“Some jobs are just too hideous to contemplate,” Mike Rowe told TV critics of their work at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. In fairness, he was asked. Rowe came to the tour to plug CNN’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It in which he hangs out with men and women to learn about their offbeat hobbies, passions and jobs.
“I don’t understand how your brains work,” he told TV critics, noting he’d just posted to Facebook photos of the rattlesnake and the power plant surrounded by live wire that he ran into yesterday, followed by a photo of the Summer TV Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton hotel, with the comment “My week is becoming progressively more dangerous.” Read More »
Joan Rivers continues her book tour. Three days after walking out on CNN after objecting to Fredricka Whitfield’s line of questioning, Joan stopped by David Letterman‘s CBS late-night show tonight. When she began to poke fun at June Allyson — America’s Sweetheart circa 1940 — Dave walked out and his guest was left to go it alone:
Some comics can dish it, but can’t take it and for Joan Rivers, red carpet’s watchdog on E’s Fashion Police, well, there’s apparently a line that can’t be crossed. The pungent comedienne took absolute offense to CNN‘s Fredricka Whitfield‘s questioning in a taped interview today after the anchor called Rivers’ fashion criticism “mean”. Rivers retorted, “These ladies make $28 million a picture. You think Nicki Minaj cares if I don’t like her dress? It’s not about them, it’s clothing.” When Whitfield’s conversation turned to the comedienne wearing fur on the cover of her book Diary of a Mad Diva and the possibility that it might offend animal rights activists, that’s when Rivers lost it. “You’re not the person to interview someone who does humor,” shouted Rivers. For Rivers, there’s no subject that’s too taboo to knock, and she’s been rather loose-lipped in public lately. Shortly after officiating a gay wedding Monday at her book signing, Rivers called President Obama gay and Michelle Obama a transgender in a short interview with a street reporter. Last week, Rivers claimed that Kristen Stewart was threatening to sue her over jokes in Mad Diva that the Twilight actress built her career through her affairs with directors. Rivers sent a message to Stewart via TMZ: “Be glad you’re not a Kardashian, because they’re mentioned a lot more in the book.” Last November, Rivers offended striking WGAE scribes on Fashion Policecalling them “schmuck writers” before issuing a statement in support of them. The CNN Rivers … Read More »
Ho hum, another quarter, another Fox News Channel win in the ratings against its all-news competitors, MSNBC, CNN and HLN. The win is now the 50th straight quarter (and 150th straight month) for Fox, going back more than a dozen years. They’ve been so consistently ahead for so long that another win, even a landmark like this, seems a bit of a yawner for the cable news powerhouse as it transforms into the Rolling Rock of ratings kings. So, how did they win this time ’round? Let us count the ways:
FNC was sixth in Primetime total viewers among all cable networks (CNN was 34th, MSNBC 29th).
FNC was seventh in Total Day viewers among all cable nets (CNN was 29th, MSNBC 30th).
For the quarter ending today, FNC had the top 14 highest-rated news shows in total viewers. It had nine of the top 10 news shows for the core Adults 25-54 demo, with only re-runs of CNBC’sShark Tankon MSNBC sneaking into the tenth spot.
Total viewers for the Top 5 shows were: The O’Reilly Factor (2,361,000); The Kelly File (1,998,000); The Five (1,842,000); Special Report w/ Bret Baier (1,730,000); and On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren (1,496,000).
FNC led all cable networks in that 25-54 demo, which is the heart and crabby commentariat of the news-watching audience.
Both Fox & Friends and Your World with Neil Cavutohave been No. 1 in their respective slots for 50 consecutive quarters, again dating back more than 12 years to the first quarter of 2002.
CBS News today named Vladimir Duthiers as a new correspondent; he will begin work in August, based in New York. Duthiers joins CBS News from CNN, where he was an international correspondent based in Lagos, Nigeria. Most recently, Duthiers reported on the more than 200 girls kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram and was one of the first Western journalists to interview family members of the abducted children. Read More »
Nancy Grace hit the mother lode when she found herself interviewing the father of a missing boy as a report came in that the son had been found alive — in the man’s basement. Charlie Bothuell had been missing for 11 days; dad Charles Bothuell IV, had appeared on Grace’s HLN show to appeal for help finding the boy. “How could your son be alive in your basement?!” Grace barked. “What?!” responded Dad. “I don’t understand why you guys would have reported he was missing — and all our viewers were on the lookout for him!” Grace snapped, like she meant it to sting. “Have you checked your cell phone?” Dad said his cell phone was dead. Read More »
Four times as many people watched presumed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appear on Fox News Channel yesterday as watched her on CNN at 5 PM. About 2 million people watched the former Secretary of State tangle with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and Bret Baier from 6:45-7:15 PM – 313,000 of them in the news demo.
