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Will ABC’s Interview With Marianne Gingrich Affect The South Carolina GOP Primary?

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 8:29am PST

It could – Newt Gingrich’s second wife made some sensational hypocrisy charges to ABC News’ Brian Ross in a report to be broadcast on Nightline tonight, just ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary. In her first interview since divorcing Gingrich in 1999, she says that while the one-time House Speaker was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for lacking moral leadership following his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Gingrich told Marianne that he was engaged in a six-year affair with an aide — his current wife Callista. ”He wanted an open marriage and I refused,” Marianne Gingrich told ABC. The news organization says that she’s speaking out now to show that “his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.” Marianne Gingrich also told ABC that Newt moved to divorce her shortly after she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “He also was advised by the doctor when I was sitting there that I was not to be under stress. He knew,” she said. She added that her ex-husband has never apologized to her or said that he regrets his actions. ABC says that Gingrich did not comment on the allegations, although he has said on the campaign trail that he has “no relationship” with his ex-wife.

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ABC Moves ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ To Midnight, Shortens ‘Nightline’

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has confirmed long-running speculation that as part of Jimmy Kimmel’s new two-year deal with ABC, the comedian had asked for his latenight talk show on the network to be moved up from 12:05 AM to midnight. The change will come into effect on Feb.4. ABC News president Ben Sherwood just sent out this memo elaborating on the impact Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s earlier start time will have on Nightline, whose running time will be shortened to 25 minutes. Among other things, ABC News is getting a commitment for 13 hourlong primetime editions of Nightline to air on ABC. Nightline, which recently ranked as the most watched program in late night, had long been a target as the only non-entertainment program to air on the Big 3 networks after 11PM. A decade ago, ABC brass famously plotted to replace it with a David Letterman-hosted talk show. Here is Sherwood’s email:

I’m writing to share some important news about Nightline.

First and foremost, today ABC has definitively answered one of the recurring questions about Nightline and ABC News:  The company firmly believes Nightline is a vital part of its successful late night strategy and Nightline will anchor the schedule at 11:35 PM.  Period.

Last year, ABC told Jimmy Kimmel that he would get a new start time – moving to midnight effective February 4, 2011.  Obviously, this fact will move

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LATE NIGHT RATE RACE: Leno Takes Weekly Lead Over Letterman While Conan Stabilizes

Nellie Andreeva

After David Letterman in the last week of October posted his first demo win over Leno since Leno’s return to The Tonight Show, Leno bounced back to reclaim the lead in both 18-49 and total viewers for the first week of November. This marks Leno’s first solo first-place finish at the top of the 18-49 rankings in 5 weeks, as Leno and Letterman were tied for 3 weeks before Letterman won outright the week before last. In 18-49, Leno averaged a 1.0 rating vs. a 0.9 for Letterman. The same week last year, Letterman and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien were tied at 0.9. (In 18-49 viewers, Leno’s average was 1.26 million vs. 1.21 million for Conan last fall; Letterman’s was 1.20 million vs. 1.22 million last year.) The two may switch places again this week as Letterman dominated Leno on Monday night. Among total viewers, Leno averaged 3.9 million for the week, up from 2.3 million for Conan last fall; Letterman drew 3.7 million vs. 3.9 million last year. As for the third airing of Conan’s new latenight show on TBS, his ratings drops were far more moderate than the 33-42% between the premiere and night 2. Last night, Conan drew 2.7 million viewers, down only 3% from the night before. His 18-49 audience was 1.9 million, down 13%. In 18-34,he averaged  1.15 million, down 19%. Here are the averages for the broadcast latenight shows during the week of Nov. 1-5: Read More »

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‘Judge Judy’ Beats ‘Oprah’; ‘Nightline’ Tops ‘Late Show’ & ‘Tonight’ For 2009-10 Season

Nellie Andreeva

Chalk two up for the underdogs. True, full 52-week season rankings are pretty meaningless because they include the summer off-season numbers that are dragged down by repeats. But Nielsen keeps track of them and just released the data for the official 2009-2010 season which ended Sunday. So Judge Judy topped Oprah in daytime. And ABC’s Nightline beat both CBS’ The Late Show With David Letterman and NBC’s The Tonight Show which switched hosts mid-season. Judy Sheindlin averaged 6.3 million viewers to Oprah Winfrey’s 5.7 million, but Oprah’s average includes far more repeats. Ditto for Leno/Conan and especially Letterman against Nightline, which was  almost always first-run. Still, this is the first full season victory for Nightline, which averaged 3.7 million viewers, followed by The Late Show (3.6 millon) and The Tonight Show (3.5 million average for the franchise, including The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno). But in demos, which actually matter, The Tonight Show was No.1. And since Leno’s return to The Tonight Show, it has been No.1 in total viewers too, beating Nightline.

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