The halo effect of Seven’s solid Melbourne Cup coverage didn’t last long into metro prime time (about 7pm after helping boost the figures for the 6pm to 7pm news hour) and although the network was a narrow winner in total people and the main channels, Nine snared the demos with The Block. Ten was weak, again. In fact, it was so weak it was beaten by the ABC with one of its weaker line-ups of the week.

In the regionals, Seven was an easy winner in total people, but the winning margin in the main channels over Nine was much smaller, and Ten topped the ABC in total people, but not in the main channels were the weak ABC lined nudged its way in front.

Seven’s cup audience was down a fraction from last year (perhaps Seven could turn it all into a sitcom called All in The Family as the winning jockey, Kerrin McEvoy, is the brother-in-law of last year’s ground-breaking winner, Michelle Payne). The race averaged 2.8 million nationally (1.99 million in the metros, 815,000 in the regions). The 2015 race had 2.93 million nationally, with 2.07 million in the metros and 863,000 in the regions). That of course is a considerable understatement because it doesn’t cover pubs, clubs, etc. The pre-race publicity didn’t have the buzz of a year ago (it felt flatter). The after-race buzz this year was also much flatter after 2015’s history making.

In the regions the most watched programs were: the Cup — 815,000, the Cup presentation, 663,000, Seven News, 594,000, the Cup mounting yard, 545,000. Seven News/Today Tonight, 498,000

And somehow First Dates on Seven returned and was funnier and more WTF than the first series. It averaged 1.20 million nationally — 778,000 in the metros and 405,000 in the regions. The first episode of the first series on February 3 this year averaged 1.25 million (874,000 in the metros and 371,000 in the regions). This series had been made for early 2017 but was brought forward to the end of this rating year because Seven had a hole and the weak X Factor needed help. First Dates is funny and worth a look.

And sadness with the ABC’s News Breakfast weather person Vanessa O’Hanlon revealing that she is leaving. She was in the original NB team of Michael Rowland, Virginia Trioli, Paul Kennedy and Del Irani. — Read the rest of Glenn Dyer’s TV rating on the site