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Hot Off The Press! The Latest Television News and Info - Page 15  

post #421 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Battle of the Remotes Widens With Device That Zaps Off Any TV
By Joseph Menn Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 21, 2004

For someone who just wanted a little peace and quiet, Mitch Altman is causing quite a ruckus.

The San Francisco entrepreneur, perennially irritated by televisions blaring in restaurants and other gathering spots, revealed this week that he had come up with a solution: a cheap remote that shuts down almost every model of TV.

After the story of Altman's invention zapped around the Internet, so many people visited TVBGone.com that the website crashed. Even so, Altman had taken 2,000 orders by early Wednesday, accounting for the entire first production run.

Through mobile phones, pocket TVs and other devices, gadget makers have spent two decades devising ways to keep people constantly "on." The buzz over Altman's device shows that some people are eager to turn off.

"I can see it turning into a sort of punky instrument of disruption," Columbia University sociologist Todd Gitlin said of the $15 devices, "a sort of new-style culture jam that's within a lot of people's means."

Gitlin warned that with TV such a big part of daily life Americans watch an average of more than four hours a day incautious use of TV-B-Gone could be unwise. Picture, for example, a sports bar during Wednesday night's decisive match-up between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Altman started mulling over what became TV-B-Gone after he and some friends found themselves watching a soundless TV in a restaurant, abandoning what had been an entertaining conversation.

Altman, an engineer, tinkered in his studio apartment and then ordered as many of the keychain devices as his one-employee company could afford: 20,000.

The gadget works by emitting every known set manufacturer's signal to shut down.

In his daily experiments in stores and elsewhere, Altman said, few people have objected.

"TVs are so ubiquitous that they don't even think about it," Altman said. They see TV-B-Gone as giving them "some way of controlling their lives."

Amherst College sociologist Ron Lembo described Americans as ambivalent about TV. They want to turn it off, he said, but can't stop watching.

TV-B-Gone "plays into deeper resentment," Lembo said. But even if Altman's gadget catches on, "you can't turn off where television is and how important it is in the culture."

Along with customer orders, Altman said, he has been deluged with suggestions for follow-up products, including Car-Alarm-B-Gone, Booming-Bass-Speakers-B-Gone, and the clear favorite, Cellphone-B-Gone.

Altman has put some thought into that last one. "There are many possible ways to do it," he said, "but I don't think any of them are legal."
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...lines-business
post #422 of 25503
Thread Starter 
FCC: Nick, ABC Family Violate Kids' Ad Rules

By Todd Shields, Mediaweek.com
Viacom-owned cable network Nickelodeon ran excessive commercials during its children's programming and agreed to both pay a $1 million settlement and cut the equivalent of 1,021 30-second spots from future shows, federal regulators said Thursday.

Additionally, ABC Family Channel improperly aired commercials for products linked to children's programming during 31 half-hour episodes, and the ABC subsidiary responsible agreed to pay $500,000, the Federal Communications Commission said in announcing a pair of consent decrees.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said the announcement marked the end of major investigations regarding our children's programming rules.

All cable operators, DBS providers, commercial television broadcasters, and companies that provide children's programming should know that we will vigorously enforce our children's advertising limits, Powell said in a statement.

The payments are the result of an investigation that began with routine audits by the FCC's enforcement bureau, the agency said. Viacom and the ABC unit International Family Entertainment agreed to commence employee training on complying with regulations, the FCC said.

ABC Family said it had revised a computer system to prevent future errors.

A Nickelodeon representative said the network did not intentionally violate FCC rules. We were extremely upset to discover that we exceeded our allotted commercial time due to human errors and computer system problems, the company said.
post #423 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Sinclair just sez no: Station group refuses to carry pro-Kerry doc

By MICHAEL LEARMONTH Variety.com
Posted: Thurs., Oct. 21, 2004, 3:52pm PT

NEW YORK -- Sinclair Broadcasting rejected an offer to broadcast "Going Upriver," a documentary favorable to John Kerry, as a counter-balance to its planned broadcast of parts of "Stolen Honor," a docu alleging that Sen. Kerry's anti-war activities prolonged the suffering of POWs.
Separately, a Consumers Union survey concluded that 78% of people polled who were aware of the documentary "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" said Sinclair should air opposing points of view.
Sinclair plans to air parts of "Stolen Honor" today during primetime as part of a program called "POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media."
The broadcaster was offered the use of "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry" as a counterbalance to the film for free by California philanthropist and Kerry supporter Deborah Rappaport.
Rappaport's initial offer to Sinclair was to buy an hour of primetime, pay for TV rights to the film, the cost of editing it down to 42 minutes and any network cancellation fees in addition to kicking in an extra $1 million.
Sinclair rejected that offer Wednesday but attorneys for both sides discussed other ways to include "Going Upriver," which paints a heroic picture of Kerry's Vietnam service and antiwar activities, into the program.
However, those talks broke down Wednesday night.
"They told us they do not sell blocks of primetime and were not willing to make an exception," Rappaport said. "They also said their broadcast was going to be fair and they want to take an objective look at all sides of the issue and we are standing by to see if that's what they do."
Rappaport and her husband, venture capitalist Andy Rappaport, have helped finance anti-war media messages including a billboard in Times Square that says, "Democracy is best taught by example, not by war" and a ticker atop a hotel on Broadway that shows the running cost of the Iraq war.
It adds $122,000 each minute.
The Consumers Union survey, conducted Oct. 19 and 20, found support for Sinclair's airing of "Stolen Honor" was split; 51% of those who had heard of the doc supported Sinclair's decision, 40% opposed and 9% had no opinion.
Of those who approve of Sinclair's airing of the doc, 68% said the broadcaster should air the opposing point of view.
"It's abundantly clear the public wants and expects balance, fairness and equal time from its local broadcasters when it comes to political issues," said Gene Kimmelman, senior director of public policy for Consumers Union.
Shares in publicly held Sinclair have staged a bit of a comeback this week after it announced it would not air "Stolen Honor" in its entirety. Shares closed slightly higher again Thursday, up 1% to $7.13 a share after gaining more than 8% Wednesday.
Sinclair's decision to air what critics expect to be a partisan anti-Kerry program on 40 stations two weeks before the election has caused the withdrawal of advertisers for the show, including Burger King, as well as numerous protests and the threat of at least two shareholder suits.
post #424 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Bush agrees to chatfest with 'GMA,' Telemundo

Gibson gets Prez for 2-part chat
By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK, Variety.com
Posted: Thurs., Oct. 21, 2004, 3:48pm PT

President Bush will sit down with ABC News ayem anchor Charlie Gibson for a two-part interview to air in the final days of the race for the White House.
Bush also has granted an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo that was skedded to air Thursday.
Otherwise, Bush has been loath to grant many national TV interviews, even as the Nov. 2 election draws near. Recently, he's appeared only on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."
Earlier this week, Black Entertainment Television said Bush had turned down a formal invitation to appear on "BET Nightly News." Bush's opponent, Sen. John Kerry, appeared on the BET newscast Oct. 7.
Gibson, who recently moderated the second presidential debate between Bush and Kerry, will tape the session Sunday at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Interview will air Oct. 25 and 26 on "Good Morning America," which Gibson co-anchors with Diane Sawyer.
Gibson will first speak with both the president and first lady Laura Bush and then with Bush alone.
"GMA" exec producer Ben Sherwood said Bush agreed to the interview earlier this week.
The ABC morning show will be careful to allot roughly the same amount of airtime to the Bush interview as was given to Sawyer's recent two-part interview with Kerry.
Gibson earned kudos for his job moderating the town hall presidential debate, particularly considering that his earpiece microphone went dead roughly 30 minutes into the 90-minute exchange, meaning he had to rely on his wristwatch for timing purposes.
post #425 of 25503
Thread Starter 
I didn't post this yesterday, but keenan reminded me of it.
(Actually, I tend not to keep close tabs on cable shows, but since "The Shield" is one of his favorites.....)

