SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE DOESN'T MISS A BEAT
The new season of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance debuted Wednesday night with an average of 8.70 million viewers tuning in to the two-hour telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research. The show appears to have lost little of its popularity from last year, down just 2.4 percent from its 2008 season debut -- a percentage deemed statistically insignificant. The dance contest placed first during each half-hour of the first two hours of primetime Wednesday and gave Fox a win for the night. But ABC's reality show Wipeout gave Dance a run for its money however, posting an average of 8.42 million viewers. On the other hand, NBC's I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, offered little competition, as it averaged just 4.71 million viewers during the same two hours. During those hours, CBS aired comedy reruns, then took over first place at 10:00 p.m. with a rerun of CSI: NY, which drew 7.99 million viewers.
CNN CO-FOUNDER BLASTS CNN INTERVIEW WITH ACCUSED KILLER
Reese Schonfeld has blasted CNN, the cable news network he co-founded with Ted Turner, for "giving alleged abortion murderers a platform." In a commentary posted on the Huffington Post blog, Schonfeld maintained that CNN's jailhouse interview with Scott Roeder, the man accused of murdering Wichita Dr. George Tiller, gave him the opportunity to justify the crime of which he is accused. "What other journalistic institution would race to be the first to give an [accused] murderer a platform from which to boast about any murder, whether he committed it or not?" Roeder did not appear on camera, but he was interviewed by a CNN reporter via phone through security glass at Sedgwick County Jail. Schonfeld said the interview reminded him of an interview he once conducted with American Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell, which, he said, was censored by his editor,who felt that it would encourage others who shared Rockwell's beliefs. "He taught me a lesson," Schonfeld wrote. "You don't have to print everything anybody says, particularly if it comes from a nut-job. And that applies even if it's a story that will get you a lot of attention." Schonfeld concluded by remarking that if Fox News had aired the same interview, "there'd be a lot of yelling and screaming about it. I think CNN should suffer the same fate."
TELEMUNDO SAYS ITS RATINGS HAVE SOARED
NBC Universal-owned Telemundo, the No.2-ranked Spanish-language TV network in the U.S. after Univision, boasted today (Thursday) that during the month of May it recorded its best ratings ever. Among adults 18-49, it showed a 25 percent audience growth over May of 2008 overall and 34 percent in Monday-Friday primetime. At the same time, it noted, No. 1-rated Univision saw an 8-percent drop in its audience. The network also said that visitors to its website, www.telemundo.com, rose 72 percent from January.
NBC NEWS TO DEBUT AFRICAN-AMERICAN-ORIENTED WEBSITE
NBC News is launching a website devoted to stories affecting the African-American community, NBC News Senior Vice President Adam Jones announced Wednesday. The website, dubbed TheGrio.com, is being mounted in partnership with Three Part Media LLC, founded by David Wilson, whose documentary, Meeting David Wilson, tracking his family's history from slavery to the present, was featured on MSNBC last year. "This collaboration led to the idea of leveraging NBC News resources and David's editorial talents to create a daily news website that would target the interests and concerns of African American consumers," said Jones. Wilson said that the website plans to provide video reports that appeal to African-Americans "but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets."
AUSTRALIAN TV EXEC REMOVED FOLLOWING CONTROVERSIAL SKIT
The head of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Arts, Entertainment & Comedy unit has been removed from her post in the wake of the public uproar over a satirical sketch broadcast on the ABC's The Chaser's War on Everything. The sketch sent up the Make a Wish Foundation, which raises funds to make the dreams of children suffering from terminal diseases come true. In a statement, the ABC's managing director, Mark Scott, said, "The segment should not have been broadcast. ... We recognize that it caused unnecessary and unreasonable hurt and offense to our viewers ... We have determined this was not a breakdown in our editorial policy processes but rather an error of judgment." Duthie has acknowledged that she approved the sketch. The Chaser, the satirical group that is featured on the show, issued a statement of its own apologizing for the sketch but also expressing disagreement over the decision to fire Duthie. "The piece was a very black sketch, obviously too black, and we're really sorry for the significant pain and anger we have caused," the group said.