In Europe, Saturday is arguably the biggest night for television viewing. So it is no surprise that this year’s pageant host, Russia, picked Saturday for the global telecast. In the U.S., where Saturday is the least watched night of the week, last night’s Miss Universe 2013 special drew 3.8 million viewers and a 0.9 in adults 18-49, about half of the 6.1 million, 1.8 in 18-49 who tuned in last year when Miss Universe aired from 8-10 PM on Wednesday, originating from Las Vegas with Miss USA as the winner. This year, Venezuela, where pageants are matter of national pride, landed another Miss Universe. Despite the controversy leading to the pageant, stemming from Russia’s anti-gay laws, there was no mention of the issue on the telecast. CBS won Saturday night with NCAA football (11.5 million, 3.9/13 in the fast nationals).
UPDATE: Donald Trump Invites Vladimir Putin to Miss Universe Pageant Hosted By MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts
UPDATE, 1 PM: On Today’s MSNBC Live, Thomas Roberts asked Miss Universe pageant co-owner Donald Trump asked if giving a thumbs up to his hosting gig, which is “professionally flying in the face of” Russian anti-gay laws, “change any of your prior public stances on marriage equality here in the U.S?”
“No, it doesn’t change,” Trump responded, adding that Roberts is “a wonderful guy.” Trump said he’s invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the pageant, on November 9. “I know for a fact that he wants very much to come, but we’ll have to see. We haven’t heard yet, but we have invited him.”
PREVIOUS: NBC News landed itself a great angle on a big news story when MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts signed to co-host the Miss Universe Pageant in Russia next month, joining NBC’s America’s Got Talent judge/“Spice Girl” Mel B. Roberts. “Courage is contagious. I have felt that way since coming out publicly in 2006,” Roberts explains on MSNBC.com, saying he aggressively sought the gig. Roberts is replacing NBCU-owned Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who previously hosted the pageant but said he would not do so this time because of Russia’s recently passed anti-gay laws which left him concerned for his own safety and feeling that, as a gay man, he should not set foot in Russia. (The pageant is co-owned by NBC and Donald Trump’s organization.)
The 61st Annual Miss Universe competition will air live December 19 from 8-10 PM ET on NBC with a Spanish-language simulcast set for Telemundo. The Las Vegas-set event will be hosted by Bravo’s Andy Cohen and E!’s Giuliana Rancic and is being billed as part of NBC’s holiday lineup. Last year, the pageant aired in September, drawing its lowest rating (1.6/4) ever and down 16% from 2010. Miss Universe, which is televised in almost 200 countries, is joint venture between Donald Trump and NBCUniversal.