Close call for FX's 'Shield': Thesp to play new captain of precinct

By DENISE MARTIN Variety.com
Marking her first series regular role on primetime television, Glenn Close has joined the cast of FX cop drama "The Shield."

Close, who landed an Emmy nomination this year for her portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine in Showtime movie "The Lion in Winter," will appear in every episode of the 13-seg fourth season.

Production begins in January.

She will play Monica Rawling, the new captain of the Farmington precinct, who empowers Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) to enforce her controversial community policies.

Creator-exec producer Shawn Ryan said Close's character "shakes our 'Shield' world upside down over the course of the entire season."

"We wouldn't have been comfortable pursuing this storyline if we hadn't gotten an actress of Glenn's undeniable abilities," he said.

Returning for the upcoming season are CCH Pounder, Benito Martinez, Jay Karnes, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, Michael Jace, Kenneth Johnson and Cathy Cahlin Ryan.

Close, a multiple Emmy and Oscar nominee, won the Emmy in 1997 for the NBC telepic "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story."

She next appears in the Merchant Ivory film "Heights." Recent film credits include "The Stepford Wives," "Le Divorce" and "The Safety of Objects."
post #426 of 25503
Gosh...thanks Fred..

Jim
post #427 of 25503
The Amazing Race returns 11/16 and please read my earlier note on Renovate My Family.
post #428 of 25503
Thread Starter 
f44:
Thanks for the notes.
And regarding The Last Comic Standing:
indeed it MAY return in the summer, but I guess you and I will have to disagree.
In my mind, for this season it was summarily and rather ingloriously cancelled this season.
post #429 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Return of the 'Law' man:
Noth makes his way back to the Peacock


By JOSEF ADALIAN, Variety.com
Posted: Thurs., Oct. 21, 2004, 10:00pm PT
Chris Noth is ready to return to a familiar beat.
Noth is in final talks to star in up to three "Law & Order"-branded telepics, reprising his role as Detective Mike Logan in a series of two-hour movies. Pics are being developed internally by NBC Universal Television Studio-based Wolf Films.
Last "L&O" pic with Noth, 1998's "Exiled," scored strong ratings, attracting roughly 28 million viewers to give NBC numbers that, at the time, repped the net's best overnight Sunday numbers in three years.
While NUTS would produce any "L&O" pics via Wolf Films, it's not necessarily a given the pics would air on NBC.
Cabler TNT, which broadcasts "L&O" repeats, has expressed an interest in the pics if the Peacock doesn't pounce. Noth starred in the recent TNT crime telepic "Bad Apple."
USA Network, which airs "L&O: SVU" and is part of the NBC U empire, might also be a logical home for the pics.
The strong performance of "Exiled" sparked talk of more "L&O" pics at the time, but for various reasons, nothing ever came of the talk. In addition, Noth became busy working on "Sex and the City," playing the infamous Mr. Big.
Wolf also was set to begin shooting a "L&O" miniseries for NBC, with the focus on an act of terror. Those plans were scuttled in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Wolf declined comment on the prospect of new "L&O" pics with Noth, but back in 1998, the producer left open the possibility for more pics with either Noth or other cast members.
"What 'Exiled' showed is that there's an appetite for this franchise -- and Chris was a huge part of that," Wolf told the New York Post. Noth played Logan from 1990-1995.
Wolf and NBC Universal Television Studios declined comment.
post #430 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Richard Sandomir, The New York Times' respected TV Sports columnist, looks at the Fox coverage of the the World Series and the ALCS in Friday's editions:

So-Called Enhancements Are Really Distractions

By RICHARD SANDOMIR Published: October 22, 2004

Looking ahead to tomorrow night's start of the World Series, Fox's Tim McCarver said he remained stunned that the Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees in four straight games to get there.

"I find myself asking how they can win without Manny Ramirez driving in a run in the series or Pedro MartÃ*nez winning a game," he said yesterday during a conference call. "I'm still shaking my head."

He predicted that the Red Sox will not let down in Game 1 of the Series as the Yankees did last year against Florida after they beat Boston in the dramatic seventh game of the American League Championship Series.

"It will be the antithesis," he said. "It will be the gathering storm."

But the start of the World Series requires looking back at how Fox handled the A.L.C.S., particularly Boston's 10-3 victory in Game 7.

This must be said emphatically: Mr. AOL Must Go. Replays that are introduced by the yellow animated AOL character swinging from a player's head or neck is a needless distraction, especially to those who hate their AOL service. Networks these days accede to advertiser demands that they get more "added value," and such so-called enhancements are added. But it's time for Fox to resurrect the toon-killing Judge Doom of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" for a final job.

Fox's use of numerous tight close-ups of players, managers and fans will not change in the World Series. To some, they help heighten excitement; to others, they present network toys gone mad. Fox's director, Bill Webb, is a skilled orchestrator of them, and his bosses, Ed Goren and David Hill, praised him and the other baseball producers and directors yesterday for the way they paint postseason visual pictures.

Fine. But problems arise with the combined use of close-ups and replays. On many occasions, Fox missed part of the pitcher's delivery while offering a lingering look inside the Red Sox dugout or taking a zoom-lens tour of Joe Torre's nose.

And if Mike Timlin is shown in a tight close-up looking to the right of the TV screen, it is more valuable to viewers for Fox's cameras to pull back to let them see that the reliever was peering in at Jason Varitek's signs. Besides, in the cool autumn weather, no one was dripping any dramatic close-up sweat.

Close-ups create a cumulative effect that, as Goren said, can make fans feel as if they are in the ballpark. But unless close-ups advance a story, especially when they are of fans, are they valuable? If a fan is praying or weeping, fine. If he's just someone in a Yankees cap, should we care? After all, they're looking at what viewers want to see when the camera is focused on those fans. Fox can reward viewers with restraint.

Taken singly, close-ups of the primary players in a dramatic moment are necessary, unless they obscure what they are actually doing. And sometimes, they are not always worth a zoom lens. Watching Red Sox Manager Terry Francona save his unsightly chaw of tobacco from dribbling down his chest is not crucial, nor is seeing how many freckles are on the left side of Hideki Matsui's face. (Fifteen, by my count.)

Although not inconsequential, the use of close-ups or replays is a tangential concern compared with game analysis. On that score, McCarver's full view of the field remains highly attuned; think of how he saw, without a replay, how Johnny Damon's hesitation in the first inning led to his being thrown out at home. And Al Leiter showed why he will one day be a full-time analyst, although he was more effective last year when he was teamed with a weaker commentator, Steve Lyons.

But viewers need McCarver to do more first guessing, his forte. He, Joe Buck and Leiter nibbled too much around the edges of Yankees starter Kevin Brown's problems in the first and second innings of Game 7, without McCarver calling for a quicker hook.

