REPORT: WGA GOT COPIES OF SUSPECTED SCAB'S EMAIL
In looking into allegations that one of its members was scabbing during last year's strike, the Writers Guild of America received copies of the member's email that were illegally obtained by an informant, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Wednesday). Jonathan Prince, a WGA member for 20 years, told the newspaper that he believes he was singled out because of his opposition to the union's leadership. He claimed that he was unaware that his email had been accessed without authorization until a few days before his trial when the WGA presented some of the evidence against him to his attorney. "Someone without my permission continually invaded my personal and private e-mails, forwarded them to the guild as a smoking gun, and the guild never once alerted me," Prince said. Asked during the trial why Prince was not informed that his email was being intercepted, WGA board member Dan Wilcox replied that he had no obligation to do so, inasmuch as the "activity that was being alleged is the kind that would be concealed anyway. And if someone was in a position to share the information on it with us, even if that meant getting what was meant to be a private transmission, I thought it was appropriate for us to see it." Prince was later cleared of wrongdoing.
CBS LOOKS DOWN AGAIN ON ITS RIVALS
CBS continued to dominate the ratings last week among both overall households and younger viewers, with its NCIS holding the top spot for the fourth week in a row and the spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles scoring the best ratings for a new show for a fourth time. According to Nielsen Media Research, it was the first time that a network has had the same No. 1 show and No. 1 new show for each of the first four weeks of the season since 1998 when NBC did so with E.R. and Jesse. A handful of other new series also showed promise, particularly ABC's Modern Family and Cougar Town and NBC's Mercy. For the week, CBS averaged a 7.5 rating and a 12 share. ABC placed second with a 5.8/10. Fox was third with a 4.8/8, while NBC trailed with a 4.7/8. Among the nightly newscasts, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams widened its lead against ABC World News with Charles Gibson by a count of 8.8 million viewers to 7.7 million. CBS Evening News with Katie Couric remained far behind with 5.2 million. Meanwhile, Sports Business Daily reported Tuesday that ratings for post-season baseball on cable and broadcast TV are up 13 percent from last year.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. NCIS, CBS, 12.9/20; 2. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 10.9/17; 3. Dancing with the Stars, ABC, 10.8/16; 4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 9.7/15; 4. (Tie) The Mentalist, CBS, 9.7/16; 4. (Tie) NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 9.7/15; 7. 60 Minutes, CBS, 9.2/14; 8. Dancing with the Stars Results, ABC, 9.1/14; 9. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 8.9/14; 10. CSI: NY, CBS, 8.8/15.
OPRAH LANDS PALIN FOR "WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW"
No doubt aware of Oprah Winfrey's influence when it comes to book sales, former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has agreed to give Winfrey a "world exclusive interview" on Nov. 16, a day before the official publication of her memoir Going Rogue: An American Life. Palin's decision was all the more stunning given the fact that last year she turned down an invitation by Winfrey, who had supported Barack Obama during the election campaign. Although many critics had predicted that Winfrey's ratings would take a hit because of her political stand, they are actually up 15 percent from the same period last year -- to 7.4 million viewers. By contrast, NBC's Today show averages about 5.1 million viewers, while ABC's Good Morning America averages about 3.7 million.
GE CHIEF INDICATES HE'S NOT ANXIOUS TO PART WITH NBC
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has let it be known that he's in no big hurry to make a deal that would hand off a controlling stake in NBC Universal to Comcast. Without referring directly to the ongoing negotiations with the cable-TV operator, Immelt told a San Francisco industry conference on Tuesday that he was "totally OK" with holding on to NBC Universal. "I like NBC-U," he said. "We've run it a long time. Financially the business is running in line with its peers." He suggested that any deal to sell off control of the broadcast and movie company would not be motivated by a need for cash but to energize NBC, which has languished in the ratings. Earlier in the day Comcast chief Brian Roberts sidestepped a question about the NBC-U negotiations. "If there's an opportunity, whether it's the one you are talking about or other, our philosophy is it's prudent to think about it, look at it, and beyond that we have to just wait and see," Roberts said.