EVEN WITH ALL-RERUNS, CBS WINS
Although it aired a virtually uninterrupted schedule of reruns last week, CBS remained the most-watched network overall. But NBC, the lowest-rated network during the regular season, rose to second place, thanks in large measure to America's Got Talent -- the No. 1 show of the week -- and the Concert for Princess Diana special. Fox also scored strongly with two editions of So You Think You Can Dance and its game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?. ABC, however, was left out in the cold, placing only one show in Nielsen's top 20 -- Wednesday night's unscripted The Next Best Thing, at No. 18. (The finale of Univision's Spanish-language La Fea Mas Bella ranked higher, coming in at No. 15.) In overall ratings for the week, CBS led with an average 4.6 rating and a 9 share; NBC placed second with a 3.7/7. Fox followed with a 3.5/6, while ABC trailed with a 3.0/6.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. America's Got Talent, NBC, 7.2/13; 2. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 6.6/11; 3. CSI: Miami, CBS, 6.2/11; 4. So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday), Fox, 6.0/10; 4. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 6.0/10; 6. Law and Order: SVU, NBC, 5.9/10; 6. Concert for Diana, NBC, 5.9/11; 6. So You Think You Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 5.9/10; 9. NCIS, CBS, 5.8/11; 10. CSI: NY, CBS, 5.7/10; 10. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Fox, 5.7/11.
ABC'S NEWSCAST BEATS NBC'S FOR FIRST TIME IN A DECADE
ABC's World News With Charles Gibson was the top-rated nightly news program from April through June, beating out the traditional winner, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. It was the first quarterly win for an ABC newscast since 1997. The ABC program averaged 7.99 million viewers during the quarter, nearly a half-million more than NBC's (7.54 million) and nearly two million more than the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric (6.13 million).
BBC REPORTER RELEASED IN GAZA
BBC reporter Alan Johnston, the only Western reporter working in the Gaza Strip when he was abducted last March, was freed by his captors early today (Wednesday). Reports depicted Johnston's release as an outcome of the takeover of the area by Hamas last month. In an article about the matter appearing on its website today (Wednesday), the New York Times commented: "The release of Mr. Johnston was an important goal for Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, in its efforts to secure international credibility." In a brief telephone interview with the BBC, Johnston described his experience as "really grim," adding that at one point, when he became very ill, "I had the feeling that they would watch television while the British guy died in the other room."
FOX COMMENTATOR SAYS NBC GIVING GORE "UNEQUAL TIME"
Fox commentator John Gibson has accused NBC of giving Al Gore an "outright gift of unequal time" by airing next week's Live Earth concerts. Organizers of the concerts have partnered with Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection to help "raise awareness of climate change." In a commentary Gibson asks whether NBC's telecast doesn't "constitute a political contribution of free airtime? Do the people who want the return of the Fairness Doctrine think NBC should be forced to give equal time to me and let me argue against Al Gore? I don't think so." Several Democratic legislators have called for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine, citing the overwhelmingly conservative leanings of talk-radio hosts and Fox News commentators.