Controversy becomes Jimmy Kimmel, though it may give parent company Disney heart palpitations. Turns out, the week of November 18, Jimmy Kimmel Live had its best week in both viewers (2.86 million) and in the demo (1.05 million) since it moved to its earlier 11:35 PM time slot in January to play with the big boys. November 18, maybe not coincidentally, was the deadline for Kimmel’s non-fans to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition mandating White House comment on the ABC program’s Kids Table segment in which Kimmel asked a group of precocious moppets, among other questions, how they thought the United States should repay its $1.3 trillion debt to China. “Kill everyone in China,” giggled little Braxton. After which, all hell broke loose for Disney.
Related: Chinese Foreign Ministry Tells ABC To Respond To Protesters
Kimmel had been getting loads of free press since the October 16 broadcast, but it reached the boiling point as the petition neared its required 100,000 signatures. With that threshold easily hit, the White House is now obligated to comment on 6-year-old Braxton’s suggestion. (The White House raised the number of petition signatures required last January, after a petition calling for the deportation of CNN’s British primetime anchor Piers Morgan, and other petitions, very quickly hit the previous 25,000 signature threshold.) Kimmel has apologized for the segment, Disney has apologized for the segment, ABC has expunged the segment from all platforms and even plowed under the Kids Table segment.
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Here’s the thing about a TV show in the news issuing a statement to the press, of the “absolutely no truth to this story” sort, in response to some hot piece of gossip making the rounds. If it’s … Read More »
A Barbara Walters denial — the next best thing to confirmation when reporting about The View? Having stated she was not retiring — not so long before announcing she was — and having emphatically denied a report Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving the show — Hasselbeck did — Walters has a slight credibility problem these days. Take this morning’s report that Katie Couric is mulling whether to replace Walters when she gives up her on-air chair on The View. Deadline reported Walters was retiring in May, just before ABC and Walters made the announcement; Walters had scoffed at earlier reports. Couric, who’s already made the move from evening news to daytime talk and is under contract at ABC parent Disney, could slip into the “serious journalist” role on The View and land in an environment more like that of Today, where she enjoyed ratings success, than her current program, which has slipped in the ratings. Disney is in second year of two-year contracts with stations to air Couric’s syndicated daytime talk show — though Katie airs on ABC O&Os in many major markets. Read More »
Elisabeth Hasselbeck was notably missing as the last of Barbara Walters’ original Ladies of The View bid the show adieu today in a mostly-older-star-strewn, pre-recorded episode. Joy Behar was feted for her more than 16 seasons on the daytime gab-fest that’s undergoing major re-casting as it competes with a slew of copycats. Among those putting in appearances, in person or via recorded message on the episode: Mario Cantone, Joan Rivers, Nathan Lane, Jane Lynch, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Toni Bennett (who performed his standard, The Good Life), and Regis Philbin, who as Babs told it, took her to hear Behar’s nightclub act, which led to Behar’s hire. “For years she has been proving how right I was” for the decision…I discovered Joy Behar!” Babs said — Of course she did! Read More »
UPDATED, 9 AM: The broadcast network that seemed to go the most ga-ga over the Royal Baby Birth in daytime yesterday enjoyed the biggest spike in its evening newscast crowd. ABC‘s evening news attracted nearly 650,000 more viewers than it had the previous Monday; NBC attracted an additional 545,000. And taking the high road left CBS at the back with an additional 125,000. Still, NBC’s evening news scored the biggest overall audience — 8 million viewers — followed by ABC’s 7.8 mil, and CBS’s 6.6 mil.
PREVIOUS: The Royal Baby bestowed regal ratings on NBC last night at 10 PM. Metered-market household ratings for NBC’s Dateline special, The Little Prince jumped 47% compared to the numbers Siberia clocked in the same hour the prior Monday. The Little Prince was up 22% compared to the network’s prior three-week average at 10 on Mondays since hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals. The special hung on to its ratings half-hour to half-hour – “flat” being the new “up” at 10 p.m. these days.
(Still, the titled tot was no Stephen King, TV-ratings-wise. While Dateline logged an average of 3.05 million viewers at 10, CBS’s King event-series, Under the Dome bagged 11.4 million Monday night. Dome enjoyed its second straight week of ratings growth and its best numbers since its second week, Royal Baby competition notwithstanding.) Read More »
ABC News, which blew out large chunks of ABC’s daytime schedule today to cover the birth of Britain’s Royal Baby, announced this afternoon that Babs Walters will anchor a special royal-baby edition of 20/20 tomorrow. The Royal Baby: … Read More »
UPDATED, 9:55 AM: Fox News Channel‘s morning show got a big fat plug on ABC this morning when outgoing The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was allowed to announce specifics of her future plans at the top of the show. “I’m really happy and excited to confirm I will be joining the Fox & Friends team in September and I would first like to thank Mr. [Roger] Ailes, Bill Shine, and the entire Fox [News] Channel for this incredible opportunity,” Hasselbeck gushed at the top of this morning’s show, eschewing the “pursue other opportunities” shilly-shallying that usually occurs when on-air talent switches teams. The View creator/exec producer/den mother Barbara Walters even pitched in to help, telling Hasselbeck to tell Ailes she can come back to visit whenever she wants.
