News Briefs: ‘Nightly News’ Tops in Q4 Ratings Battle

Jan 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

“NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” won the flagship newscast ratings competition in all categories for the fourth quarter of 2005, extending “Nightly News'” streak as most-watched network evening newscast to 25 quarters. Data through Christmas weekend from Nielsen Media Research showed “Nightly News” averaged nearly 9.79 million viewers for the quarter, while “ABC World News Tonight” averaged 8.65 million and “CBS Evening News” averaged 7.47 million. In the key news demographic, adults 25 to 54, “Nightly News” finished the fourth quarter with an average 2.6 rating, edging out ABC’s “World News,” which averaged a 2.5 rating. CBS’s “Evening News” averaged a 1.9 rating.

Sinclair, Verizon Reach Retransmission Pact

Sinclair Broadcast Group said last week it has struck a retransmission agreement with Verizon Communications under which the phone giant will carry the station group’s digital and analog signals in Baltimore and Tampa, Fla., where Verizon is launching its new video service FiOS. Details of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal covers Sinclair’s WTTA-TV, a WB affiliate in Tampa, and its two Baltimore stations, Fox affiliate WBFF-TV and WB affiliate WNUV-TV.

Adler, Donnelly Appointments at Paramount

Kate Adler has been named VP of comedy development for Paramount Network Television. In addition, Jim Donnelly has been promoted to director of comedy development. Most recently Ms. Adler served as a producer for CBS’s “Survivor: Palau” and “Survivor: Guatemala.” She was also a producer on NBC’s “Crime & Punishment: Real-Life Law & Order.” Mr. Donnelly first joined Paramount Network Television in 2004 as manager of comedy development. Before that he worked at CBS Productions in comedy development and current programming.

Oxygen Picks Up ‘Dickinson Project’

Oxygen has picked up the 10-episode reality series “The Janice Dickinson Project,” which is set to debut in the spring. The series features former supermodel Janice Dickinson as she starts her own Hollywood modeling agency. Ms. Dickinson served as a judge in the first four seasons of the UPN reality show “America’s Next Top Model.” On “Project” she will audition and choose five models to be the first signed by her agency. The series, from Krasnow Productions and FremantleMedia North America, will also focus on Ms. Dickinson’s efforts to balance her new business with her role as a mother. Ms. Dickinson, who gained fame as a model in the 1970s, will also executive produce the series.

Family Association Protests NBC’s ‘Book of Daniel’

The American Family Association launched an e-mail drive last week urging its supporters to call their local NBC affiliate and ask it not to air NBC’s new series “The Book of Daniel.” The AFA described the show’s main character as “a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her midday martinis” and noted it was written by what it describes as a “practicing homosexual” whom it quotes as saying, “I don’t necessarily know that all the myth surrounding him [Jesus] is true.” The show’s main character also speaks with a “very unconventional” Jesus, according to the

e-mail. “NBC considers ‘The Book of Daniel’ a positive portrayal of Christ and Christians,” the AFA said in its

e-mail message, which also solicits donations for the organization. The message additionally urges people to distribute copies of the AFA appeal in churches and to e-mail NBC Universal Chairman and CEO Bob Wright directly. An NBC spokesperson said, “‘The Book of Daniel’ is a fictional drama about an Episcopalian priest’s family and the contemporary issues with which they must grapple. We’re confident that once audiences view this quality drama themselves, they’ll appreciate this thought-provoking examination of one American family.” The show is scheduled to premiere Friday.