Australia: ‘Chief’ commands attention in ratings competish

SYDNEY — Hit Stateside product via studio output deals still dominates the skeds, ratings and news in the Oz TV industry.

Seven has added “Commander in Chief” and “Prison Break” to last year’s hits “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” and has won the first three weeks of ratings with seven of the top 10 shows.

Local skeins are also performing well. “Dancing With the Stars,” “Border Security,” “Where Are They Now?” and ‘Medical Emergency'” have become hit shows.

Seven programming topper Tim Worner says he’s looking for programming for both the 9:30 and 7:30 p.m. slots, hoping to maintain the momentum of the lead in from hit sudser “Home and Away.”

The runaway success of hoofer skein “Dancing” means Seven is also “more than interested in other concepts that use celebrities.”

David Mott, programming topper for the Ten Network, says he’s searching for half-hour formats for the 7 o’clock slot where the network currently runs its local version of reality hits “The Biggest Loser” and “Big Brother.” These new shows don’t have to be reality, though.

“We’re looking for things that appeal to our under-40 demographic, and one-off events. Things you can stunt up in the schedule,” Mott says.

Network is also keen on sketch comedy, particularly from Blighty, but is less enthusiastic about Stateside half-hour laffers after a lackluster start from “Courting Alex.”

Nine Network is still finding favor with “CSI,” which is the web’s only top-10 entry outside of its news broadcasts. Nine has also continues to see strong ratings on rural drama “McLeod’s Daughters” with auds of 1.3 million.

“Daughters” also sells well overseas — most recently to SBS in the Netherlands — and is repped at the market by Southern Star Intl.

Top 3 programs

1. “Dancing With the Stars,” Seven

2. “Desperate Housewives,” Seven

3. “Lost,” Seven

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