Seven won last night because Nine’s broadcast of the test cricket underwhelmed thanks to the weak Australian effort with the bat and the ball (and field). Seven won total people and the main channels in both the metros and regionals and, of course, nationally.

The third session (prime time) of the test averaged 1.098 million viewers — not bad, and up from the third session of Saturday’s play with 958,000, and the 1.006 million on Friday but down sharply from the 1.215 million for the first day on Thursday (the ad rates would be higher after 6pm).

But there was improvement for the other two sessions, which should hearten Nine and Cricket Australia. The second session, in the lead-up to around 6pm, averaged 1.038 million viewers yesterday, 773,000 on Saturday (so a big improvement, but it was a Sunday), 784,000 on Friday and 812,000 on Thursday. The first session (from around 1.30pm) 780,000 yesterday, 662,000 on Saturday, 640,000 on Friday and 562,000 on Thursday. But with the second test starting on Saturday in Hobart, it will be a big test with the match broadcast during the day time. Comparing the audience in the third session up to 6pm will be the comparison to make.

The top three programs in metros and nationally were Seven News, Nine News and the ABC.

In the regionals, the top programs were Seven News, 548,000, with Sunday Night next on 449,000, The X Factor was on 405,000, Nine News 405,000 and the 7pm ABC News, 385,000.

Simpsons to hit 30

As strong as ever, the Murdoch clan’s 21st Century Fox’s TV arm has renewed The Simpsons for a record-breaking 29th and 30th seasons. The renewal will take the long-running hit series to 669 episodes, the largest number of episodes for any scripted television series ever, and decisively breaking the record previously set by Gunsmoke (635 episodes from 1955 to 1975). It will hit the record in its 30th season in 2018. It started in 1988.

Fox has also made sure the cast also has been locked in for both new seasons. Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria And Harry Shearer are all confirmed to return. That’s unlike in 2011 when Rupert Murdoch tried a heavy handed approach to cut costs by slashing the salaries of some of the stars. Salaries were cut 45%, according to reports out of Fox. Producers and others were forced to take lower salaries. Murdoch would not attempt that these days, not with the likes of Netflix and Amazon standing by with billions of dollars to spending on new and old content that viewers want to see.

So far in the new US TV season, The Simpsons is averaging 7.2 million total across multi-platforms. The series’ 600th episode went to air on October 16 and had its largest rating and seven-day multi-platform audience (9.9 million people) since January, as well as 1.3 million viewers on Hulu and FoxNow. That was its largest seven-day average streaming audience in more than three years. Most of the group of young people around the world called millennials were born after The Simpsons started. — Read the rest of Glenn Dyer’s TV rating on the website

Peter Fray

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