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Comcast And Olympics Organizers Take A $7.65B Leap Of Faith On Future Games

OlympicsRingsThe International Olympic Committee didn’t take competitive bids the way it did in 2011 — when Fox and ESPN joined the fray — before accepting Comcast’s $7.65B offer to carry the games in the U.S. through 2032. But the $1.4B increase in the outlay by the owner of NBCUniversal “is not small” for the IOC its president, Thomas Bach, said today in a conference call. NBC has handled 23 Olympics beginning with the Tokyo games in 1964 and the IOC “Comcast-new-logo__130212144603-200x112wanted to build on this long term partnership with NBC so we could be sure, and we are sure, that the Olympic games will be presented in a way the Olympic spirit requires.” He vowed that more than 90% of the revenue will go to organizers of future Olympics, giving planners financial security.

Related: NBC Nabs Olympics Rights Through 2032

Comcast chief Brian Roberts says he felt comfortable making the offer, even though he doesn’t know where the future games will be held, after his company recorded a profit from London and Sochi. Plans to combine the cable company’s “technology leadership and X1 platform” with NBC’s storytelling expertise mean “we’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” Roberts says. 

Th execs began their private talks to extend their partnership at a private dinner in NYC in November, and continued the conversation at Sochi. Bach says he was so eager to work with a trusted collaborator that he was satisfied with a handshake, although “the lawyers insisted that we even sign some papers.” Execs offered few additional details about the terms, including whether NBCU’s Telemundo might air the games in Spanish. Read More »

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NBC Nabs Olympics Rights Through 2032

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 9:34am PDT

nbc-olympic-rings11The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through 2032. NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at $ 7.65 billion, plus an additional $100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of “Olympism” and “Olympic values” between 2015 and 2020.

Today’s announcement: Read More »

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Olympics Help Comcast To Beat Q1 Earnings Expectations

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 4:09am PDT

COMCASTThe Sochi Olympics generated more than $1.1B in revenue which enabled NBCUniversal to propel the cable giant’s strong financial results. Comcast generated $1.87B in net income attributable to the company, +30.2% vs the first three months of 2013, on revenues of $17.4B, +13.7%. The top-line number nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821beat the $17.04B that analysts expected. Earnings not including one-time items came in at 68 cents a share, ahead of the consensus forecast of 64 cents. With the Olympics dough, NBCU revenues increased 28.8% to $6.88B with operating cash flow +37.6% to $1.31B. The broadcast operation led the way with a 72.8% boost in revenues to $2.6B — but still would have been up 17% without the Games due to a 15.8% increase in ad sales from NBC’s improved ratings. Cable network revenue increased 12.6% to $2.5B, but would have been up just 1% without the Olympics. due to a 1.4% drop in ad sales.

Related: Comcast Expects NBC To Catch Up To Rivals In Upfront Ad Market

Ride Along #1 box officeAt the smaller Universal filmed entertainment operation, revenues increased 11.1% to $1.4B with help from Ride Along and Lone Survivor and overseas sales for The Wolf Of Wall Street. And theme park revenues increased 5.4% to $487M as per capita spending increased while attendance remained stable. The core cable business also did well — even with video subscriptions, up by 24,000 to 22.6M. Revenues for all of the cable systems offerings including broadband increased 5.3% to $10.8B due to rate hikes, upselling, and customer growth. Read More »

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Academy Sets 2015 Oscar Nominations Date For Jan. 15; Governors Awards Nov. 8

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:07am PDT

Oscar_badge__140302212232The 2015 Oscars date was set last year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they announced the 2014 date, which shifted a week owing to a conflict with the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics. New today are dates for the nominations announcement — Thursday, January 15 — which gives voters about five weeks before final ballots are due February 17. The past couple of years members had six weeks to see everything and cast their ballots. The Governors Awards are set for November 8. Here is this season’s timeline:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 87th Oscars. The Academy Awards presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015. Key dates for the Awards season are:

Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Governors Awards

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Official Screen Credits and music submissions due

Monday, December 29, 2014
Nominations voting begins 8 a.m., PT

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Nominations voting ends 5 p.m., PT

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Oscar nominations announced

Monday, February 2, 2015
Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Friday, February 6, 2015
Final voting begins 8 a.m., PT

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Scientific and Technical Awards

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Final voting ends 5 p.m., PT

Sunday, February 22, 2015
87th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m., ET/ 4 p.m., PT

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Live And Well: Morning Shows Gain Ratings Ground Thanks To Stiff Competition & Focus On Interactive Programming

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: NBC’s Today made the most of its big “get” this morning — Matt Lauer’s exclusive and chilling interview with Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State assistant football coach/convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, in which she said the victims were “manipulated” when they “saw money,” did not scream from the basement of her house as one has claimed, and that her husband having showered with the boys is a generational thing. ABC’s Good Morning America, meanwhile, was touting its talk with ABC News’ Dan Harris about the on-air panic attack he suffered a decade ago – the result, he says, ofGMASocialSquare years spent covering wars abroad and his use of recreational drugs to deal with the emotional aftermath of that war coverage.

Coming out of the Sochi Games, the morning infotainment-show war has never been hotter. Today, which won the two weeks of the Winter Olympics – its first weekly victories since the 2012 London Summer Games – returned aggressively with a Love Your Selfie interactive campaign, a ribbon-cutting on its new outdoor space by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and a make-up hug between de Blasio and Today weatherman Al Roker after their much-reported Twitter dust-up. Lauer’s Sandusky exclusive is Today‘s latest sit-down in that aggressive post-Sochi push that also included a chat with Toronto’s click-bait mayor Rob Ford. Even so, GMA jumped back on top in the ratings the very first week after Sochi, and has widened its lead each week, though the gap is still smaller than the 1.1 million lead GMA had on Today this season leading up to Sochi. “All this competition has been good for the viewer – we’re all trying harder, all fighting as hard as we ever have,” Today EP Don Nash told Deadline. “I’ve been at this show 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it. … We are fighting for every viewer.”

Related: ‘Today’ Takes February Sweep In Demo While ‘GMA’ Wins Overall Audience Again

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‘Today’ Takes February Sweep In Demo While ‘GMA’ Wins Seventh Consecutive In Overall Audience

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 9:12am PST

ABC’s Good Morning America won the February sweep in overall audience despite an Olympics boost for today-show__130820101116-275x177 Today, while the NBC morning infotainment show took the ratings derby in the news demo off of which ad sales are made in the daypart. With a Sochi-laden lineup, Today pulled in its best February sweep demos in two years and in overall audience in four, which would put it at the last Winter Games. Today noted it cut its year-to-year gaps with GMA during the sweep by 146% in the demo, and 95% in total viewers. But GMA managed to pull off its seventh consecutive sweep win in overall audience –  and its second-most-watched sweep in more than two decades — in the teeth of Today‘s Olympics-centric February. And, compared to the 2010 February sweep, which coincides with Today‘s boost from the Vancouver Winter Games, GMA climbed 24% in overall audience and 16% in the news demo.
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Oscars Thrashes ‘Walking Dead’ In Demo Results

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 11:41am PST

wd march 2The Walking Dead beat the Olympics three Sundays in a row this year among adults 18-49, but it could not thrash the Oscars  in the key demo last night. The 12th episode of Season 4 of AMC’s zombie apocalypse series drew a 6.4 rating with 8.1 million viewers in the demo at 9 PM last night. That’s 46%  less than both the 12 rating and 15.25 million viewers in the demo during the hour opposite the Academy Awards in preliminary fast nationals Sunday. Overall, Walking Dead was watched by 12.6 million viewers, while 40.1 million tuned for the Oscars from 9-10 PM. The 3 1/2-hour Ellen DeGeneres-hosted Academy Awards was watched by 43 million in total. Not that the head-to-head loss to the Oscars was much of a decrease from last week’s Walking Dead results –  the show slipped a mere 3% from its demo rating and viewership last week.

