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RATINGS RAT RACE: Quiet End For World Series, CBS Comedies Gain Led By ‘Men’

Nellie Andreeva

It was a disappointingly short and uneventful run for the World Series this year as the San Francisco Giants wrapped things up in Game 5 to win the first title for the franchise since it moved cross country in 1958. The game between the Giants and the Rangers drew a 4.2 rating in 18-49 and 14.9 total viewers on Fox, down 21% from last year’s Game 5 featuring the Yankees and up 5% in 18-49 and 13% in total viewers from the non-Yankees Game 5 in 2008, which was plagued by rain delay. Fox is projected to win Monday in adults 18-49, while ABC was No.1 in total viewers for a seventh straight week.

The controversy surrounding Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen resulted in a 9% ratings bump for the veteran CBS comedy, which drew a 4.7/11 in adults 18-49, up from a 4.3/11 in the fast nationals last week to rank as the top program of the night in the demo. (All CBS comedies went up by a tenth in the finals last week.) The other CBS comedy to make headlines last week, Mike & Molly, the object of the infamous Marie Claire column about fat people on TV, didn’t get a boost. It was flat with the freshman comedy’s fast national number last week. CBS posted big gains in the 8 PM hour with How Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC & Fox Win With Football & Baseball, ABC & CBS Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

In the first ever showdown between NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Fox’s World Series coverage, the two networks are expected to split the honors, with NBC winning Sunday night in adults 18-49 and Fox, which also benefited from a football overrun, finishing No.1 in total viewers. In their direct face-off, SNF (11.8 overnight rating/18 share from 8:30-11:15 PM) outrated World Series’ Game 4 (10.4/16 from 8:30-11:30 PM). Fox released time-adjusted fast nationals for the game between the Giants and the Rangers, which drew a 4.3 rating in 18-49 and 15.5 million total viewers. That was down 45% from last year’s Game 4 featuring the New York Yankees and down 16%/flat in viewers vs. the 2008 Yankee-less Game 4, which didn’t have to face NFL football.

Squeezed between SNF on NBC and the World Series/football runover on Fox, ABC and CBS posted across-the-board declines with the exception of CBS’ CSI: Miami, which was up. All ABC series posted season lows: America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4/4) was down 22% from last week, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition down 25%, Desperate Housewives (3.5/9) down 10% and Brothers & Sisters down 8%. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins With Sluggish World Series, NBC Comedies Up

Nellie Andreeva

If it was up to TV executives, the Yankees would sail through to the World Series every year, with the rest of the teams squabbling for the other spot. This year’s World Series between the Giants and the Rangers on Fox continues to pace well behind last year’s, which featured the storied New York baseball franchise, but in line with the one in 2008 that didn’t feature them. Last night’s Game 2 (4.0 in adults 18-49, 14.1 million) was down 31% from last year’s Game 2 between the Yankees and the Phillies but matched the demo rating of the 2008 Game 2 between the Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays and was up 10% in total viewers. Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, ending CBS’ five-week streak.

With a Halloween theme and stronger lead-in, NBC’s Thursday comedies rebounded from last week’s drops with double-digit rating increases. Starting things off was the Scared Shrekless half-hour special (2.5/8, 8.2 million), which improved significantly (by 32%) on Community‘s performance in the 8 PM time slot last week. It also did better than the other kids-friendly Halloween special in the time slot, ABC’s It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (2.1/6, 6.6 million in its first half-hour). At 8:30 PM, Community (2.4/7) was up 26% from its 8 PM telecast last week for a season high. The Office (3.9/10) was up 15%, and Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: No Yankees Means No Big World Series

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s coverage of Game 1 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants (4.7 rating in 18-49) was down 25% from last year’s Phillies/Yankees matchup, but that was to be expected with the most popular baseball team, the Yankees, out this year. The game was on par with ith the opening game of the most recent non-Yankees World Series in 2008 (4.8). Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.

Just like its family-friendly Monday lineup posted week-to-week gains against the monster Monday NFL game on ESPN, the network’s Wednesday comedy block last night logged ratings rises. The Halloween-themed quartet was led by Modern Family (5.1/13 in 18-49, up 9% from last week’s fast national; 13.1 million viewers), which hit a series high in total viewers and matched its series high in 18-49 from earlier this fall. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.8/9, up 8%; 9.4 million) logged its most-watched telecast and its second highest 18-49 delivery ever. Freshman Better with You (2.5/7) had a nice 19% post-full season-pickup bounce to match a series demo high. Read More »

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Cablevision And Fox Spar Over ‘Good Faith’ Negotiation

Nellie Andreeva

Cablevision and Fox have until end of day today to file documents with the FCC proving that they have been negotiating in good faith in their carriage dispute that has kept Fox blacked out in 3 million Cablevision homes for the past 10 days. Cablevision has already sent its response, in which it defends its negotiating tactic, accuses Fox in bad faith negotiations and urges the FCC to intervene with the World Series coverage on Fox only 2 days away. Fox, which is yet to file, issued a statement blasting Cablevision’s accusations. Here are an excerpt from Cablevision’s FCC filing and Fox’s response: Read More »

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UPDATE: Fox-Cablevision Carriage Spat Claims Baseball Game, Sides Still Far Apart

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE SUNDAY PM: After another session of talks today, Cablevision and Fox once again failed to make any “material progress” and remain far apart, according to a statement from Fox. Negotiations are scheduled to continue tomorrow. Meanwhile, the two sides continued their PR war with dueling statements. Cablevision once again pleaded for attention from Washington and pushed for binding arbitration: “The longer this shameful News Corp. blackout of the NFL and Major League Baseball continues, the more obvious it becomes to everyone, including political leaders of both parties, that binding arbitration is the fastest and fairest way to return Fox programming to Cablevision customers,” the company said. Fox released an open letter to Cablevision subscribers from Lew Leone, GM of the two Fox stations affected by the blackout. Here is a portion of it:

We offered Cablevision the exact same price that other companies are paying for our stations. But for some reason, Cablevision thinks that it deserves special treatment.

Instead of negotiating like a responsible business, Cablevision decided to make this your problem in the hope that if they caused you, the viewer, enough inconvenience, then politicians would intervene. That is what Cablevision’s call for “arbitration” is all about.   But ask yourself – do you think Cablevision would be ok with someone else stepping in to decide the price you pay them for cable and broadband service?

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