The premiere of CNN’s new Chicagolanddidn’t get totally whacked last night but it certainly didn’t make a ratings killing either – in fact it came a distant third in terms of total viewership compared to its cable news time slot rivals. The 10 PM debut Thursday of the cable news network’s heavily promoted 8-part documentary series drew 227,000 viewers among adults 25-54 with 629,000 total viewers. That was a drop in total viewership of 7% from the 673,000 that the second hour of CNN’s much less hyped And The Oscar Goes To… documentary pulled in on February 27. That also leaves Chicagoland in third place behind the 1.43 million total viewers who watched Fox News Channel’s Hannity and the 816,000 who tuned into MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.
In terms of the key news demo, Chicagoland was up 58% from the weak 144,000 viewers who watched the Oscars docu in the same time slot last week. Yes, that’s up just over 100% from the limbo low 113,000 viewers among the 25-54s that CNN has averaged on the previous four Thursdays in the time slot. However even with the full marketing efforts of CNN both on and off-air, Chicagoland was not that much ahead of the 207,000 among the 25-54s that MSNBC got last night with The Last Word– a show that was … Read More »
CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who has vowed to shake up the network’s primetime this year, will experiment with several formats at 10 PM for five weeks. Don Lemon debuts on Monday — this time as anchor of The Don Lemon Show, leading into another new program called Making The Case at 10:30 PM. It’s Lemon’s second recent audition, having hosted the 11 PM program 11th Hour during Erin Burnett’s maternity leave last year. Lemon inserted himself into the Michael Dunn trial in a small way, when he announced he was “pissed” at the “ridiculous” jury’s inability to reach a decision in re whether Dunn was guilty of “murdering a teenager because his music was too damn loud.” Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett took the bait, saying in a series of tweets that “the sum total of what Lemon knows about the law and this case… could be written on the head of a pin” with plenty of room left over, to which Lemon responded, “Wow, someone is suffering from a bad case of the Michael Dunns. Guess my TV’s too loud…Mind your business old man.” (Jarrett is about 11 years older than Lemon.)
On Tuesdays, CNN will telecast one-hour special reports at 10 PM and on Wednesdays will present Death Row Stories. CNN’s docu-series Chicagoland airs Thursdays in the hour, and on Fridays is CNN Spotlight followed by Unguarded With Rachel Nichols. AC360 repeats are back at 11 PM Monday through Thursday, with Friday home to Death Row Stories in the hour. The five-week schedule was first reported on TVNewser. Read More »
Update: 5:30 AM:RT has released a statement about Liz Wahl’s resignation: “When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt. We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.”
Previous, Wednesday PM:Liz Wahl is out of a job — and into the spotlight. The Washington-based American anchor for Russia Today America quit during a live newscast tonight, citing the network’s slanted coverage of the crisis in Crimea. “I think the propagandist nature of RT came out in full force,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper later. “RT is not about the truth. It’s about promoting a Putinist agenda, and I can tell you firsthand it’s also about bashing America.” Russia Today is based in Moscow and funded by the government there. Here’s how her resignation went down:
Warrior Poets, the New York-based production company founded in 2004 by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and his producing partner Jeremy Chilnick, has promoted Matthew Galkin to partner. Galkin will continue to executive produce, direct and develop original content. Since joining Warrior Poets more than four years ago, Galkin has worked closely with Spurlock and Chilnick to grow the company and has worked om such documentary films, TV and Web series as One Direction: This Is Us, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, ESPN Films’ 30 For 30documentary The Dotted Line, CNN series Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man and Web series A Day In The Life for Hulu and Failure Club for Yahoo! “During his tenure at Warrior Poets, Matthew has brought his unique energy, creative experience and storytelling mastery to projects in both the top-tier documentary film world as a director and producer and in the reality/non-fiction TV world as a show runner, producer and director,” Spurlock said. Galkin’s previous credits include HBO’s Kevorkian and Family Bonds and Style’s Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane.
