Can Ten last longer in its present form than The Biggest Loser: Transformed after the latter’s terrible debut last night? 611,000 nationally (450,000 in the metros and 161,000 in the regions)? Ten can’t flick it to another time slot or ‘rest’ it after that flop. Those figures would be bad for the ABC, let alone a commercial network. But Ten has invested its millions in this one and it has to air. So Ten will continue to trot it out and watch its Tuesday night performance tank. Ten can’t last much longer. The bad news is coming.

Ten still finished third, with the ABC into 4th. But the ABC can wear that 4th with pride. The Ian Thorpe series, Bullied, started last night – 591,000 nationally – 387,000 metro/209,000 regional viewers (you might notice more regional viewers than Transformed). Bullied was uncomfortable viewing, but was exactly the sort of show the ABC should be doing, touching on subjects the commercials won’t go near (except in sensationalist terms). Ian Thorpe fronts the program with class. The kids involved are brave. The second and final part screens next Tuesday.

With the series on the rotten ice epidemic, the ABC has earned its chops this year in tackling the tough stuff. And at 9.30 tonight on ABC 2 (it should be on the main channel), author Tara Moss fronts a special on The Cyber bully. That’s another subject the commercials blather on about but don’t tackle in this sort of depth. Many commercial outlets have interviewed or profiled Ms Moss and some of the problems she has had with cyber bullying, but none have had the balls to expand. It must also be pointed out that SBS and its Insight is one of the few other mainstream programs/networks to have tackled both issues in any depth. And more power to them and the ABC.

Nine’s Married at First Sight topped the night again. If you think about it carefully, this is not a very nice program.  Just as with The Bachelor and Bachelorette on Ten, Bride and Prejudice, First Dates and Seven Year Itch (all on Seven), there’s a strong element of emotional blackmail and public humiliation. Watch him humiliated by her/watch her run away and cry after he rejects her. Oh for a simple cooking show, a home renovation disaster, or The Biggest Loser, which at least has a small amount of public benefit in trying to help the nation eat better.

In the regions, the most watched shows were Seven news with 569,000, MKR with 473,000, Married at First Sight with 471,000, Seven news/Today Tonight, 469,000, Home and Away, 468,000.

In breakfast, again no joy for Today as Sunrise won metro and nationally. — Read the rest on Crikey website

Peter Fray

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