http://www.unclebarky.com/dfw.html - Dec 3, 2013 2:11:36 AM - Nov 30, 2004 5:21:02 AM
Everyone's a winner in D-FW's November newscast "sweeps" (but Fox4 has the most scores while WFAA8 sweeps marquee 10 p.m. battles)12/02/13 12:22 PMEnding on the day before Thanksgiving, the latest four-week November “sweeps” ratings competitions had something for everyone among the four major local newscast combatants.WFAA8 narrowly reclaimed the 10 p.m. total viewers crown it lost a year ago to CBS11 while routing its three adversaries among 25-to-54-year-olds (the main advertiser target audience for news programming).Fox4 flexed mightily at 6 a.m. and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins in the 25-to-54 demographic.CBS11 retained its 6 p.m. supremacy in total viewers; NBC5 broke through after a winless November 2012 to top the 5 p.m. field in total viewers. Here are the particulars, with year-to-year November ups and downs in parentheses. As always in these unclebarky.com reports, final Nielsen totals are broken down to the third decimal point to give you the most accurate numbers.10 P.M.Total ViewersWFAA8 -- 193,013 (up 19,256)CBS11 -- 172,775 (down 37,262)NBC5 -- 118,379 (up 6,717)Fox4 -- 117,313 (up 1,521)25-to-54-Year-OldsWFAA8 -- 93,235 (up 17,098)Fox4 -- 63,863 (down 3,301)NBC5 -- 52,925 (down 4,044)CBS11 -- 49,329 (up 3,778)Comment: These were WFAA8’s only newscast wins, but they’re big ones. The ABC station also was the only one to register audience increases in both Nielsen measurements. And they were sizable ones, too. CBS11 still had a total viewers lead-in advantage from 9 p.m. CBS programming. But a Monday night stinker, the new Hostages, got the station off to weekly bad starts while NBC5 and WFAA8 respectively basked in the afterglows of the freshman hit The Blacklist and the reliable Castle. In NBC5’s case, it was enough to inch the station ahead of Fox4 in the total viewer Nielsens after placing fourth in November 2012.6 A.M.Total ViewersFox4 -- 134,783 (up 27,665)WFAA8 -- 86,778 (up 1,345)NBC5 -- 84,079 (up 2,639)CBS11 -- 67,888 (up 17,771)25-to-54-Year-OldsFox4 -- 68,860 (up 5,541)WFAA8 -- 43,479 (down 5,232)NBC5 -- 37,203 (down 5,904)CBS11 -- 30,987 (up 8,986)Comment: Fox4 was never threatened and won by significantly larger margins than a year ago. CBS11, which has been fourth in the waker-upper derby since Uncle Barky leapt into puberty, showed real signs of possibly making a move into third place at this time next year. The station had the biggest increase among 25-to-54-year-olds -- seldom a CBS strong suit -- while NBC5 and WFAA8 both lost ground in this measurement from November to November. But the also-rans all have a long way to go before moving into the same area code as Fox4.
CBS11 -- 180,657 (up 27,277)
WFAA8 -- 144,369 (down 2,471)
NBC5 -- 133,433 (up 15,644)
Fox4 -- 113,692 (up 6,712)
Fox4 -- 60,816 (up 5,934)
WFAA8 -- 49,878 (down 3,096)
NBC5 -- 35,588 (down 6,028)
CBS11 -- 32,449 (up 9,852)
Comment: CBS11 comfortably beat WFAA8 this time after last November’s close race. The station also improved its 25-to-54 standing while WFAA8 was the only station to lose viewers in both ratings measurements. NBC5 made substantial headway in total viewers but faltered in the revenue-enhancing competition among 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4’s win in the 25-to-54 battle was far comfier than a year ago, when it drew fewer than 2,000 more viewers than WFAA8.
NBC5 -- 123,705 (up 11,186)
Fox4 -- 113,621 (down 1,758)
WFAA8 -- 109,928 (up 18,024)
CBS11 -- 102,685 (up 12,846)
Fox4 -- 53,717 (up 9,984)
WFAA8 -- 37,751 (up 7,463)
CBS11 -- 31,444 (up 8,698)
NBC5 -- 29,585 (down 1,210)
Comment: Significant audience increases in both audience measurements made this generally older-skewing time period a plus for all concerned, even though Fox4 and NBC5 respectively had minor losses in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. The Peacock otherwise dethroned last November’s champ, Fox4, in total viewers while WFAA8 and CBS11 both markedly improved their performances.
In other ratings news . . .
This was the first ratings sweeps period for WFAA8’s fledgling 4 p.m. local newscast. For now at least, the station sports a pair of bloody noses.
NBC5 won in total viewers with 81,239 while CBS11 ran second (69,451) and WFAA8 third (51,982). It was the same order of finish among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 led with 25,563, followed by CBS11 (23,583) and WFAA8 (14,838).
***At 9 p.m., Fox4’s local newscast bludgeoned CW33’s soon-to-be-extinct , which will become the anchor-less sometime early next year. The scores were 147,423 to 19,529 in total viewers and 69,896 to 8,684 among 25-to-54-year-olds. Those totals gave Fox4’s 9 p.m. edition the station’s largest local news audience, outdrawing the 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. offerings in both measurements.
***Fox4’s 5:30 p.m. local newscast had more 25-to-54-year-olds than the competing network evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC. But Fox4 flip-flopped that position with a fourth place finish in total viewers. The NBC Nightly News led the way.
***KTXD-TV’s (Ch. 47) two major local productions, The Broadcast and The Texas Daily, continued to struggle for any audience at all.
From 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays, The Broadcast averaged 1,775 total viewers with 731 in the 25-to-54 demographic.
The 6 to 7 p.m. edition of Texas Daily averaged 497 viewers, with supposedly almost all of them (488) in the 25-to-54 measurement. But when the rating is this low -- a .007 in total viewers -- demographic numbers tend to be imprecise.
Texas Daily’s 9:30 p.m. repeat improved to 1,988 viewers with 488 of them 25-to-54-year-olds.
CBS also basked in Saturday’s beyond incredible Auburn-Alabama finish in their high-stakes Iron Bowl square-off. It averaged 376,369 viewers to easily beat all competing programming in mid-afternoon/early evening hours.
(Those tuned in were jolted to varying degrees by CBS11’s abrupt transition from an in-progress, post-game interview to a car commercial followed by a Medicare infomercial. Reached Monday, a CBS11 spokesperson characterized it as a “local miscue” while declining to comment further.)
ABC’s 90-minute Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular ended up as Thanksgiving night’s reigning ratings turkey. It drew just 56,810 total viewers opposite NBC’s league-leading Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game (376,369 viewers).
In local news derby results, . . . well, there were none. All four major combatants -- Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8, CBS11 -- took weekday holiday exemptions from Wednesday through Friday.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Sun., Nov. 27-Dec. 1) -- CBS hoardes holiday weekend football spoils with Cowboys, Auburn-Bama, Broncos-Chiefs12/02/13 10:46 AMLed by the Cowboys-Raiders game, CBS played the field with three marquee football match-ups during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.The Cowboys annual Drumstick Bowl (unofficial title) of course drew the biggest crowd, with Dallas’ win over Oakland averaging 1,455,767 D-FW viewers Thursday. That vaulted it into third place among this season’s 12 regular season game. Cowboys-Raiders nipped the Sunday, Nov. 24th Cowboys-Giants game on Fox, which had 1,448,665 viewers.CBS also basked in Saturday’s beyond incredible Auburn-Alabama finish in their high-stakes Iron Bowl square-off. It averaged 376,369 viewers to easily beat all competing programming in mid-afternoon/early evening hours. (We’re still awaiting a CBS11 explanation of that abrupt switch from an in-progress, post-game interview to a car commercial followed by a Medicare infomercial.)The football world then turned to Sunday’s Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs game on CBS. The ratings cash register spun to the tune of 632,016 viewers, making it the day’s top NFL attraction. The New York Giants-Washington Redskins match-up on NBC’s Sunday Night Football came in second with 489,990 viewers.AMC’s Sunday night “fall finale” of The Walking Dead drew 347,964 viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. But among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, it beat everything in sight from 8 to 9 p.m. with 273,563 viewers in this key demographic. That’s a phenomenal percentage.On ABC Sunday night, the new movie Christmas In Conway drew 191,735 total viewers. Just 39,080 were in the 18-to-49 demographic.In local news derby results, well, there were none. All four major combatants -- Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8, CBS11 -- took weekday holiday exemptions from Wednesday through Friday.We’ll have the complete November “sweeps” local newscast results later Monday.
