It was the week the “Prince of Darkness” descended upon Nine, the Imparja takeover of NTD9 inched closer, Seven lost an appeal relating to a children’s court case and lost a packet in the financial freefall, TEN signalled the return of boxing only to have its promoter caught up in a drug arrest, two networks fight over the contracts of one presenter, ACMA cancelled a community broadcasting license while a leak led to a Federal Police raid, the Government introduced a bill to firm the switch to digital, TEN turned off the lights for Taken Out, an actor sues his old show for residuals, the PM declined (again) to tell Rove who he would “turn gay for,” a WIN newsreader resigned while the network bid a sad goodbye to another of its veterans, a golden Hollywood actor died and a period miniseries sweeps one of Emmy’s most disappointing shows.
And it was another win for Seven with 29.9% over Nine’s 27.1% and TEN’s 20.0%. The ABC had 17.8% and SBS 5.2%.
Top show for the week was the AFL Grand Final with 2.58m viewers –the biggest audience for the year outside the Olympic Games.
Aside from AFL wins, it was again Packed to the Rafters that packed them in with 1.94m viewers, ahead of Find My Family, RSPCA Animal Rescue, Border Security, City Homicide, Seven News, Today Tonight, Home and Away, Medical Emergency, Criminal Minds, Crash Investigation Unit, Better Homes and Gardens and All Saints. Less triumphant for Seven was its Sunday performance with Dancing with the Stars dropping to another low (1.11m), beaten by Australian Idol and 60 Minutes. A hastily-scheduled money special with David Koch attracted (1.17m) while The Outdoor Room dropped below the 1m mark (920,000). Also performing lightly are Make Me a Supermodel (927,000), Ghost Whisperer (910,000) and Private Practice (723,000). Given the formidable stable of Seven successes, it’s an enviable hit rate.
Nine must be scratching its head when it sees the biggest hit of the week was a repeat of Two and a Half Men. The 8pm Wednesday episode topped 1.54m viewers, and it wasn’t even slated into the schedule until Wednesday afternoon. It was supposed to air Hole in the Wall, but it was a decision that paid off. As a result Nine is adding more Charlie Sheen to its schedule (how long until we see a promo visit here by Sheen, Nine?). Other winners for Nine included 60 Minutes, Wipeout, Getaway, The Footy Show, A Current Affair and Nine News. The first NRL Preliminary did well in Sydney. But Monday was a flop for Nine –it has since dropped David Attenborough for more Charlie Sheen. Fringe and Ramsays Kitchen Nightmare failed to fire -has Nine over exposed Gordon Ramsay and will it do the same with Sheen? Despite not airing in Melbourne, The Strip is losing ground.
TEN had a week of mixed fortunes, kicking off well on Sunday and Monday but falling apart by Wednesday. Cyndi Lauper’s Australian Idol appearance helped it grab 1.34m viewers and a timeslot win. The Brownlow Medal was a big winner, especially in Melbourne. A repeat of Thank God You’re Here was its only other brand to pass the 1m mark. Of major concern to TEN was Wednesday when new shows including Bondi Rescue: Bali, Kenny’s World and a fasttracked House all underperformed -were viewers assuming it was a repeat? Rush is hanging on, likely to benefit from new NCIS this week. TEN finally bit the bullet on Taken Out, dropping it from schedule on Friday to be replaced by Simpsons repeats.
Spicks and Specks topped ABC’s week with 1.22m, just ahead of Midsomer Murder’s 1.21m. Doctor Who again shone with 1.15m. Elsewhere, ABC News, Four Corners, The 7.30 Report, Australian Story, The Hollowmen, Catalyst and The Bill all did well.
Top Gear’s 939,000 for old episodes indicates SBS is about to fire a volley with Top Gear Australia this week.