Meanwhile, about 521,000 people watched Christiane Amanpour and audience members question Clinton during a CNN town-hall confab at 5 PM — 115,000 in the news demo. FNC’s The Five clocked a bigger audience in the 5 PM timeslot: 1.88 million, and 336,000 demo viewers.
CNN actually did better with its repeat of the Clinton town hall at 9 p.m., when 593,000 tuned in — 146,000 in the demo — which was the network’s biggest naul of the night (though it came in behind FNC’s The Kelly File (2.126 million, 337,000 demo viewers) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (918,000 viewers, 167,000 demo viewers).
“She’s running,” CNN’s John King declared after Hillary Clinton’s town hall Q&A on his network this afternoon, part of a media tour purporting to be about her new book, Hard Choices. “Her decision is whether to stop running,” he snarked. “Right now – she’s running.” Clinton, however, said — stop us if you’ve heard this one before — she hasn’t yet made up her mind.
King said he did “not learn a tremendous amount new” from the Q&A, while Christiane Amanpour, who’d done the Clinton interview, did her best impressive imitation of a journalist who was not mulling how to hit King with a blunt instrument. King gave Clinton props for not filibustering and answering questions quickly and clearly so as to tackle a “diversity of questions.” Jake Tapper agreed, noting the town hall setup had quacked like a political campaign format.
Extra points if you guessed both the CNN town hall, and Clinton’s grilling at Fox News Channel that followed, would begin with questions about the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya. On CNN it took the form of Amanpour asking Clinton whether, in retrospect and “knowing what you know now”, she would have wanted Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack, to be in Libya on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. “Would you have told him not to go to Benghazi on that day, of all days?” Amanpour asked, as though it was not a rhetorical question. Read More »
CNN’s Hillary Clinton Countdown Clock ticked off the minutes until her town hall meeting at the Newseum in Washington D.C. begins at 5 PM ET. The event is moderated by the cable news network’s Christiane Amanpour, during which the presumed Democratic presidential candidate will take questions from the public. After that, Clinton is scheduled to do a live interview with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier from that network’s Washington studio, starting at 6:45 PM ET, and then FNC’s Greta Van Susteren will take a crack at her around 7:15 PM ET.
Clinton has been warming up for this Big Day with dress rehearsals across the TV news landscape, starting with her “surprise guest” appearance on Barbara Walters’ final day on ABC’s The View. Since then, she’s sparred with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer on June 9, chatted with ABC’s Robin Roberts the next morning, and walked around her alma mater with Jane Pauley on June 15. Read More »
You’ve really gotta step up your caption game when the talent starts contending for these contest crowns, Deadliners. Hot competition in captioning CNN’s car crash came from Hell On Wheels actor Anson Mount, who played along via Twitter. Today’s top caption goes to… Read More »
Stephen Colbert celebrated the release of a new Annenberg Public Policy Center study that concluded viewers of The Colbert Report who watched him set up a super PAC and 501(c)(4) organization during the last presidential election cycle were better informed about campaign financing and the role of money in politics than viewers of actual news channels. (Colbert’s show is shuttering at the end of 2014 so he can take over for David Letterman at CBS in 2015.) ”That’s right! I did abetter job of informing the public about campaign finance reform than every other news organization — and CNN,” Colbert said on his show last night. “So let that be a lesson to you Fox: show — don’t tell. If you want your viewers to have a better understanding of your editorial position, they need to see you sucking Ted Cruz’s balls.” Watch here:
Cable news networks continue their stranglehold on the subject of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban a year into his tour and held for five years until Saturday’s dramatic announcement that he’d been swapped for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners. CNN‘s Jake Tapper landed the first TV interview with Bergdahl’s squad leader, who was there when Bergdahl disappeared from his camp and says Bergdahl “totally deserted” his comrades. Fox News, meanwhile, reported Bergdahl’s Idaho hometown has canceled its welcome-home ceremony, in the interest of public safety, amid questions about Bergdahl, and the arrival of a convoy of TV trucks and journalists. Fox News reports City Administrator Heather Dawson has explained, “Hailey, a town of 8,000, does not have the infrastructure to support an event of the size this could become.” Watch Tapper’s interview here:
UPDATED: Jane Pauley is taking the last spot on Hillary Clinton’s dance card, on June 15; she’ll interview Clinton on CBS Sunday Morning — about her new book, Hard Choices, the network said this afternoon.
Previous, 8;02 AM:Hillary Clinton‘s “book-promo” dance card is rapidly filling up, as the media is noticing. CNN reported this morning Clinton will participate in a “town hall” meeting, on June 17, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., moderated by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, during which Clinton will take questions from the public. Yes, it’s the same day Clinton’s scheduled to undergo a joint interview with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren, spanning the two anchors’ respective programs, starting on Special Report at about 6:45 PM ET and wrapping with On The Record at about 7:15 PM. CNN’s Newseum event will bookend that FNC appearance — telecast at 5 PM and repeated at 9 PM.
