What a weak night. Only The Checkout on ABC1 at 8pm with 1.247 million national/ 840,000/ 407,000 metro viewers stood out. The item on animal testing of cosmetics in China was a brilliant bit of TV — the first item, on the amount of sugar in a low-fat yoghurt, was stunning. The Checkout is now breaking new ground in Australian TV in its story telling (the ticket “insurance” item was also an eye opener). It is now the most interesting program on TV each week. 7.30 looked staid and dull by comparison last night. The Checkout was edgier and more informing.

But even as The Checkout did well, no program after 6.30pm could top the 6pm news on Nine and Seven in metro markets. That again underlines what a dull night of TV it was. Even Mrs Brown’s Boys on Seven at 8.30pm (1.652 million national/ 963,000 metro/ 689,000 regional) seemed off its game. They really love her in regional markets.

Seven won because of victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The ABC finished second in Adelaide overall and the main channels and second in the main channels in Perth — which tells us that Nine’s content and especially the Footy Show was it appealing to viewers in those markets. Nine’s Footy Show had 1.026 million national/ 742,000 metro/ 284,000 regional was also off the pace and could only keep 298,000 viewers occupied in Melbourne, which is low by recent standards. Seven also won in regional markets. Going into the weekend, Nine lead Seven, 31.7% to 28.2% in metro markets and by in the regions.

US Update: Seven will smile with Criminal Minds returning in CBS with the cast intact for next year, its ninth season.  Parks and Recreation, a late-night filler series, has been renewed, but Whitney has been axed. And Fox is looking at returning 24 (with Kiefer Sutherland in talks) with a limited run. Seven had 24 … now?

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Network channel share:

  1. Seven (27.5%)
  2. Nine (26.6%)
  3. ABC (20.3%)
  4. Ten (19.4%)
  5. SBS (6.2%)

Network main channels

  1. Seven (20.1%)
  2. Nine (19.8%)
  3. ABC1 (15.6%)
  4. Ten  (13.7%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.9%)

Top five digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (4.8%)
  2. GO  (4.1%)
  3. Eleven (3.5%)
  4. ABC2 – (3.1%)
  5. 7mate, Gem — 2.7%

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News– 1.777 million
  2. Seven News — 1.760 million
  3. Mrs Brown’s Boys (Seven) — 1.652 million
  4. Home and Away (Seven) — 1.457million
  5. ABC1 News — 1.451 million
  6. The Queen (ABC1) — 1.279 million
  7. The Checkout (ABC1) — 1.247 million
  8. Today Tonight (Seven) — 1.245 million
  9. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.153 million
  10. 7.30 (ABC1) — 1.073 million

Top metro programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.174 million
  2. Seven News< — 1.142 million

Losers: Hmmm — how about all the offerings last night, except for The Checkout and Mrs Brown’s Boys and Home and Away. 

Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News — 1.174 million
  2. Seven News — 1.142 million
  3. ABC1 News — 993,000
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) – 969,000
  5. Today Tonight (Seven) — 958,000
  6. 7.30 (ABC1) — 690,000
  7. Ten News — 679,000
  8. The Project (Ten) — 593,000
  9. Ten Late News– 222,000
  10. Lateline (ABC1) — 190,000

Metro morning TV:

  1. Today (Nine) – 367,000
  2. Sunrise (Seven) – 350,000
  3. News Breakfast (ABC1) – 42,000 + 30,000 on News 24

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle (2.3%)
  2. TV1  (2.2%)
  3. Discovery (2.1%)
  4. A&E (1.8%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. AFL: 360 (Fox Footy) – 104,000
  2. Gold Rush (Discovery) – 86,000
  3. Family Guy (Fox 8) – 85,000
  4. Dirty Jobs Downunder  (Discovery) – 79,000
  5. Aussie Pickers (A&E) – 72,000

Tonight/Weekend: Nine is really going for a knockout on Sunday night with the start of this year’s series of The Block (It’s the renovation of the motel block in Melbourne) at 6.30pm and then The Voice at 7.30pm. That will hurt Seven which has the weak Celebrity Splash at 6.3o pm and then the third ep of the new series, A PLace To Call Home. It could be a rough night for Seven, Ten and the ABC.

Before all that, two big games in the AFL — tonight Geelong v the Peptides (sorry, Essendon) on Seven and Foxtel. Tomorrow night, Hawthorn v the Premiers  — the mighty Swannies — again on Seven and Foxtel. NRL on Nine tonight and Sunday and Foxtel over tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon and evening. Super Rugby on Foxtel tonight, tomorrow and early Sunday. Outside of sport, Better Homes and Gardens on Seven. ABC1 has Silent Witness tonight and returns Death in Paradise at 7.30pm tomorrow night. Call The Midwife on Sunday night at 8.30pm. Nine has its strong Sunday night line-up, Ten has Elementary after The Biggest Loser. The final episode of the weak Mrs Biggs is on Seven. And don’t forget the morning chats on Sunday. Bolt v The AFR’s new program, v Alan Kohler on the about-to-be-revamped Inside Business.

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. The data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM. (All shares on the basis of combined overnight 6pm to midnight all people.) Plus network reports.