11/27/13 09:57 AMABC’s 2,768th edition of Dancing with the Stars came to a halt Tuesday night, with Glee co-star Amber Riley the latest Mirror Ball belle.The D-FW ratings were lackluster, with DWTS averaging 291,153 viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. The lower-rated first hour, which drew 269,849 viewers, was beaten by both NBC’s The Voice (312,457 viewers) and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles (284,052 viewers). CBS’ Person of Interest then topped the 9 p.m. ratings with a night’s best 376,369 viewers.The Voice likewise ran first among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds from 8 to 9 p.m. . DTWS also was beaten by Fox’s New Girl from 8 to 8:30 p.m. while tying with NCIS: Los Angeles for the full hour. The 9 to 10 p.m. portion of DWTS regrouped to finish first in this key demographic.CBS’ annual Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer reprise reigned in total viewers from 7 to 8 p.m. with 241,444. But ‘Dolph dipped to third among 18-to-49-year-olds, with Fox’s comedy combo of Dads/Brooklyn Nine Nine taking the top spot and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D running second. In Tuesday’s local news derby results, CBS11 edged WFAA8 for the most viewers at 10 p.m. while WFAA8 cruised with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.Fox4 remained in full control at 6 a.m. with another doubleheader win and also swept the 5 p.m. Nielsens.The 6 p.m. firsts went to CBS11 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 measurement.The November “sweeps” ratings period ends on Wednesday. We’ll have full local news results sometime after Thanksgiving.
11/26/13 02:52 PMMonday night’s potent pair of talent competition shows again won/lost their time slots from 7 to 9 p.m.ABC’s Dancing with the Stars drew 362,166 D-FW viewers to whip NBC’s competing two-hour chunk of The Voice (312,457). But the Peacock reigned among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds during those two hours, by a score of 149,808 viewers to Dancing’s 87,931. DWTS also was beaten in its first hour by Fox’s new Almost Human, which had 100,958 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range.NBC’s The Blacklist again swept the 9 p.m. hour -- among the Big Four broadcast networks -- with 319,559 total viewers and 104,214 in the 18-to-49 demographic. But the 9 to 10 p.m. portion of ESPN’s Monday Night Football (49ers vs. Redskins) had the most 18-to-49-year-olds in that hour (130,268).CBS had another dismal Monday, running fourth from 7 to 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements.Over on KTXD-TV (Ch. 47), the locally produced The Broadcast at last showed a pulse. For the first time in recent memory, the program had a measurable total viewers audience in each 15-minute increment from 9 to 11 a.m. Its overall average of 15,623 total viewers was good enough to outpoint TXA21’s 9 a.m. airing of Dr. Phil (7,811 viewers) and Fox4’s syndicated Bethenny (11,361 viewers from 11 a.m. to noon).The Broadcast also had a bigger audience than CW33’s locally produced Nightcap, which barely registered from 9 to 10 p.m. with 3,551 total viewers. As previously posted, Nightcap will be replaced at some point early next year by an anchor-less, newsreel-style newscast called NewsFix. It currently airs in Houston on CW33’s Tribune-owned sister station, KIAH-TV (CW39). In Monday’s four-way local news derby competitions, Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. WFAA8 did likewise at 10 p.m.
Nov 2013Oct 2013Sep 2013Aug 2013Jul 2013Jun 2013May 2013Apr 2013Mar 2013Feb 2013Jan 2013Dec 2012Nov 2012Oct 2012Sep 2012Aug 2012Jul 2012Jun 2012May 2012Apr 2012Mar 2012Feb 2012Jan 2012Dec 2011Nov 2011Oct 2011Sep 2011Aug 2011Jul 2011Jun 2011May 2011Apr 2011Mar 2011Feb 2011Jan 2011Dec 2010Nov 2010Oct 2010
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Nov. 22-24) -- Cowboys and Kennedy (plus some D-FW TV news notes)11/25/13 10:09 AM@unclebarkycom on TwitterA frigid day, a late-starting game and more down-to-the-wire 4th quarter drama from the Dallas Cowboys were perfect combinations for Fox Sunday.The Cowboys’ 24-21 buzzer-beating win on the New York Giants’ home field averaged 1,448,665 D-FW viewers from 3:25 to 6:40 p.m. It marked the first of Fox’s seven telecasts this season to draw a bigger crowd than any of NBC’s three Cowboys games. This one surpassed the 1,327,943 viewers for the New Orleans Saints’ Nov. 10th 49-17 demolition of Dallas.The audience dwindled to well below one million viewers by the time that one ended. But Cowboys-Giants drew its peak crowd -- 1,718,515 viewers -- for the final minutes of action. Remarkably, that’s more than twice the 809,548 viewers who hung in for the closing minutes of Cowboys-Saints.Through 11 regular season games, the most-watched Cowboys matchup is still the Sept. 8th prime-time opener against the Giants, which averaged 1,542,061 viewers on NBC.Sunday’s other marquee attraction, NBC’s overtime showdown between Tom Brady’s victorious New England Patriots and Peyton Manning’s lead-blowing Denver Broncos, stretched all the way to 11:22 p.m. A total of 660,421 viewers stuck around for the final minutes, with game averaging an identical 660,421 viewers overall.That was easily enough to cream ABC’s competing American Music Awards, which averaged 319,559 viewers. The AMAs also were beaten from 8 to 9 p.m. by AMC’s The Walking Dead (347,964 viewers with an eye-popping 231,226 of them in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 age range).CBS’ top prime-time attraction, a “Red John”-infused episode of , drew 305,356 viewers from 9 to 10 p.m.Saturday’s college football parade had two big winners, even though Texas teams lost to out-of-staters in both of them.CBS’ “Johnny Football”-spiked A&M game against dominant LSU averaged 404,774 viewers on CBS. Oklahoma State’s prime-time destruction of previously unbeaten Baylor (on ABC) then drew the same number of viewers. In each case, audiences tailed off as the games dragged on. Oklahoma State-Baylor peaked at 504,192 viewers from 8:30 to 8:45 p.m. LSU-A&M hit the same high from 5:45 to 6 p.m. (with the Nielsen numbers rounded off to the nearest one-tenth of a point in both cases). Friday was marked by the city of Dallas’ noon commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. It was carried live on Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8, CBS11 and KTXD (Ch. 47). Here are the total viewer numbers from noon to 1 p.m.:WFAA8 -- 120,722NBC5/CBS11 -- 106,520 eachFox4 -- 56,810KTXD -- 7,101WFAA8’s subsequent commercial-free special on its live coverage 50 years ago then averaged 142,026 viewers from 1 to 3 p.m. That easily more than doubled the station’s audience for Katie from 3 to 4 p.m. (56,810 viewers) and the 4 p.m. local newscast (49,709).KTXD’s live commemoration ceremony coverage was part of a 12-hour JFK tribute, with former WFAA8/CBS11 anchor Tracy Rowlett serving as the principal anchor alongside Iola Johnson, Troy Dungan, John Sparks and others. The final hour, from 6 to 7 p.m. as part of the regularly scheduled Texas Daily program, drew 28,405 viewers to lead all KTXD programming Friday. In prime-time, NBC’s two-hour network JFK special drew 170,431 viewers in the 8 to 10 p.m. slot. The first hour, which had a significantly larger audience, nipped ABC’s competing Shark Tank by a score of 198,836 viewers to 191,735. But CBS’ won from 8 to 9 p.m. with 220,140 viewers before the network’s had the biggest audience in the 9 p.m. hour (also 220,140 viewers).Shark Tank again had prime-time’s biggest audience in the 18-to-49 demographic.Friday’s four-way local news derby results were paced by WFAA8. The station won at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. competitions.LOCAL TV NEWS NOTESArmageddon failed to materialize Monday morning (Nov. 25th) after dire warnings all around. “We do have some ice, some ice in Stephenville,” WFAA8’s chief weathercaster, Pete Delkus, said rather wistfully. He also talked up “rain with a few pallets of sleet” in the more immediate Dallas area.Rival stations made do with their regular early morning forecasters rather than call in featured nighttime guys to, in a sense, “big-foot” the coverage. WFAA8 kept a.m. weather guy Greg Fields around to serve as Delkus’ wingman. He’s long been perfectly capable of carrying the ball on his own. But perception-wise, WFAA8 made it seem as though Fields wasn’t up to the task by bringing Delkus in -- in severe weather shirtsleeves, of course.The University of North Texas Libraries in Denton will be housing three decades of vintage KXAS-TV news film after a donation from the station announced Monday.Thousands of film reels from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are included. KXAS originally signed on as WBAP-TV in 1948 and “soon after began broadcasting news by splicing together film shot daily by station photographers,” according to a publicity release.“ ‘The Texas News’ was a pioneering newscast format developed by a few WBAP staffers in the 1940s and early ‘50s,” says NBC5 vice president of programming Brian Hocker. “The film in this collection was at the heart of the original television news programs of the day created specifically for North Texans.”Email comments or questions to: email@example.com/25/13 07:25 AM
