The Winners: Remember the rough rule of ratings: if news and current affairs top the night’s most watched list, it’s been a pretty average night of fare for viewers.

Last night, three programs with a million viewers or more says it all, especially as they were all news or current affairs programs. Beauty and The Geek returned to Seven at 8.30pm, 969,000 and good finishes in the better demos for the Network, a rare Thursday night winner. Bondi Vet, Ten, 7.30 pm, 821,000, a bit weak.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.182 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.145 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.067 million

The Losers: Poor old Getaway, a shadow of its former greatness. 818,000 and Number 13 nationally, when it used to be a top 10 entrant earlier in the year with more than a million viewers. Dud presenters who have a fake tan approach to TV presenting. No real positive message.

At a time Australians are going offshore in record numbers, with the Swiss Yen of the South Pacific in their hands, the country’s premier TV travel show is dying on air. Or is Getaway really a program for the times when the Aussie dollar is weak, the economy a bit shaky and we can travel with our remotes, from our living rooms?

Rush on Ten at 8.30pm, 774,000, and 689,000 for the second episode. Back to back episodes means it’s on thin ice, especially with these numbers.

News & CA: Nine News beat Seven in Sydney after the sharp drop on Wednesday night. Nine News audience recovered in Sydney. In Melbourne, a different story, despite the cash splash, Nine News was beaten by Seven, 381,000 to 331,000. ACA beat TT in Sydney, but not Melbourne, where it lost ground. Today lost Melbourne to Sunrise, despite the cash splash. Today beat Sunrise in Sydney, so a sort of turnabout in Sydney at the start and end of the day’s news watching. The 7pm Project has done better in the past on a Thursday night.

  1. Seven News (6pm) — 1.182 million
  2. Today Tonight (Seven) (6.30pm) — 1.145 million
  3. Nine News (6pm) — 1.067 million
  4. A Current Affair (Nine, 6.30 – 7 pm) — 995,000
  5. ABC News (7pm) — 886,000
  6. Ten News (5pm) — 687,000
  7. The 7.30 Report (ABC) (7.30pm) — 676,000
  8. The 7pm Project (Ten) (7pm) — 625,000
  9. Late News/Sports Tonight (Ten) (10.30pm) — 269,000
  10. Lateline (ABC) (10.20pm) — 243,000
  11. SBS News (6.30pm) — 161,000
  12. SBS News (9.30pm) — 160,000
  13. Lateline Business (ABC) (10.55pm) — 136,000

In the morning:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) (7am ) — 396,000
  2. Today (Nine) (7am) — 352,000

The Stats:

  • FTA: Seven won with 30.8% from Nine on 29.6%, Ten with 19.2%, the ABC with 13.6% and SBS on 6.8%. Nine still leads the week with 30.1%, from Seven with 29.6% and Ten on 19.5%.
  • Main Channels: Seven won with 24.6% from Nine on 21.7%, Ten was on 18.3%, ABC 1, 11.0% and SBS ONE, 6.2%. Seven leads with 24.2%, from Nine on 23.7% and Ten with 18.7%
  • Digital: GO won easily with 6.1%, from 7TWO and 7Mate tied on 3.1% each. Gem was on 1.9%, ABC 2, 1.2%, ONE, 0.9%, ABC 3 and News 24 both with 0.6% each and SBS TWO finished with 0.5%. That’s a total FTA share for the nine channels of 18.2%. The FTA digital shares ranged from 15.9% in Sydney to 20.5% in Perth and 20.3% in Adelaide. GO leads the week on 4.7%, from 7TWO on 2.8% and 7Mate with 2.6%.
  • Pay TV: Seven won with 24.7% (three channels), from Nine on 23.8% (3 channels), Pay TV and its 100 plus channels, 16.8%, Ten (two channels), 15.5%, the four ABC channels totalled a low 10.9% and SBS and its two channels shared 5.4%. That left the FTA channels with a total share of 83.2%, made up of 14.6% for the nine digital channels and 69.6% for the five main channels. Foxtel’s shares range from a low of 10.6% in Adelaide to a high of 19.4% in Brisbane, with Sydney registering a share of 18.7%.
  • Regional: WIN/NBN won with a share of 32.1%, from Prime/7Qld on 27.1%, SC Ten on 22.5%, the ABC with 12.8% and SBS, 5.5%. WIN/NBN won the main channels with 23.4%, from Prime/7Qld and SC Ten. GO won the digitals with 7.2%, from 7TWO on 2.9% and 7Mate with 2.5%. Thanks to GO, the nine digital channels had a total regional FTA share of 18.9%. WIN/NBN still lead the week with 30.8% from Prime/7Qld on 29.6%.

Major Markets: A strong night for the digitals and Pay TV in all markets, with more than 30% of the audience watching both. Seven won Sydney, Adelaide and Perth from Nine and Seven, both overall and in the main channels. Nine won Melbourne overall and in the main channels. Nine won Brisbane overall, Seven won the main channels. GO won all markets in the digitals, 7TWO, 7Mate and Gem shared the minors. Seven leads the week from Nine and Ten in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Nine leads in Melbourne (a big margin) and Brisbane.

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

Glenn Dyer’s comments: The ratings never lie, do they? It was a poor night of TV viewing. Yes, Seven’s Beauty and The Geek mopped up the demos, but it was cringeworthy. I’m clearly too old and over the hill. But it wasn’t bad as Strictly Speaking on the ABC on Wednesday night. And I must apologise, I read an earlier guide and didn’t believe the on air promos on Nine which suggested CSI was now at 8.30pm for Nine instead of Cops L.A.C. Well CSI was and Cops L.A.C has gone to Nine’s boning room.

The beneficiaries of the average fare on the main channels last night were the digitals and Foxtel. Is this James Packer’s real plan, strip Ten back to the barebones, as it was when it was in receivership, so people wanting some of its more interesting older appealing programs, are forced to go and watch Fox Sports for the sports (which helps Mr Packer and Mr Stokes) or Foxtel, or Nine or Seven, which helps Mr Packer and Mr Murdoch and Telstra and Mr Stokes. Cunning devils.

TONIGHT: Luther on the ABC, Better Homes and Gardens on Seven. According to the guide, NCIS tonight on Ten is supposed to be fresh, which is hard to believe, given its a new US episode and it’s a Friday night. And there’s a fresh Junior MasterChef, not the remaining Top 10, just some from the rest of the 40 losers.

Nine has a fresh episode of the UK Customs series, or so the guide says? The movie is the 2008 Get Smart —  it is not a patch on the series.

The highlight of the night is the umpteenth repeat of Groundhog Day at 10.45pm on Nine. Much of Friday and Saturday night viewing in this country and including pay TV and the digital channels, is a Groundhog Day experience as we approach summer.

SATURDAY: A fresh New Tricks on the ABC, another good bye to The Bill and it’s groundhogs everywhere, including Hey Hey it’s Saturday on Nine at 7.30pm and Jaws on Ten at 8.45pm (but still a classic).

SUNDAY: Don’t forget the morning chats.  Dateline on SBS (and Mad Men for those interested, not many are). Junior MasterChef plus Modern Family and Offspring on Ten.

Sherlock is back on Nine, after the third last episode of 60 Minutes for the year. Sunday Night is on Seven, and unfortunately it’s a Mike Munro exclusive with Twiggy Forrest, you know, the story that’s never been told before about this reclusive WA iron ore magnet?. Bones is also sitting there at 8.30pm.

Poirot: Murder in Mesopotamia is also at 8.35pm on the ABC, so tape it and watch Sherlock, or vice versa.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports

Peter Fray

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