News Briefs: Trump-vs.-Rosie Feud Fuels Syndie Ratings

Jan 29, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Ratings for several syndicated shows during the week ending Jan. 14 got the benefit of a Trump bump. The escalating feud between Donald Trump and the hosts of “The View” created a halo effect on a number of syndicated shows, including newsmagazines that covered the showdown and “Live With Regis and Kelly.” Every one of the four entertainment newsmagazines showed ratings increases that week, in which a war of words erupted between Mr. Trump and “View” host Barbara Walters over her co-host, Rosie O’Donnell. “Entertainment Tonight” hit a season high of 5.7 for distributor CBS Television Distribution, up 4 percent for the week and up 21 percent over the previous two weeks, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” took the second spot, rising 4 percent and edging out CBS’s “The Insider,” which scored a 2.8, up 8 percent. Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution earned a 2.3 and a 5 percent jump with “Extra.” The sole non-entertainment-focused strip, “Inside Edition,” was down for the week, dipping 3 percent to a 3.5 score. During the week, Mr. Trump appeared on Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” Jan. 8, which resulted in the series earning a 3.8 rating that day and a 3.6 average for the week, a hike of 24 percent. -Chris Pursell

Google Video Cross-References YouTube

YouTube’s video listings now appear in Google Video’s search service, YouTube said last Thursday. As the two online video sites mesh their services, visitors to Google Video will now find YouTube videos in their search results and can click through to that video on YouTube. Already, consumers who search for content on Google.com can find YouTube videos, the companies said. Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in the fall. This integration indicates that Google is likely to focus on its search expertise and YouTube on its video expertise as they seek to tie their services more closely. YouTube will remain an independent subsidiary of Google.

-Daisy Whitney

`Behrendt Show’ Axed by Sony

Sony Pictures Television’s daytime talk program “The Greg Behrendt Show” is officially the third casualty of the season for syndicators. Production crew and staff members were informed last Tuesday that the series was ending production and would not return next fall for a second season. Production of the series is expected to continue at least for the short term and possibly for the rest of the season, according to multiple sources close to the series and Sony. A spokesperson for Sony Pictures Television was unavailable for comment. “The Greg Behrendt Show” has averaged a 0.8 rating this season, tying for last place among talk programs with “The Megan Mullally Show.” In December, NBC Universal announced that “Mullally” would not return for a sophomore year. Soon after, Twentieth Television pulled the plug on newsmagazine “Geraldo at Large.” The Tribune station group, where Sony had sold “Behrendt” in major markets, passed on renewing the show in favor of the upcoming “Jerry Springer” spinoff series “The Steve Wilkos Show.” Sony made an effort to pitch the Behrendt show to other stations at the National Association of Television Program Executives show earlier this month, but was unable to find takers.

-Chris Pursell

Former NBCU Treasurer Arrested

Former NBC Universal Treasurer Victor Jung has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $800,000 from his former employer. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced details of the arrest last Thursday. The two-count indictment alleges Mr. Jung, 34, created a phony account named much like a real NBCU company and used it to receive wire transfers of money in January and April 2006. He is accused of using the money on such personal things as private jet flights to warm-weather destinations and lavish in-flight dining, as well as a summer rental in the Hamptons and payment on his American Express card. -Michele Greppi

Oxygen to Launch Social Networking Sites

Returning to its multimedia roots, the Oxygen cable network announced plans to launch a social networking site called Oomph.net and a broadband site called SheDidWhat.tv. The 6-year-old company, which scaled back its original Web plans when the Internet bubble burst in 2001, also unveiled a slate of new TV programs in development, including an animated series produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Oomph.net is designed to connect women with shared interests such as pop culture, careers, art or sex. SheDidWhat.tv will launch with a broadband original comedy series. -Jon Lafayette