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CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ Finale Hits Viewer Low

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 2:58pm PDT

chicagoland finale cnnLooks like a deep-dish double whammy today for CNN’s Chicagoland. First the 8-part docu series produced by Robert Redford‘s Sundance Productions got caught in a media hailstorm for being too chummy with one of its main subjects, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Now the ratings are in for last night’s finale, and it ain’t pretty. Featuring an appearance from Windy City native Michelle Obama, the cable news series from filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin drew 325,000 total viewers — a series low — and 132,000 adults 25-54 in its 10 PM slot. Those numbers are well behind the 1.22 million total viewers and 244,000 in the demo that Fox News Channel‘s Sean Hannity drew in the time slot and behind the 648,000 total viewers and 202,000 25-54s that MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell pulled in.

Related: Media Shocked – Shocked! – To Learn CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ Cajoled/Coordinated With Mayor Emanuel’s Office

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Media Shocked – Shocked! – To Learn CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ Cajoled/Coordinated With Rahm Emanuel’s Office

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 1:09pm PDT

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Another day, another media story on the fudging of “reality” and “documentary” for the TV camera – this time it’s CNN’s eight-part series Chicagoland, which never got so much media interest as it did this morning when the Chicago Tribune posted a report on emails between the office of  that city’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the producers. The emails show Emanuel’s office closely controlled access to their guy, that the producers cajoled his office to get shots they wanted, and a good time was had by all. In the world of politics, and the world of television, this is known as “how it works.”

Related: CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ Finale Hits Viewer Low

Chicagoland-Keyart.jpg_CTBroadsheet_02-23-2014_ALL_SUN_B66DB0LA“If it seems as though some scenes of CNN’s documentary series Chicagoland were coordinated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and the show’s producers, that’s because they were,” the Trib scolded in the report, timed to coincide with the series’ final-episode premiere last night. “City Hall’s frequent correspondence with the producers illustrates how senior aides to a mayor known for shaping his media image managed how their boss would be portrayed on CNN to a prime time national audience,” the Trib marveled.

cnnlogo4__140310195953More than 700 emails reviewed by the Tribune reveal that the production team “worked hand in hand with the mayor’s advisers to develop storylines, arrange specific camera shots and review news releases officially announcing the show.” Among its findings, producers asked the mayor’s office to help them set up key interactions for what CNN has billed as a non-scripted series. Those interactions included Emanuel’s visits with the school principal “who emerged as a star of the show, emails show,” according to the Trib.

The paper seemed most exercised over the emails in which the production team told Emanuel’s staff that particular scenes “would present the mayor in a positive light” including one in which one of the producers said the project would showcase Emanuel “as the star that he really is.” Read More »

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Fox News Back On Top For Work Week As Malaysian Flight 370 Mystery Sputters

Fox News Channel solidified its return to the top spot Friday in total day and primetime as viewers wearied of the lack of new developments in the malaysiaairjet1Malaysian airliner mystery. Fox News logged 1.08 million overall viewers in total day, 230,000 in the news demo, besting CNN (593,000 and 188,000) and MSNBC (339,000 and 110,000). In primetime, Fox News Channel Fox News clocked 1.77 million viewers, 280,000 in the news demo, beating CNN’s 710,000 and 199,000, respectively, as that network’s numbers continued to settle down owing to lack of any tangible evidence as to what had happened to the missing plane and its 239 passengers. The only exception on Friday was CNN’s 10 PM special report on the missing plane, which outperformed Thursday’s Chicagoland. Fox News also beat MSNBC’s 507,000 and 110,000, respectively.

Related: Ronan Farrow Tweet Breaks Cease-Fire Among TV News Rivals

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UPDATE: CNN’s ‘Chicagoland’ Debut Gets Demo Boost In Live + 3

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 4:30pm PDT

Chicagoland-Keyart.jpg_CTBroadsheet_02-23-2014_ALL_SUN_B66DB0LAUPDATE, 4:30 PM:  Unlike entertainment programming, the world of cable news is not one where Live + 3 numbers often have any relevance. You don’t often think of DVRs as how audiences watch CNN, Fox News or MSNBC but with some of the non-breaking news programming that Jeff Zucker has instituted since taking over CNN last year that may be changing. For instance, if its debut is any indication, CNN’s new Chicagoland docu series has a digital afterlife looks almost as far reaching as Lake Michigan on a clear day. In Live + 3 numbers the Robert Redford produced series saw its March 6 debut rise 23% in the adults 25-54 demo to 280,000 viewers. That moves the CNN show up to No. #1 in the news demo for its 10 PM time slot. Previously, Chicagoland had been in second place with 227,000 viewers among the 25-54s behind Fox News’ Hannity (247,000) and ahead of MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (207,000) Overall, Chicagoland still stayed in third place among total viewers with 782,000. Up a bit from its Live + Same Day results, FNC’s Hannity easily held on to  the top spot with 1.457 million total viewers and Last Word had 830,000.

PREVIOUS, MARCH 7 PM: The premiere of CNN’s new Chicagoland didn’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 … Read More »

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