The future of Friday Night Lights looked increasingly dim after the NBC show failed to attract much attention from viewers when, as a test, it was moved to the 10:00 p.m. time period Monday night. Although its competition was a rerun of CSI: Miami, Lights drew only a 5.7 rating and a 10 share. (The CSI: Miami repeat registered a 10.4/17.) The figure was particularly disappointing considering the fact that Lights had Heroes, perhaps the biggest new hit of the current season, as its lead-in. (Heroes scored a 9.7/14 in the 9:00 hour.) Moreover, the previous occupant of the spot, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, also believed to be on the verge of cancellation, pulled a 6.3/10 in the same time period last week.
BIG-THREE NETWORKS DRAW BIG SUNDAY AUDIENCES
NFL football continued to generate solid ratings for NBC Sunday night, as the contest between Dallas and Carolina produced a 12.4 rating and a 19 share, roughly the average rating that the football telecasts have produced over the first eight weeks of the season. Still, CBS and ABC had much to boast about on Sunday, too. CBS scored the overall highest average of any network for the night, with 60 Minutes drawing a 13.2/21 in the first hour. And ABC nailed the highest rating of any network for the night with Desperate Housewives, which scored a 13.9/20.
COURIC SAYS CBS NEWSCAST UNDERGOING ADJUSTMENTS
Katie Couric is maintaining that neither she nor anyone else at CBS is disappointed with her current third-place ranking in the ratings. In an interview with today's (Tuesday) USA Today, Couric said, "Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will The CBS Evening News. It's a process, and being in the middle of the process, while it's sometimes challenging and can be frustrating, that's really in many ways the fun part." As for dropping the daily Free Speech feature last Thursday, Couric maintained that it was not being dropped -- that it was suspended for one day only to allow additional time for her interview with Michael J. Fox. "We never said it was going to run every night," Couric said. "We said from the outset that we're going to try new things and we may adjust and reevaluate."
BROKAW TO RETURN FOR ELECTION COVERAGE
Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw will return to the live TV news beat next Tuesday when he becomes a "special correspondent" during NBC's "Decision 2006" coverage of the midterm elections. A news release from the network on Monday did not specify how Brokaw would be contributing to the coverage on election day. It did indicate that he would be returning to his old stomping grounds, the Today show on Wednesday to provide analysis of the results with Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert.
COMEDY CENTRAL CLIPS RETURN TO YOUTUBE
Despite reports that YouTube had taken down thousands of clips of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert after receiving a demand to do so from Comedy Central, thousands of other clips still remained, Reuters reported on Monday. The wire service said that Viacom, Comedy Central's corporate parent, was continuing to hold discussions with YouTube about a deal that could see the purged clips restored on the site. Indeed, today's (Tuesday) New York Post said that all but the longer clips from the Stewart and Colbert shows were now being allowed. CBS, which had been part of the Viacom family until the company split in half earlier this year, already has a deal in place with YouTube, allowing the website to offer some of the network's most popular programs. Meanwhile, the social-networking site MySpace said Monday that it will not wait to hear from copyright owners before removing unauthorized material and would use a "file filtering application" from a company called Gracenote to hunt down such material and pull it off.
FOX NEWS USING TV-CAMERA-IN-A-PDA
Fox News Channel has been working with Mayfield Heights, OH-based Comet Video to develop PDA-sized video cameras capable of providing broadcast-quality news coverage, Broadcasting & Cable reported on its website Monday. According to the trade publication, Fox became intrigued with the devices after they were demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January using the Palm Treo Smartphone. Since then, FNC's director of field operations, Ben Ramos, has been working with Comet to refine the specifications of the unit's transmitters and receivers to raise them to broadcast acceptability.