Charlie Behrens anchored Friday’s JFK-themed Nightcap@unclebarkycom on TwitterUncertainty coated with chaos has long been the norm at Dallas-based CW33. So here we go again.According to several sources, staffers were informed last week that Nightcap, the station’s 9 p.m. comedy-infused “Different Kind of News,” will soon cease to exist. It will be replaced by NewsFix, which currently is in full view on Houston’s KIAH-TV (CW39).NewsFix is an anchor-less, newsreel form of news presentation in which an off-camera narrator leads viewers along. It requires fewer staffers, although those still employed at Tribune-owned CW33 are hoping this won’t be another major purge.“Exactly who is staying and who, if anyone, is going, remains to be seen,” said a staffer.As part of the transition, KIAH producer and former reporter Steve Simon will be joining CW33 as the station’s new news director. Denise Killian, no longer with CW33, was the latest to cling to that position. Joe Young, who had been KDAF-TV’s (Ch. 33) general manager since 1995, retired last month. His successor is Roger Bare, who is doubling as KIAH’s general manager.There’s no definite timetable for the onset of NewsFix, which will be produced in CW33 studios while also continuing to share material with KIAH. But sources expect the switch-over by spring of next year at the latest.Friday’s uncommonly sober edition of Nightcap, on the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, was anchored by Charlie Behrens with an assist from meteorologist Kevin Roth, who joined the station in early October.Nightcap had its CW33 premiere on Nov. 1, 2012 after about half of the station’s news staff was cut loose. It was hosted by Spencer Harlan, Danielle Vollmar and Amanda Salinas. Salinas, who remains with the program for now, was the lone holdover from CW33’s previous and somewhat more traditional newscast. The other three featured personalities, all of whom have either left or been laid off, were co-anchor Walt Maciborski, meteorologist Rebecca Miller and sports anchor Dave Crome.Nightcap has been severely ratings-challenged since the outset. The Thursday, Nov. 21st edition drew just 11,363 D-FW viewers, with 6,188 within the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. In sharp contrast, Fox4’s competing 9 p.m. newscast had 269,849 viewers with 123,755 in the 18-to-49 demographic.(For the Houston angle on this story, here’s a link to blogger Mike McGuff’s post.)Email comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org/22/13 10:47 AM@unclebarkycom on TwitterLocal TV newscasts and their advertisers are head over heels in love with the threat of bad weather. Even better is bad weather itself.On Thursday night, the threat phase kicked in and kicked up the ratings for Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast. All it took were warnings about frigid temps -- and maybe even some freezing drizzle -- for Friday’s 50th anniversary JFK assassination commemoration. Check out these numbers.From 8 to 9 p.m., a new episode of Fox’s drew 127,823 D-FW viewers to run fourth in its time slot behind ABC, CBS and the NFL Network’s New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons game.Fox4’s news then trampolined to 269,850 viewers to outdraw all competing programming at 9 p.m. I’m no mathematician, but hand-held calculator technology says that’s more than twice the crowd for the preceding GleeThe 9 p.m. news likewise dominated among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 123,755 viewers in this moneymaking demographic. NFL Network ran second in that hour with 100,958 viewers in the 18-to-49 range while ABC’s Scandal came in third (71,647). It’s maybe a little too cold today for management to throw an ice cream social at Fox4. But perhaps free popcorn for all? Sorry.In other prime-time results, CBS’ as usual had Thursday’s biggest crowd in both ratings measurements. Its followup act, The Millers, likewise was a two-time winner but with only about half the overall crowd for Big Bang. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy then ran No. 1 across the board in the 8 p.m. hour.Meanwhile at KTXD-TV (Ch. 47), the station is still experiencing pretty much mass viewer rejection after ending its affiliation with the ME-TV network on Halloween.Its biggest draws Thursday were 3 to 5 p.m. reruns of Fantasy IslandCharlie’s Angels, each with 7,101 total viewers. ME-TV’s menu, which had a wealth of old Westerns during daytime hours, typically drew three or four times that number.On the homegrown front, Ch. 47 again had “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) for both its 9 to 11 a.m. edition of The Broadcast and the 6 p.m. hour of The Texas Daily. The 9:30 p.m. repeat of Texas Daily inched up to 1,420 viewers. Don’t blame the messenger.Here are Thursday’s four-way local news derby results:WFAA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added 5 and 6 p.m. wins in the 25-to-54 demographic.NBC5 and CBS11 respectively ran first at 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers.Email comments or questions to: email@example.com/21/13 05:17 PM@unclebarkycom on TwitterThis may be a first in D-FW.ABC’s The Middle, not , drew the network’s biggest audience Wednesday night.The under-recognized, Patricia Heaton-headed sitcom led off the night with 205,938 viewers while Modern Family had 191,735 at 8 p.m. Both offered new episodes.The Middle’s Thanksgiving show still couldn’t beat CBS’ competing Survivor: Blood and Water, which had 284,052 viewers for its first half-hour. But that wasn’t the case among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. The Middle led Survivor in that key measurement by a score of 94,444 viewers to 74,904 while again also outdrawing Modern Family (68,391).CBS led in total viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. with (the night’s biggest overall haul with 347,964) and (305,356).The 18-to-49 golds in those hours went to and Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast.The Dallas Mavericks’ come-from-behind 123-120 score-athon win over Houston had 92,317 total viewers for ESPN’s national telecast and 71,013 for the homegrown presentation on Fox Sports Southwest.In Wednesday’s local news derby results, CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while WFAA8 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).Fox4 notched another pair of 6 a.m. wins; CBS11 ran first in total viewers at 6 p.m., with Fox4 and WFAA8 sharing the 25-to-54 golds.NBC5 and WFAA8 split the total viewer spoils at 5 p.m., but WFAA8 was alone on top with 25-to-54-year-olds.Email comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org/21/13 09:49 AM@unclebarkycom on TwitterCBS11’s newest hire is anchor/reporter Ken Molestina, who will be joining the D-FW station on Monday, Jan. 6th.Molestina, currently with WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., will co-anchor weekends with Sharrie Williams and also report three days a week, CBS11 director of communications Lori Conrad confirmed in an email Thursday.“Ken is very talented and versatile,” CBS11/TXA21 president and general manager Gary Schneider said in a companion publicity release. “His experience in news gathering, reporting and anchoring is very solid. We think our viewers will make a strong connection with him.”Molestina, a board member with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, is a University of Florida grad who previously anchored and reported for KVIA-TV in El Paso. During his stint there, from 2007-2010, he was a volunteer firefighter for the West Valley Fire Department.“I’m just absolutely ecstatic and thrilled to be returning to Texas,” Molestina said by telephone Thursday. “I really couldn’t be any happier.” Molestina also is co-producer of a new documentary film, The Long Island Railroad Massacre: 20 Years Later. It’s set for a Dec. 4th premiere on the Investigation Discovery network.Sources from outside CBS11 say that Dallas-based Fox4 also talked to Molestina before he decided to go with CBS11. Email comments or questions to: email@example.com
© 2013-14 Ed Bark
Biggest sports week ever in D-FW, with Rangers and Cowboys fighting for ratings bragging rights while the Mavs hope to avoid "hashmarks" (no measurable audience)10/25/10 08:16 AM
No, it's not a paste-on. But San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson is no Beach Boy with his dyed beard by the Bay. Photo: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
Get ready for the bearded laddies, sharing a diamond with the Texas Rangers as part of the biggest Monday-Sunday sports week in D-FW history.
It climaxes on Halloween, when the Dallas Cowboys play the Jacksonville Jaguars by day at Jerry's Palace before the Rangers own the night in Game 4 of the World Series in Arlington's comparatively cozy brickyard.
The Cowboys have the noon game -- on CBS. So everyone should be cleared out by the time Texas faces the San Francisco Giants at 7 p.m. (central) on Fox. There's a third angle to who wins and who loses. Which team will command the biggest TV audience in D-FW?
The Rangers have never come close to outdrawing the Cowboys when the two teams play on the same day. But this is different, of course. And the ratings outcome may well depend on how both the Cowboys and Rangers stand heading into Sunday's costumed ball.
The 1-4 Cowboys begin the week with ESPN's Monday Night Football home game against the New York Giants (TXA21 has the local broadcast rights.) Another loss would pretty much doom their playoff hopes and perhaps signal the beginning of a big tune-out as the season plods on.
Meanwhile, the Rangers possibly could be on the brink of a Series sweep -- or elimination by the Giants. More likely, though, someone will have a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven Series. Only a 3-0 Giants lead could severely dampen interest. And if the Cowboys beat New York, the tune-in potential for their game against Jacksonville is greatly enhanced.
I'm going to go ahead and bet on the Rangers drawing a bigger crowd than the Cowboys Sunday. And really, it's about time.
Lost in the shuffle is Wednesday's Dallas Mavericks regular season opener at home against Charlotte. The game is on Fox Sports Southwest. But realistically, the audience for Mavs-Bobcats may be pretty much restricted to those on site at the American Airlines Center.