For the first time since former New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter took over as anchor of CNN’s Sunday all-things-media program Reliable Sources, the show edged out Fox News Channel’s like-minded show MediaBuzz in the news demo. Reliable Sources‘ 193,000 demo viewers put it 21,000 viewers ahead of MediaBuzz at 11 AM; in overall audience, MediaBuzz (881,000 viewers), helmed by former Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz, enjoyed a big advantage over RS (384,000) as has his show every week. Read More »
In a biting segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart demonstrates how Don King could be the answer to CNN’s ratings problems. Seems King was a guest on CNN and, when time came to switch gears and begin a report on men getting facial-hair transplants, King refused to go quietly into the night. He continued to talk over the report, winding up his commentary with the chant, “CNN today! CNN today!”
“I never said this before, but I was unable to change the channel from CNN,” Stewart confessed. “These news people are doing their best to do an incredibly stupid segment on beard transplants, but now, because of Don King, he’s making it real, and interesting! Give me more of the King!”
“CNN you have found your voice and it’s Don King’s voice talking over all your other voices,” Stewart advised, and illustrated. Watch here: Read More »
Reporters Who Cover Politics today pored over thousands of formerly withheld documents from the Clinton White House released from the National Archives. With Hillary Clinton already an official presumed presidential candidate in 2016, as NBC and CNN learned the hard way, the reporters are keeping a sharp eye out for anything Hillary-related — including a 1995 suggestion by her then-press secretary that the First Lady guest star on an episode of ABC’s Home Improvement, found by New York magazine:
Ronan Farrow‘s debut as host of Ronan Farrow Daily on MSNBC scored 216,000 viewers Monday — the cable network’s smallest audience of the day, tied with 10 AM’s Jansing & Co. Farrow — who was recruited, in part, to attract the next generation of news viewers to the network — averaged just 21,000 viewers in the younger 18-49 demo. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, he logged an average of 46,000 viewers. His biggest audience by far was among viewers ages 50 and older — 195,000 of them. That older skew is typical of news programming but might be somewhat surprising given how assiduously he catered to younger viewers during his maiden broadcast.
Farrow recruited fewer viewers — and fewer young ones — than did Andrea Mitchell Reports in its new timeslot. Mitchell’s show logged 223,000 overall viewers, including 48,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo, and 71,000 in the news demo — 25-54. Mitchell’s show, ironically, did not do as well with the 50+ crowd as did Farrow, scoring an average of 174,000 of them. The only program that scored a smaller crowd of 18- to 49-year-olds on MSNBC that day was the show that followed Farrow’s, The Reid Report — the other new program making its debut that day, hosted by Joy Reid. It clocked 262,000 overall viewers, just 14,000 in that younger demo, 38,000 in the news demo, and 245,000 viewers ages 50+.
February cable ratings are in – Piers Morgan may be out at CNN, but what about the rest of the network’s primetime, which looked none too good for the month, all losing around half their audience compared to same month last year? CNN‘s Anderson Cooper at 8 PM dropped 47% February to February in overall audience to average 421,000 viewers, and 46% in the news demo to 127,000 viewers for the month, according to Nielsen. In his defense, Cooper’s lead-in, Erin Burnett Outfront, dropped 39% to post an average of 293,000 viewers in February – CNN’s smallest monthly haul in the timeslot in more than two decades — and slipped 32% in the news demo to 100,000 viewers. Morgan’s getting scrubbed from 9 PM at CNN because, for instance, he logged 347,000 viewers for the month — down 46% – and 100,000 demo viewers — down 38%.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel has now reached 146 consecutive months at No. 1 in total viewers, in both total day and primetime, among cable news networks, and is for February the only cable network up in both total viewers and the demo compared to last February. In all of cable, Fox News ranked third in primetime (8-11 PM) – behind USA Network and History – and fifth for total day. Meanwhile, neither CNN or MSNBC were able to crack the top 20 in either daypart. CNN ranked 39th in prime and 34th in today day; MSNBC 26th in prime and 27th in total day. Every hour of the day, Fox News dominated CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers. It also beat both networks in the news demo. Read More »
There’s more than a month to go before Mip-TV kicks off in Cannes, but folks are already getting into full market swing. To wit: FremantleMedia International says today that it has acquired global distribution rights (ex-U.S.) to CNN‘s 10-part docu-series The Sixties. The CNN Originals series explores the transformative decade, from Kennedy’s assassination, the Cold War and civil rights, to social change and the British invasion. It’s executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (Playtone) and by Mark Herzog (Herzog & Company). The first episode debuted in the U.S. in November to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK and was No. 1 among cable news programs in its slot. A second episode, The Sixties: The British Invasion, aired on CNN/U.S. in January. Those installments and the remaining episodes are due to pick up again Stateside in May.