But McCarver and Leiter offered prescient insight when discussing the perils of bringing a starter in as a reliever during an inning. That served the broadcast well when Javier Vazquez, in relief of Brown, gave up Damon's grand slam, and when MartÃ*nez gave up two runs in relief of Derek Lowe.
post #431 of 25503
Thread Starter 
And a different take from John Maffei of the (San Diego) North County Times, also in his paper's Friday edition.
(A note -- John is a particular favorite of mine. His thoughtful weekly TV sports column is always a good read, even if you are not interested in his local San Diego items. I recommend him highly.)
Check him out each Friday at:
http://www.nctimes.com/news/columnists

Fox's baseball coverage still needs some work

By: JOHN MAFFEI - Staff Writer

The good news for baseball fans is that the World Series starts Saturday. The bad news is that Fox has the World Series telecasts.

Nothing seems to change with Fox.

The camera work is generally excellent. All the angles, all the replays are there. And the shots of the fans at the ALCS and NLCS ---- although a little overdone ---- were outstanding. It's a technique Chet Forte perfected when he was the director of ABC's "Monday Night Football." It still works if done right, and Fox did it right.

But Fox's annoying whooshes and shooshes when replays are shown have to go. And the telephone-ringing sound when the score changes is insulting.

Then again, so is Tim McCarver's commentary.

He's the absolute master of the obvious. He's great at second guessing ---- which is part of an announcer's job ---- but he adds nothing to a telecast. There is nothing fresh in his commentary and everything, it seems, is a pun.

Al Leiter, a newcomer to the ALCS telecasts, was great. He added insight and depth to the games. His comments, especially concerning pitching, were timely. And he had some opinions.

However, why does Fox think it's necessary to throw game telecasts to the studio when there is nothing to say? Studio host Jeanne Zelasko earned her money and did a great job on Monday when the ALCS and NLCS were being played simultaneously.

But going to Zelasko just to go to her, when there is nothing fresh or breaking, is stupid. It's downright distracting.

With huge audiences for the exciting finishes in both the NLCS and ALCS, Fox officials probably think they're doing things well. But the games have dictated the audience, not the coverage.

The network really needs to rethink how it does baseball.
post #432 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Another look at reality TV -- is it losing its hold on network schedulers? This take is from Jonathan Storm of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Grim reality for reality TV: The script returns

BY JONATHAN STORM The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted on Thu, Oct. 21, 2004
Lost in a thicket of redundant ''reality'' shows and desperate for something fresh, viewers this season may be turning a page in TV history, going back to a time when writers wrote the stories and audiences settled in for the long haul.

ABC has accomplished the unheard-of, launching two continuing-saga dramas into the ratings Top 10. At the same time, TV fans are rejecting reality competition shows that have grown into a schedule staple in the past five years.

It's far too soon to declare a renaissance for prime-time serials, but Desperate Housewives, a darkly comic soap featuring a bright cast of swanky TV veterans, won the ratings race the week it premiered, and is tied for third in average viewership so far this season among 112 network series. Also on ABC, Lost, about the exploits of plane-crash victims stranded on a strange isle, is 10th.

A far more certain trend is the wholesale viewer tune-out from reality series that assemble a cast of supposedly regular folks and leave viewers, the cast itself or an omnipotent mogul to direct the plot.

Riddled with reality, the entire Fox network is in serious ratings trouble. Its Next Great Champ lost in the prelims and got dumped to cable, and The Complex: Malibu can't even beat UPN. ABC's Benefactor is bankrupt, and will be canceled Monday after only six episodes. Ratings were so abominable for NBC's Last Comic Standing that the show was heckled off before the winner was revealed.

More dire (or joyful, if you're a TV writer or drama lover) is the erosion in established reality hits: ABC's Bachelor is down 4.3 million viewers (35 percent) from its average last season, UPN's America's Next Top Model is off nearly 2 million (31 percent), and NBC's Apprentice has dropped 5.2 million (25 percent). Even the granddaddy of them all, CBS's Survivor, is down 1.2 million viewers (6 percent).

Except for Survivor, the shortfalls are so large as to overrule seasonal fluctuations and scheduling quirks.

''One billionaire, five billionaires, too many people voted off -- the embrace of Lost and Desperate Housewives could be the reaction against the surfeit of reality,'' said TV historian Tim Brooks, coauthor of The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows and executive vice president for research at cable's Lifetime Network.

If history is a guide, reality's days are numbered, Brooks says: ``These big trends that take over television last anywhere from five to a maximum of 10 years -- the westerns of the late '50s and early '60s, sitcoms of the '70s, soaps of the '80s.

``If the reality craze began, basically, in 2000, with all the competition these days it's looking like it only has a couple more years.''

And what better to fill the void than serialized drama, which, outside of HBO, has been scarce?

The people at NBC are doing the same thing.

The network is missing nearly a million viewers, on average, compared with last year, and it's down 15 percent in the youthful demographics it covets.

NBC has been loudly promoting its latest reality competition, a show about fatties on a diet. The irony of the title, The Biggest Loser, is not being lost on people in the Hollywood TV community.

Behind the scenes, however, NBC was scurrying to buy the rights to a seven-year-old TV project, The Hollywood Reporter said. It's about five families living on a suburban cul-de-sac.
post #433 of 25503
Yep, way too gimicky, and that GD banner at the top has got to go..

Jim
post #434 of 25503
One of the few things I like is that banner, actually. McCarver's act was tired years ago. Perhaps a show with him and Trump where they box one another?

Mark
post #435 of 25503
Quote:


Originally posted by fredfa
Behind the scenes, however, NBC was scurrying to buy the rights to a seven-year-old TV project, The Hollywood Reporter said. It's about five families living on a suburban cul-de-sac.

Send in the clones. Gonna be a lot of sexy homicidal homemakers and island misadventures in '05.
post #436 of 25503
Thread Starter 
More on NBC's ratings problemns. This is from The Associated Press:

Ratings losses mount for NBC

By David Bauder, Associated Press October 21, 2004
NEW YORK -- Minus "Friends" or any big breakout hits, NBC has stumbled out of the starting gate this season. The once proud peacock lost again last week in the only ratings battle it cares about, among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that advertisers seek, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday.

That makes four losses in four weeks of the new TV season. It's an unaccustomed spot for NBC, which dominated this demo for the last four seasons, and eight out of the last nine, and has taken in the most advertising revenue.

It's still early, but NBC ranks third this fall behind CBS and a resurgent ABC among all viewers and among the youthful demographic. "They've lost some of their core properties and now they have to struggle the way everyone has to struggle when they lose their core properties," said Stacey Lynn Koerner, a television analyst for Initiative Media. The last episodes of "Friends" and "Frasier" aired in May.

Matt LeBlanc's new "Joey" is the classic good news-bad news case for NBC. With its 13.4 million viewers last week, it was television's third-most-popular sitcom, behind "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Two and a Half Men." It's the top-rated new sitcom.

Yet the "Joey" ratings are 34 percent off what "Friends" was doing at the same point last year. Combine that with a 14 percent drop for "The Apprentice" and longtime hit "ER" now losing its time slot to CBS's "Without a Trace," and you've got some problems on Thursday, traditionally television's most profitable night.

Other networks' hits have also taken their toll on NBC. The network shelved its new drama "Hawaii" after it tanked in the same time slot as ABC's hit "Lost." NBC is moving another new show, "LAX," into that slot.