Does anyone out there in TV land plan to watch the Mavericks instead of Game 1 of that night's World Series? Maybe during commercials. It's a punch in the gut for Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who unsuccessfully tried to buy the Rangers. Now his team is fated to start the NBA season in near-obscurity against a non-marquee opponent.
Fox4 can't stop grinning ear-to-ear. It won't have the Cowboys at all this week, but it will have four World Series games. Local Fox stations get only a small window of advertising time per hour. But the promotional possibilities are endless, and Fox4 will milk every last one of them for a Rangers-spiked World Series that starts on the eve of the November "sweeps" ratings period and could continue all the way through Thursday, Nov. 4th.
This isn't the ideal matchup for the Fox network at large. It would have preferred a World Series re-do of last year's combatants, the Yankees and the Phillies. Two years ago, the rain-soaked Phils-Tampa Bay Rays Series was the least-watched ever. The presence of the Yankees punched those numbers up last fall.
Texas has a salable number of nationally known players, led by Cliff Lee, Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero. The Giants may be the biggest no-name team in World Series history, better known for the relief pitchers' beards and unshaven Game 1 starter Tim Lincecum's shoulder-length medieval times hair.
The Giants' best-known offensive player, catcher Buster Posey, is an appealing kid catcher with an easily grasped name. But try selling America on the likes of other San Francisco starters such as Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Juan Uribe, Cody Ross and Andres Torres. It might be easier to peddle peanut butter in the Mojave.
One of these teams will make history, though. This is the Rangers' first-ever appearance in a World Series. So obviously they've never won one. And the Giants haven't won a championship since relocating from New York to San Francisco after the 1957 season. This was much bemoaned by whining sportswriter/Giants fan Marcos Breton during the course of Ken Burns' recent The 10th Inning, sequel to his acclaimed 1994 Baseball. But as any Rangers, Cubs, Indians or Brewers fan knows, Breton hasn't even begun to suffer.
The Giants' last World Series championship was in 1954, when centerfielder Willie Mays made his famed over-the-shoulder, cap-flying-off-his-head catch against the Cleveland Indians' Vic Wertz. Prepare for constant replays.
Absent any World Series history for the Rangers, Fox is likely to resort to owner Nolan Ryan's only appearance as a player. He was just a 22-year-old kid when he entered Game 3 of the 1969 World Series as a New York Mets relief pitcher. That year's "Miracle Mets" won it all against the Baltimore Orioles.
Rival local stations will basically go unwatched during Fox4's prime-time World Series games. But their sports anchors and reporters will be dispatched to San Francisco and then to Arlington in hopes that the games will end early enough for them to show highlights and player interviews.
Things didn't work out too well in New York, with anchors standing live outside Yankee Stadium while Games 3 and 4 played on and most D-FW viewers watched the TBS coverage. If anyone's left back home, though, they could capture all of the excitement of the Mavericks' well-hidden Wednesday season-opener. That should end in plenty of time.10/22/10 11:51 PMBy ED BARK
"Almost poetically," in the words of TBS announcer Ernie Johnson, former Texas Ranger Alex Rodriguez came to bat for the New York Yankees with two outs in the 9th inning and his team trailing 6-1.
He struck out without a doubt, giving the North Texas Nine their first World Series appearance ever, starting Wednesday. Here's how some of it looked during the TBS presentation Friday night. Whether the Rangers face the Giants or the Phillies, Fox4 is delirious. Their network has the Series, and all other competing programming is pretty much beside the point.
Vladimir Guerrero prepares to hit a game-turning, two out, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth. It gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead they never relinquished en route to a 6-1 win. Photos: Ed Bark Colby Lewis ends his stellar start by striking out Derek Jeter. A-Rod over and out. Catcher Bengie Molina gets happy. We've got a winner from on high as the piling on kicks in. Happy together: But let's be careful out there. Rangers manager Ron Washington has waited a lifetime for this. "Wash" awash in Gatorade as two Ranger pups chase him down. Face of the franchise Michael Young flashes best high-beam smile. Did anyone seriously think this would ever happen? This is pretty damned unbelievable, too. Fun in the clubhouse with TBS reporter Craig Sager and Nelson Cruz. A disconsolate Yankees fan plays with himself. A closing shout-out to my former employer. Great product placement during TBS' nationally televised post-game coverage.
10/22/10 10:00 AM
By ED BARK
Lubbock native and University of Texas at Austin grad Jeffrey Ray will make it a quartet of weathercasters again at CBS11/TXA21.
Replacing the retired Mike Burger, Ray is scheduled to join the stations on Dec. 1st. He arrives from WKRN-TV in Nashville after an 11-year stint at the ABC station. He last served as WKRN's morning meteorologist.
"Being both born in Texas and a graduate of Texas, I can't tell you how much it means to me to now be able to raise my boys in Texas," Ray said in a publicity statement. "I've been smiling so much my face is starting to hurt."
President and general manager Gary Schneider said viewers will "appreciate both his knowledge and his relaxed demeanor."
Ray also has worked at TV stations in Kansas City, Jefferson City, Miss., Knoxville, Tenn. and Fort Pierce, Fla. After his University of Texas days, he switched majors and received a bachelor's degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. He also has a master's in science education from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
CBS11/TXA21's incumbent meteorologists are Larry Mowry, Jeff Jamison and Garry Seith.
Ray's weathercasts used to be "On Fire" at WKRN. Take a look.10/22/10 09:58 AMBy ED BARK
Fox's Game 5 of the NLCS, a tightly contested 4-2 Phillies win over the Giants, more or less struck out in D-FW homes.
Stretching a bit past prime-time, the game averaged 207,771 viewers. That was less than half the crowd for CBS' 9 p.m. episode of The Mentalist (429,393 viewers). In comparison, Tuesday's Game 4 of the Rangers-Yankees ALCS face-off on TBS averaged more than 1 million D-FW viewers in prime-time hours. So yes, Fox4 very, very, very, very, very, very badly wants Texas in the World Series. Doesn't matter who they play.
The NLCS was outdrawn Thursday night by CBS' entire prime-time lineup and ABC's 8 p.m. episode of Grey's Anatomy. It did, however, out-score NBC's quartet of comedies and the latest edition of Donald Trump's The Apprentice.
It was roughly the same story with advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. The only differences: the NLCS beat CBS' $#*! My Dad Says while losing in this demographic to NBC's The Office.
In local news derby results, CBS11 capitalized on its boffo Mentalist lead-in to edge WFAA8 at 10 p.m. in total viewers and win by a bit comfier margin among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.
CBS11 also ran the table at 6 p.m. while Fox4 did likewise at 6 a.m. A slumping NBC5's waker-upper ran particularly poorly with 25-to-54-year-olds, placing a distant fourth and drawing less than one-third the 25-to-54-year-olds that Fox4 had (65,241 to 18,640).
The 5 p.m. golds were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Oct. 20) -- Rangers still dominate, but numbers cool with daytime start and frigid performance10/22/10 08:16 AMBy ED BARK
Wednesday's Game 5 of the ALCS, a 7-2 Rangers loss to the Yankees, fell well short of the previous day's million mark with an average of 671,723 D-FW viewers.
Not surprisingly, attendance built in after-work hours, with a peak TBS audience of 934,970 between 5:45 and 6 p.m. It was another marathon, running from 3:07 to 6:55 p.m. And the numbers do not fully measure workplace and barroom viewing.
Game 6 is Friday night back in Arlington, with a scheduled 7:07 p.m. start. Locally, Fox4 is blanketing its newscasts with Rangers coverage while prepping for a World Series on Fox that still has a great chance of including Texas.
Rival station managers, if you strapped lie detectors to them, wouldn't mind seeing the Rangers bow out. Otherwise their network prime-time programming and 10 p.m. newscasts will be obliterated by the North Texas Nine's first ever World Series appearance. And most of the WS, set to begin on Wednesday, Oct. 27th, will bleed into the November "sweeps" ratings period, which starts on Thursday of that week.
On other ratings fronts, Fox's prime-time NLCS game between the Giants and Phillies averaged just 131,588 viewers while CBS rolled with its competing lineup of Survivor: Nicaragua (207,771), Criminal Minds (387,839) and The Defenders (256,251). But ABC's Modern Family had Wednesday's biggest prime-time haul of advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.
At the other end of the network teeter totter, NBC's first-year Undercovers series had the smallest number of 18-to-49-year-olds, trailing The CW's America's Next Top Model and Hellcats as well as all programming on ABC, CBS and Fox.
The local news derby proceedings went like this: CBS11 commanded the 10 p.m. field with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.
Fox4 remained strong in the early mornings with twin wins at 6 a.m. And WFAA8 continued to run stronger of late in the early evening newscast competitions, running the table at both 5 and 6 p.m.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: TXA21's early morning simulcasts of KLUV radio's (98.7 FM) Jody Dean and the Morning Team start on Monday, Oct. 25th. Replacing the syndicated Daily Buzz, they'll air from 7 to 9 a.m. weekdays.