Related: Oscars Viewership Hits 10-Year High

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‘Today’ Hangs On To Demo Lead After Sochi, But ‘GMA’ Leads In Overall Crowd

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 3:32pm PST

Todayshow07__120726201155-200x129ABC’s Good Morning America attracted more overall viewers on Monday, despite the best efforts of NBC’s Today show to hang on to its Sochi ratings bump –  but Today hung on to the important demo win. GMA outstripped Today by 89,000 viewers overall. The first day after the most recent previous Games — the 2012 London Summer OlympicsGMA had finished behind Today by 301,000 viewers. Today beat GMA on Monday by 92,000 news demo viewers; the Monday after the London Games, Today beat GMA by 102,000 demo viewers.

gma2__130822170347-275x154It’s the first time GMA has beaten Today among total viewers the Monday following the end of the Olympics (when NBC aired the games) since at least 1991. Monday’s Today featured Olympic athletes, a kiss-and-make-up between Al Roker and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came to cut the ribbon on Today‘s re-done outdoor space, and the removal of Today talent makeup as part of a “Love Your Selfie” series on body image.

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NBC Hits Lowest Olympics Demo Rating Ever With Sochi Coverage

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 1:09pm PST

Sochi Olympics Ratings NBCIn the end, the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 was no Vancouver 2010 for NBC ratingswise — but it also wasn’t Nagano 1998 or Torino 2006. In fact, the 2014 Sochi Games are the lowest-rated primetime Olympics in the adults 18-49 demographic ever. From the start to Sunday’s Closing Ceremony, the 17 total days of Winter Games drew a 5.5 rating in the key demo with 21.386 million viewers on average. If you take away the pre-Opening Ceremony bonus day – an Olympics first — the demo rating stays the same for NBC, but the average audience dips a bit to 21.321 million. Full days to full days and apples-to-apples, that’s down 16% from Vancouver’s 6.6 rating and almost 10% from the previous low of Torino’s 6.1. In terms of viewers, Sochi was behind the 24.370 million who watched the Vancouver Games but a nose ahead of the 20.242 million who tuned for the Torino Games. Sochi was just a touch behind the audience of 21.447 million that the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics garnered. Sochi’s 12.3/20 household rating is essentially on par with the 12.2/20 of Torino for another all-time Olympic low. Check out our list of Olympic demo lows below.

Related:
Sochi Closing Ceremony Ratings Hit All-Time Low For Winter Games
‘Walking Dead’ Thrashes Olympics Closing Ceremony In Key Demo

DEADLINE OLYMPICS DEMO CHART

Sochi’s demo low and near viewership low comes after an Olympics that day-to-day eclipsed the almost live Vancouver Games only twice in its tape-delayed primetime coverage and consistently hovered even or dipped below the tape-delayed broadcasts of eight years ago from Italy. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC’s Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony Ratings Hit All-Time Low For Winter Games

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 12:23pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:23 PM: The Closing Ceremony is now long over, the final numbers are in and NBC has hit a record – and not one they want. Last night’s 8:33 PM-10:36 PM broadcast received an 8.7/13 household rating with 15.1 million viewers. That is the lowest household rating for a Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony ever – dipping just below previous record holder of Torino 2006. Sunday’s result is also the second lowest household rating of the Sochi Games overall. However, it is not the lowest Winter Games Closing Ceremony viewership. Innsbruck 1976’s 12.9 million still holds the record there. Compared to Vancouver 2010’s Closing Ceremony, last night’s results were down 28% and 29% respectively from the 12.1/19 ratings and audience of 21.4 million of February 28, 2010.  The ratings result of last night slipped 2% from the 8.9/13 of the end of the Torino 2006 Winter Games but saw a small 2% viewership rise from the 14.8 million of  8-years ago.