“I’m happy you’re going,” Walters told Hasselbeck at the start of the latter’s last day on the show this morning. “No, I’m NOT! I’m happy it’s good for you,” Walters continued, struggling to get back on script. Hasselbeck, who’d walked out onstage arm-in-arm with Babs as the studio audience gave her a standing ovation, began to praise the show’s liberals with whom she’d clashed over the years. She called Whoopi Goldberg “the most talented artist on the planet.” As for her Tormentor in Chief, Joy Behar, Hasselbeck insisted she has “an insane amount of respect” for the comic-turned-TV commentator, who is also leaving the show. Moving on, Hasselbeck named Sherri Shepard “my sister in Christ” before turning to Babs and saying how well prepared she feels to join Fox & Friends in the fall because, for the past decade on The View, “I’ve attended the Barbara Walters School of Broadcasting and Journalism.”
The previous afternoon Hasselbeck announced she was ending her decade as the lone conservative voice on The View and moving to FNC’s morning show in September. She’ll join Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and take the place of Gretchen Carlson, who will helm an as-yet-unnamed one-hour daytime show on the cable news network. Read More »
UPDATED: This is one our Nellie Andreeva told you was going to happen back in March. It became official this morning on The View, the show Barbara Walters co-created. “In the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television … Read More »
I’ve learned that Barbara Walters will announce her retirement on The View tomorrow. As we first reported in March, the TV icon this spring made the decision to get off the air after 52 years, and had been mulling the timing of her announcement. It will come tomorrow, in the middle of May sweeps. Walter is expected to leave her duties as The View co-host and ABC News contributor in summer 2014 but will keep some behind-the-camera presence, including serving as executive producer of The View, which she co-created. But before she hangs up her microphone, Walters will host one more 10 Most Fascinating People special and another Oscar special, among other appearances on ABC and her hosting duties on The View. Walters will be given a big sendoff on the network culminating with a retrospective special, likely next May. Read More »
UPDATED EXCLUSIVE: After years of speculation, I hear Barbara Walters may be finally ready to hand up her microphone. I’ve learned a plan has been put in place for Walters to announce her retirement, eyed for May 2014. Fitting for Walters’ status as the grand dame of TV journalism and a signature face of ABC News, I hear she would be given a big sendoff with retrospectives and other special content in the weeks leading to her retirement that would celebrate her 52-year broadcast career. Walters had been determined to leave on her own terms, so it is unclear whether revealing the plans would make her change her mind and whether she would go for a full retirement or keep some TV presence with occasional appearances and specials.
Walters has been a trailblazer for female TV journalists, becoming the first woman to co-host a news program when she got behind the Today desk in 1974 and the first co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast when she joined ABC Evening News in 1976. She also anchored ABC News’ primetime newsmagazine 20/20 for 20 years. Read More »
Barbara Walters has been away from her anchor chair on The View since January 22, when she fainted and suffered a concussion the weekend before while on assignment for ABC News at the Presidential Inauguration. She was … Read More »
2ND UPDATE, 8:30 AM: The latest setback comes 10 days after Walters fell and cut her head the night before she was to cover the presidential inauguration for ABC News. She was set to be released last week, but doctors first wanted to get an elevated temperature under control — it turns out that fever was related to chicken pox, which the 83-year-old never had as a child. “So now she’s been told to rest, she’s not allowed any visitors. And we’re telling you, Barbara, no scratching,” Whoopi Goldberg said today on The View. Walters, who was transferred to a NY hospital last week, is expected to be released soon.
UPDATE, JAN 22 AM: Barbara Walters said she expects to be released from the hospital soon after her weekend fall that kept her from covering the inauguration for ABC News. She said today in a statement that she is running a low-grade fever and doctors want to wait until it’s normal before she’s sent home. “Barbara went to Washington to cover the inauguration”, Walters’ The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg said today on the show. “She missed a step and had a fall, which cut her upper temple. The doctors stitched her up and she is doing fine, but they want her to take it easy”. There was no word on when the veteran journalist might return to her network duties. Read More »
The Lindsay Lohan-Barbara Walters interview is scheduled to air November 16 on ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20, just ahead of the premiere of Lifetime’s Liz & Dick, which stars Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. Walters confirmed the booking this morning on The … Read More »
Barbara Walters secured the first exclusive American TV interview with Syria president Bashar al-Assad back in December as that nation’s internal strife began to bubble over. Now she has issued an apology after a string of emails surfaced that showed the ABC News icon later attempted to use her influence to gain favor’s for one of Assad’s closest aides, the 22-year-old daughter of Syria’s UN ambassador. According to the UK’s Telegraph, Sheherazad Jaafari, who the New York Times reports Walters said helped secure the Assad interview, stayed in close contact with Walters afterward, and she allegedly asked The View co-host for a job at ABC News. Walters told her that was a conflict, but later she offered to help by sending her resume to Piers Morgan’s show at CNN and reaching out to Columbia School of Journalism professor Richard Wald, the father of Morgan’s CNN executive producer Jonathan Wald. After asking if there was “anything you can do to help” Jaafari gain entrance to the university, the elder Wald replied that he would get the admissions office to “give her special attention”, according to the Telegraph. Read More »
We’re not really sure where The Hollywood Reporter got its information this morning when it reported and sent out an email alert that ABC’s Barbara Walters “has landed the first sit-down with Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez,” especially when … Read More »