Also, CBS11's new weekday early morning anchor, Lisa Pineiro, is scheduled to join Scott Sams on Thursday, Oct. 28th, opening day of the November sweeps.
10/20/10 07:01 PM
Gotta love that Yankee 'tude. They're referring to the guy on the right, who will pitch Game 7 in Arlington if necessary. Photos: Ed BarkEleven hits in six innings against the opposing team's ace usually is enough to keep you in a ballgame. But not when you don't string them together. And not when your own starting pitcher is wildly ineffective. Texas Rangers starter C.J. Wilson had one of his worst outings of the season in Game 5 of the ALCS, giving up 6 runs in 5 innings Wednesday afternoon. He was fortunate it wasn't more. The New York Yankees' C.C. Sabathia was hardly sharp. But he gutted it out for six innings and left with his team ahead 6-2. Sabathia ended his start by striking out a game Mitch Moreland on a wicked 2-2 curve ball with runners at second and third and two out. Moreland had fouled off several tough two-strike pitches but was frozen by this one. Anyone else at the plate would have been, too. A seventh inning pickoff of Elvis Andrus at second base ended any realistic chance of the Rangers ending this series on the Yankees' home field. They still lead by a 3-2 margin, with Game 6 coming Friday night in Arlington. Texas helped Sabathia out by swinging at too many low pitches out of the strike zone. But Wilson was no help at all to his team. Besides giving up back-to-back solo home runs in the 3rd inning, he threw wildly to the plate to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead an inning earlier. All in all, he made Tommy Hunter's ineffective Game 3 start look good. He gave up three runs in three and a third innings. Game 5 was another marathon, running from 3:07 to 6:55 p.m. Announcers are bound to make a mistake or two in a game this long, and TBS play-by-play guy Ernie Johnson complied as the Yankees got ready to hit in the bottom of the 7th. "Kerry Wood got the job done with the inning-ending double play," he told booth mates John Smoltz and Ron Darling, neither of whom corrected him. Not exactly. Wood picked Andrus off second base and then struck out Josh Hamilton to end the Rangers' 7th.
Still, I don't think Johnson is nearly as bad as some unclebarky.com commenters do. Others are definitely better, and it'd be far preferable to have the Fox team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.
But Johnson scored with at least a few one-liners Wednesday, including his introduction of Josh Hamilton's first at bat.
"The boos rain down as Roy Hobbs steps in," he said, a reference to the storied Robert Redford character in The Natural. Hamilton had homered twice in Game 4 but had no big hits Wednesday.
It was also Johnson who brought an end to the incessant first-inning Sabathia chatter by Smoltz and Darling. Both ex-pitchers otherwise are solid in explaining the nuances of situational pitching. So in short, I can live with these three. And there's no choice in the matter anyway.
Game 6 should be a ratings whopper in D-FW. Even more so than Tuesday's big prime-time Rangers win, which averaged more than one million viewers to put the North Texas Nine in roughly the same ballpark as the Cowboys.
And should there be a Game 7 on Saturday night, well, that would be a ratings blockbuster. Ain't baseball fun?10/20/10 11:55 AM
Clockwise from upper left: Fox4's Mike Doocy; NBC5's Matt Barrie (with fan); CBS11's Gina Miller; WFAA8's Dale Hansen. Photos: Ed BarkBy ED BARK
D-FW's four major TV news providers continue to fly their flags outside Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately for them, they're all at half-mast.
Elongated Rangers-Yankees games on both Monday and Tuesday nights have run past the 10 p.m. sports segments on the stations, with Game 4 of the ALCS extending all the way to 11:13 p.m. local time.
It kind of takes the starch out of those live-from-New York dispatches. Prevented from airing any game footage until the TBS telecasts are over, the stations' designated hitters have been left standing outside in the cool NYC air with little to say except that the Rangers are ahead. Meanwhile, anyone with even a passing interest in baseball or the Rangers is watching the live game coverage on TBS. Bang for their bucks? All concerned might as well be in a North Texas sports bar, where at least you can show patrons jumping up and down with excitement.
"I'm still hangin' in here. I have no idea why, but we are," WFAA8 sports anchor told sidekick weathercaster Pete Delkus Tuesday night. Hansen later discoursed on the "incredibly crazy" nature of the game's early innings. "A lot of wild plays -- and we can't show you any of 'em."
It's tempting to say that Hansen, more than any of his colleagues, is getting exactly what he deserves. He largely ignored or ridiculed the Rangers for years, saving them for the butt-end of his sportscasts far more often than not. Still, it's invariably entertaining to have Hansen on any scene, even if the game of baseball is as foreign and palatable to him as a vegan restaurant.
Meanwhile, CBS11 has sent a veritable task force to Manhattan, in no small part because sister station TXA21 has a Friday night Rangers baseball package. Gina Miller handled the live sports segment Tuesday night, urging viewers to tune in for Babe Laufenberg's eventual live post-game coverage and locker room interviews on TXA21.
CBS11/TXA21 news anchor Tracy Kornet also was live from New York earlier in the newscast. She introduced video of herself in a bar with Rangers supporters Jim Weiss and Tom Shirocky.
"So we've got the No. 1 Rangers fan and the No. 1 Nolan Ryan fan," she said, putting her hand on the shoulder of the Ryan fan. "That is pretty darn good. Right here in the middle of Manhattan." No further comment is necessary, save for an ick.
NBC5's co-sports anchor, get-up-and-go Matt Barrie, easily showed the most enterprise. Rather than stand live outside Yankee Stadium, he was inside for a freshly taped interview with Yankee bleacher-ite Jared Macchirole. Along with his brother, Jay, he was the guy who seemed to impede Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz's effort to snatch Robinson Cano's long drive out of the stands. Cano got a home run out of the deal.
"Now be honest with me, Jared. Could Nellie have caught the ball?" Barrie asked.
"I did not touch his glove," Jared insisted while laughing. "I'm certain I did not touch his glove." Holy Macchirole.
Back in NBC5's Fort Worth studios, co-sports anchor Newy Scruggs said, "Well, looks like it won't matter, because the Rangers are in control."
Scruggs later expressed his new-found disinterest in the team that plays across the street from the Rangers ballpark. Anchor Brian Curtis baited the hook by observing, "We need a little Rangers magic to like drift over to Cowboys Stadium."
Pause, one-two. "I'm not thinkin' about them right now," Scruggs finally mustered. "This is a baseball town now."
Over on Fox4, sports anchor Mike Doocy stood live outside Yankee Stadium to note that Rangers catcher Bengie Molina was looking like the ongoing game's "unlikely hero" after swatting a two-out, three-run homer in the 6th inning to give his team a 5-3 lead that ended up ballooning to a 10-3 final.
Doocy also talked about the "steady attitude" of Rangers manager Ron Washington before segueing to generic tape from an earlier press conference. "We're just doin' what we do -- play baseball," Washington said. Snore.
All four stations will get another crack at actually showing some game highlights or doing live interviews on Wednesday's 6 p.m. newscasts. The Rangers will advance to their first ever World Series if they win a day game scheduled to start at 3:07 p.m. local time. Still, the way things have been going, the game is likely to stretch past 6:30 p.m., once again leaving the locals in the lurch before they all fly back home either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
Financially hard-pressed stations don't talk about their budgets under these circumstances. But I kind of like the idea of Hansen sleeping on a Central Park bench to save on expenses. Don't think it wasn't suggested.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Oct. 19) -- the Rangers will average 1 million viewers for a game when pigs fly (P.S. PIGS FLY!)10/20/10 09:57 AM
Bengie Molina thumps chest Tarz-style after 3-run HR. Photo: Ed BarkBy ED BARK
The Texas Rangers at last poached on Dallas Cowboys territory Tuesday night by averaging a million-plus D-FW viewers on TBS cable for their 10-3 route of the Yankees.
Officially, the count is 1,038,855 viewers for a marathon game that stretched from 7:07 to 11:13 p.m. A previously unheard of peak audience of 1,205,072 viewers were on hand from 10:15 to 10:30 p.m. Toiling in relative obscurity: the D-FW sports anchors reporting live from New York during that time while the Rangers and Yankees kept playing.
The locals weren't even contractually allowed to use footage from the game. Or as latent baseball groupie Dale Hansen put it on WFAA8 while standing outside Yankee Stadium: "This one was incredibly crazy. A lot of wild plays -- and we can't show you any of 'em." He then segued to a canned TCU football team story while the Rangers pounded bumps on Yankee relief pitchers en route to a 3-1 lead in the ALCS.
Tuesday night's second most popular attraction, CBS' ever-resilient NCIS, managed to attract 387,839 viewers.
The Rangers again reigned supreme at the expense of 10 p.m. local newscasts, all of which had trouble getting noticed. WFAA8 led with 207,771 viewers, followed by CBS11 (117,737), NBC5 (110,811) and Fox4 (69,257).
