There is something about television that absolutely is true. If a top program brings back a legend of the small screen, the ratings go up. On Friday, CBS brought back one of their all-time stars, Carol Burnett. In a moving performance which automatically made the program softer, kinder and more human, Ms Burnett’s pure presence was humbling for the entire crew of ‘Hawaii Five-O’. This Thanksgiving episode, which was the second highest viewed of the season, had an ending which was both surprising and exceptionally crafted. At 8P, ‘Undercover Boss’ led off CBS’ Friday with 6.86 million viewers. Then ‘Hawaii Five-O’, in a superbly crafted show pulled 9.76 million viewers, an increase of nearly 3 million viewers from its lead-in. However, the king of Friday night, ‘Blue Bloods’ with their own Thanksgiving episode, wrapped 11.70 million viewers into their spell, with the one thing that makes this show so special…the family gathered around the dinning room table in both a reflective view of the past and a peak of hope into the future. On Fridays, right here…right now…we may be just be watching the Golden Age of Friday television programming thanks to The Tiffany Network.
ABC battled all night long for #2. At 8P it led off with ‘Last Man Standing’ and finished #2 in the time period with 6.16 million viewers in one of the most competitive time periods on all of television. At 830P, it dropped badly with ‘The Neighbors’ which lost nearly 2.2 million viewers from its lead-in and finished with 3.97 million. But at 9P, ‘Shark Tank’ pulled The Alphabet Network back into second place with 6.9 milion viewers. The Disney suits have to fix the 830P time slot and they bring a solid position to improve on Friday. At 9P, ’20/20′ held most of its lead-in audience and finished with a 6.5 million total.
NBC boosted its news division on this particular night by running ‘Dateline’ at 8P and puling a very competitive 6.03 million viewers. They followed with a very appropriate ‘Where Were You the Day JFK Died’ hosted by Tom Brokaw with 5.77 million viewers remembering. While it may not win Fridays with this approach, it certainly reinforce it news division which has been maintaining its leadership in the network evening news hour.
Which leads us to an important issue on how the networks are approaching the news. NBC ‘Evening News’ is and has been the #1 news show before the early local news time slot. Brian Williams led off Friday’s telecast with what most would expect…a look back at one of the most earth shattering events in America’s history, the day the President died in Dallas. From the southern most part of Dealey Plaza, he was there and led off the program facing one of ABC’s most powerful local news affiliates, WFAA building. On CBS, Scott Pelley was there as well, making sure the focus of all news began with that historic story. Then there was ABC. Comfortably sitting behind her desk in New York, Diane Sawyer, a former aide to President Nixon, brought us news of the weather (we all understand that when it rains in Phoenix it is a big thing but cars always get stuck in flash floods there), but not to lead with JFK was ignorant and politically prejudicial. Once a bastion of defense of political significance, it is now no better than the E! Channel as pop culture has pervaded its news. It was not unlike the FOX News Channel, which virtually ignored coverage of the event of the last 50 years, showing its complete bias, while focusing on Congressional actions and blaming it on the opposition on the left. CNN led its entire evening with events of that day and reflective of the happenings from around the world, of importance was Piers Morgan’s interview of Clint Hill, the secret service agent often seen in the photos of the day, climbing on a speeding limo carrying the now fatally wounded President to Parkland Hospital, as did MSNBC, which presented an informative program led by Al Sharpton on the role of guns in America during these past 50 years. Point of this is: are we becoming a nation of insignificant information filling bias programming rather than presenting the news of that nation which was transfixed to the events of that day 50 years ago? It is a shame ABC elected to show it non-journalistic qualities and presented its true self as merely an extension of its Disney heritage…entertainment is more important than the news.
FOX brought out ‘Bones’ in its second episode on their new Friday night placement at 8P. It drew million viewers 5.67 million viewers. That may not appear to be a lot but it has really brought the 8P time slot on Friday into a competitive time period. The top four broadcast networks are all with 1.2 million of one another. However, The Animal Network of Broadcast did nothing to help itself with ‘Raising Hope’ at 9P. It could only bring in 2.48 million viewers, a drop of over 3.2 million viewers in a blink of an eye. If FOX wants to be strong on Friday, and it is on its way to do so with the shifting of ‘Bones’ From Monday to Friday, it needs to shore up its 9P time period.
The Discovery Network was the top cable network for the evening with an average viewing audience of 2.589 millions with the top show being ‘Gold Rush’ at 9P with 3.654 milion viewers, ranking #4 on all of television at this hour.
The CW thought it had a night to remember but at 8P, ‘The Carrie Diaries’ had a horrible 720,00-0 viewers which gave little hope for the anticipated premier of the last season of ‘Nikita’ It could only draw 730,000 viewers. It simply was not competitive on Friday. The Little Network That Could didn’t. Understanding its mission of being the network for the younger viewer, it needs to ultimately understand that they are nowhere to be found on Friday nights. Its ‘escape from the drudgery of work night’ for this demo. They have to understand, while remaining true to their mission, they cannot abandon those who got them there in the beginning and who are now older. They are still lesser rebels with memories of ’cause’. Bring them back into the fold on Fridays. Be competitive, not irrelevant.
Late night, ‘Leno’ again was #1 with a 2.9/7; ‘Letterman’ was #2 with a 2.6/7 while ‘Kimmel’ was last with a rerun bringing in a 2.2/6. At 1235A, ‘Fallon’ was #1 with 1.7/5 while ‘Nightline’ finished with a 1.4/4. ‘Ferguson’ had a 1.3/4 for third place. At 135A, ‘Carson Daly’ pulled in 1.0/4 with a rerun. Note to The CW. Bring Carson Daly over to Friday prime and have him do whatever he wants to do for both the prime time hours. He can surely bring undiscovered talent to network television when people are viewing.
For the record, CBS was #1, for the fourth consecutive day by drawing 9.441 million viewers and a rating with a share. It was 6 million increase from last year on this comparable day. ABC was #2 with 6.167 million viewers, an increase of 340,000 over 2012’s comparable numbers; NBC had 5.644 million viewers, an 800,000 increase over 2012; FOX drew 4.016 million, double what it did on the comparative Friday last year thanks completely to ‘Bones’ new placement on the schedule. The Discovery Network was #1 on cable for the evening with an average of 2.589 million viewers while The CW drew an average of 726,000 viewers, 900,000 drop from last year. Telemundo had 0.7/1.
ACROSS THE POND:
Its all about two shows on Friday evening in the UK. And the winner is: BBC One’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ which pulled in 9.2 million viewers. It is 600,000 ahead of last years numbers and has the unqualified lead over ITV’s ‘The X Factor’. ‘X’ finished with 7.6 million viewers on this Friday.
As you can see, no matter where people gather on Friday to watch television, whether it be in the U.S or the UK, people were…
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