NBC To Bring Back ‘Heroes’ As 13-Episode Event Miniseries In 2015: Video By Nellie Andreeva – On the heels of Fox reviving its iconic drama 24 as an event miniseries, NBC is doing the same with one of its most popular serialized dramas of the past decade, superhero series Heroes. Creator Tim Kring is back shepherding the 13-episode new standalone arc entitled Heroes: Reborn, which will air in 2015.
Matt Ryan Lands Title Role In NBC Pilot ‘Constantine’ Based On DC Comic By Nellie Andreeva – Welsh actor Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) is finalizing a deal to play the lead in NBC’s drama pilot Constantine, from Warner Bros TV. Based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, the project centers on John Constantine (Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.
CNN will kill the ailing Piers Morgan Live by next month, The New York Times‘ David Carr reported , a move later confirmed by CNN in a statement. Ratings struggles haven’t let up on the Piers Morgan news show, which scored its second-lowest numbers to date last week. The network will look for a replacement for its 9PM ET slot, and Morgan says he is likely to continue his relationship with CNN after March’s cancellation. Among the candidates is recent hire Bill Weir. CNN renamed the show Piers Morgan Live last spring following two years on the air as Piers Morgan Tonight — shortly after it notched a yearly low in the ratings.
Having had a rocky ratings ride ever since its January 2011 launch taking over from Larry King, the former America’s Got Talent judge’s show hit lows for CNN in its time slot. Morgan’s talk show started to take on serious water last fall with Fox News’ revamp of its long-standing primetime. Replacing Sean Hannity in the 9PM slot in October , FNC’s The Kelly Fileimproved on its predecessor’s already impressive results and shot to top of the cable news pile. The Kelly File has pretty much stayed in the top 3 cable news shows ever since. … Read More »
Veteran TV journalist Garrick Utley has died following a long battle with cancer, NBC News said today. He was 74. Utley began his career at NBC News in 1963, reporting for the next 30 years for the network. In the early years he reported on Vietnam and later went on to moderate Meet The Press. He also anchored Weekend Today and Sunday Nightly News. He eventually left NBC to become the chief foreign correspondent for ABC News and later reported for CNN from 1997-2002. Here’s a clip from the Today show, which announced Utley’s death this morning.
UPDATE: 8:45 PM:Jimmy Kimmel revealed on his ABC late-night program tonight that the video of a wolf posted to YouTube by U.S. luger Kate Hansen with the message “I’m pretty sure this is a wolf wandering my hall in Sochi” was in fact a wolf in Los Angeles walking down a replica of the hall outside Hansen’s Sochi hotel room. Hansen agreed to let Kimmel’s people take over her Twitter account to post the video, he said. Like the last time Kimmel punked the media with his fake twerk-fail video, he ran clips of various news outlets he’d fooled — many of them ruminating as to whether the animal actually was a wolf, a husky, a malamute, or a mutt. Kimmel showed the rest of the video, in which he is seen skiing down the hallway, calling out the name “Garfield” and asking, “Have you seen my wolf?” Kimmel then interviewed Hansen via Skype, who said “there was a little more backlash” at the hotel than she’d anticipated, including security staff who, she said, were “freaking out” after word of the video got around. “It kind of went a little crazy here,” she said. The animal is a “timber wolf mix,” its handler said, believed to be 80%-90% wolf, though she was not certain, and is named Rugby. Read More »
Piers Morgan’s rocky ratings just took another dive for CNN. On Tuesday, the Brit’s 9PM show had its second worst result ever in the all important adults 25-54 news demographic. With a total audience of 270,000 watching, Piers Morgan Live drew a mere 50,000 viewers in the demo. The only time the stumbling CNN show has fared that poorly since its January 17, 2011 launch was on May 15, 2012. Then the show, then known as Piers Morgan Tonight, pulled in a just 39,000 viewers in the demo. In terms of overall viewers, February 18 was the ninth worst Morgan’s talk show has done. The all-time viewership low for Piers Morgan Live was on February 7 this year when just 235,000 tuned in. Morgan’s cable news rivals The Kelly File on Fox News Channel and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC did far better last night. The 9PM shows got 354,000 and 227,000 in the demo respectively and 2.068 million and 906,000 total viewers – pretty close to what they both had last Tuesday with the FNC show even getting a tiny rise in the demo.
