Getting back to normal—almost
By Susanne Ault -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/7/2001 8:00:00 PM
Many syndicated shows are settling back into normal schedules after weeks of preemption by news programming since Sept. 11. Crossing Over With John Edward hasn't been so lucky.
Beefed-up news coverage of the tragedy has bumped Crossing Over from its ratings-attractive afternoon slot in top market Los Angeles. Starting today, Crossing Over moves from its 4 p.m. home on KCAL-TV to 11 a.m., making room for an added news show. KCAL-TV has enjoyed ratings surges with its news-heavy lineups.
In New York, WCBS-TV, the only local station that didn't suffer transmission problems, expanded its news offerings. On Monday, after three weeks of preemption, Crossing Over will return to 3 p.m.
Besides ratings, though, KCAL-TV has had concerns that Crossing Over isn't a suitable news lead-in. Programming chief Virginia Hunt explains that it might not be "comfortable" for some to watch Edward speak to the dead at this time. Crossing Over is "a very, very good vehicle," she says, adding, "But I don't think it's right to put it between news shows."
Affected by the attacks in an unexpectedly positive way are the magazine shows. "There's a hunger for news and information on this story," explains Charles Lachman, executive producer of Inside Edition, which, in the week following the attacks, jumped 15% over last year, to a 3.9 rating/9 share in the Nielsen weighted metered markets.
Access Hollywood has had plenty to talk about, says Barry Wallach, sales chief at distributor NBC Enterprises. Noting that its season-to-date household score (2.8) is its highest since 1996, he says, "There's just so much news now that impacts the entertainment industry. It's affecting movie releases and concert tours, and people are interested."
Magazine leader Entertainment Tonight is up 11% from last year, to 6.0/11 in the week after the attack.
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