The scandals of the Obama administration seem to be hurting not just the White House but MSNBC as well, while Fox News Channel has just scored its second-best week of the year. After double-digit gains during last year’s presidential election, May 13-17 saw the progressive-aligned “Lean Forward” news network hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records became public. With 350,000 viewers on average and 94,000 in the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC had its least-watched and lowest-rated total-day results of the year last week. That was also the lowest total-day demo result the network has had since the week of June 26-July 2, 2006, when MSNBC pulled in just 83,000 viewers among adults 25-54, according to Nielsen data.
UPDATE: 3:24 PM: Just over two weeks after breaking bread at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Barack Obama and Harvey Weinstein were back together today. This time it was at the producer and his wife Georgina Chapman’s Manhattan home for a fundraiser. Unlike the big bucks, Weinstein raised directly for Obama during last year’s election, Monday afternoon’s event (read the edited Pool report below) was for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee 2014 midterm war chests. The President began his remarks thanking “Harvey and Georgina” for “their friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that they’ve made.” Throwing red meat to his Blue State crowd, Obama in his remarks also blamed the GOP for being too “concerned what Rush Limbaugh might say about them” to break the gridlock in Washington. The President will also be attending two other midterm fundraisers Monday while in NYC before returning to the White House tonight.
3RD UPDATE, 3:40 PM: Psy is the only act to get 1 billion hits on YouTube with his “Gangnam Style” video, and his follow-up video “Gentleman” is already past 232M views. He has been tapped to join CBS News’ table at tomorrow’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner alongside the likes of Homeland‘s Claire Danes and her husband, Hannibal‘s Hugh Dancy.
2ND UPDATE, 8:10 AM: One day before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Fox News Channel has said who from Hollywood it is bringing to the event — and it’s a big list. While Greta Van Susteren is passing on this year’s dinner, Fox News stars Bill O’Reilly, Chris Wallace, Geraldo Rivera and Bret Baier will be in attendance, as will the likes of Oscar-winner screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and a contingent from sister studio Fox’s latest X-Men movie: director Bryan Singer and producer-writer Simon Kinberg. See who will be sitting at FNC’s 14 tables below. Also check back for more last-minute additions as we head into the final hours before Saturday’s dinner.
UPDATE, THURSDAY PM: TV comedy king Chuck Lorre will be making his first White House Correspondents’ Dinner appearance this year while waiting for series-pickup news for his hot CBS pilot Mom. Lorre, who is behind the CBS series The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men and Mike & Molly, will be sitting with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
Related: Conan O’Brien Tweets Pic From DC
PREVIOUSLY: Hollywood is again the guest everyone seems to want at their table for this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Returning headliner Conan O’Brien is set to take up the court-jester role that Jimmy Kimmel played last year and news organizations have begun to reveal guest lists for the April 27 event. There’s a lot of Tinseltown glitter already set alongside generals and top-tier cabinet secretaries — as well as power players like Harvey Weinstein. We know President Obama and the first lady will be there; here’s who else we know is going from Hollywood so far:
Jackie Robinson Biopic ’42′ Screening At White House Tonight; Harrison Ford & Thomas Tull In Attendance
Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros’ story of the man who broke pro baseball’s color barrier is headed to the White House. President Obama will host the producers, crew and stars of 42 for a screening at 5:35 PM ET in the Executive Mansion’s Private Theatre. Legendary boss Thomas Tull, director Brian Helgeland, and stars Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman will be in attendance. Boseman plays Jackie Robinson in the film, which tells his life story and of his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Ford plays Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson will also be at the screening tonight. Robinson, Tull and the cast joined First Lady Michelle Obama earlier today at an interactive student workshop at the White House looking at the legacy of the legendary ballplayer. 42 opens April 12.
UPDATE: ‘The Bible’ Producers Call Controversy Over Satan’s Resemblance To President Obama “Utter Nonsense”
UPDATE, 10:15 AM: History and The Bible executive producers, husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, just addressed the Obama-Satan controversy. “History channel has the highest respect for President Obama,” the network said in a statement. “The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History’s The Bible is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
Burnett and Downey used stronger language in dismissing the connection, suggesting that the actor playing the Devil may have been simply type cast. “This is utter nonsense,” they said. “The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics — including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.” Added Downey: “Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”
PREVIOUS 7:15 AM: History’s hit miniseries The Bible had its 3rd installment last night. It’s already been taken to task for its use of beautiful actors in all key roles. Now the project’s casting choice for the role of Satan has come under fire for the apparent resemblance of Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani to President Barack Obama.
In the end, the State of the Union was the story of the night on television, not rogue LA cop Christopher Dorner. Despite reporting on the story of the Big Bear gun battle standoff between Dorner and police up until the last minute, none of the broadcast nor cable news networks ended up using a split screen to show President Obama’s speech and the Dorner case. The only time the Dorner story appeared on screen during the State of the Union was around 6:56 PM, when local LA station KABC put on a crawl announcing a body had been found that was believed to be that of Dorner. Up for barely a minute, the Breaking News crawl told viewers to go to the station’s website for more information or wait for a news special after the State of the Union. CNN‘s sister station HLN remained on the Dorner story throughout the State of the Union with coverage from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and HLN host Nancy Grace. At 6:59 PM, HLN announced that Dorner’s body had been found in a burned-out cabin though LAPD and other police have not confirmed. Obama spoke for just over an hour tonight in the first State of the Union of his second term.