Fox4 doesn't mind, though. It gets the World Series. And if the Rangers are in it, that's a guaranteed mega-ratings haul.
In other local news derby results, NBC5's 10 p.m. local edition led the pack among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.
NBC5 and Fox4 split the golds at 6 a.m., with the Peacock winning in total viewers and Fox4 tops with 25-to-54-year-olds before the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its Good Day again slaughtered the three network morning shows in that demographic.
WFAA8 won at both 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers but couldn't hold onto the gold with 25-to-54-year-olds. CBS11 won in that measurement at 5 p.m. while NBC5 took first at 6 p.m.10/20/10 08:01 AM
A smashed TBS camera lens nicely frames Elvis Andrus. Photos: Ed BarkBy ED BARK
A wildly weird game broke out in the early innings. Then things settled nicely into a repeat of the "Yankee faithful" bailing out as the Texas Rangers piled up late inning runs in a 10-3 romp.
Man, how enjoyable is this? Two consecutive blowouts of baseball's proudest, haughtiest franchise on their home field. The Rangers now take an imposing 3-1 ALCS lead into Wednesday afternoon's possible close-out.
But as TBS play-by-play dude Ernie Johnson noted, the Yankees last trailed by that margin in the 1958 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves. His dad, Ernie Sr., was a pitcher on that Dairyland team, which then lost three straight to New York. Formative Barky remembers well. He was a Wisconsin grade schooler that year, sneaking a transistor radio plug into his ear to hear the unfolding horror story during fifth grade class. Believe it or not, the World Series games were played in daylight back then.
So let's not let the Yankees get off the canvas and stagger back to Arlington for Game 6. As TBS commentators also pointed out, the Yankees can't wait to face Rangers ace Cliff Lee again. Because that's the only way they can get to a Game 7.
Tuesday's Game 4 initially seemed as though it was being played on Halloween night. First came Robinson Cano's fan-aided home run, with Nelson Cruz's his glove arm engulfed by fans as he reached above the outfield wall. But that's what the home team fans are supposed to do. So credit them with a nice assist.
Then came Lance Berkman's homer that was -- and wasn't. After his home run trot, replays showed that the ball had barely hooked to the right of the foul pole by perhaps the width of an onion skin. So the umps rightly waived it off and kept the Yankees' lead at 1-0 instead of 2-0. Berkman then struck out.
Brett Gardner's flying broken bat also spooked things up. It headed down the right field field line for a direct hit on a TBS camera lens. What are the odds? A trillion to one?
The top of the fifth inning then brought a potential "Bartman moment" when the Rangers' Josh Hamilton hit a two-out foul ball down the left field line with runners at first and second and the Rangers trailing 3-2. A pudgy Yankees fan reached out and denied Gardner a chance to catch the ball. But Hamilton then flied weakly to centerfield to end the inning. "Steve Bartman's place in history is safe," Johnson deadpanned.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez deflates as Bengie Molina begins his home run trot. The two-out, three-run shot stun-gunned the home team and gave Texas a 5-3 lead in the 6th inning.Bengie Molina's place in history also will be cemented if the Rangers go on to bounce out the Yankees. His super-clutch three-run homer with two outs in the 6th ranks as the biggest hit in Rangers history. For the moment at least. And TBS perfectly captured the moment by later showing Yankee third baseman and former Ranger Alex Rodriguez almost revert to the fetal position as Molina watched the ball sail into the left field seats.
The only Ranger not ready for prime-time was starting pitcher Tommy Hunter. Flushed and clammy, he looked like a balloon ready to burst while the Yankees kept popping corks. Should the Rangers get to the World Series, it seems clear that Derek Holland should replace him as the fourth starter. On Tuesday night Holland again was superb in relief, keeping the Yankees at bay until the Ranger home run bats came into play. All told they had four, with Josh Hamilton hitting two more and Nelson Cruz then piling it on with a two-run homer in the ninth.
The eighth inning could well have been a disaster, though. Leading 7-3, Ranger relievers loaded the bases on walks with one out before Pantsgate came into play. Did reliever Darren Oliver barely nick Nick Swisher's pinstripes with a pitch? Replays seemed to show he did. But Swisher didn't try to "sell" anything and there were no arguments from the Yankees. Swisher then flew out to shallow centerfield before third baseman Michael Young made a terrific stab of a smokin' hot grounder hit by the star-crossed Berkman. Inning over, crowd filing out, Rangers relaxed and jubilant.
Has Rangers president Nolan Ryan ever smiled bigger? I think not.Let's end by complimenting TBS' see-all camera work, even through a shattered lens at times. Tuesday's game had a number of game-turning plays, and the network caught them all from a wide variety of angles.
The TBS announcing team -- Johnson and former pitchers John Smoltz and Ron Darling -- also is starting to grow on me. The latter two obviously know a lot about what pitchers go through. And their insights mesh nicely with Johnson's occasionally glib play-by-play.
That said, let's say goodbye to the TBS telecasts after Wednesday's game. There's no time like the present for the Rangers to seal the deal. The Yankees have their ace at hand -- C.C. Sabathia. But C.J. Wilson is no Tommy Hunter. He threw a lights out Game 1 before being betrayed by the bullpen. And with the Yankees' Mark Teixeira likely out for the season with a hamstring injury, he'll be facing one less potent bat.
No one does this to the Yankees, of course. But the Rangers are doing it. One more time and the impossible dream is a reality. A World Series in Arlington would be a previously unimaginable magic carpet ride. Let's see if this team can take Nolan Ryan even higher.10/19/10 01:39 PM
Chase star Kelli Giddish marshals her resources. NBC photoBy ED BARK
At least one made-in-North Texas series is getting an official vote of confidence from its network.
NBC announced Tuesday that it's given a full season pickup to Chase, which stars Kelli Giddish as the dogged head of a team of Texas-based U.S. marshals.
Chase has an "appealing new star" in Giddish, and "we think it has potential to grow," said NBC Universal entertainment president Angela Bromstad.
The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced crook-catcher is averaging just 6.5 million viewers nationally, but that's a 23 percent gain over last season, when (urp) the Jay Leno Show held down the Monday, 9 p.m (central) slot.
NBC also has given full-season pickups to three other freshman series -- Outsourced, The Event and Law & Order: Los Angeles. The Peacock says it likewise will keep Chuck in play throughout the current season.
Fox's Lone Star, another North Texas production, was canceled after just two episodes. As was ABC's My Generation, which was being filmed in Austin.
The fate of Fox's The Good Guys, also filmed in North Texas, still hangs in the balance. Ratings have been sub-anemic for both its summer and fall runs, but the network still holds out hope that viewers very slowly will find it on Friday nights. That's been a Death Valley for Fox ever since The X-Files switched from Fridays to Sundays in 1996.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Oct. 18) -- Rangers double audience for Dancing with the Stars10/19/10 10:51 AMBy ED BARK
Two big-timers were left flat-footed by the Rangers Monday -- Dancing with the Stars and the Yankees.
Texas' 8-0 prime-time win at New York in Game 3 of the ALCS averaged 865,713 D-FW viewers, leaving the night's usual runaway top draw with athlete's foot. ABC's two-hour Dancing performance edition had a comparatively paltry 415,542 viewers, less than half the crowd for the Rangers and Yanks on cable's TBS.
The game also had a healthy share of advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, with 417,906 viewers in this age range. The ALCS is by no means over, but the drool is starting to form at Fox4, which will have the World Series after being stuck with the NLCS as an appetizer. A first-time Rangers appearance in the WS would be a mega-ratings bonanza for Fox4, which also has the Super Bowl in Jerry's Palace this February.
All four major local TV news providers had sports anchors in NYC Monday. But their 10 p.m. live reports from outside Yankee Stadium were largely blotted out by the game itself, which ran until 10:27 p.m. From 10 to 10:30 p.m., the combined newscasts on Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 had 588,635 viewers. In that same half hour, Rangers-Yankees drew 1,115,038 viewers. In other words, a blowout.
Over on ESPN, the Monday Night Football game between Jacksonville and Tennessee punted with just 145,440 viewers.
NBC's latest episode of Chase, filmed entirely in North Texas, also had a tough go in D-FW Monday night. It drew 173,143 total viewers to finish third at 9 p.m. in the broadcast universe behind CBS' Hawaii Five-0 (290,879 viewers) and ABC's Castle (270,102 viewers). It was the same order of finish with 18-to-49-year-olds.
In local news derby results, WFAA8 edged CBS11 at 10 p.m. in total viewers and won by a comfier margin over NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations.
Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. proceedings while WFAA8 did likewise at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. golds were split between WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.10/18/10 10:46 PM
Hitting his stride again. Cliff Lee turns in a third majestic post-season performance on baseball's grandest stage. Photo: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
Better games have been pitched in the post-season. But not all that many. And considering the longtime doormat team he represents -- and the mighty team he faced on their home turf-- this one might rank somewhere in the all-time top 20.
