The Verdict on The Verdict? It was better on the second night. More discipline, especially in the panel and host Karl Stefanovic, but it won’t save it on last night’s figures, but Nine should look past those. Nine, Stefanovic and the producers broke the cardinal sin of TV in the debut episode a week ago thanks to the lack of discipline and intelligence, panellists talking over each other, raised voices. It sounded like a bad episode of Jerry Springer and it insulted viewers. So viewers punished Nine and the program by staying away last night and the prorgam naturally saw lower ratings. It averaged 578,000 national viewers from just after 8.30pm. That was down from last week’s 713,000, a fall of 19%. The metro audience fell to 369,000 from 520,000, but there was a small rise in regional viewers from 193,000 to 209,000. That’s not nearly enough to help the program.

The performance last night was better, the content more rational and discussed more calmly, the pace and the discipline imposed by Stefanovic, especially on Mark Latham, and the performance of Julian Burnside lifted the tenor of the program. But what is Campbell Brown doing there ? His mealy-mouthed justification of the booing of Adam Goodes in the latter part of the AFL season was weak-kneed tosh.

If only the program had started with last night’s effort, the publicity would have been stronger and viewers more disposed to return. This will go down as an opportunity lost. Based on last night’s figures it is dead, but based on last night’s improvement (and so long as it continues), The Verdict should be returned next year by Nine, so long as there is solid discipline and good manners. And if Mark Latham offends, rip his head off!

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In the metros, Ten won the night with Sam Frost’s revenge (AKA The Bachelorette) the top metro program and second nationally. Nothing else came near it outside of the 6 to 7pm news. It’s as though Nine and Seven have given up on Thursday nights to allow Ten a big winning night, but only in the metros because in the regions Seven was again a big winner.

In the morning Sunrise with 338,000 beat Today with 313,000, and News Breakfast on the ABC and News24 continues to consolidate the boost it got from the PM leadership coup story last month — it had a nice 155,000 viewers yesterday after 158,000 twice in the past week.

Don’t forget the Thugby World Cup quarter finals over the weekend with Australia playing Scotland very early on Monday morning. And Seven’s Sunday Night will be worth a look for its report on the right wing loons like Reclaim Australia, one of the groups some on The Verdict should be given a voice — don’t they remember Pauline Hansen and her self-destruction?.

Network channel share:

  1. Ten (25.7%)
  2. Seven (26.4%)
  3. Nine (25.5%)
  4. ABC (15.9%)
  5. SBS (6.4%)

Network main channels:

  1. Ten (19.6%)
  2. Seven (17.1%)
  3. Nine (16.9%)
  4. ABC (10.5%)
  5. SBS ONE (4.9%)

Top 5 digital channels: 

  1. 7TWO (5.9%)
  2. GO (4.5%)
  3. Gem (4.1%)
  4. Eleven (4.0%)
  5. ABC2 (3.5%)

Top 10 national programs:

  1. Nine News — 1.285 million
  2. The Bachelorette (Ten) 1.263 million
  3. Home and Away (Seven) 1.186 million
  4. RBT rpt (Nine) 1.183 million
  5. Seven News — 1.178 million
  6. RBT (Nine) 1.090 million
  7. ABC News 1.062 million
  8. A Current Affair (Nine) — 1.056 million
  9. 7.30 (ABC) 961,000
  10. Nine News 6.30 (6.30pm) 925,000

Top metro programs: For another night not one program managed to crack a million metro viewers.

Losers: The Verdict, Mesmerised on Seven with 411,000 metro and 654,000 nationally. The two executives who made that program are now at Nine! It was a clear fourth at 8pm. The Musketeers on the ABC at 8.30 — 540,000 nationally 320,000 metro and 219,000 regional. It was popular on the BBC, but not down here in the Antipodes. It doesn’t star Gerard Depardieu, so it can’t be costume drama set in France, can it?Metro news and current affairs:

  1. Nine News 6.30 (6.30pm) 925,000
  2. Seven News  918,000
  3. Nine News  908,000
  4. A Current Affair (Nine) — 898,000
  5. Seven News/Today Tonight  869,000
  6. ABC News  690,000
  7. 7.30 (ABC) — 776,000
  8. The Project 7pm (Ten) — 570,000
  9. Ten Eyewitness News — 457,000
  10. The Project 6.30pm (Ten) — 413,000

Morning TV:

  1. Sunrise (Seven) – 338,000
  2. Today (Nine) – 313,000
  3. The Morning Show (Seven) — 158,000
  4. News Breakfast (ABC 1,  110,000 + 45,000 on News 24) — 155,000
  5. Mornings (Nine) — 95,000
  6. Studio 10 (Ten) 61,000

Top five pay TV channels:

  1. LifeStyle  (2.4%)
  2. UKTV (2.3%)
  3. TVHITS  (2.1%)
  4. Fox 8  (2.0%)
  5. Arena, Sky News (1.5%)

Top five pay TV programs:

  1. Back In Time For Dinner (LifeStyle)  62,000
  2. Arrow(Fox8) — 62,000
  3. Back Page (Fox Sports 1) — 63,000
  4. Blended (Foxtel Movies Premiere)  57,000
  5. Inspector George Gently (UKTV)  57,000

*Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2015. 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.) and network reports.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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