VIEWERS COME BACK FOR CELTICS' COMEBACK

Viewers may have deserted ABC's telecast of the NBA Finals early on in the game Thursday night when it appeared that the Los Angeles Lakers would blow out the Boston Celtics after taking a 24-point lead. But they returned to the telecast later as the Celtics staged an amazing comeback to beat the Lakers in the fourth game of the series 97-91. In the 9:00 p.m. hour a rerun of CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation actually drew more viewers than the NBA game as it drew a 6.5 rating and an 11 share vs. ABC's 6.1/10. However, in the 10:00 p.m. hour, the NBA game took over the lead with a 7.0/12, making it the night's most-watched program. Ratings were not reported for the post-primetime period after 11:00 p.m.

TWO EMMY GROUPS MAY FACE OFF AGAIN

Raising the possibility of a new set-to between the two organizations that hand out Emmy Awards, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the group that hands out Emmys for daytime, news, documentaries, sports shows, and engineering announced today (Friday) that it plans to launch "a new Global Media Awards program focused on technology and content programming" with the Consumer Electronics Association to take place at the CES convention in Las Vegas in January. Conspicuously absent from the announcement was any mention of the word "Emmy." Last year an arbitration panel sided with the West Coast Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), ruling that NATAS could not hand out Emmys created for broadband. As a result, NATAS was compelled to hand out what it called "special awards" in 13 broadband content categories during its "Tech Emmys" presentation at the CES last January. The Global Media Award will presumably require the creation of a substitute trophy.

DIGITAL SWITCH SPURS TV SALES

The mandatory transition from analog to digital television set to take place on Feb. 17 2009 will likely boost the sales of digital television sets dramatically this year, according to a study by the Consumer Electronics Association. Noting that while sales of other consumer products have slowed, sales of digital TV sets are soaring, with 31 million expected to be purchased this year. The CES said that by the end of the year, about 70 percent of U.S. households will own at least one digital TV set -- up from 50 percent at the end of 2007.

CONSERVATIVES BATTLE POSSIBLE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE RETURN

Conservative activists are demanding a House vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which would prevent any future president from reviving the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC rule that required broadcasters to balance opinions expressed on their airwaves. As reported by CNSNews.com, a unit of the conservative Media Research Center, the author of the bill, Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has gathered 194 signatures out of a required 218 from colleagues to force the bill out of committee, where it has been bottled up, and go to the floor of the House for a vote. "It is dangerous to suggest that the government should be in the business of rationing free speech," Pence told CNS. L. Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, told CNS News, "With ... conservatives finally having their voices heard, liberals desire to shut them up and shut them down by [reinstituting] the Fairness Doctrine."

IRONY GOES VIRAL

A comedy sketch that aired during the MTV Movie Awards in which Ben Stiller, Jack Back and Robert Downey Jr. talk about making a viral video for their upcoming Tropic Thunder movie was pulled off YouTube after it became a viral video itself. According to several tech websites, YouTube removed the video after receiving a "takedown notice" from Viacom, MTV's parent. The takedown was originally reported by the website BeyondMadisonAvenue.com, which commented that it appeared to be "the epitome of irony. A viral video about virals not being allowed to go viral." Viacom, which has sued YouTube for $1 billion alleging copyright infringement, apparently has not demanded that the video be withdrawn from other video websites, including FunnyOrDie.com (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/4a4a8a64ff).

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.