Cliff Lee's eight shutout innings, in which he yielded two cheap singles and struck out 13, kept the Texas Rangers clinging to a never-safe 2-0 lead built on Josh Hamilton's first-inning home run. In the face of a precariously high pitch count, Lee stood ready to pitch the ninth inning as well. But the Rangers instead sucked the suspense out of this pivotal ALCS Game 3 by plating six runs in the top of the inning against a cobra suddenly turned garden snake.
The New York Yankees bullpen caved the way the Rangers' had in Game 1. So no Lee was necessary. Instead, kid closer Neftali Feliz got some valued experience in the Big Apple while a once roaring crowd went quietly and rapidly into the night. Feliz whiffed another pair of Yankees, including former Ranger Mark Teixeira to end the game and bring the grand total to 15.
TBS' two ex-pitcher commentators, John Smoltz and Ron Darling, were suitably awed by Lee's command of pitches and ability to mix them up in the face of an at times exceptionally tight strike zone by umpire Jim Reynolds. Lee's mound opponent, Andy Pettitte, was impressive as well. He has more post-season wins -- 19 -- than any pitcher in history. And save for Hamilton's table-setting home run, he matched Lee for seven innings of scintillating baseball.
This was the kind of game that gave you the chills on a number of fronts. The Yankees always seemed poised to strike, and their history said they would. But Lee kept conquering the best team money can buy. And in the end, the Rangers romped to a lopsided win that in a way cheated fans out of what could have been a dramatic, knuckle-gnawing climax. But that's OK. The first eight innings were nerve-wracking enough.
The win assures the Rangers of a return to Arlington if they can't close the Yankees out in New York. It's improbable that they'll win the next two. But can you believe what this team is doing? Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might want in on the action if a World Series actually comes to Arlington. Has he ever even been inside the little shack across the street from his gargantuan palace?
Not to be mean-spirited, but now's not the time to let him in :).10/18/10 02:28 PM
Dale Hansen mouths off anew after being congratulated by Sunday night news anchors Casey Norton and Debbie Denmon. Photo: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
Loquacious WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen invariably is good for a laugh or a cringe. He likely prompted both reactions Sunday night after news anchor Debbie Denmon congratulated him on winning a Lone Star Emmy Award for commentary at Saturday night's giveaway in Dallas.
"I was pretty excited about it when you told me about that," Hansen replied. "But then I heard that Pete Delkus was also voted the best weathercaster, so how special can it really be?"
Hansen won a statue for his periodic "Unplugged" commentaries. Among them were this year's nationally circulated ripping of WFAA8 management for airing a clandestinely recorded cell phone video of a seemingly inebriated Jerry Jones ragging on former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells at a bar. Delkus, who regularly spars and jokes with Hansen on the station's 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, was honored along with CBS11 meteorologist Larry Mowry.
Regardless of Delkus' inclusion, Hansen does have a point about the overall value of the Lone Star Emmys. Just shy of a gazillion are handed out each year at a ceremony that threatens to never end and perhaps still hasn't. For the record, though, WFAA8 won for "News Excellence" and Houston's KHOU-TV was feted for "Station Excellence." Both are owned by Dallas-based Belo Corp. Here's a complete list of the winners.
*** During your friendly content provider's road trip, news came that the Texas Rangers have decided not to renew TV announcer Josh Lewin's contract after nine seasons in the booth with analyst Tom Grieve.
Rangers president Nolan Ryan said in a pro forma news release that the two parties "have agreed to end their relationship and move ahead in different directions . . . We wish Josh the very best for the future."
In a companion statement, Lewin thanked the Rangers "for nine wonderful years. I respect the team's leadership and vision and wish them nothing but the best as well."
Grieve, a former Rangers player and general manager, signed a new three-year deal that will take him through the 2013 season. Most of the team's games are carried on Fox Sports Southwest, which set and then broke ratings records this season.
The Rangers, Lewin and FSS are not commenting further at the moment. But the reasons behind Lewin's exit could be two-fold.
"I think it's safe to say his style was rubbing some in the organization the wrong way," said a local sports broadcaster who regularly covers the Rangers.
Lewin's style could be glib, depending on how good or bad the game was. And one wonders if old school Ryan got any of his Seinfeld or Caddyshack references.
There also was the matter of Lewin's commitments to both the San Diego Chargers and the Fox broadcast network's Saturday afternoon baseball package. Combined, they regularly took him away from Rangers games during the closing one-third of the season. From the Rangers standpoint, you want a guy who's always going to be there -- and Lewin wasn't that guy. With new ownership now firmly in place, the impetus to make a change likely grew stronger.
One of the Lewin-Grieve team's last interviews -- and it might well have been the very last -- was with unclebarky.com before a late August home game with the Minnesota Twins. You can read it here.
***Finally, here's something that's brilliant, dicey and incredibly daring.
Fox4's spoof of itself as "The Social Media Station" at Saturday's Lone Star Emmy Awards ceremony in Dallas may have gone a bit far with its straight-faced sendup of a hostage situation at City Hall. But man, props anyway. Clarice Tinsley anchors, with social networking reports from the field by Matt Grubs, Sophia Reza, James Rose and Natalie Solis, who is caught in the act of taking "a picture of myself with one of the shooting victims" after promising to immediately post it on Facebook.
Appropriately then, the three-minute video, which you really must see, is posted on my dumb little Facebook page. It makes Hansen's aforementioned "Unplugged" commentaries seem like passages from Winnie the Pooh.
If you can't access my Facebook page, you can see the video here as well.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Oct. 7 to Sun., Oct. 17) -- catching up with Rangers, Cowboys, local news derby numbers10/18/10 11:02 AM
Miles Austin leaps over Roy Williams in end zone to draw 15-yard "excessive celebration" penalty; Nelson Cruz leaps at wall to close out Rangers' 7-2 win over Yankees in Game 2 of ALCS. Photos: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
Missed ya'll after taking a road trip through Little Rock, Memphis and Nashville in ongoing effort to become Southern fried.
Now it's time for a big, fat ol' ratings roundup starring the scintillating Texas Rangers and the destitute Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday's 24-21 loss at Minnesota on Fox's featured NFL game drew 1,426,694 D-FW viewers. The previous Sunday's home defeat, co-starring the Tennessee Titans, averaged a slightly smaller 1,378,214 viewers on CBS.
As WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen will be quick to tell you, the Rangers' post-season run can't touch those numbers. Not yet anyway. But the North Texas Nine continues to both make team history and build ratings momentum. Even though all seven games have been on a somewhat less accessible cable network (TBS), with more than half of them in afternoon hours.
Let's circle the Nielsen base paths after first noting that the Game 1 ALDS win against Tampa Bay averaged 180,068 viewers, as previously posted.
Game 2 ALDS, Oct. 7th at Tampa Bay -- 235,474 viewers see the Rangers coast to a 6-0 win.
Game 3 ALDS, Oct. 9th in Arlington -- 491,725 viewers cringe as the Rangers blow a late-inning lead to the Rays.
Game 4 ALDS, Oct. 10th in Arlington -- The Rays even the series at 2-2 while 380,914 viewers get that sinking feeling from noon to mid-afternoon.
Game 5 ALDS, Oct. 12th at Tampa Bay -- Prime-time at last, and good times, too. Cliff Lee pitches Texas to a 5-1 win before the biggest crowd to date -- 713,347 viewers. The Rangers near the one million mark with a peak audience of 990,375 for the closing 15 minutes of the game.
Game 1 ALCS, Oct. 15th in Arlington -- The Yankees deploy a stun gun with a 5-run eighth inning that wipes out a 5-1 Texas lead. But a record Rangers crowd of 928,044 absorbs the blow. A peak audience of 1,115,038 viewers from 10 to 10:15 p.m. puts the team in Cowboys territory for the first time in its history.
Game 2 ALCS, Oct. 16th in Arlington -- Texas quickly regroups with a mid-afternoon/early evening 7-2 win to even the series at 1-1. The TV audience falls off, but not off a cliff. Overall, the game averages a very nice-sized 616,387 viewers.
Monday night's pivotal Game 3, with Lee back in the saddle, has a fighting chance to average 1 million viewers locally. But a blowout win by the Yankees would negate any chance of that. Game time is 7 p.m. on TBS. Be there.
LOCAL NEWS DERBY COMPENDIUM
We're going to do a chronological weekday buzz round here to give you an overall view of which station might have some momentum heading into the November sweeps ratings period (Oct. 28 to Nov. 24th).
Thursday, Oct. 7th -- CBS11 ran the table at 10 p.m. with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and also won at 5 and 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 took the 5 and 6 p.m. golds in total viewers.
Friday, Oct. 8th -- WFAA8 ran first at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements while also sweeping the 5 p.m. competitions and winning at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic. CBS11 nipped WFAA8 at 6 p.m. in total viewers. NBC5 topped the 6 a.m. ratings in total viewers, with Fox4 taking the 25-to-54 gold.
