NBC which promoted the fact that it finally had its first $1-million winner for its Deal or No Deal Monday night, dominated the ratings with an average 7.1 rating and an 11 share from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Unfortunately it lost half its audience at 9:00 p.m. for the second week of America's Toughest Jobs, which came in at a 4.5/7. NBC also led the broadcast networks in coverage of the Republican National Convention at 10:00 p.m., scoring a 3.8/7. CBS was second with a 2.8/5, edging out ABC with a 2.6/4.
CNN BEATS THE BROADCASTERS IN DNC COVERAGE
For the first time in its history, CNN last Thursday drew more viewers for its coverage of a news event than its broadcast network rivals. The event was Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. In a an interview with the TVNewser website, CNN (U.S.) President Jon Klein said, "We're glad we were number one. We think we deserved to be, and we'll continue to try to earn those numbers moving forward." (In 2004, Fox News Channel beat the broadcast networks three times during its coverage of the Republican National Convention.") Nielsen research said Monday that 30.23 million viewers tuned in to the convention, about half of whom were older than 55. Among young voters 18-34, only 4.72 million tuned in. Meanwhile, on Monday, the first day of the RNC, CNN was attempting to cover landfall of Hurricane Gustav as well as revelations that GOP vice-presidential choice Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant and that Palin had hired an attorney to represent her in a probe of the firing of her public safety commissioner in Alaska. From its coverage, it was hard to tell whether the political or the climatic storm was producing the most damage. Indeed, the two sometimes crossed paths. On the floor of the convention, delegates and speakers led by Laura Bush and Cindy McCain urged viewers to donate money for hurricane relief. On CNN host Anderson Cooper indicated that he would probably return from New Orleans to St. Paul sometime today (Tuesday) if things remained relatively calm in the wake of the storm.
ROEPER TO REVIVE MOVIE REVIEW SHOW
Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper has told Broadcasting and Cable magazine that he plans to announce shortly that he will be reviving the movie review show that he hosted with colleague Roger Ebert for Disney's Buena Vista Productions. "There's room in the marketplace for a continuation of the most successful and the longest-running movie-review show in TV history: the show that was Siskel & Ebert, and then became Ebert & Roeper some eight years ago," he told the trade publication. He said that it remains to be seen whether Ebert will contribute to the show -- he is presently unable to speak as a result of complications from surgery -- or allow his copyrighted "thumbs up/thumbs down" critical designation to be used on the show.
MASTER VOICE-OVER ACTOR LAFONTAINE DEAD AT 68
Don LaFontaine, whose voice was heard on thousands of TV commercials and a significant percentage of all movie trailers -- an estimated 5,000 -- died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68. The cause of death was not disclosed. At one time or another he was also the voice of all the major broadcast networks as well as TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network. His website observed that by "conservative estimates, he has voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots." Entertainment Tonight said on its own website that "based on contracts signed, he may have been the single busiest actor in the history of SAG (the Screen Actors Guild)."