NIELSEN WRITES SEASON FINALE
Nielsen closed the books on the 2007-08 broadcast season Wednesday by releasing a list showing how each of the major networks' regular programs fared. Not surprisingly, the top of the list was dominated by the two weekly American Idol telecasts on Fox and the weekly Dancing With the Stars telecasts on ABC that aired on four different nights during the season. Four scripted shows also made it into the top ten: ABC's Desperate Housewives at No. 6; Fox's House at No. 8; CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at No. 9; and Grey's Anatomy at Number 10. Overall, Fox wound up as the top-rated network for the season, thanks mostly to its American Idol numbers, which averaged 28.75 million on Tuesday nights (No. 1) and 27.78 million on Wednesdays (No. 2). CBS slipped to second place after holding the top spot for the previous five years. Fox was also the only network to improve its ratings this year compared with last year. "What catapulted them is probably that they were the least harmed from the writers strike,'' Brad Adgate, research director at Horizon Media told Bloomberg News. "They had a lot of unscripted shows that were not as impacted, like American Idol.
NEW YORK STATION CLAIMS MOST VIEWERS IN U.S.
WABC-TV, ABC's flagship outlet in New York, boasted Thursday that it now attracts more viewers than any other television station in the country. Despite the fact that Fox won the May sweeps nationally and CBS came in second, the ABC-owned station said that its overall ratings were 50 percent greater than its nearest competitor. And while NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams continues to edge out ABC World News With Charles Gibson in the national ratings, the Gibson newscast in New York garners more viewers than Williams's and the CBS Evening New With Katie Couric combined.
ABC TO SHOW HI-DEF VIDEO ON YOUR P.C.
ABC said on Thursday that it has developed a new video player for its websites that, among other things, will allow online viewers to watch its programs full-screen and in high definition. They will also be able to search for particular scenes in the programs by viewing thumbnail pictures. The network said it will debut the video player sometime in the fall but did not provide a date. Albert Cheng, executive vice president of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group said in a statement, "Our desire to continually push the envelope to create 'what's next' delivers a widely accessible, world-class viewing experience to consumers and unparalleled returns to advertisers."
STRIKING CAFETERIA WORKERS APPEAL TO CBS SHAREHOLDERS
Cafeteria workers who are striking Aramark, the company that serves food at CBS's New York headquarters and other corporate facilities, are seeking to gain the attention of the broadcasting company's shareholders in an unusual way. Unite Here Local 100 asked CBS shareholders, who were holding their annual meeting in New York Thursday, to reject CBS's proposed acquisition of CNET for $1.8 billion in cash. In a statement, the union cited critical comments by the Wall Street Journal and several analysts about the take-over. Referring to the union's own strike, Bill Granfield, president of the union local, said, "As CBS presents a rosy outlook for shareholders, it yet again tries to sweep its problems under the rug -- just as it has by refusing to help resolve the strike at its headquarters." Last week the union noted in another statement that while just one 30-second commercial on CBS sells for around $360,000, the combined yearly pay of all 12 cafeteria employees working at CBS headquarters comes to only two-thirds of that amount.