The evening of his second inauguration, Obama has an unexpected visitor:
UPDATE, 9:45 AM: President Obama’s second inauguration pulled in almost half the viewership that watched his 2009 swearing-in. Monday’s ceremony and celebrations drew 20.552 million viewers overall between 10 AM and 4:30 PM for a 7.1 rating, accord to Nielsen data released today. The January 20, 2009 inauguration had 37.793 million watching over almost the same time period — good for a 13.2 rating. This year’s inaugural was broadcast, in various forms, by ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, AZTECA, MundoFox, PBS, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, TV One, CNN, Current TV, CNBC, CENTRIC and BET.
UPDATE, 1:13 PM: Entertainment organizations are weighing in to support Obama‘s gun initiatives. The MPAA, NAB, NCTA and Independent Film & Television Alliance just issued this joint statement: “We support the President’s goal of reducing gun violence …
Barack Obama won re-election thanks in part to knowing what you watch on television, and his campaign bought that information from some of Hollywood’s leading data collectors. As detailed in articles in The Atlantic and the Washington Post, the campaign data-mined audience-viewing habits to zero in on where the most relevant eyeballs for their money resided, learning not only what people were watching but more importantly when they were watching and for how long.
According to the reports, the Democrats’ self-developed “optimizer” system used information from set-top cable boxes collected by Rentrak and the Microsoft-owned Navic Networks. (Rentrak, a provider of box office ticket sales used by Deadline, also collects viewing habit information via set-top boxes from more than 20 million TV sets nationwide). The real-time measurements allowed Team Obama, with a TV advertising budget estimated in the $300 million range, to put tens of thousands of ads in front of the niche audiences they were seeking, saving millions in the process. It bypassed the traditional mass buys of local news and major markets — the route taken by most previous presidential campaigns including Obama’s GOP opponent Mitt Romney — in favor of late-night shows, daytime TV, reruns and second-tier cable stations like The Food Network.
South Park‘s Eric Cartman apparently believes he has a hand in the outcome of the presidential race. But the election-themed episode titled Obama Wins! doesn’t air until tomorrow. Below is a clip of Cartman letting Kyle in on a little secret:
The broadcast and cable networks will be going all out for coverage of the 2012 presidential election, which now kicks off less than 24 hours from now. Most results shows will ramp up between 6-7 PM ET on Election Day and all seem to be planning for a long night in the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Here’s a rundown of plans:
ABC: “ABC News Your Voice, Your Vote – Election Night Coverage” will originate live from Times Square, with real-time results appearing on Times Square screens. Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will host beginning with a special edition of “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30 PM ET and continuing until at least 2 AM. A special edition of Nightline will air at 2:35 AM ET. Team: Jake Tapper, David Muir, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, Jonathan Karl, Ron Brownstein and Cokie Roberts, Josh Elliott, Amy Robach, Cecilia Vega, Sharyn Alfonsi, David Wright, Ron Claiborne, Univision anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, Deborah Roberts, David Kerley, George Will, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, Nicolle Wallace, Pierre Thomas, Gary Langer, Martha Raddatz, Brian Ross, Richard Besser, Bianna Golodryga
CBS: Scott Pelley will lead seven hours of division-wide, multi-platform original reporting from 7 PM-2 AM ET. The team will use eight studios and three state-of-the-art control rooms. CBS Radio News will deliver at least six hours of live anchored coverage, updates, special reports and online feeds of the results. Team: Bob Schieffer, Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson, Byron Pitts, Anthony Mason, Jan Crawford, Nancy Cordes, Dean Reynolds, Anna Werner, Elaine Quijano, Wyatt Andrews
Fox: Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith will anchor live coverage beginning at 7 PM ET. Team: Ed Rollins, Mary Anne Marsh, A.B. Stoddard, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer, Carl Cameron, Ed Henry, Alicia Acuna, Shannon Bream, Steve Brown, Mike Emanuel, Steve Harrigan, Molly Line, Doug McKelway, Dan Springer, Eric Shawn
NBC: “Decision 2012” begins at 7 PM ET, with Rockefeller Plaza transformed into a TV studio as well as an Oval Office and White House Briefing Room set. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will host from “Democracy Square”. Team: David Gregory, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Peter Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Tamron Hall, Lester Holt,Tom Brokaw, Peter Hart, Bill McIntuff, Kristen Walker, Peter Alexander
PBS: “PBS NewsHour” will provide multi-platform coverage beginning at 8 AM ET online, continuing through its regular broadcast until at least midnight. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will co-anchor. Team: Mark Shields, David Brooks, Jeffrey Brown, Christina Bellantoni, Stuart Rothenberg, Hari Sreenivasan, Michael Beschloss, Richard Norton Smith, Ray Suarez, Margaret Warner