Meanwhile, "Law & Order" is down 21 percent in the ratings now that it is competing against CBS's "CSI: NY." ABC's "Desperate Housewives," the season's biggest freshman hit with 20.9 million viewers Sunday, has caused the ratings to fade for NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

NBC is down 8 percent from last year among all viewers, and 10 percent among viewers aged 18 to 49, while ABC and CBS are up in both categories, Nielsen Media Research said.

"I can't tell you we're clicking our heels up," said NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly. "This is tough, and it has gotten tougher with ABC's performance."

On the bright side, NBC has high hopes for "The Office," expected in midseason, and some of its reality programming, like "The $25 Million Hoax," which has a woman lying to her family about winning a lottery.

NBC is also high on two drama series in the works: "Medium," which stars Patricia Arquette, and "Revelations," in which the biblical warning about the end of the world comes true.
post #437 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Thursday ratings have been posted
post #438 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Now expect a
sockeroo World Series

Last really hot matchup: Red Sox vs. Mets in '86

By Toni Fitzgerald Melia Life.com
The improbable turnaround by the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series didn't just secure the team's first trip to the World Series since 1986. It also salvaged what looked to be a disappointing series ratings-wise for Fox when the New York Yankees went up three games to none early on.

Now history tells us that Fox could enjoy its most-watched World Series ever, thanks to the popular underdogs' exciting comeback.

Boston's seven-game matchup with the New York Mets 18 years ago on NBC was the most-watched series since Nielsen began supplying complete series viewership in 1981. The games averaged a 28.6 household rating and 46 share, more than double last year's 12.8/22 for Yankees-Florida Marlins.

That impressive average included a 38.9 for game seven of the series, the highest-rated single game since 1981 (and one of the highest-rated programs on any network in that span).

No one expects a 20-something average for this series. Sports and primetime in general have changed too much in the years since then. The highest-rated series in the past 10 years came in 1995, ABC's 19.5/33 average for Atlanta Braves-Cleveland Indians.

But the past four years have produced three of the lowest-rated series ever, including the third-lowest-rated last year despite record audiences for the LCS games.

Yet the storied curse of the Bambino, and Boston's winless-in-the-series streak since 1918, will bring in non-Red Sox fans and even non-baseball fans to the games. An average in the high teens doesn't seem out of the question so long as the series with the St. Louis Cardinals remains competitive. The Cards, too, have proven popular in their last two appearances, averaging a 24.0 rating in '87 and a 25.3 in '85.

At the least, if the matchup doesn't end up in a sweep, a Boston World Series should average a 15 household rating. If the series is especially exciting, Fox could match or surpass 1996's 17.4 average, its best ever.

The best news of all for Fox, which has broadcast six of the past eight World Series, is that the Yankees aren't in it. New York made the series six out of the past 11 seasons (1994 had no series because of the strike).

In those years, the World Series averaged a 14.7 household rating. In non-Yankee years, it averaged a 16.4, 12 percent better.

But Yankees-Red Sox certainly made for a good ALCS, especially the last three games. The series badly trailed last year's ALCS between the same two teams after the first three games, but rebounded to an 11.7/20, up 9 percent over last year's 10.7/20.

Wednesday's game seven averaged 31.5 million total viewers, the best ever for an LCS game on Fox. It did even better than last year's game seven of the ALCS pitting the Yankees and Red Sox, which averaged a 17.1/28.

Its 19.4/30 was the best rating for any LCS game since 1991's Pittsburgh-Atlanta game seven on CBS and the highest-rated ALCS game since ABC's 21.2/33 for Anaheim-Boston game seven.
The game was the second-most-watched baseball game ever on Fox, trailing only the 39.1 million who tuned in for game seven of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks.
post #439 of 25503
Under UPN remaining premiere dates, add The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliot for midseason. That was announced back when the fall lineup was announced. Will air Wednesdays at 8pm ET (I assume when America's Next Top Model ends its current run).
post #440 of 25503
Thread Starter 
I apologize.
I am out of town and away from the computer today, so Friday's ratings will be delayed.
Look for more news and ratings late Saturday or early Sunday.
Have a great weekend!
post #441 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Friday's ratings posted.
Sorry for the delay.
post #442 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Saturday's ratings are posted
post #443 of 25503
fredfa,

Add The King of Queens and Center of The Universe back. They premiere October 27th, and were pulled from premiering on Oct. 20th at the last minute to avoid getting killed by Game 7 of the ALCS. Both are in HD.

(also, spelling error with stardom for road to stardom show).
post #444 of 25503
Thread Starter 
I am waiting on those, f44, because (just a hunch) CBS might pull them again to miss game four of the World Series
post #445 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Baseball's Out of the Park
Expecting High Viewer Interest, Fox Bullish on World Series Ads
By Jon Lafayette, TVWeek.com October 25, 2004
Fox rode last week's miraculous comeback by the Boston Red Sox to ratings heaven and is looking at a World Series that could be even more lucrative.

"If it goes to at least six games, I think we'll be looking at the highest-rated World Series in the last five years," said Sam Sussman, who handles sports negotiations as VP, media director, for media buying giant Starcom USA. But even if the Red Sox, a supposedly cursed franchise that hasn't won a world championship since 1918, fall behind early to the St. Louis Cardinals, he predicts the 2004 Series will top last year's, which averaged a 12.8 Nielsen Media Research household rating as the Florida Marlins beat the New York Yankees.
With two seven-game series, which included three extra-inning games, Fox was able to maximize its revenues during the two league championships last week.
"We like baseball. We like extra-inning games and we like seven-game series," said Jon Nesvig, president of ad sales for Fox Broadcasting.
With anything other than a sweep in the World Series, Fox will have a successful baseball postseason. One industry observer said that with 14 league championship games played, a fifth World Series game will push Fox above its revenue plan for the postseason.
Of course, profit and loss in sports is a complicated equation. Fox paid $2.5 billion for a six-year deal for baseball rights beginning in 2001. Then News Corp. took a write-down for its sports rights in 2002, including $225 million for baseball.
"Profitability? You talk to the accountants," Mr. Nesvig said. "But versus our business plan, we are smiling. The fact that we got seven games in both championship series means that baseball is going to be very successful."
News Corp. has been making money from the stations it owns in Boston, St. Louis, New York and Atlanta, the home cities of four of the teams that made the baseball playoffs.
For the league championship series, Fox was selling 30-second ads for $175,000 to $200,000. As the series heated up, prices rose to about $250,000 for the last few games, Mr. Nesvig said. The extra games were a bonanza, as were the extra innings. Fox gets 90 seconds of ads between innings.
Those extra games and extra innings were particularly big in the New York-Boston series. Overall, the LCS on Fox averaged an 11.1 rating in prime time through Wednesday night, little changed from last year, when the playoff run by the surprising Chicago Cubs (another team that hasn't won a championship since before the Great Depression) boosted the ratings for the National League games.
But Game 7, in which the Red Sox whipped the Yankees, was the highest-rated baseball game since 1991, drawing a 19.4 rating, a 30 share and 31.5 million viewers. The game was the highest-rated show so far this season among households, adults 18 to 49 and adults 18 to 34 and the second-highest-rated show of the year, behind only the Super Bowl, including beating NBC's coverage of the Olympics.
Those numbers were a boon for Fox, which has had little else working for it so far this season.
Since the games exceeded their ratings guarantees, "It really helps us out with any prime issues that we have," Mr. Nesvig said. "The baseball [advertisers] were taken care of, so anything you were holding there for underdelivery becomes available elsewhere. We've been maximizing our baseball inventory for the good of the company."
Mr. Nesvig said Fox is effectively sold out for the first five games of the World Series, with spots selling for $350,000, up from $300,000 to $325,000 last season.
"Based on what I've heard, Fox was well sold before the matchup," said Mr. Sussman of Starcom. "Sometimes there's opportunistic money" that comes into the World Series at the last minute, he added.
Mr. Nesvig said he's got about 15 percent, or about 10 to 12 units per game, of Games 6 and 7 of the Series still available.
He expects some advertisers to wait and see how the Series goes-and to see whether Fox will lower its prices-before buying in. "We hold the price up and you usually have [spots in] Game 6 or 7 available until fairly late in the process."
Mr. Nesvig expected viewers to be very interested in the Series and rooted for the Red Sox to beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. "I think Boston is such a compelling story that you're going to bring along more viewers," he said.
"I don't think Fox loses anything with the Yankees not being there," Mr. Sussman said. "If you've seen any of the ratings in Boston, Hartford and Providence, combine that with the curse, I think that will more than offset losing the top market in New York. Plus, the Yankees have been there six of the past eight years."
Curse of the Bambino
According to baseball lore, the Red Sox have been cursed for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920. Mr. Ruth went on to be a star, while Red Sox fans suffered. In the past few years the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has heated up, with the Yankees knocking the Red Sox out of the playoffs in dramatic fashion several times, including last year.
Mr. Sussman thought that the Houston Astros might have drawn more viewers than the Cardinals because some of their players have interesting stories. That would have included former Red Sox hurler Roger Clemens, who would have had an opportunity to keep the curse alive by beating his old team in one of the later games in the Series in historic Fenway Park.
But the Cardinals had the best record in baseball and are a storied franchise in a city that many experts consider the best baseball market in the country. The team also has a strong following in much of the Midwest.
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Better Outlook Seen for Cable
Analysts Optimistic About MSOs' Upcoming Quarterly Reports
By Jay Sherman, TV Week.com October 25, 2004

