CBS SCORES WITH MARCH MADNESS
An overrun of CBS's coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament knocked CBS's programs out of their usual half-hour blocks Sunday night, but the network nevertheless dominated ratings for the night, averaging an 8.8 rating and a 14 share, while its nearest competitor, NBC, settled for a 5.1/8. ABC finished close behind with a 5.0/8, while Fox trailed with a 3.4/5. CBS dominated in every half hour, beginning at 7:00 p.m. when basketball and the first part of 60 Minutes scored an 8.3/15. The network's ratings ticked upwards throughout the night, ending at 10;00 p.m. with a 10.0/17 for the ending of Cold Case and the beginning of Without a Trace. In the same hour, by contrast, NBC's The Apprentice drew an abysmal 4.6/8.
NEW YORK TV STATION GETS EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF MELEE
By being at the right place at the wrong time, WCBS-TV, CBS's flagship station in New York City, was able to capture an angry melee that erupted Sunday night during a high-school basketball game at Madison Square Garden and spread to the streets. Boasting that it had exclusive coverage of the often bloody brawls involving hundreds of fans, police, and passersby, the station aired some of the footage on its late-night newscast and posted it on its website later. It reported that 21 arrests had been made but that the number could grow higher when a final count came in today (Monday).
FIRST THREE-WAY TIE ON JEOPARDY
For the first time in its 23-year history, Jeopardy! ended in a three-way tie Friday, with three contestants each finishing with $16,000 in winnings. A mathematician contacted by CBS TV Distribution put the odds of such an occurrence at one in 25 million. All three contestants were declared winners and will participate in a rematch set to air today (Monday).
CAROL BURNETT NOT AMUSED BY FAMILY GUY PARODY
Carol Burnett has filed a $6-million lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting, charging that the network infringed on her copyright and misappropriated her likeness when it included an animated version of her cleaning woman character on its animated sitcom Family Guy. Burnett objected to an 18-second scene in which the character, working in a porn shop to "keep it clean," tugs her earlobe while a bit of music resembling the theme from Burnett's variety show is played. She said in the filing that she had previously rejected a request by the show's producers to use the actual music. Responding to the lawsuit, Fox observed that Family Guy frequently includes pop-culture parodies, adding, "We are surprised that Ms. Burnett, who has made a career of spoofing others on television, would go so far as to sue Family Guy for a simple bit of comedy."
HAPPY 50TH, GUMBY
Fifty years to the day after The Gumby Show debuted on March 16, 1957, DMGI, a distributor of digital Internet programming, has announced that it has concluded deals that will provide 200 Gumby episodes to Google, AOL, and YouTube. The company, which licensed the material from Classic Media and Premavision, said in a statement that Gumby's online appearance will mark the first time the series has been seen in its original format in more than 20 years. The first Gumby video debuted on some of the sites on Friday.
CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC? PROGRAM YOUR TIVO FROM YOUR CAR
Commuters will now be able to decide what programs they want their TiVo DVRs to record for them while they're away by consulting program listings on their cellphones -- if they're customers of Verizon Wireless. Verizon and TiVo announced Friday that the service is now available for a #1.99 monthly fee. TiVo marketing exec Jim Denney said in a statement Friday, "TiVo Mobile scheduling gives Verizon Wireless customers unprecedented control of their television experience and provides that control wherever they are."