NEW MEXICO A.G. TO PROBE KID NATION
The growing controversy over CBS's reality show Kid Nation, has prompted the New Mexico attorney general to reopen an investigation into whether CBS and the show's producers violated child-labor laws and other welfare rules. Recent reports indicate that several of the show's young contestants were injured in the course of performing dangerous and unsupervised tasks and that their parents were required to sign contracts that essentially suspended their parental rights during the production. Today's (Friday) New York Times also quoted officials of two other state agencies, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and the Department of Workforce Solutions, as saying that state law required that the show be reviewed and licensed but that CBS never contacted them. CBS claims that the children were not paid employees and therefore not subject to state employment rules regarding children. In an interview with today's Los Angeles Times, Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz, which assists child actors, applauded the reopening of the investigation. "I would also hope that the individual states where the kids are from also would also look into truancy issues for each of those children," she said. The controversy is not expected to delay the September 19 debut of Kid Nation.
PERVERTED JUSTICE HEAD FINGERS WIKIPEDIA FOR PEDOPHILIA
The head of Perverted Justice, the group hired by Dateline NBC to lure men seeking sex with minors in front of hidden cameras for its "To Catch a Predator" series, has been barred indefinitely from the Wikipedia website, according to Chatmag News, a website that tracks activities on chat sites. Xavier Von Erck was accused of attempting to remove critical messages concerning his organization and "flaming" critics (accusing some of being pedophiles), and using invectives against critics in violation of rules of the Wikipedia site. Von Erck responded with a commentary on the Perverted Justice website accusing Wikipedia of being "a corporate sex offender" and charging that articles on the site dealing with pedophilia have "been heavily targeted and edited by the online pedophile activist movement."
NIELSEN ADJUSTS RATINGS FIGURES
Nielsen Media Research has once again adjusted its ratings system to reflect changes in the growth of the U.S. population. As of next week, ratings will be based on 112.8 million TV households versus the current 111.3 million, an increase of 1.3 percent. Each ratings point will therefore now represent 1.13 million viewers. In the key 18-49 adults category each rating point will represent 1.31 million viewers (virtually flat with the current number). However, reflecting the aging of the baby-boom generation, the 55-64 demographic group increased by 3.8 percent. Nielsen has also realigned its list of markets by size. In the top ten, two significant changes occurred: Dallas-Fort Worth moved up a notch to fifth place from sixth, changing places with San Francisco-Oakland. Atlanta moved to eighth place from ninth, switching with Washington D.C.
ANCHORWOMAN ALL WASHED UP
Fox's Anchorwoman, blasted by critics and ignored by viewers, has been yanked from the network after just a single episode. Last Wednesday's season debut attracted only 2.7 million viewers. The reality show, in which Lauren Jones, a former female wrestler and model (she was once a "Barker Beauty" on The Price Is Right), attempts to make it as a serious TV journalist at KYTX in Tyler, TX, will continue on the Internet however, on the Fox on Demand website at www.fox.com/fod.
BIG BROTHER TOP TV SHOW WEBSITE
Of more than 100 broadcast TV show websites, CBS's Big Brother was by far the most-visited site, attracting 29.84 percent of the traffic last week, according to a study by Experian's Hitwise online tracking company. Nearing its season finale, America's Got Talent placed second with 12.63 percent. Third was Fox's So You Think You Can Dance with 8.83 percent. All other TV shows attracted less than 5 percent of web traffic, including The Simpsons, which attracted the most traffic last month while The Simpsons Movie was being heavily promoted, but accounted for only 2.11 percent last week (but nevertheless placing eighth on the list).
DVR'S MAY ALTER HOME ENTERTAINMENT, SAYS REPORT
The digital video recorder may alter the television and home-entertainment markets in unforeseen ways, the British TV regulator OFCOM implied in a 330-page study released Thursday. The devices are now in 15 percent of homes in the U.K. (twice the number that existed in 2006), and when owners were asked whether they used them to skips ads in programs they recorded, 78 percent said that they always do or usually do. Another two-thirds of the DVR owners said that they prefer to record movies offered by their cable companies rather than rent DVDs, with 28 percent saying that they watched fewer DVDs since they installed their DVRs.