Is the sun once again shining on the cable sector?

With multiple system operators set to release third-quarter results, beginning with Comcast and Cox Communications on Wednesday, Wall Street analysts are predicting that the cable sector, after a difficult second quarter, could again attract the affections of investors.
For the better part of 2004 cable stocks have foundered as investors steered away from the sector, worried that competition from satellite operators and telephone companies was eroding the long-term growth prospects of cable operators. More recently, the cable sector has been battered by headlines about the Regional Bell Operating Companies rolling out fiber-optic wiring to homes to deliver video, and by the threat utility companies pose with their planned introduction of broadband services delivered over power lines.
Comcast shares are down around 14 percent since the start of the year, while Cablevision shares have fallen more than 15 percent. Shares in Cox are about even with where they started the year, but that can be attributed to a plan by Cox's majority shareholder to take the cable company private later this year. Before the July announcement that Cox would go private, its shares were down 20 percent from where they were at the beginning of the year.
Things were particularly rough in the second quarter, after several cable operators reported steeper-than-expected subscriber losses in the face of sharp subscriber gains at satellite operators DirecTV Group and EchoStar Communications. To be sure, the second quarter, when college students and snowbirds disconnect their service for the summer, has long been a weak period for most cable companies. However, the 2004 second quarter was further hurt by satellite's luring away of cable customers.
The third quarter could be a different story. Thanks to a combination of seasonal effects and a real push by cable operators to more effectively compete with satellite, many analysts believe cable will post strong cash flow and revenue growth and could report robust subscriber numbers in the high-speed data and cable-based telephony businesses.
The third quarter is typically a stronger one for the cable companies because the snowbirds and college students who disconnected in the second quarter reconnect their service.
However, with satellite operators continuing to focus on subscriber growth, new customer growth in the basic video arena could remain weak, some analysts said.
Comcast Looks Solid
Comcast could have a particularly strong quarter, driven by strong growth in its high-speed data business, said Bernstein Research cable analyst Craig Moffett. He estimates the No. 1 cable company could report as many as 475,000 new high-speed data customers, fueled by an expanded number of markets that now have the service since the company upgraded most of its cable plant.
Another wild card could be telephony. Time Warner is particularly well positioned to reap the benefits of its rollout of voice-over-Internet protocol telephone service. The company said it plans to have virtually every market ready for VoIP by the end of October. Time Warner could add as many as 150,000 VoIP customers by the end of the year, according to an estimate by Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen.
But the growth could have a cost for Time Warner. Ms. Cohen noted that Time Warner is likely to spend $25 million a quarter in costs associated with the VoIP launch, which could in turn eat into the cable unit's cash flow.
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Webs face New Year's resolutions
With unusually close race, January may be turning point

By JOSEF ADALIAN, Variety.com
Forget the fall: This TV season, January could be the new September.
The first month of the calendar year always brings a rush of new programs as webs replace failed frosh with fresh fare. But this season, January figures to be even more important than usual.
That's because the network horse race is closer than it has been in years, at least in the all-important adults 18-49 demo.
CBS has shaken its old-fogey image to become the early leader in the demo derby, capitalizing on NBC's stumble out of the gate and Fox's perennial fall fumble. And ABC is an also-ran no more: The Alphabet's early success means it's unlikely the winner of the demo battle will be determined until the second half of the season.
"You have four networks in play now, and how they all position themselves in January is going to be very important," says Fox scheduling guru Preston Beckman.
Indeed, one or two midseason moves in January could mean the difference between first or worst when the season ends in May.
That's particularly true in the age of reality TV, when a show such as "The Apprentice" can come out of nowhere and change the dynamics of the game.
Here's an early look at how each of the Big Four is faring, and how each net will likely approach midseason madness:
NBC, the longtime demo leader, is off to a rough start, with ratings down a sharp 9% vs. last fall. As a result, Peacock brass will be hungry to get the network back on track.
Expect a slew of changes to NBC's sked come January -- not to mention a ton of stunts -- as the net looks to hold on to its crown.
"They're going to do everything but sacrifice virgins on live TV in order to win," one industry observer theorizes.
Peacock has already shaken up its Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lineups, dumping drama "Hawaii" and putting new reality shows on Monday and Tuesday nights.
January will see the arrival of boxing reality skein "The Contender" and quite possibly the spooky mystery "Medium."
The biggest wild card: "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," the latest installment in the venerable franchise. But with two of the current three "L&O" skeins taking a ratings hit this fall, will viewers really want another hour?
Fox had hoped its year-round programming strategy would cure its annual fall funk. Instead, the net finds itself in a bigger-than-usual hole at the start of the season, making it even more crucial that "American Idol" returns in January to its usual boffo numbers.
The good news: Last week's Red Sox-Yankees playoff games scored monster ratings, boosting Fox's overall average and providing a great platform for the net to hype its new shows. Fox also has saved drama gun "24" for January, while a new toon from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane could be key to luring young men back.
"We might be in fourth place going into January and still have the ability to get right up there by the end of the season," Beckman says. "We haven't even shot off any of our guns yet."
It's vital that "Idol" remains big, but some of the pressure will be taken off the reality hit if Fox has any sort of success with next week's move of "The OC" to Thursday nights.
Net stepped into the big leagues more than a decade ago when it skedded "The Simpsons" on Thursday. If Fox can manage any sort of revival on Thursdays with "The OC," it will go into the new year with a hefty dose of momentum.
ABC's awesome autumn doesn't make January any less important to the Alphabet web. The net's midseason mission will be different this go-round, however.
Net has spent the past few Januarys trying to climb out of a Nielsen hole. This year, thanks to red-hot "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," Alphabet execs can actually use the new year to build on the success of the fall.
"We need to keep our momentum going," says ABC scheduling czar Jeff Bader, who knows that even two big drama hits aren't enough to put the net back in first.
"Our fortunes aren't going to turn around that fast," he says.
Indeed, ABC still has to deal with the perennial headache of replacing two hours of primetime when "Monday Night Football" wraps. "NYPD Blue" also will call it quits, and while the skein does only so-so ratings, there's no guarantee its replacement will do better.
Also worrisome: ABC's comedies, once a source of pride, are fading this fall, particularly on Friday.
But Bader thinks ABC has the goods to fill the January gaps, pointing to dramas "Eyes," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Blind Justice" as solid contenders. Then there's "Alias," which returns in January with a hotter-than-ever Jennifer Garner and a broadcast sked that ensures 20 consecutive episodes with no repeats.
The one exception to the midseason rule this season may be CBS.
Eye is off to such a strong start -- thanks to returning shows and "CSI: NY" and despite its other so-so frosh skeins -- that the net is unlikely to need any radical surgery come January.
A nip and a tuck on Wednesday and Friday nights -- most likely from one of the half-dozen reality shows CBS has waiting in the wings -- should be enough to ensure the net romps in total viewers and stays a contender for first in demos.
The Eye's strong position may be one reason CBS senior exec VP Kelly Kahl scoffs at the notion that this January will be particularly important.
"There's churn every year in January," he says. "I don't think this year is different than any other year. Stuff that didn't make it in the fall will be replaced by new stuff."
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Film celebrates Reeve's fighting spirit

