Daily Marauder

November 15, 2008, 12:09 AM
Filed under: BROADCAST/CABLE | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Bravo’s “Top Chef” is cooking with gas now: The debut Wednesday night of its fifth season drew the largest premiere audience in the show’s history. According to the network, the show attracted 2.7 million viewers, a 19% increase over last year and the biggest cable audience for its time slot. Broadcasting & Cable (11/13)


U.S. president-elect Barack Obama has agreed to give his first post-election interview to “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft. The interview includes future first lady Michelle Obama and is to take place on Friday in Chicago. The interview is scheduled to air Sunday. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/13/60minutes/main4599840.shtml 11/13)


Midway through the November 2008 sweeps, three U.S. broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — are sharing leadership. While CBS ranks as the most-watched, all three networks are down year-to-year. The biggest loser is Fox, which ranks fourth in three of the four surveyed categories. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/national-broadcast/e3ic9c6a9c4030ca00ae7f93ea22f3855cc 11/13)


Media shares, already battered by months of shrinking consumer confidence, are at multi-year lows and prime for an investor buying spree. The bottom looks imminent, according to one analyst. Media stocks “are very, very cheap. These are very significant buying opportunities.” (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUSN1152810320081114 11/14)

Rivals NBC and Fox have unveiled a local television news-sharing plan that promises to reduce the number of reporters, trucks and helicopters assigned to cover major events — and could grow into a nationwide effort to slash one of the biggest costs for most TV stations. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2008-11-13-fox-nbc-local-tv-news_N.htm 11/13)

The FCC said it would do everything possible to keep secret per-subscriber rate information it is seeking from cable providers as part of the commission’s inquiry into moving certain channels from analog to digital tiers. NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow, however, expressed concern that the information could be leaked inadvertently or otherwise, therefore exposing the fees providers pay programmers. Broadcasting & Cable (11/13)

Time Warner Cable has announced a $2 billion public debt offering to help finance a special dividend to be paid just before the company separates from its parent, Time Warner. If the separation is not completed, the company will use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes.” (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081113/time_warner_cable_debt_offering.html 11/13)

Cablevision announced Thursday that it had started offering Bollywood programming on its iO video-on-demand platform. The cable provider plans to present about 25 South Asian films each month, both new releases and classics, on Bollywood Hits On Demand, the company’s first international VOD programming option. Multichannel News (11/13)

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Barack Obama‘s paid political half-hour on Wednesday from 8-830p collectively drew in 33.5 million viewers. The special aired on seven networks: CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. NBC had the most total viewers at 9.78 million, followed by CBS at 8.6 million, FOX at 7.14 million, then MSNBC at 3.54 million, Univision at 3.47 million, with BET at 714,000 and TV One at 307,000. Also, the 30-minute special posted an overall HH rating of 21.7 in the top 56 local markets, according to MediaBuyerPlanner. (Cynopsis 10/31)

A Wednesday night appearance by Sen. Barack Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” attracted 3.6 million viewers, beating the show’s previous high of 2.9 million people who tuned in Oct. 8 to see Jon Stewart interview Michelle Obama. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , Broadcasting & Cable (10/30

John McCain is said to be planning to make a guest appearance on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the last live episode before the election. A rep for the show won’t confirm or deny the visit. A McCain source says: “It’s really his last chance to appeal to younger voters.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27460429 10/31)

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), sent a letter yesterday to the heads of seven networks, asking them to not name the new president-elect next Tuesday until all voting polls have closed at 10p ET for the benefit of West Coast voters, reports Variety. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Wednesday’s Game 5 of the World Series on FOX ended up being the final game with the Phillies winning the coveted trophy. The game averaged a 6.2 A18-49 rating and 19.8 million total viewers from 8:40-1010p, according to Variety. The World Series postgame show from 10-1030p drew in a 3.6 A18-49 rating and 10.5 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/31)

With nearly 260 episodes in the can, Fox has decided this will be the last season for King of the Hill.  There are 13 episodes still to go before the “finale.”  “Finale”? Why the quotes?  Because this show has had its finale before … only to be resurrected.  So it remains to be seen if it will stay cancelled this time. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Courteney Cox and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence are working together on a new 30m comedy for ABC called Cougar Town. ABC has okayed a single-camera pilot produced by ABC Studios. Cox will executive produce with Lawrence and star as a 40-year old mom who is newly single and based on the title is presumably on the hunt for younger men. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Hip-hop star/actor/writer Ice Cube has a one-hour untitled action comedy under development for NBC, per Variety. Cube will write the buddy cop comedy and executive produce with his production partner Matt Alvarez. (Cynopsis 10/31)

NBC Universal’s Bravo is picking up a new U.S. fashion design creative competition series called “The Fashion Show,” in which the winner is chosen by viewers. Bravo’s previous fashion-designer show “Project Runway” is in the midst of a struggle as it plans a move to Lifetime. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/10/30/Bravo_picks_up_new_Fashion_Show/UPI-33301225416834 10/30)

NBC is developing another novel handing a script commitment to Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton for a 60m drama, reports THR. Universal Media Studios will produce about a female protagonist whose story line is decided by readers at the end of each chapter. The book begins with the female character deciding on college or travel after graduating from high school leading to 150 potential endings. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said that the current global economic turmoil may force the company to alter its plans to spin off Liberty Entertainment, which includes, among other assets, premium cable network Starz Entertainment. Greg Maffei, chief executive officer of Liberty Media, said it was “imaginable” that the unit would not be spun off at all. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (10/31) , The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , OneTRAK (10/30)

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