The ABC’s Insiders will remain on air until December 17 -- the day after the Bennelong byelection in Sydney. Insiders is the premier political chat program in the country and the highest rating day-time program on TV. It was to have gone on holiday on December 3 as scheduled after the New England byelection the day before. Now it has been given two more weeks to talk about a poll that will keep Canberra nervous for quite a while, especially if the same-sex marriage bill hasn’t made it through the House of Representatives by then. Insiders had 551,000 national viewers yesterday -- 376,000 on the ABC’s main channel and a high 175,000 on News 24. With those figures, and the program’s ranking, it was a sensible decision to keep it going until after the Bennelong poll. Nine, Seven and Ten have abandoned the space to the ABC on Sunday mornings.

Last night, the ratings were tight and the solid win in total people by Seven was due to the Thor movie on 7mate which attracted 275,000 viewers. The main channels result was basically a draw and Nine claimed better demos. That won’t save Family Food Fight though -- just 743,000 national viewers. Seven’s faltering The Wall managed to grab 1.001 million national viewers, which is barely enough for an expensive program. Seven’s Sunday Night (1.066 million) was a video version of stablemate No Idea with a story on Prince Harry and Megyn Markle and then a softy on Dawn French at 60 (she also has a book out). Then Seven followed with an hour of free advertising for Qantas and its new Dreamliner -- 592,000 national viewers watched this PR job. On 60 Minutes -- a failed attempt to show the NT News in Darwin how smart a southern reporter was. Just lightweight, as was the effort on North Korea.