BY FRAZIER MOORE , The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- What Christopher Reeve created as a mission statement now commemorates him.
In "The Brooke Ellison Story," Reeve set out to dramatize the real-life triumph over adversity of its subject who, at age 11, was struck by a car and paralyzed from the neck down, yet a few years later graduated with honors from Harvard University.
Meanwhile, Reeve, himself a quadriplegic, clearly amplified the film's message -- that anything is possible -- just by making it. In the film, Brooke is portrayed as a girl by Vanessa Marano, then as a young woman by Lacey Chabert. But always evident just off-screen are two extraordinary heroes: the real Brooke Ellison and Reeve, the film's director.
"After my injury and when I made the switch from acting into directing," said Reeve in an interview included with the film's production notes, "I thought it would be a good thing for me to tell one really good story about a family -- an ordinary American family dealing with a devastating event, such as the spinal cord injury of a young child."
Then, laughing, he added, "The next thing I should do should be a comedy."
That was his plan. But with cruel suddenness, Reeve died Oct. 10 at 52.
Now "The Brooke Ellison Story" -- which premieres at 8 p.m. ET Monday on A&E -- becomes a fitting final declaration of what Reeve represented.
"He possessed more strength than any man I've ever met," Chabert says. "I've never seen someone with such passion for what he was doing, and as driven as he was -- but who at the same time had a sense of humor about everything, which is priceless."
Chabert spent a month on the film, shot last summer around New Orleans (which doubles for both the Ellison family's Long Island neighborhood and the Harvard campus).
Her co-stars include John Slattery ("Jack & Bobby") as Brooke's devoted father and Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who as Brooke's mother and constant companion puts the film's moral in a nutshell: "You belong in this world," she tells her daughter in a moment of despair, "but you have to decide whether you're going to contribute to it, or be paralyzed."
Chabert says Ellison, who's now working on her Ph.D. in political psychology, visited the set and deeply impressed her.
"I noticed this about both Brooke and Chris: Their presence as people and their personalities are so whole that their [wheel]chair just disappeared for me. I just didn't see it anymore. They're defined by their minds and personalities."
The 22-year-old actress, who was in the recent screen hit "Mean Girls" and as a youngster starred in the Fox series "Party of Five," cops to initial nervousness at playing a paralyzed character in a film being made by a paralyzed director.
But although Reeve couldn't be on-set, the actors were linked with him a room away by a sound-and-video hookup.
"We could see each other and he would give us directions in the mike," says Chabert, "and if it was a little more intense and private I would hop out of the chair and speak with him, face to face. It felt like he was there. And he really oversaw every little detail."
He also kept things light.
"In the chair, every now and then I would get kind of anxious," Chabert confides. "But before every take, Chris would say, 'OK, Lacey, be paralyzed!' "
The role, she adds, "was a little daunting for me at first. As an actress, you use body language as a form of expression. When that was taken away, I felt very exposed. But it was a great exercise for me, to get down to the basics and realize that, when you do something, the audience should read it your eyes. That's what my performance became about."
Without meaning to, Chabert had echoed Reeve from years ago. In a 1998 interview with the Associated Press, he voiced concerns about starring in a TV remake of the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Rear Window," whose protagonist is a man in a wheelchair.
"I was worried that only acting with my voice and my face, I might not be able to communicate effectively enough to tell the story," Reeve acknowledged then. "But I was surprised to find that if I really concentrated, and just let the thoughts happen, that they would read on my face."
After his horseback riding accident in 1995, Reeve also directed the HBO film "In the Gloaming," wrote two autobiographies and lobbied extensively for stem-cell research while establishing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
"He created this incredible life for himself with all his accomplishments," says Chabert, sharing one key bit of direction he gave her: "Either you give up, or you make the most of what you have. You have the choice to go on, and with more strength than you had before."
A couple of weeks ago, Reeve left a phone message saying he had just screened a finished version of the film.
"He was so excited about it," she recalls. "I called him back and he called me back, but I was never able to speak to him."
She found out he had died while she was watching TV: an item on a news crawl. "I just fell to my knees. I was heartbroken."
For her and for its audience, then, "The Brooke Ellison Story" comes with an unbidden postscript.
"But Chris wanted the film to end with hope," Chabert says. "I hope the film can be a part of paying tribute to his life and to his memory."
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(Given its much ballyhooed "switch" to an HD lineup, the following story from Mediaweek.com about Fox's upcoming prime time plans is a bit sobering.
Reality shows generally aren't shown in HD, and there has been no announcement that Fox will be making major efforts to change that.)

Reality Sets In For Flagging Fox

By John Consoli, Mediaweek.com October 25, 2004
During the critical November sweeps ratings period, Fox will air 10 reality series and nine scripted shows in prime time, marking the first time in modern television history that a broadcast network has scheduled more reality than scripted programs during the regular season.

Several media buyers panned the strategy, saying that Fox is taking a big risk.

But Fox executives insisted last week that it is only a two-month plan and that January will herald the return of a wealth of new and returning scripted programming in time for the February sweeps. That includes three new dramas, two returning dramas, and both new and returning sitcoms.

Kris Magel, vp, associate network director, at Optimedia, also reacted negatively to Fox's programming plans. It seems like a lot of reality to have on the schedule. I would have hoped that Fox would put more scripted programming on. I'm a little worried about the long-term prospects of the network because successful scripted programming is what assures its long-term success.

Jon Mandel, co-chief executive officer at MediaCom, noted that it does seem to show a certain level of creative bankruptcy at the network, adding that his concern also is about the quality of many of the Fox reality shows. It's not so much that it's reality, but that it's schlocky reality, Mandel said. But as Phil Donahue once said, You slow down to look at a car wreck, don't you?'

