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Move over Kath & Kim, The Chaser boys are here
  Author: eNews staff and agencies | Sep 13, 2007, 18:30

Whatever you think about The Chaser mob, the one thing you can't say is that they are not having a go.

Nearly 3 million Australians agreed last night across the country.

Or, in the words of the Coodabeen Champions, a RDG (Red Hit Go) at poking a stick at sections of Australian society, well Sydney mainly.

I can remember people like Gerry Henderson, the Sydney rightwing commentator and other conservatives carping about This Day Tonight on the ABC in the late 1960s and 1970s. We (and Australian TV) are all that better off for the ABC's experiment with that program.

Nihilists, anarchists, anti-christs, iconoclasts. Whatever. The Chaser mob are different and they are having a go: if they entertain and make a point, so much better.

And they did last night with the highest audience ever for a comedy on the ABC.

And the broadcaster says last night's ep of The Chaser's War on Everything was the third highest rating program ever on the ABC, behind Seachange Series 3 (2.4million on 10th Dec 2000); Paralympics Opening ceremony (2.29 million on 18th October in 2000).

It was the highest TV rating program for the ABC this year as all that hard work by the NSW Police Force and its minders and commanders paid off.

No wonder the likes of Nine and Seven tried to woo them, and when rejected, turned their attack poodles at A Current Affair and Today Tonight on the mob to try and undermine them.

And then The Chaser showed the difference between them and ACA and TT with their APEC stunt, and Australians applauded.

In fact, Australians in their millions used their remotes to signal their support for the mob by tuning in to watch the APEC stunt and other segments last night.

An average of 2.245 million people watched, with 726,000 in Sydney, 699,000 in Melbourne, 341,000 in Brisbane, 250,000 in Adelaide and 228,000 in Perth. Over half the audience were aged under 39.Which is the demographicf the Ten network has owned for years.

And in regional Australia The Chaser scored an even rarer honour: it was the most watched program on the night with 736,000 people on average watching. That's 2.981 million in total.

It wasn't the biggest audience for a program this year so far: that honour still belongs to Kath & Kim on Seven with more than 2.5 million people for their first ep a month ago in regional areas and over 3 million across the country..

It out-rated the very popular Thank God You're Here on Ten at 7.30 pm with 1.785 million people. The ABC's most popular program of the year, Spicks and Specks at 8.30 pm, averaged an all time high of 1.653 million viewers. The Chris Lilley mock-u-mentary Summer Heights lifted to 1.375 million for the second ep, boosted by the big audience for The Chaser.

As popular as that was the trio were the ABC could still only finish fourth behind Ten in third, Seven second and Nine in front.

Amid the smugness and self satisfaction one segment stood out on The Chaser.

The campaign song for the ALP; Stairway to Kevin (http://www.abc.net.au/tv/chaser/war/).

OK, the APEC stunt stuff was actually a bit better than it was reported: the way the police waved the car through did expose the lack of scrutiny by the $160 million APEC shutdown squad. Sensibly all the faces and ID of the NSW police were blanked out.

There was a reason why some NSW police had their ID numbers off during the APEC demos: they didn't want to be identified when they appeared as extras on The Chaser.

That was very sensible; the NSW Police Force doesn't like to be embarrassed, and embarrassed it was, badly; despite what the Commissioner, the Government and Gerry Henderson thinks. Who wants to be doing the overnight shift at Walgett or Moree or Macquarie Fields?

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