A finale most
steamy for 'Housewives' on Sunday
Housewives” finale wrapped up a lot of mysteries Sunday night like
why that nice Mary Alice killed herself. But one still looms over
the first-year show: Will its finale be the highest rated of the
season among adults 18-49?
certainly possible. The one-hour season-ender at 9 p.m. averaged a
13.2 rating in the demo, according to Nielsen overnights, a 28.2
percent increase over the 10.3 the show had averaged season-to-date.
13.2 easily bests CBS's average for the series finale of
“Everybody Loves Raymond” (11.2) and season finale of “CSI”
(10.6), though it was behind in total viewers.
“Housewives” finale averaged about 30.3 million viewers,
according to overnights, short of the 32.9 million the “Raymond”
finale attracted and slightly less than the 30.7 million who watched
the Quentin Tarantino-directed “CSI” finale, both last week.
finished first Sunday night among 18-49s quite easily, with an 8.5
average rating and a 23 share. Fox was second at 3.6/10, CBS third
at 2.9/8, NBC fourth at 2.1/6 and the WB fifth at 1.1/3.
swept each hour among 18-49s, starting with a 3.8 average at 7 p.m.
for the first of two hours of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Fox was second that hour with a 2.6 average for the first hour of
the movie “Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones.” NBC
averaged a 1.7 rating for “Dateline,” tying it with CBS’s
“60 Minutes” for third.
p.m. ABC led with the second hour of “Home Edition” averaging a
6.9 rating. Fox was second with a 3.8 for the second hour of “Star
Wars” and CBS third with a 3.0 for “Cold Case.”
p.m. ABC beat the combined broadcast competition with its 13.2
average for the “Housewives” finale. Fox finished second during
the hour with a 4.3 for the last hour of “Star Wars” and CBS
third with a 3.2 for a repeat of “CSI.”
completed the sweep at 10 p.m. with a 9.9 average for “Grey’s
Anatomy.” CBS was second with a 3.7 average for a repeat of
“CSI: Miami” and NBC third with a 2.4 for a rerun of “Law
& Order: Criminal Intent.”
households, ABC finished first comfortably with a 12.3 average
rating and a 20 share. CBS was second for the night at 7.7/13, Fox
third at 5.3/9, NBC fourth at 4.3/7 and the WB fifth at 1.7/3.
Myers lowers b'cast
forecast to a 0.5 percent dip
Depending on who you believe,
the upfront has either already begun, with a few big deals at ABC, or will
be extremely slow in starting, with buyers dragging on price increases.
Either way, it’s not going to be a boom market for broadcast. Yesterday
forecaster Jack Myers released a revised report that projects a 3.4
percent uptick in spending on the television upfront to $18.36 billion,
compared with last year’s $17.675 billion. But Myers says broadcast
network spending will fall 0.5 percent to $9.03 billion after last
year’s $9.075 billion. Last month he predicted an increase of 3.2
percent to $9.37 billion. He also said that cable won’t get the mass
shifting of money from broadcast that many have been predicting. Myers
predicts only $400 million will go from cable to broadcast, less than half
of what some other forecasters have said. He thinks cable and syndication
will both see gains, cable up 10 percent to $7.04 billion and syndication
up 4 percent to $2.29 billion.
Newsweek's Isikoff: I shoulda corroborated source
must be the biggest fervor ever over a front-of-the-book short, Michael
Isikoff, one of the two men behind the errant Newsweek report on Quran
desecration at Guantanamo Bay, has begun his mea culpa tour. The embattled
reporter appeared on PBS’s “Charlie Rose Show” last night
acknowledging that he should have corroborated an anonymous source’s tip
on the Quran story that partly sparked deadly riots abroad. The
since-retracted item alleged that U.S. interrogators had flushed a Quran
down a toilet to push detainees to talk. Referring to the riots in
Afghanistan that killed more than a dozen people, Isikoff said, “Even if
it was just a little bit that we contributed to the violence that went on
over there, that was awful, terrible.” He said that he and co-author
John Barry did not individually corroborate all the allegations in the
brief article, though they did provide the article to a senior Defense
Department official for review. Isikoff didn't mention any plans to leave
the magazine, though speculation has been flying over whether someone will
have to go. Newsweek retracted the story last week and rehauled its policy
on use of anonymous sources after Isikoff’s source said
he wasn’t sure the Quran allegations were in fact included in the
report cited by Newsweek.
BBC strike over job cuts blacks out news shows
The British Broadcasting Corporation plans to slash
nearly 4,000 jobs in the coming years, but it will lose many more workers
during protests over the cuts. Yesterday thousands of BBC employees,
picketing everywhere from the broadcaster’s West London headquarters to
a small Afghanistan outpost, staged a 24-hour strike that forced several
news shows off the air. The morning “Today” radio show was one of the
most hurt, with a BBC announcer blaming the cancellation on “industrial
action” and a jazz show airing in its place. In all, only 30 percent of
some 27,000 BBC employees showed up for work. Most of the BBC’s
best-known anchors, such as morning show’s Natasha Kaplinsky and
“Newsnight’s” Jeremy Paxman, refused to cross the picket line. The
BBC workers plan two more strikes over the next month, hoping to convince
director general Mark Thompson not to proceed with the layoffs. It was the
first BBC strike in 16 years.
Maher draws more ire with recruit remark
Bill Maher is upsetting people again. Rep. Spencer Bachus,
a Republican from Alabama, is mad about comments Maher made on the May 13
episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” about Army recruiting.
On the episode, Maher noted that the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42
percent, saying, “We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England
fruit, and now we need warm bodies.” Bachus claims Maher’s remark
borders on the treasonous and demanded that HBO yank his show. The network
apparently has no such plans. Of course this isn’t the first time
Maher’s angered politicians. On ABC’s late-night “Politically
Incorrect” in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Maher
said: “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000
miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the
building--say what you want about it, it's not cowardly.” That lit a
firestorm of reaction from politicians and terrified advertisers. Sears
and Federal Express pulled their commercials from the show, and ABC didn't
re-sign Maher the next year.
Central signs 'Jeopardy' witster Ken J.
Ken Jennings knows just about everything, and
self-promotion is no exception. The 74-time "Jeopardy" winner
has ridden that unbelievable winning streak into a TV deal of his own.
Comedy Central is teaming with "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"
producer Michael Davies for a new game show starring Jennings. Jennings,
who also will release a board game called "Can You Beat Ken?," a
CD trivia game called "Quizzology," and a book, is back on
week for the $2 million Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Jennings won $2.52 million
during his first stint on the show. His
still-unnamed Comedy Central show will launch either during the fourth
quarter this year or first quarter of 2006. In other programming, Sundance Channel
and soon-to-launch Logo are teaming for a documentary series called “Transgeneration,”
about four college students changing sexes. The show premieres on Sundance
in September before rerunning on Logo during first quarter 2006. CMT is
launching a series called “CMT Class Of,” focusing each episode on a
different year. It starts June 3 at 8 p.m. And Dave Navarro will host the
CBS-Mark Burnett summer show “Rock Star: INXS.”