Related: AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Thrashes NBC’s Olympics Closing Ceremony In Key Demo Read More »

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AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Thrashes NBC’s Olympics Closing Ceremony In Key Demo

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 12:18pm PST

Walkers - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCIt really bites to be Sochi today. More specifically it bites to be NBC’s coverage of the XXII Winter Olympics and to get chewed up for the third time by The Walking DeadLike last Sunday and on February 9 before that, AMC’s zombie apocalypse series has bested the Olympics among adults 18-49 – this time beating the Closing Ceremony. The 9 PM AMC show drew a 6.6 rating with 8.4 million viewers in the demo. The Walking Dead had 13.1 million viewers overall. Head-to-head with Walking Dead in the time slot, the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics pulled in a 3.2 rating with 4.09 million viewers in the key demo. For the hour, NBC’s tape-delayed broadcast had 15.21 million viewers. Overall, last night’s 8:30 PM-10:30 PM Closing Ceremony got in a 3.3/8 rating and 15.3 million viewers in preliminary fast nationals.

Related: NBC’s Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony Ratings Hit All-Time Low For Winter Games

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Closing CeremonyThat’s a 40% drop in the key demo and a 29% fall in viewership from the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 games and a 13% slide among adults 18-49 from the end of Torino 2006. However, Sochi did squeeze out a small 3% viewership compared to the Closing Ceremony 8 years … Read More »

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NBC The Star Of Its Really Big Sochi Moments

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 8:05am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198What with the recently wrapped Winter Olympics competition results being known well in advance of  NBC‘s various Olympics broadcasts, and the United States coming in fourth in number of gold medals scored, behind Russia (13), Norway (11), and Canada (10) (U.S. was No. 2  in overall medal count, behind Russia), many of NBC’s most buzz-worthy Sochi moments were all about — NBC. Which, presumably, is the future of broadcast network primetime Games coverage. How successful was NBC? Here’s a look at the 4 Big NBC Moments At Sochi:

Pinkeye

“I’m Bob Costas, sitting in tonight forcostas24 Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” Costas joked when he finally returned as NBC’s Primetime Games anchor after six days on the sick list while doctors treated his Twitter-trending double eye infection. The incident was historic, because it broke Costas’ 14-year Olympic anchoring streak and Vieira became the first woman ever to get the gig, if only temporarily.

Bode Miller’s Tears

When Olympian Bode Miller doubled over weeping as NBC peppered him with questions about his dead brother, after winning the Super-G bronze medal, social media response was savage. NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell insisted it would have been “irresponsible” of the network not to have asked bodemiller1Miller about his brother, who died in April, after setting up that storyline before Bode’s run. But what saved NBC, ironically, was Miller coming to the network’s rescue the next morning on Today show, saying interviewer Christin Cooper is “a sweetheart of a person” who he knows “didn’t mean to push” adding, “I do not blame her at all. I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that.” For years NBC has used this super-personal strategy in its Olympics coverage, thinking it connects viewers with the athletes and the Games. Also at Sochi, Meredith Vieira asked silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago and the role it played in her decision to come back from Olympics retirement. Read More »

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Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony: NBC’s Presentation Semi-Live Blog

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 7:30pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198The most expensive Olympics ever ended today in Sochi, Russia.  NBC broadcast the Closing Ceremony in primetime tonight.  Here’s NBC’s version of that ceremony:

8:25 PM ET: NBC’s walk up to the Closing Ceremony is its one-hour docu on Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding which, Kerrigan tells Bob Costas when it’s over, was difficult to watch and “doesn’t matter” any more, in re whether Harding knew in advance about the plan to club Kerrigan in the knee.  Seems about right. It will be interesting to see what kind of ratings this debbie-downer lead-in pulls for NBC.snowflakecombined

8:28 PM ET: Bob Costas plugging Rio Summer Games, eating up precious minutes. Does this mean we won’t get the see the Closing Ceremony’s honoring of Russian authors Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Checkhov and others too numerous (and tough to spell) to mention?

Related: Bob Costas Makes Return To NBC Olympics Coverage

8:35 PM ET: Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, and Vladimir Pozner are hosting. Little girl Luba — Love to her friends — from Opening Ceremony is back, and two clowns are guiding a flying boat into the arena. Why a clown, Pozner asks, rhetorically. In Russia, he explains, “the clown is the hero.” Dancers on the floor of the arena, who are dressed in tin foil-y caftans,  are soon to go into the Olympic ring configuration you’ve probably already … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 5:55pm PST

heroesnbcNBC To Bring Back ‘Heroes’ As 13-Episode Event Miniseries In 2015: Video
By Nellie Andreeva – On the heels of Fox reviving its iconic drama 24 as an event miniseries, NBC is doing the same with one of its most popular serialized dramas of the past decade, superhero series Heroes. Creator Tim Kring is back shepherding the 13-episode new standalone arc entitled Heroes: Reborn, which will air in 2015.

Matt Ryan Lands Title Role In NBC Pilot ‘Constantine’ Based On DC Comic
By Nellie Andreeva – Welsh actor Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) is finalizing a deal to play the lead in NBC’s drama pilot Constantine, from Warner Bros TV. Based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, the project centers on John Constantine (Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.

Netflix Agrees To Pay Comcast For Broadband Access; Public Knowledge Calls For FCC, DOJ Action
By Jen Yamato – There may be smoother streaming ahead for Netflix subscribers as Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for direct broadband access. Comcast had previously denied Netflix’s request to connect to its broadband network free of charge, sending Netflix users’ streaming content through third party internet providers to access Comcast’s network.

piers1CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Live’ Ratings Sink To Second Lowest Ever, CNN Ties Sixth Worst Primetime Result
By Dominic Patten – Piers Morgan’s rocky ratings just took another dive for CNN. On Tuesday, the Brit’s 9PM show had its second worst result ever in the all important adults 25-54 news demographic. With a total audience of 270,000 watching, Piers Morgan Live drew a mere 50,000 viewers in the demo. Read More »

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics Final Saturday Ratings Fall From Vancouver & Torino, ‘About A Boy’ Sampled

By | Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 4:44pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821__1402191604482nd UPDATE, 4:44PM: The final scores of the final full day of competition of the Sochi Olympics are in and NBC probably can’t wait to wrap things up with tonights Closing Ceremony – as they fell from Friday’s low. With a 7.8/14 national household rating and 13.3 million viewers, the 8:30PM to 11PM tape-delayed network package was down 11% and 10% from the 8.8/15 rating and 14.9 million watching on February 21. Saturday night’s results are also down from both the comparable final Saturday nights of the Vancouver 2010 games and the Torino 2006 games. Last night’s result fell 46% and 50% respectively from 4 years ago on February 27, 2010 NBC pulled in a 14.7/26 rating and 26.7 million viewers. The last Saturday of the 2006 Winter Games had an 11.3/19 rating and an audience of 19.7 million tuning in – that’s 30% and 32% better than NBC’s respectively results from Sochi 2014 last night.

aboutaboy__140120001417-275x1651st UPDATE, 10:30AM: NBC‘s preview of new comedy About a Boy drew a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers from 11:05-11:30 PM, following the primetime coverage of the Sochi Olympics. Given how low NBC’s Olympics broadcast was last night (2.7 in 18-49 and 12.8 million viewers), About A Boy did respectable business, retaining 76% of its lead-in (2.9 for the Olympics’ 10:30-11 PM … Read More »

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Olympics: U.S.-Canada Men’s Semi Most-Watched Hockey Game In NBCSN History

