program The Matty Johns Show is more secure in Sydney and Brisbane where it has more viewers than the faltering Nine NRL Footy Show. But Seven does have Cougar Town at 8.30pm, which is a reason not to watch TV. Nine has Sea Patrol at 8.30pm, after Getaway at 7.30pm. Ten has MasterChef from 7.30pm to 9pm. SBS has Italian Food Safari and Costa’s Garden Odyssey from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. The ABC has a documentary on Kokoda. It will be swamped, unfairly.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey