SUPER BOWL NABS GIANT RATINGS -- BUT NO RECORD

The New York Giants' stunning upset defeat of the New England Patriots averaged a 46.4 rating and a 67 share in the Nielsen overnights between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Sunday. The Fox telecast recorded a 34.8/67 among adults 18-49. Approximately 89.10 million viewers tuned in -- well short of the record 94.08 million who watched the 1996 Super Bowl. Few tuned out following the game with Fox's post-game show drawing a 44.0/63. The half-hour of House that aired in primetime between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in most of the country recorded a 23.1/36. The half-time show featuring Tom Petty aired without controversy. The Associated Press remarked, "There were no wardrobe -- or any other kind of -- malfunctions." Commercials were mostly humorous and/or satirical, "a welcome contrast to the angry, off-putting tenor of too many spots in last year's Super Bowl, which were filled with crude and cartoonish violence," commented New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott. However, TV Guide's Matt Roush remarked that the telecast presented "a parade of silly ads, only a few of which are likely to be remembered in a day, a week, let alone a year from now." Meanwhile, CBS announced today (Monday) that it has landed New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning as a guest on David Letterman's show (which originates in New York) tonight. Hillary Clinton is also scheduled for the show.

DEMOCRATIC DEBATE SETS RATINGS RECORD

CNN's telecast of the January 21 Democratic debate was the most-watched presidential primary debate ever broadcast, the cable network said Friday. It was watched in 3.6 million households, according to Nielsen research.

TV NEWS REPORTS LIKELY WRONG ABOUT DOWNS BOMBERS

Cable TV and newspaper accounts that al Qaeda in Iraq had used two women with Downs syndrome to carry out suicide bombings in Baghdad on Friday were being questioned over the weekend by the New York Times and the Associated Press, which said that the reports were based on the appearance of one of the heads of the alleged bombers recovered after the blast. The two news outlets indicated that the head's deformities may have been caused by the blast itself. As reported by Editor and Publisher, the McClatchy newspapers observed that Iraqi authorities have made similar claims in the past about using Down's victims and that authorities have not even determined whether the recent explosions were caused by suicide bombers and might have resulted from hidden bombs. E&P was critical of the news media for reporting the story of the "mentally disabled" bombers "as fact, rather than [as] wild speculation."

$30-MILLION SETTLEMENT IN SUIT AGAINST TV STATION

Spectacular footage of the Rhode Island nightclub fire in which 100 people died may have been obtained by a television cameraman who blocked an exit while filming, thereby preventing patrons from fleeing. Families of survivors have reached a $30-million settlement with the station, WPRI-TV, its owners, LIN-TV, and the cameraman, Brian Butler, the Boston Globe reported Saturday. Butler had strenously denied the charges. Ironically, Butler had been filming a report on nightclub safety at the time the fire broke out. Even more ironically, his footage is being used by other plaintiffs in lawsuits against the owners of the nightclub, who include Jeffrey Derderian, a reporter for WPRI-TV.

CORRECTION:

In Friday's edition we erroneously identified the British soap opera EastEnders as an ITV program. It is broadcast by the BBC.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.