FOOTBALL A BIG WINNER FOR CBS, NBC
An over-run of NFL football that drew 24.20 million viewers was all it took to give CBS an overall household victory in Sunday night's ratings. NBC was also buoyed by football coverage as its primetime Sunday Night Football coverage of the New York Giants/Philadelphia Eagles contest averaged 15.79 million viewers. CBS's 60 Minutes, which was delayed a half hour by the game, was the second-highest-rated show of the night, capturing 17.67 million viewers. Football continues to be the one bright spot on NBC's schedule. On Friday, its new Lipstick Jungle, already a flop on Wednesday night, drew just 3.2 million viewers on its new night.
YOUTUBE TO PRODUCE FIRST ONLINE SHOW
YouTube plans to compete directly with broadcast and cable networks by presenting a live event on Nov. 22 that will be streamed internationally via a dedicated channel on its website, Broadcasting & Cable reported today (Monday). The trade publication commented: "The event will be the first program ever to be streamed on YouTube, though assuming it is successful, it will not likely be the last." B&C described the program as "equal parts concert, party and variety show" and said it will feature some of the personalities and celebrities who have "gone viral" on the site.
WILL OPRAH QUIT IN 2011?
Oprah Winfrey's company quickly dashed speculation that she will end her syndicated show when her current contract expires in 2011. The speculation was touched off when Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said on Friday that he expected Winfrey to terminate her deal with CBS Television Distribution, which syndicates The Oprah Winfrey Show, and focus her attention on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), the cable and Internet company that Discovery plans to launch with the talk show host next year. "The expectation is that ... her show will go off of ABC in syndication and she will come to OWN," Zaslav said during a conference call with analysts. (Although her show airs on ABC, CBS, which acquired King World, its original distributor, currently syndicates the show.) But within hours of Zaslav's comments becoming public, Harpo Productions, Winfrey's production company, issued a statement saying that she "has not made a final decision as to whether she will continue her show in syndication beyond" 2011.
LOOKING FOR CLUES TO SOPRANOS ENDING IN NEW SET
The entire six seasons of the Sopranos, together with 3.5 hours of bonus materials and music CDs, are being released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday -- but those hoping to find clues about the controversial conclusion of the series will be out of luck, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Monday). In an interview with the newspaper, David Chase, the creator of the series, said, "Every time I say anything about the ending, I just make things worse." The Times noted that Chase later called back to explain: "You asked if I wanted to comment about the ending and I said, 'I don't want to make things worse.' ... But then I thought, 'Well, worse for who?' It's not worse for me. There are just people who want this closure and I don't have that." The Times said that the Sopranos package of 33 discs comes in a black linen box, weighs 10 pounds, and is priced at $399.99.
A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER?
Hoping to attract some of its original fans, producers of NBC's Knight Rider are revamping its scripts and dropping three regular cast members, the Hollywood Reporter reported today (Monday). The trade publication quoted producer Gary Scott Thompson as calling the changes a "reboot." He said, "We're moving away from the terrorist-of-the-week formula and closer to the original, making it a show about a man and his car going out and helping more regular people, everymen." He disclosed that cast members Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Yancey Arias and Bruce Davison will leave the show and that it will now focus on the characters played by Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo, Paul Campbell and Smith Cho.
MANY CONSUMERS THINK ALL TV WILL BE IN HDTV COME FEBRUARY
Nearly a third of all consumers who have purchased high-definition television sets are under the impression that all TV programs will be available in HDTV once the switch to digital television occurs on February 17, according to a study by Frank N. Magid Associates. In a statement, Jill Rozengard Hill, a senior vice president with the research company, said that it is likely that those consumers will be disappointed when they discover that "a significant amount of programming will still come to them in traditional standard definition."