News Briefs: ‘Geraldo’ Off to Slow Ratings Start

Nov 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Twentieth Television’s limited rollout of its debuting first-run syndicated news strip “Geraldo at Large” declined between its first and fourth days on the air but was even with the October average of Twentieth’s canceled newsmagazine “A Current Affair.” “Geraldo” scored a 2.1 household rating and 4 share for its primary runs in 32 metered markets last Thursday, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was down 19 percent from last Monday’s 2.6 rating and 5 share. For last Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, “Geraldo” averaged a 2.3 rating and 5 share, which was down 30 percent from its average lead-in of 3.3/6 and down 8 percent from the November 2004 time period average of 2.5/5.

CBS Tops Key Demo in First Sweeps Night

CBS was the top network in the adults 18 to 49 demographic last Thursday, winning the opening night of the November sweeps. The network won each hour of the night, with “Survivor: Guatemala” scoring a 6.6 in the demo at 8 p.m. (ET), according to Nielsen Media Research. At 9 p.m. “CSI” dominated with a 9.9, while “Without a Trace” (6.4) edged out NBC’s “ER” (6.2) at 10 p.m. CBS was No. 1 for the night, averaging a 7.6 rating in adults 18 to 49, followed by NBC (4.8), ABC, which aired the feature “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” (2.9), Fox (2.3), The WB (1.8) and UPN (1.3).

Apple Sells 1 Million iTunes Videos in 20 Days

Apple Computer sold 1 million videos in the first 20 days since it first began offering videos, including episodes of ABC’s “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” at its iTunes Music Store. The maker of the popular iPod didn’t disclose what portion of the sales was episodes of the popular television series, which are available for $1.99 per download the day after their first broadcast on television.

CBS’s ‘Out of Practice,’ NBC’s ‘Wishes’ Get Orders

CBS has given a full-season order to its new Monday comedy “Out of Practice,” while NBC has ordered six more episodes of its new Friday feel-good reality series “Three Wishes.” “Out of Practice,” which stars Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler as parents of a family of doctors, got an additional nine episodes, bringing its order to a full 22. The additional episodes of “Wishes” bring the total number of episodes ordered to 16. NBC is also said to be close to picking up a full season of Tuesday comedy “The Office.”

Embattled Tomlinson Exits CPB Board

Ken Tomlinson, the former Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman who came under intense criticism for his persistent allegations of liberal bias in public television, has resigned from the CPB board. The board said Mr. Tomlinson “strongly disputed” findings in the CPB inspector general’s upcoming report.

CBS Buys College Sports Channel, Web Sites

CBS will pay $325 million to acquire CSTV Networks, a company with cable and Internet assets devoted to college sports. The cable channel will be part of the new CBS Corp., which will be spun off from Viacom by the end of the year.

Two Court Shows on Docket at Twentieth TV

Twentieth Television is developing two syndicated courtroom strips for fall 2006, one with Telemundo’s Cristina Perez and another with former “Power of Attorney” judge Lynn Toler. Ms. Perez, the host of Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo’s court strip “La Corte de Familia,” is scheduled to shoot an English-language pilot this month. The strip is being developed by producer Peter Brennan, who helped launched “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown.”