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 TodayRead More »

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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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Read More »

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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 … Read More »

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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 … Read More »

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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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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics’ Second Wednesday Ratings Best Since Salt Lake 2002

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 12:43pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:43 PM: Never underestimate the power of the ladies’ figure skating short program plus a gold medal win in the giant slalom to attract eyeballs to Olympics TV coverage. The final numbers are in and NBC‘s tape-delayed primetime coverage out of Sochi scored the network’s best result in 12 years. With a 12.2/20 national household rating and 20.2 million viewers, Wednesday has bested both the virtually live Vancouver 2010 coverage and the tape-delayed Torino 2006 broadcast on comparable nights. Last night’s result was up a slight 2.5% and 2%, respectively, from the 11.9/20 rating and 19.2 million viewers of 2010 but rose 22% and 25% from the 10.0/15 rating and 16.0 million viewers in 2006. Which means the last time a second Wednesday of a Winter Games did that well on TV for NBC was February 20, 2002 — during the last U.S.-based games in Salt Lake City. That second Wednesday pulled in a 19.5/31 rating with an audience of 32.0 million.  Yes – impressive.

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12PREVIOUS, 8:54 AM: Aided by a menu including the always popular ladies figure skating and an on-ice appearance by heavily promoted U.S. champion Gracie Gold, NBC saw its Olympics coverage go up a bit compared with the night before. On a night with originals on all the other networks, NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage drew a 5.0/5 rating and 20.1 million viewers. That’s up from the 4.8/14 rating and 18.5 million viewers the Games had on Tuesday. However, it is a 9% slip from the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games 4 years ago, which had a 5.5.15. Night-to-night, the viewership of the second Wednesday of the Sochi Olympics was pretty much the same as the 20.3 million who watched the virtually live Vancouver Winter Games on NBC on February 24, 2010. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC Hits Second-Lowest Viewership Of Sochi Olympics As Second Tuesday Ratings Down From Vancouver & Torino

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 3:44pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 3:44 PM: The second Tuesday of the Sochi Winter Olympics saw NBC’s coverage break the prevailing trend – and not in a good way. Whereas in general the network’s tape-delayed primetime package has been behind the virtual live coverage from Vancouver 2010 and basically steady with fellow tape-delayer Torino 2006, last night saw 2014 fall to third place. While not the low of February 15 (9.6/17) or even the second low of Valentine’s Day (11.0/19), last night’s national household rating of 11.2/18 and 18.9 million viewers was not pretty. For one thing, the audience for the 8:30-11 PM show was the second-lowest of the Sochi Games so far after the 17.1 million who watch this past Saturday. Last night’s results look even more bronzed when you compare them to the 12.6/20 rating and 21.3 million viewers of 2010 on the comparable night and the 15.5/23 rating and audience of 25.1 million who watched the second Tuesday of the Torino 2006 games.

So far, Sochi has been hitting by a hair historic Olympics lows among adults 18-49 compared with Torino. Of course with the popular women’s figure skating short program and the appearance by hyped U.S. champion Gracie Gold, those numbers could shoot up again like they did on Monday, when the network showed Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s gold medal ice dancing victory. Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Nancy & Tonya’ Docu To Air Sunday Ahead Of Sochi Closing Ceremony

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:33am PST

For days NBC Sports had been saying its Nancynbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821 & Tonya documentary would probably air on Sunday before the Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony, which also would sync it up with the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Competition. But that slot depended on any weather delays or unforeseen problems during NBC’s coverage. This morning, the network nailed down a timeslot: this Sunday at 7 PM ET/6 PM CT.

Tonya-Harding-Nancy-Kerrigan-Documentaries__140219193238-275x200Mary Carillo will examine the events that held Americans spellbound after defending U.S. figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee after a practice during the 1994 U.S. championships and rival Tonya Harding’s husband and bodyguard were arrested for planning the attack. The docu, which combines present-day and archival interviews, practice and competition footage, and news coverage leading up to and during the events, includes a sit-down with Kerrigan and a one-on-one with Harding. It culminates in the three-hour telecast of the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics ladies’ figure skating short program competition that was viewed by more than 126 million Americans. That ranked at the time as the fourth-most-viewed show in U.S. history, according to Nielsen data released by CBS, which televised the event. In addition, the competition earned a 48.5 rating — meaning nearly 50% of the country’s television homes were tuned in, a number that has not been matched since by any television program.
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‘NBC Nightly News’ Clocks 11.6 Million Viewers In First Full Week Of Sochi Games

brianwilliams__131210185524Broadcast from Sochi, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams beat its first-week total-viewer averages during the Olympics in London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino. It was the newscast’s biggest overall audience since the week of January 3, 2005. Versus the comparable week at the  Winter Games in Vancouver in ’10 (11.103 million viewers ) Nightly News grew 5%. In the news demo, however, Nightly averaged 3.180 million viewers in its first full week at the Sochi Games –  down 8% compared to same week at Vancouver (3.441 million). However, Nightly at Sochi came in  790,000 demo viewers ahead of World News’ 2.390 million, and 1,058,000 million demo viewers ahead of Evening News’ 2.122 million. Read More »

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