Tuesday’s results are a huge fall from February 11 when Morgan’s show got 111,000 viewers in the demo and 374,000 watching overall – which is a long way of say, Jeff Zucker can’t blame the Olympics cause they were on last … Read More »
Interviews by AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz and Deputy Editor Anna Lisa Raya.
Here are some of this year’s lesser-known Oscar nominees, whose skills helped make the director’s and actors’ visions come to life. Without their research, technical mastery, or their ability to translate a story into melodies or visual effects, there would be none of the groundbreaking, iconic, historically significant films we’ve seen this past year. These are the real players who toiled in front of and behind the camera to make the 2013 Oscar season one of the best in recent memory.
AwardsLine: What was the biggest challenge in writing and acting the 14-minute-long opening take? Delpy: If we were able to do that as an improvised scene, we’d be geniuses. And we’re not geniuses. We work really hard at making it seem flawless, especially writing backstory stuff without seeming on the nose or expository. It’s the hardest part. How do you make it seem like we’re just having a conversation when we’re actually setting up the entire rest of the film, explaining what happened in the past nine years?
Each year, Harvey Weinstein has taken time out from his Sundance buying frenzies to do an Oscar-season interview that touches on his Academy hopefuls, all the films he bought in Park City, and politics. Well, January’s Sundance couldn’t have been duller — outside of his multiplatform arm RADiUS, The Weinstein Company made zero buys there for the first time in forever — but so much has happened since that we needed a catch-up call to get it all in. Here, Weinstein touches on everything from watching Philomena get the Best Picture Oscar nomination over higher-profile TWC films to Quentin Tarantino’s leaked The Hateful Eight script to his battle with Warner Bros over The Hobbit gross points, to the NRA. And, just as he came out of Toronto with the big acquisition in Can A Song Save Your Life?, Weinstein walked away from Berlin with The Imitation Game, the drama about genius British mathematician Alan Turing, whose work cracking the Nazi Enigma Code made him a bona fide WWII hero but who later was prosecuted for being homosexual, chemically castrated and eventually committed suicide.
DEADLINE: We started this interview at the tail end of Sundance and you uncharacteristically hadn’t bought a single movie. You went right to Berlin and paid a record $7 million for U.S. rights to The Imitation Game. What happened? WEINSTEIN: One of the things I’ve never been great at is discipline, but we just didn’t feel like there was anything we had to have at Sundance. We decided that, like with Can A Song Save Your Life? at Toronto, we wanted the movie. Imitation Game was a project all of us followed, and those 20 minutes gave that zeitgeist feeling to me, David Glasser, everyone on our team. Negeen Yazdi, who runs our English office, tracked this one so hard that it was like she was trying to break the Enigma Code.
DEADLINE: How hard is it to make such a big commitment based on a 20 minute compilation of scenes? WEINSTEIN: It was easier in that we all knew the script and could see the level of performance Morten Tyldum got in his first English language film. Alan Turing is not outwardly very sympathetic. He’s brilliant, but the way that Benedict Cumberbatch played him showed us these guys found the right level of vulnerability, genius and the arrogance of the character, too. We felt after reading the script that you could get this wrong, from the tone to the casting. The reason we didn’t make it ourselves was, it felt like a near impossible walk on a tightrope. Morten walked the tightrope. And Keira Knightley is so brilliant in Can A Song Save Your Life and she was helpful and loyal in pushing it our way that we wanted this huge run she is about to have to be with us.
HLN this morning unveiled its first program development slate since newly rebranding itselfearlier this month as “the first TV home for the social media generation (millennials and the millennial-minded).” “HLN is driving a development slate with a key goal in mind: debunk the myth that the world of social media is only about videos of cats riding skateboards,” said Albie Hecht, who is EVP and general manager of HLN, a CNN Worldwide network reaching more than 100 million households. Set aside debate as to whether that myth got debunked awhile ago, and take a look at the list of shows HLN is developing, with which Hecht promises to de-myth-tify social media: