The ABC’s night, as it took out second place in the metro main channels behind Nine. Nine and Seven had more viewers overall, but the ABC and its News and Current Affairs line up grabbed more viewers for most of the night – certainly from 7.30pm onwards. The commercials seem to have all gone for their Easter eggs and buns early; the networks are running on autopilot this week, and it shows in the offerings. Weak — of the top ten programs last night in the metros, nine were news or current affairs programs. SBS’s audience also rose last night, which is always a sign of paucity on the commercial networks.
Seven ran a one off preview of the new series of First Dates at 7.30 pm – it won the commercial time slot with 1.10 million viewers nationally and won the younger demos.
In the morning, Sunrise with 516,000 national and 293,000 metro viewers easily beat Today with 412,000 national and 272,000 metro viewers on the first day of school holidays in some states.
Seven dominated viewing in regional markets with Seven News again tops with 659,000 viewers, followed by Seen News/Today Tonight with 546,000, Home and Away was 3rd with 506,000, then the 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia with 458,000 and the First Dates preview was 5th with 400,000.
Despite their ratings triumph, sometimes the ABC is its own worst enemy — an example would be punishing Natasha Exelby for her blooper on Saturday night. At around 10 o’clock on News 24, as it was still known at that time (it has now been renamed ABC news — how long did that take to think up?) Exelby was day dreaming and got caught by the camera coming back from a segment.
News Corp claims she has since been banned from more shifts at the ABC. If this is true, what about those on duty that night in the control room who didn’t remind her that the story was ending? Did the ABC have a floor manager in the studio to help? And what about the director, assistant director — usually responsible for segment timings — or, most important, the producer? They are all supposed to tell the host how many seconds to go till they are back on air. Who missed giving the cue? Having been there in live TV, everyone covers for each other and don’t hang one person out to dry, especially the host. It is a bad look. — Read the rest on the Crikey website.