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Jan 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Golden Globes Draw Big Ratings for NBC

NBC’s ninth telecast of the Golden Globe Awards drew the largest audience yet and a young enough audience to beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined among 18- to 49-year-old viewers Sunday night. According to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research, more than 50 million people turned in during the 61st annual ceremony, which was seen by an average of 26.7 million people over the course of the three hours.

Sunday’s Globes broadcast averaged an increase of 27 percent in the 18 to 49 demo — up to a 9.9 rating and 23 share for the three hours — and an increase of 6.6 million viewers on average from a year ago, when the awards ceremony competed with the AFC Championship Game.

Even the pre-show arrivals special showed dramatic improvement year to year, notching a 4.4/12 in the 18 to 49 demo and 13.1 million viewers, up 57 percent and 4 million viewers. The arrivals special finished first for the hour in the demo and ranked second to CBS’s “60 Minutes” (15.7 million) in total viewers.

For the night, the early data showed NBC with an 8.5/20 in the 18 to 49 demo, followed by CBS (3.5/8), Fox (3.4/8), ABC (2.4/6) and The WB (1.6/4). Among total viewers, the preliminary averages showed NBC with 23.3 million, followed by CBS(13.3 million), Fox (7.6 million), ABC (6.8 million) and The WB (3.6 million).

Walters to Step Down at ’20/20′: Barbara Walters, who has been co-anchor and chief correspondent, big-profile interview chaser and celebrity magnet for “20/20,” will step down in September from the ABC News magazine.

Instead, Ms. Walters, who had more than a year to go on her $7 million-plus contract, will produce more prime-time specials (she currently is committed to four a year). She also will continue as a co-host of the Emmy-winning “The View,” which she created for the ABC daytime lineup and produces through her Barwall Productions.

There was no immediate word on how ABC News might deal with Ms. Walters’ absence on “20/20.”

“’20/20′ has been an integral part of my life and a major focus of my work. Starting in September, I want to have more flexibility in my life without the responsibilities of a weekly newsmagazine,” said Ms. Walters in the network’s announcement of the change. “I am deeply devoted to all those who work on 20/20, and thank them for all their hard work, week in and week out, that has made this such a wonderfully successful season.”

“Barbara Walters has been an essential part of 20/20, and therefore, part of the lives of millions of Americans for a quarter-century,” said ABC News President David Westin in an announcement. “All of us will miss her strength, her grace and her presence on Friday nights. But as much as we will miss her as anchor of ’20/20,’ we are just as delighted that we will see her in more prime-time specials, where she will continue to contribute to television history.”

Tauzin Rejects Offer From MPAA: Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., has rejected an offer to succeed Jack Valenti as the Motion Picture Association of America’s chief to consider a new opportunity to head a trade association for the pharmaceutical industry, sources said Monday. Ken Johnson, Rep. Tauzin’s spokesman, confirmed that the lawmaker last week turned down the pitch from MPAA. “It was a very flattering offer, and it was a difficult decision to say no,” Mr. Johnson said. “But in the end, he did not feel that it was the best fit for him and his family.” Industry scuttlebutt had it that the better fit came in the form of a competing offer to head Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America-at a salary of more than $2 million a year. “He talked with his wife, family and close friends over the weekend about what his future holds,” Mr. Johnson said. “He won’t make any final decisions for several weeks.”