Clinton will warm up for that very big day on a couple broadcast networks. NBC News this morning told TV Newser its Cynthia McFadden will interview Clinton on June 10. And ABC already had announced Diane Sawyer has snagged Clinton’s “first” interview, on June 9, followed the next morning by a sit-down with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. In theory, Clinton’s out promoting her new book, Hard Choices.
Friday night was no fun for either Seth MacFarlane or Jeff Zucker. The former had the beginning of what was a face-plant of a weekend with his Western comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West while the CNN boss suffered his news network’s worst result in the 10 PM slot in 14 years. Scratching with an average of just 35,000 viewers among Adults 25-54, CNN dropped hard to a snake belly level not seen since May 9, 2000. Back on that very quiet Tuesday night during the last year of the Bill Clinton’s Presidency, the cable news network had 33,000 viewers among the news demo. The all-time low for CNN in the 10 PM slot was on June 16, 1999 when it sunk to 32,000 among the 25-54s on a Wednesday night.
Unlike its competitors, CNN didn’t have a single show filling the whole hour on Friday. Perhaps telling of how badly the star-studded In The West was going to do at the box office (just $17 million), CNN’s half hour 10 PM Spotlight featured a profile of MacFarlane. It was not well watched with just 42,000 in the demo and 262,000 overall tuning in. At 10:30 PM, the Rachel Nichols-hosted sports show Unguardedpulled in an all-time demo low with … Read More »
Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes will make a rare appearance on CNN on June 15, when the network premieres 41ON41, a profile of President George H.W. Bush. The gimmick is that 41 people will be seen on screen, talking about Bush – including Ailes, who was a campaign advisor. And yes, the two-hour film, weaving first-person accounts of the policy decisions and personal life experiences that shaped Bush’s life and presidency, is premiering on Father’s Day — and three days after Bush celebrates his 90th birthday. The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation funded the film, which is executive produced by Bush’s former White House speechwriter Mary Kate Cary and Rick Kaplan, formerly of CNN and ABC News. The film team also includes Nancy Stern Winters and Lisa Lax at Lookalike Productions who produced and directed the film.
In addition to former First Lady Barbara Bush, the film’s 41 storytellers include: Read More »
Expect more Trips Down Baby-Boomer Memory Lane on CNN, after its news-demo win last night with The Sixties. According to Nielsen Fast National data, the Tom Hanks/Gary Goetzman produced project debuted last night as the No. 1 program on cable news at 9 and 10 PM ET among adults 25-54, and finished just behind Fox News Channel in overall audience.
At 9 PM, The Sixties bagged a 190% increase in the demo 25-54 (284,000 vs. 98,000) and a 312% increase in total viewers (1.390 million vs. 337,000) when compared with the network’s prior four-week average in the timeslot. The episode, When Television Came Of Age edged out FNC in the demo; FNC maintained its total viewer top spot with 1.919 million tuned in. The encore presentation at 10 PM averaged 243,000 in the demo, inching past FNC’s 239,000. Among total viewers CNN averaged 946,000, behind FNC’s 1.428 mil.
“What began last night, and will unfold over the course of the next 11 weeks, is what the audience also wants and expects from us,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said today in a memo to staff. “CNN is evolving. Our commitment to news, investigative journalism and inspired storytelling is what we are all about,” he added.
That said, last night’s The Sixties was no match in the demo for the 508,000 that The Sixties: The Assassination Of President Kennedy got last November 14th, or the 354,000 that Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanyay Gupta Reports snared when it aired on March 11. Read More »
PREVIOUSLY:Barbara Walters landed the girlfriend and the wife involved in the hottest story right now, but CNN’s Anderson Cooper scored the sit-down today with the big fish – disgraced LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was caught last month making racist comments about African-Americans and hoops icon Magic Johnson in a 2013 tape. He was subsequently banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5M. Sunday’s news battle pitted Sterling vs. Sterling as CNN and ABC News vied to take the lead on the hottest story of the moment.Read More »
CNN led the cable news charge Saturday night at 10 PM when the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was in full boil. The network flooded the zone with three hours of Nerd Prom, starting at about 8 PM ET. MSNBC began its coverage at 9 PM. Fox News Channel stuck with its regular schedule until 10 PM, when it switched to a special on the Benghazi investigation. FNC ran the guts of the WHCD — President Obama‘s speech followed by NBCU star Joel McHale — at midnight.
C-SPAN had the most comprehensive coverage of the annual Hollywood celebrity petting zoo for Washington press and the government officials they cover. Once again, C-SPAN’s coverage began with its traditional camera-trained-on-boom-mike coverage of celebs arriving at the hotel and the C-SPAN LeahyCam. Sadly C-SPAN is not rated by Nielsen, so those of you who watched on that network are lost to history.