Lyle Schwartz, senior vp and director of media research at Mediaedge:cia, said, It's a significantly heavy reality-based schedule that is going to test viewers' appetites for reality shows.

The November sweeps will usher in Fox's reality-crazed schedule. Beginning Friday Nov. 5, Fox will air Totally Outrageous Behavior at 8 p.m., World's Craziest Videos at 8:30 p.m. and Renovate My Family at 9. Saturdays, Fox will air its usual two half-hours of Cops, plus the hour-long America's Most Wanted.

On Sundays, Fox will follow its four returning sitcoms with My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss at 9 p.m. On Mondays, the plan is to run Trading Spouses, which is already on the air, at 8 p.m. and bring back the next installment of The Swan at 9. Tuesdays will be home to new reality show The Rebel Billionaire at 8 p.m. And last but not least, the new Nanny 911 reality show will run Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Preston Beckman, Fox senior vp for strategic program planning, said the heavy reliance on reality in fourth quarter is simply a short-term strategy to avoid last year's unsuccessful rollout of several new scripted series in November following a month of Major League Baseball postseason telecasts.

We're just trying to be realistic and learn from the past few years, Beckman said. Not to point fingers at other networks, but NBC thought it had a tremendous promotional platform for its new shows with the Olympics this summer, but most of its new shows are not working. We believe we will be better served in holding most of our scripted shows until the first quarter.

Taking exception to Mandel's criticism, Beckman said most of the reality entrants are advertiser friendly. He said Trading Spouses and Renovate My Family are similar to ABC shows Wife Swap and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and that The Swan was popular with advertisers last season. Beckman likened Obnoxious Boss to a sitcom.

These shows cover the full spectrum of reality and scripted programs, he continued. Our goal is to get through the fourth quarter with growth over last year and get ready for the return of American Idol in January. I don't think you'll see 10 reality shows still on in January.

Among the scripted programs Fox plans to put on in January or later in first quarter are the return of dramas 24 and Tru Calling and new dramas Johnny Zero, Point Pleasant, The Insider and, possibly, Athens. On the comedy side, new sitcom Related by Family will debut, and Bernie Mac will make its return, following the star's recent bout with pneumonia.

Beckman added, If we put some of these new dramas on in November and they failed to get an audience, they would be pulled and replaced with reality anyway. So we are trying to give them the best chance to succeed. We have a lot of episodes already shot, and we can fine-tune them and decide in what order we run them.

Steve Sternberg, executive vp, director of audience analysis at Magna Global USA, said he believes Fox's strategy could work, considering its decent history with reality shows.

If either My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss or Rebel Billionaire does well, Fox should be OK until January, said Sternberg. The Swan did well on Monday last season, and Trading Spouses has done OK. But if none of the new reality shows work and The Swan declines, Fox will have major problems. Considering Fox has been successful with past one-shot reality shows, who knows?
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(Marc Berman's Programming Insider column at Mediaweek.com)
Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Highlights

Friday 10/22/04

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings:

[/b][/u]Household Rating/Share [/b][/u]
NBC: 6.2/11
CBS: 5.2/ 9
ABC: 4.7/ 8
Fox: 2.9/ 5
WB: 2.3/ 4
UPN: 1.6/ 3

Total Viewers:
NBC: 8.75 million
CBS: 7.75
ABC: 6.69
Fox: 4.36
WB: 3.50
UPN: 2.43

Adults 18-49:
NBC: 2.8/ 9
ABC: 2.2/ 7
CBS: 1.9/ 6
Fox: 1.6/ 5
WB: 1.4/ 5
UPN: 1.1/ 4

Friday's Winners:
Nothing

Friday's Losers:
8 Simple Rules (ABC)
Complete Savages (ABC)
Star Trek: Enterprise (UPN)
What I Like About You (WB)
Grounded For Life (WB)
Genius: A Night For Ray Charles (CBS)
dr. vegas (CBS)

Friday Ratings Breakdown:
NBC posted a clean, albeit modest, Friday sweep, beating the No. 2 network (CBS in households and viewers; ABC among adults 18-49) by an average 19 percent in households, 1.0 million viewers and 32 percent among adults 18-49. NBC's Dateline opened the evening on a winning note with a 6.6/12 in households and a 2.3/ 8 among adults 18-49. Second was CBS' fading Joan Of Arcadia with a 5.0/10 in households and a 2.0/ 7 among adults 18-49, followed by low-rated ABC comedies 8 Simple Rules (HH: 4.6/ 9; A18-49: 1.8/ 7) and Complete Savages (4.2/ 8; A18-49: 1.9/ 6). All of the above shows remain down year-to-year by considerable percentages.

Fourth in the 8 p.m. hour were repeats of Fox's Totally Outrageous Behavior (HH: 2.9/ 5; A18-49: 1.7/ 6) and World's Craziest Videos (HH: 2.9/ 5; A18-49: 1.7/ 6), followed by UPN's Star Trek: Enterprise (HH: 1.9/ 4; A18-49: 1.3/ 5), and WB comedies What I Like About You (HH: 1.8/ 3; A18-49: 1.1/ 4) and Grounded For Life (HH: 1.8/ 3; A18-49: 1.2/ 4). Start packing Enterprise - there is now every reason to believe this will be the final season.

At 9 p.m., NBC remained in the winner's circle with Third Watch at a 6.4/11 in households and a 3.2/10 among adults 18-49, building from lead-in Dateline by 39 percent in the demo. Although ABC's Hope & Faith was promising last year at this time, the inane sitcom remains down by double-digits, with a third-place finish in households (4.5/ 8) and viewers (6.54), and a distant second-place finish among adults 18-49 (2.3/ 7). Lead-out Less Than Perfect was no better at a 4.1/ 7 in households, 5.87 million viewers and a 2.2/ 7 among adults 18-49.

Over at CBS, 9 p.m. special, Genius: A Night For Ray Charles, disappointed with a 5.5/ 9 in households (#2 in the time period), 8.08 million viewers (#2) and a 1.9/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#3). On Fox, a Friday edition of America's Most Wanted, which has been pre-empted in recent weeks because of baseball, was below-average with a fourth-place finish in households (3.0/ 5), viewers (4.78 million) and adults 18-49 (1.6/ 5). Two episodes of the WB's Reba (original and repeat, HH: avg. 2.9/ 5; A18-49: avg. 1.8/ 5) outdelivered a repeat of America's Next Top Model on UPN (HH: #6, 1.4/ 3; A18-49: #6, 0.9/ 3) by an average of 107 percent in households and 100 percent among adults 18-49.

At 10 p.m., a repeat of NBC's Medical Investigation (HH: 5.7/10; Viewers: 8.11 million; A18-49: 2.9/ 9) moved into the No. 1 spot, with ABC's 20/20 and CBS' dr. vegas sharing the No. 2 spot. Take a look:

20/20 (ABC)
HH: 5.5/10 (#2), Viewers: 7.49 million (#2), A18-49: 2.4/ 7 (#2)

dr. vegas (CBS)
HH: 5.2/ 9 (#2), Viewers: 8.06 (#2), A18-49: 2.0/ 6 (#3)

----------

Saturday 10/23/04

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings:

Household Rating/Share
Fox: 12.6/22
CBS: 4.7/ 8
ABC: 4.0/ 7
NBC: 3.2/ 6

Total Viewers:
Fox: 21.62 million
CBS: 6.95
ABC: 6.18
NBC: 4.64

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 7.2/22
ABC: 2.2/ 7
CBS: 1.9/ 6
NBC: 1.6/ 5

Saturday's Winners:
World Series, Game 1 (Fox)

Saturday's Losers:
ABC, CBS and NBC for continuing to play dead on Saturday.

