FOOTBALL PUMMELS SUNDAY RIVALS
Sunday night was again dominated by football, beginning with an overrun on CBS at 7:00 p.m. that drew 17.5 million viewers. NBC took over the ball at 8:00 p.m. with Football Night in America, followed by the game between Indianapolis and Arizona, which averaged 13.48 million viewers, peaking in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour with 15.68 million viewers. CBS placed second for the night with 11.72 million viewers, coming out ahead of ABC with 10.09 million and Fox with 7.48 million.
CBS IN DEAL WITH FOREIGN-NEWS WEBSITE
CBS News, which ordinarily maintains a firm independence, has formed an alliance with a relatively new website that focuses on foreign news, the New York Times reported today (Monday). The website, GlobalPost.com, will reportedly provide information on which CBS reporters could base future stories. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Having a broadcast network partner was a high priority for us, and to be associated with CBS News is a great validation of what we are trying to build," GlobalPost founder Philip Balboni told the Times in a phone call. "We hope to become an important source of international news for Americans, and this partnership is a big step in that direction." The newspaper said that at least in the beginning, GlobalPost would provide only information, and its reporters will not appear on camera.
SNL NEWCOMER LETS LOOSE AN F-BOMB
A new member of the Saturday Night Live cast drew some unwanted attention over the weekend as she blurted out the F-word during a sketch. The sketch, "Biker Chick Chat," saw female bikers talking tough to each other during a parody of a talk show, substituting the word "freakin'" for the verbotten one. However, at one point in the sketch newcomer Jenny Slate was to say, "You know what? You stood up for yourself and I freakin' love you for that." Only, in this instance, she didn't use the word "freakin'." As soon as the word escaped, Slate puffed up her cheeks and the sketch concluded without an additional F-bomb. While use of the word in any program is barred by NBC, it does not violate FCC rules if it is used after 10:00 p.m.
MICHAEL MOORE CLAIMS CBS CANCELED HIM
Michael Moore claimed on Sunday that CBS had canceled his appearance on The Early Show scheduled for this morning (Monday). In a posting on Twitter, Moore said: "Backlash Begins: CBS has cancelled [sic] me on its Mon. morning show. After I criticized ABC/Disney on GMA, they didn't want me to do same to CBS." Moore was referring to his interview with Chris Cuomo last week on ABC's Good Morning America in which he took ABC to task for its policy of hiring "permalancers" -- essentially full-time employees who are classified as freelancers, making them ineligible for the benefits that other employees receive. Cuomo appeared to validate Moore's remarks, saying, "You demonstrate the question very well in the new movie [Capitalism: A Love Story]. ... People will get where you're coming from." Late Sunday, CBS denied Moore's claim that his appearance had been canceled, saying, "Michael Moore was never booked on The Early Show."
ITALIAN TV STATIONS SHUN MOVIE ABOUT BERLUSCONI'S POWER
The decision by Italian state-run broadcaster RAI to ban advertising for Erik Gandini's award-winning documentary Videocracy has, in the words of Daily Variety, "fueled suspicions that [Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi was leaning" on the network to do his bidding. In a statement, RAI said that its three networks had refused to air the ads or promote the movie because "it is too much critical towards the Italian government." The documentary explores Berlusconi's use of television to achieve power over the last 30 years. His Mediaset network had already refused to air ads for the film, which won a documentary prize at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. In a recent interview with the online indieWIRE, Gandini remarked, ""Italy is probably the only country in the world where celebrity/TV and political power is merged together in the person of Silvio Berlusconi."