The Week That Was
Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/25/2001 7:00:00 PM
Sweeps So Far
These November sweeps are weird. The Emmys, usually in September, aired this month. The World Series, usually over by Halloween at the latest, extended to Nov. 4. Shows from Michael Jackson's blockbuster concert on CBS to a Victoria's Secret lingerie fashion show on ABC (which drew the ire of an FCC commissioner) were tossed into weak time periods in an effort to jack up ratings.
CBS may have benefited the most, with the twice delayed Emmys falling into its sweeps lap, Jackson's big ratings and an abundance of other musical specials, including an 'NSync concert.
Through the first 18 days of the November book, Fox had a slim lead over NBC in adults 18-49: Fox had a 5.4 rating/14 share vs. NBC's 5.1/13. CBS led in both total viewers (13.6 million) and households (8.9/14), while ABC was a distant fourth in adults 18-49 (3.9/10) and viewers (10.7 million).
As for the weblets, UPN led The WB by the slightest of margins in the major ratings categories and was up across the board from last season.
Fox was up 32% in households, 34% in total viewers and 17% in adults 18-49 from the same time last year. CBS was up 25% in adults 18-49 and 16% in total viewers.
ABC on the other hand, was down 22% in adults 18-49 and households and 23% in total viewers.
UPN commissioned a dramatic pilot by NYPD Blue creator David Milch about a street hustler who befriends an alien. The project is being considered for fall 2002. ... Cable and syndicated series The Invisible Man is disappearing. Studios USA has canceled the series, which has run on Sci Fi Channel and in first-run syndication since debuting in June 2000. It averaged a 1.8 rating in first-run syndication last season and has averaged 1.8 rating so far this season, according to Nielsen Media Research. ... Richard E. Goldberg has been named Univision's executive vice president of affiliate relations.
New York City's pubcaster WNET-TV marked moving its transmitter back to the Empire State Building on Nov. 22 by rebroadcasting New York: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Accuracy fans will note that WNET tested the transmitter early and actually began anew from the Empire building on Nov. 21 (you won't read that in the Times!). Previously, the station's transmitter had been at the World Trade Center. ... Gerald Levin, AOL Time Warner chief executive officer, gets the first-ever John A. Reisenbach Awardfor Distinguished Citizenship at the 10th Anniversary Gala of the John A. Reisenbach Foundation on Monday, Dec. 3, at New York's Rainbow Room. The foundation gets its name from the late ad-sales executive murdered at a phone booth in Greenwich Village in 1990. Since 1991, it has given $3 million to various New York organizations committed to improving the quality of life in the city.
Notes We Kept
On Nov. 12, the day Dallas-based American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in New York, ABC would not give permission to Belo's WFAA-TV Dallas to pre-empt the ABC halftime show during Monday Night Football for a crash update. American Airlines is the market's largest employer. A Belo executive suggested later that the station might have been better off if it had just pre-empted halftime without asking. News Director David Duitch said that it put together its avails for a 2:04 news break, with no commercials, as a public service. ... The FTC approved NBC's $2.7 billion deal to acquire Telemundo. It still must be approved by the FCC. ... As tipped in BROADCASTING & CABLE earlier, the Television Bureau of Advertising will move its annual conference from Las Vegas (where it shared time with the NAB) to New York, where it has partnered with the New York Auto Show. That's in March. It's pretty here then … The FCC named David Fiske director of media relations; he has been acting director since January.
Mark Miller wrote the decade-by-decade history of broadcasting published in the Nov. 12 issue. ...
In the Nov. 19 issue, in the "Rating the Cable Hits" section, A&E's fifth-ranked show should have been Biography, with a 1.3 rating. ...
On page 41 of the Hall of Fame coverage, the name of late honoree Ted Yates's son was spelled incorrectly. He is Eames Yates.
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