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 3:46pm PST

OlympicsFriday’s Team USA vs. Canada Olympics men’s hockey semifinals scored a win for NBC as the Sochi Games near their finish, drawing record-high numbers and becoming the highest-rated hockey game in NBCSN history. The Friday morning PT/noon ET airing scored a 2.7/8 with an average of 3.9 million viewers leading an all time high weekday daytime viewership, edging out last weekend’s USA-Russia shootout match (2.6) and beating NBCSN’s Stanley Cup Playoff and Finals ratings. At its peak 4.6 million viewers were watching Friday’s game with top viewership in Buffalo, Minneapolis, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Providence. NBC’s authenticated digital streaming service notched 2.1 million uniques reaching a historic high on the “TV Everywhere” app, which will also feature Sunday’s Closing Ceremony. NBCSN’s 10 live telecasts now rank as the network’s top 10 most watched weekday daytimes. Friday’s primetime Olympics on NBC scored an 8.8/15 rating comparable to the Torino Olympics which notched a 9.7/17 in 2006.

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Primetime Rat Race: NBC’s Sochi Olympics Coverage Hits Low, Down From Vancouver

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 9:51am PST
Nellie Andreeva

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821American audiences are starting to feel Olympics fatigue. With figure skating competitions over, NBC‘s Sochi coverage last night hit a low of a 3.5 rating  in adults 18-49. That was down 43% from the last Friday of the Vancouver games. NBC still easily won the night against mostly repeat competition with 14.6 million total viewers tuning in. ABC was the only other broadcast network to offer originals, finishing No.2 for the night with the No.2 and N.3 programs behind the Olympics, a new Shark Tank (1.7), down 19% from its last original three weeks ago, and 20/20 (1.5), which jumped 36% from last week with an original lead-in.

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‘American Idol’ Hits All-Time Low As NBC’s Olympics Coverage Drops From Vancouver

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 8:43am PST
Nellie Andreeva

idoltop13First the good news — Fox’s American Idol won’t have to face Olympics coverage for another four years (assuming the singing competition sticks around that long.) Now the bad news. In its last showing against the Sochi games last night, Idol (2.4 in adults 18-49) hit its lowest rating ever on any night. It was down 8% from Wednesday and down 17% from last Thursday. New drama Rake (1.0) also continued to slide, hitting a new low.

Related: The Challenges Of Dramas With Antihero Lead On Broadcast TV

yunakimWith the Canadian women taking the hockey gold away from the Americans in a heartbreaking fashion and the figure skating judges eagerly handing the gold to the one host country contestant that didn’t tumble over defending champion Yuna Kim for yet another figure skating judging controversy, NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage drew a 4.9 in 18-49, down 17% from the comparable night in Vancouver. The finale of ABC’s The Taste (0.9) was flat, tying a series low.

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UPDATE: Jimmy Kimmel Posts Wolf Video on U.S. Luger Kate Hansen’s Twitter Account

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 9:05pm PST

Jimmy_Kimmel_2__120821183214__121218202346-200x156 (1)UPDATE: 8:45 PM: Jimmy Kimmel revealed on his ABC late-night program tonight that the video of a wolf  posted to YouTube by U.S. luger Kate Hansen with the message “I’m pretty sure this is a wolf wandering my hall in Sochi” was in fact a wolf in Los Angeles walking down a replica of the hall outside Hansen’s Sochi hotel room. Hansen agreed to let Kimmel’s people take over her Twitter account to post the video, he said. Like the last time Kimmel punked the media with his fake twerk-fail video, he ran clips of various news outlets he’d fooled — many of them ruminating as to whether the animal actually was a wolf, a husky, a malamute, or a mutt. Kimmel showed the rest of the video, in which he is seen skiing down the hallway, calling out the name “Garfield” and asking, “Have you seen my wolf?” Kimmel then interviewed Hansen via Skype, who said “there was a little more backlash” at the hotel than she’d anticipated, including security staff who, she said, were “freaking out” after word of the video got around. “It kind of went a little crazy here,” she said. The animal is a “timber wolf mix,” its handler said, believed to be 80%-90% wolf, though she was not certain, and is named Rugby. Read More »

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