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Feb 22, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Friday, Feb. 22, at 12:20 p.m. (PT); last updated at 1:55 p.m.

Women’s figure skating final powers NBC to series-best ratings victory

NBC looked as if it landed a quadruple salchow without a hitch. The women’s figure skating finals of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics powered the Peacock to an Olympics series-best 26.8 rating/41 share household average and 43.3 million total viewers for its 8 p.m. to 12:03 a.m. (ET) broadcast Thursday night, according to final Nielsen Media Research national data. Among NBC’s core adults 18 to 49 demographic, the Olympics telecast averaged a 15.9/39, also surpassing the Feb. 3 opening ceremonies for the winter games (15.4/37).

On day 14 of its Olympics coverage, NBC’s 25.0/37 household average for just the 8 to 11 p.m. portion of prime time marked the best Thursday night delivery of any network since NBC’s series finale of “Seinfeld” (35.2/51) on May 14, 1998. The 26.8 rating for the entire Olympics telecast also ties the similar Thursday telecast of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics on July 25, 1996. NBC’s overall household score last night marked a 16 percent increase the 23.2/38 for the comparable women’s figure skating finals of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan (on Feb. 20, 1998).

Through 14 days of the Olympics (Feb. 8-Feb. 21), NBC is averaging an 19.3 rating in households-about 13 percent ahead of the 17.0 rating it had projected to advertisers. NBC’s 11.2 rating average in adults 18 to 49 is also said to be 12 to 24 percent above the 9.0 to 10.0 ratings it guaranteed to ad buyers as well.

Although NBC’s averages in households and adults 18 to 49 is pacing 18 percent and 24 percent ahead of CBS’s telecast of the 1998 Winter Olympics from Nagano, Japan, it was still down by double-digits versus the Eye’s 1994 and 1992 games in Lillehammer, Norway, and Albertville, France, respectively. Much of those comparative decreases could also be attributed to the historical erosion in broadcast network viewing shares as the channel options increase in the cable TV universe.

Six more stations sign on for Twentieth’s ‘Good Day Live’: Twentieth Television’s slow rollout for its “Good Day Live” strip is growing faster by the month. The distributor has now added six additional stations, with WTTG-TV in Washington, WJBK-TV in Detroit, KRIV-TV in Houston, WJW-TV in Cleveland, KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City and WBRC-TV in Birmingham, Ala., now onboard. The new stations will first air the show beginning March 18. The move nearly doubles the total stations that now air the program.

Twentieth executives have opted to expand the series’ presence due to strong numbers, particularly in Los Angeles, where the fledgling strip now ranks as the highest rated daytime program among women 18 to 34 with a 3.2 score during January and doubles the demographic of its closest competitor in its time slot.

Columbia TriStar’s ‘Pyramid,’ ‘Shipmates’ and ‘Sanders’ gain N.Y. clearances: Columbia TriStar Domestic Television has cleared three shows on Fox owned-and-operated WNYW-TV, New York. New game show “$100,000 Pyramid” will get a double run on the station. “Pyramid” now carries an 88 percent clearance with the cash-plus-barter deal.

The distributor also renewed rookie relationship strip “Shipmates” on the station, joining other Fox O&Os in cities that include Los Angeles. The rookie is now cleared in 85 percent of the country for a sophomore season. WNYW also picked up weekend runs of “The Larry Sanders Show” from the syndicator.

KTTV news van crashes in Los Angeles: A Fox-owned, KTTV, Los Angeles, news van flipped over and crashed just outside Electronic Media’s Los Angeles offices Friday around noon. The truck was totaled as well as the equipment inside. Henry Chua, the engineer who operated the truck, was taken to nearby Cedars Sinai Hospital, where he is expected to be kept overnight for observations. Mr. Chua had indicated that the truck’s brakes may not have been working correctly, although the station said it regularly services the trucks. KTTV General Manager Dave Boylan would not comment, except to say they are investigating the accident.

UPN may pick up CBS’s cancelled ‘Wolf Lake’ episodes: Following up on UPN’s synergistic shared window on CBS’s “The Amazing Race 2,” it is now said that UPN is being considered as a new home for CBS’s canceled drama “Wolf Lake” for re-broadcast late this spring. Sources close to UPN said the network is close to picking up at least four remaining, un-aired episodes of “Wolf Lake,” and possibly all nine episodes originally ordered by CBS.

Sources suggest “Wolf Lake” is going to be used as a filler in UPN’s 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) Wednesday time slot, which had been occupied by the drama “Special Unit 2.” By late spring, it is thought that “Wolf Lake” could be rotated into the time period.

UPN and CBS spokespeople were unreachable for comment.

“Wolf Lake,” a supernatural about shape-shifting werewolves and starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Tim Matheson, had an abbreviated five-episode run in CBS’s 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET) Wednesday time slot until the Eye network canceled last November.

Ramsey named VP/GM at KSWB-TV: Bob Ramsey will be vice president and general manager at Tribune-owned WB affiliate KSWB-TV, San Diego, starting March 4. He is currently station manager at sister station WB affiliate WGN-TV, Chicago.

“It’s a pleasure to announce Bob’s appointment as the new general manager at KSWB-TV,” said Pat Mullen, Tribune Television president. “The station is a highly successful WB affiliate with a very talented staff. Bob brings more than 20 years of experience in news, programming, promotions and station management to the job. We’re fortunate to have someone with his talent, creativity and leadership skills to help make KSWB even stronger.”

Ramsey joined WGN in 1998 as director of programming and was promoted to station manager in February 2000.#

(c) Copyright 2002 by Crain Communications