Thursday, October 13, 2005

A few Television items

CBS Orders Full Seasons for Two Dramas, Sitcom
CBS has given full season orders for two of its freshman dramas, Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds, and one of its new sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother.

Ghost Whisperer (Friday, 8 p.m.) is averaging a 7.4 in households and a 2.9 in the 18-49 demo, drawing 11 million viewers on a low TV viewing night. It is winning its time period in viewers and key demos.

Criminal Minds (Wednesday, 9 p.m.) is averaging a 7.5 in households, 11.2 million viewers, and a solid 3.3 in 18-49.

And How I Met Your Mother (Monday, 8:30 p.m.) is averaging a 7.0 household rating, 10.6 million viewers, and a solid 3.8 18-49 rating.

Fox extends 'War at Home,' 'Bones'
Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered full seasons of the new series "The War at Home" and "Bones," the network said.

Both programs received the green light Tuesday for the back nine to supplement the original 13 episodes ordered.

"They've both performed from a ratings perspective," Fox executive vp programming Craig Erwich said. " 'War' has been a piece of the huge success story of Sunday night for us. 'Bones' has been doing great."

In its first four weeks, "War," featuring Michael Rapaport, has averaged a 4.1 rating/10 share among viewers 18-49, enough to exceed the 2004-05 season average in the Sunday 8:30 p.m. period by 21% (excluding the Super Bowl). "War" also is the No. 1 new series of the season among teens

McDougall taking on 'Tudors'
Charles McDougall, who won a Primetime Emmy Award last month for directing the pilot of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," has signed on to helm the two-hour pilot for Showtime's drama "The Tudors," sources said.

"Tudors," from writer Michael Hirst and executive producers Ben Silverman, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Hirst, revolves around the tumultuous reign and marriages of a young King Henry VIII. Showtime declined comment.

"Tudors" creator Hirst is said to be at work writing the first five hours of the drama. If picked up, the show likely will be a one-hour series.EDITOR'S NOTE: SO, SINCE IT'S SHOWTIME....THEY'RE ELIZABETHAN AND THEY'RE NAKED!

Baker preps to guest twice on 'Nip/Tuck'
Emmy-winning actress Kathy Baker is set to guest-star on FX's plastic surgery drama series "Nip/Tuck."

Baker will appear in two episodes airing at 10 p.m. Oct. 18 and Nov. 8, portraying Gail Pollack, the biological mother of Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), who reveals the truth behind his birth. EDITOR'S NOTE: HE WAS HATCHED FROM AN EGG?

Baker won three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her role as Dr. Jill Brock in CBS' mid-1990s drama series "Picket Fences." She also received two guest-starring Emmy noms in 2000 and 2001 for roles on "Touched by an Angel" and "Boston Public," respectively, and again was nominated in 2003 for her supporting role in the TNT movie "Door to Door."


The networks live for younger viewers, but their audience just keeps getting older. EDITOR'S NOTE: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO STOP DOING THIS. (SHORT OF THE OBVIOUS, WHICH I'M NOT QUITE PREPPED FOR).

ABC, CBS and NBC have all seen the median age of their primetime viewers go up this television season. Even the youth-obsessed WB, whose programming revolves around teen angst, has matured dramatically.

Despite the aging baby boomer generation, the networks still make it their mission to find programs that will appeal to the younger viewers preferred by most advertisers. EDITOR'S NOTE: I THOUGHT THEY HAD STOPPED OBSESSING ON THE WHIPPERSNAPPERS AND WERE BROADENING THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE IDEAS? NO SUCH LUCK, I GUESS. (LEMMINGS).

Much of the ratings rhetoric centers on the sought-after category of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, even though the rising median age would seem to make it more acceptable — desirable even — to target older audiences. EDITOR'S NOTE: DUH.

Cable channels, particularly those with niche programming such as MTV and Spike TV, also are chasing younger viewers.

"They all want to get younger," said Brad Adgate, senior vice president and research director at Horizon Media in New York. "It's like a salmon swimming upstream." EDITOR'S NOTE: NOT REALLY. CAUSE SALMON HAVE A PURPOSE.

After a primetime reversal that left NBC at the bottom of the ratings heap, the network that used to taunt older-skewing competitors has to suffer through another indignity.

In the first three weeks of this season, NBC's median age was 49.1, an increase of 2.4 years compared to the same period a year ago. The network is off 13 percent in the 18 to 49 category.
Most of NBC's core shows are aging themselves. Hits like "ER" and the original "Law & Order" are more than a decade old.

ABC, on a hot streak with hits "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," saw its median age rise 1.3 years to 46.3 years. Right now it leads among viewers 18 to 49.

CBS — which is No. 1 in total ratings and has a relatively older audience — experienced the smallest increase, with the median age rising to 51.8 years from 51.3.

The biggest jump came at the WB, which aged 3.4 years between seasons and now has a median age of 37.2 years.

The network is trying to broaden its programming lineup, a strategy that almost always trends older, analysts said. Fox, with hit "American Idol," saw its median age fall slightly to 40.7 years.


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