Ratings Breakdown:
The next time someone tells you there is a limited audience on Saturday, remind that person of a 12.6/22 in households, 21.62 million viewers and a 7.2/22 among adults 18-49 for game 1 of The World Series (Red Sox 11, Cardinals 9) on Fox in primetime. The overall 23.2 million viewers that tuned in makes this the most-watched game 1 of The World Series since 1996 (Yankees vs. Braves), and Fox's highest rated game 1 ever. Comparatively, Saturday's game was up by 31 percent in total viewers and 33 percent among adults 18-49 over last year's game 1 match-up (Yankees vs. Marlins on Oct. 19, 2003). If ABC, CBS and NBC were more aggressive programming the night, maybe more viewers would watch network television on Saturday.

In search of the leftovers, repeats of CBS' Cold Case (HH: #2, 4.7/ 9; Viewers: #2, 6.65 million; A18-49: #3: 1.6/ 6) and NCIS (HH: #2, 5.3/10; Viewers: #2, 8.08 million; A18-49: #2, 2.3/ 7) followed by 48 Hours (HH: #4, 4.2/ 7; Viewers: #4, 6.11 million; A18-49: #4, 1.8/ 5) ranked second overall in households and total viewers, but No. 3 among adults 18-49.

On ABC, a two-hour repeat of the first two episode of Lost scored a 3.6/ 7 in households (#4), 5.71 million viewers (#4), and a 2.0/ 6 (#3) among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. At 10 p.m., a repeat of Desperate Housewives was second in households (4.8/ 9), viewers (7.12 million) and adults 18-49 (2.8/ 8).

Over at also repeat driven NBC were encore telecasts of The Biggest Loser (HH: #4, 2.5/ 4; Viewers: #4, 3.72 million; A18-49: #4, 1.4/ 4), The Apprentice 2 (HH: #4, 2.3/ 4; Viewers: #4, 3.18 million; A18-49: #4, 1.1/ 3) and Law & Order: SVU (HH: #2t, 4.8/ 8; Viewers: #3, 7.00 million; A18-49: #3, 2.3/ 7).

----------

Sunday 10/24/04

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings:

Household Rating/Share
Fox: 13.7/21
ABC: 8.4/13
CBS: 8.1/12
NBC: 6.2/ 9
WB: 1.4/ 2

Fast Affiliate Ratings

Total Viewers:
Fox: 21.78 million
ABC: 13.77
CBS: 12.19
NBC: 9.30
WB: 2.31

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 7.8/19
ABC: 5.8/14
CBS: 3.2/ 8
NBC: 3.0/ 7
WB: 1.0/ 3

Yesterday's Winners:
World Series Game 2 (Fox)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Honorable Mention:
60 Minutes (CBS)
Cold Case (CBS)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

Yesterday's Losers:
Dateline (NBC)
Steve Harvey's Big Time (WB)
American Dreams (NBC)
Made-for: The Dead Will Tell (CBS)
Jack & Bobby (WB)

Ratings Breakdown:
In addition to game 2 of The World Series on Fox winning the evening, there were a number of positives worth noting last night. Leading out of a combination of an NFL Football overrun and The World Series pre-game from 7-8 p.m. (HH: 11.4/19; Viewers: 17.96 million; A18-49: 6.8/19), game 2 averaged a hefty (and approximate) 14.5/21 in households, 23.06 million viewers and an 8.1/19 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m.

Despite airing opposite baseball, ABC blockbuster Desperate Housewives remained just that with a 13.3/19 in households (#2), 21.87 million viewers (#2) and a first-place (and series-high) 9.7/22 among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m. Comparably, that was an increase of 55 percent in households, 7.24 million viewers and 54 percent over still potent lead-in, Extreme Makeover Home Edition (HH: #3, 8.6/13; Viewers: #3, 14.63 million; A18-49: #2, 6.3/15 at 8 p.m.). Although no one expects lead-out Boston Public to completely hold the Desperate Housewives audience, erosion of 44 percent in households, 10.59 million viewers and 51 percent among adults 18-49 for the new David E. Kelley drama (HH: #3, 7.4/12; Viewers: #3, 11.28 million; A18-49: #2, 4.8/11 at 10 p.m.) is concerning.

Earlier in the evening on ABC, America's Funniest Home Videos remains tired with a distant third-place finish in total viewers (7.83 million) and adults 18-49 (2.5/ 7).

On CBS, although ratings for 60 Minutes (HH: #2, 9.8/16; Viewers: #2, 14.53 million; A18-49: #2, 3.5/10) and Cold Case (HH: #2, 9.9/15; Viewers: #2, 14.85 million; A18-49: #3, 3.2/ 8) were stable despite airing against baseball, made-for The Dead Will Tell sunk to a fourth-place finish in households (6.4/ 9), viewers (9.70 million) and adults 18-49 (2.9/ 6) from 9-11 p.m.

Over at NBC, the combination of Dateline (HH: 3, 4.7/ 8; A18-49: #4, 2.0/ 5), American Dreams (HH: #4, 4.2/ 6; A18-49: #4, 2.2/ 5), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (HH: #3, 8.0/12; A18-49: #3, 3.8/ 9) and Crossing Jordan (HH: #2, 8.0/13; A18-49: #3, 4.1/ 9) were all below average because of baseball. Evidence of how the tide has turned at 9 p.m. was highly visible last night. Take a look:

Sunday/9 p.m.
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
HH: 13.3/19, Viewers: 21.87 million, A18-49: 9.7/22

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC)
HH: 8.0/12, Viewers: 12.01 million, A18-49: 3.8/ 9

On the WB, Steve Harvey's Big Time opened with a typically lackluster 1.4/ 2 in households with a 0.9/ 3 among adults 18-49, followed by a repeat of Charmed (HH: 1.9/ 3; A18-49: 1.5/ 4) and the soon-to-relocate Jack & Bobby (HH: 1.1/ 2; A18-49: 0.7/ 2). Obviously, the frog net was last in every half-hour.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Reader Feedback Forum:

LAW & ORDER

"I think it is odd that the industry has attributed the entire loss of ratings for Law & Order to the overwhelming success of CBS' CSI: NY. It seems to have escaped the minds of viewers that Jerry Orbach as the much-loved Lennie Briscoe exited last season, leaving a hole in the program. Dennis Farina as his dry-humored arrogant replacement is less appealing to the seasoned viewer. Previous detectives such as Chris Noth's Logan, George Dzundza's Greevey and Paul Sorvino's Cerreta, were edgy and interesting but possessed an underlying moral fabric, and less sinister look than Farina's unlikable Fontana.
-R.T., New York, N.Y.

The P.I.:
Although your theory could be correct, the revolving cast door at Law & Order has, amazingly, never negatively impacted the series...until now. After 14 years on the air, I guess it was finally time to spring a leak. But before we start patting CSI: NY on the back for beating Law & Order, let's see what happens now that inane sitcom lead-in Center of the Universe is finally stepping in this week. Up until now, CSI: NY has benefited by airing out of repeats of either CSI or CSI: Miami.

As for Jerry Orbach's beloved Lennie Briscoe, don't forget that he returns in upcoming spin-off, Law & Order: Trial By Justice in midseason.
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