Newsmagazines soar over shooting coverage
December 17, 2012
Americans shocked by Friday morning’s school shooting, this one as horrific as any in memory, tuned into TV news later that night to hear the latest details and mourn the loss of innocent lives.
Both ABC and NBC newsmagazines saw big spikes in viewership as the shootings also touched off ripples in the rest of the media world, resulting in the delay of one new movie release and the shelving of two Fox shows last night.
NBC’s “Dateline NBC” was Friday’s highest-rated program with a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 18 percent from the previous week’s 1.7.
ABC’s “20/20” spiked 33 percent from last week’s 1.2 to a 1.6, also airing at 10 p.m. Both newsmagazines focused on the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings.
CBS News aired a special focused on the shootings in the 10 p.m. hour as well, which drew a 1.2.
The shootings also prompted Fox to remove new episodes of “Family Guy” and “American Dad” from last night’s schedule due to potentially sensitive material. There’s been no word what that material was; Fox ran repeats instead.
Syfy also pulled an episode of “Haven” scheduled for Friday that included material that could be sensitive.
And Paramount Pictures delayed the premiere of the new (and very violent) Tom Cruise film “Jack Reacher,” which was to have taken place in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The move was made out of sensitivity to the victims’ families, the studio said.
Meanwhile, in the remainder of the Friday night ratings news, ABC and CBS tied for first on the night with a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating and 5 share apiece. NBC was third with a 1.3/4, Fox fourth with a 1.1/3, and the CW fifth with a 0.4/1. Spanish-language networks’ ratings were unavailable this morning.
CBS began the night with the lead with a 1.9 for a rerun of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at 8 p.m. ABC’s “Last Man Standing” (1.5) and “Malibu Country” (1.5) were second at 1.5. Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” took third with a 1.1, NBC’s repeat of a Blake Shelton Christmas special was fourth with a 0.9, and the CW’s “Prancer Returns” was fifth with a 0.3.
At 9 p.m. CBS’s “CSI: NY” was first with a 1.6. ABC’s “Shark Tank” repeat took second with a 1.2. Fox’s “Fringe” and NBC’s “Take it All” were tied for third with a 1.1 apiece, and the CW’s conclusion of “Prancer” finished fifth with a 0.4.
At 10 p.m. NBC’s “Dateline” was first with the 2.0, followed by ABC’s “20/20” in second at 1.6. CBS’s “CBS News Special: Tragedy in Newtown” was third with a 1.2.
ABC topped the night in households with a 3.7/6. CBS was second with a 3.5/6, NBC third with a 3.3/6, Fox fourth with a 1.9/3, and the CW fifth with a 1.0/2.
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