Monday, Oct. 11th -- Fox4 had the only sweep, running the table at 6 a.m. WFAA8 again won at 10 p.m. in total viewers, but CBS11 took first with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 had the 5 and 6 p.m. golds in total viewers while CBS11 and Fox4 respectively ran first at those hours among 25-to-54-year-olds.
Tuesday, Oct. 12th -- WFAA8 and CBS11 split first-place finishes at 10 p.m., with respective wins in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 remained strong in the early mornings with a doubleheader win at 6 a.m. WFAA8 flexed at 5 and 6 p.m. by running the table at both hours.
Wednesday, Oct. 13th -- It was the same story at 10 p.m., with WFAA8 winning in total viewers but CBS11 on top with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 claimed a rare 6 a.m. win in total viewers while Fox4 again ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 topped the 5 and 6 p.m. competitions in total viewers and tied for first with CBS11 at the earlier hour in the 25-to-54 demographic. CBS11 won outright at 6 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds.
Thursday, Oct. 14th -- CBS11 ran a dominant first at 10 p.m. on both scorecards while Fox4 comfortably controlled the 6 a.m. competitions. Fox4 added twin wins at 5 p.m., with CBS11 doing likewise at 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15th -- The 10 p.m. gold in total viewers went to CBS11 while NBC5 finally perked up to win at that hour with 25-to-54-year-olds. Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. races and WFAA8 closed out the week with doubleheader wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.10/17/10 07:38 PM
Romo faces music after latest song sung blue. Photo: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
At this point why not?
After Sunday's latest snatching of defeat from victory -- a 24-21 loss at Minnesota -- maybe it's time for Jerry to be the ultimate Jerry.
The Cowboys' owner has always harbored a desire to coach his jocks with socks. So with little to lose at this point, let's see what he can do. And yes, I'm reasonably serious in proposing that Jerry Jones take the field and call the shots for the rest of this so far desultory season. Hell, he calls 'em anyway, so this would only underscore the obvious. The King of the Cowboys has talked big ever since sacking Tom Landry 22 years ago and putting his team in the hands of six different head coaches, including current incumbent Wade Phillips. What if Jones tried it himself? Could he do much worse?
I haven't been a Phillips basher. But the poor old galoot is snake-bitten and plumb wore out after five games of a season that was supposed to end with Jerry's 'Boys playing in Jerry's Palace in February's Super Bowl.
That's now become an extreme long shot, with the Cowboys' schedule only getting tougher. You can't bring in a coach worth a lick at this point. And none of the current assistant coaches looks man enough to handle the head job. That includes former heir apparent Jason Garrett, the onetime presumed play-calling genius who lately inspires less confidence than the return of Dave Campo.
Commentators around the country say the Cowboys are a talented bunch lacking discipline. Perhaps what they need is a whip being cracked by the guy who directly signs their checks. No one fears Wade Phillips. But Jerry as coach would leave no doubt who's in charge, even if it's only for the rest of this season while he tries to lure another authoritarian from an outside world populated by the likes of Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren.
Meanwhile, imagine the ultra-drama of Jerry on the sidelines with a headset and a clipboard. He's had a facelift and the team desperately needs one. Worse case scenario: Jerry gets coaching completely out of his system after the team tanks under his all-powerful reign. And then he backs off completely in future seasons, becoming an owner who simply enjoys dressing up to come to the games. You know, like that old duffer who bankrolls the Saints.
Best case scenario: the Cowboys actually respond to Jerry -- which isn't utterly out of the question. He fanatically spurs them toward a fantastic finish and a playoff spot. And after that, you never know.
So yeah, I really like the idea of Jerry Jones prowling the sidelines and getting a big dose of his own medicine. Truth in telling, I'm a native Wisconsinite whose Green Bay Packers aren't exactly playing lights out lately either. The Green 'n' Gold, now 3-3, has had a ton of key injuries, though, while the grossly under-achieving Cowboys have been sound of body if not solid on fundamentals.
Something clearly needs to be done with your Dallas Cowboys. Phillips doesn't have the motivational skills required at this point. But maybe Jerry does.
Odds are he'd make a fool of himself as head coach. But what a show it'd be. And besides, there's that little team down the street called the Texas Rangers, who are threatening to steal the Cowboys' thunder by actually standing up to the mighty New York Yankees. Jerry naming himself head coach would nip that right in the bud.
I know. It's crazy. But the timing has never been better.
It's not supposed to be this easy: Rangers trot to 2nd post-season win, making Rays look like '98, '99 Rangers10/07/10 04:57 PM
Rangers celebrate second cruise control win over Rays.No other major league team is without at least one post-season series win. But the Texas Rangers now would have to utterly collapse to remain a member of that exclusive club of one. Texas' 6-0 win at Tampa Bay Thursday afternoon puts the team on a cloud as it heads home to play a possibly clinching game Saturday in Arlington. What happens will happen on TBS, which also has the exclusive rights to carry the best-of-seven American League Championship Series that almost certainly will include the Rangers. The Rays will whine long and hard -- as they did during the game -- about whether third baseman Michael Young really checked his swing on what would have been a third strike in the fifth inning of a 2-0 game. Young then belted a 3-run homer -- his first hit of the series -- to give Texas and winning pitcher C.J. Wilson a big fat cushion. From one replay it looked as though Young indeed had checked his swing. From another, maybe not. But those slo-mo shots can be especially deceiving in these cases. Texas got the call, Young capitalized and Tampa Bay cried itself a river. They weren't going to win anyway. This is uncharted, heady territory for the North Texas Nine. No, they're not the Cowboys. But ride 'em, Rangers and for once take the play away from Jerry Jones and his burly batch of underachievers. The real excitement for the next few weeks to come could be in that li'l brick ballyard down the street from the Cowboys' Roman Colosseum.10/07/10 12:57 PMThe Texas Rangers' Wednesday afternoon post-season debut on TBS, an invigorating 5-1 win at Tampa Bay, dominated the daytime Nielsens but overall couldn't quite match the numbers for Fox4's 9 p.m. newscast among others. Such is life when a network makes it tough to see the game during the heart of most people's workdays. And those who sneaked some peeks at work don't figure into Nielsen's scoreboard. Still, the Rangers averaged a pretty sturdy 180,068 D-FW viewers for a game that ended at 3:44 p.m. The crowd peaked in the game's final half-hour, with 249,325 viewers on hand. In contrast, hardly anyone saw the Phillies' Roy Halladay pitch a no-hitter against Cincinnati in the next TBS game. That one drew a piddling 56,098 viewers before 124,663 watched the Yankees beat the Twins in TBS' featured prime-time game. In the broadcast network prime-time arena, CBS' Criminal Minds had the most viewers with 304,731. CBS' The Defenders followed with a 9 p.m. win, drawing 277,028 viewers to beat Fox4's runnerup local newscast (214,697 viewers). The first half-hour of Fox'sHell's Kitchen (186,994 viewers) won at 7 p.m. in a close battle with ABC's The MiddleBetter With You and CBS' Among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds, Hell's Kitchen took the 7 p.m. gold, followed by from 8 to 8:30 p.m. and HK from 8:30 to 9 p.m. Fox4's news and The Defenders tied for first at 9 p.m. in this key demographic. The second episode of NBC's Law & Order: Los Angeles ran third at 9 p.m. in both total viewers and 18-to-49-year-olds. ABC's The Whole Truth again played dead with a pair of fourths at that hour. In local news derby results, CBS11 had the biggest overall news audience of the day with 207,771 viewers at 10 p.m. But Fox4 took the gold with 25-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) in a tight four-way fight. Longtime Fox4 10 p.m. anchor Clarice Tinsley may be the oldest in the market. But she's been holding her own with the "kids" lately, narrowly winning two of the last four weeknights. Fox4 and WFAA8 tied for first in total viewers at 6 a.m. But Fox4 won outright with 25-to-54-year-olds before the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of its blew out the competing network morning shows in both ratings measurements. CBS11 ran the table at 6 p.m. and WFAA8 did likewise at 5 p.m.10/06/10 03:55 PM Texas Rangers brain trust, led by team president and co-owner Nolan Ryan, celebrates happy returns in Tampa.Timely power hitting and a strong, 10-strikeout seven innings from starter Cliff Lee gave the Texas Rangers their first post-season win since 1996 in Game 1 at Tampa Bay. The Rangers' two-run second inning matched the team's entire 6-game scoring output in the 1998 and 1999 playoff sweeps at the hands of the Yankees. The game ended with a 5-1 Texas win after a semi-scary 9th inning in which closer Neftali Feliz walked the first two hitters he faced and survived a line shot to right field before ending the game with two strikeouts. TBS carried the game during early to mid-afternoon hours, no doubt evading interest on the part of much of the country. Ratings in D-FW, which will be available Thursday, also might be misleadingly low. Nielsen Media Research still hasn't entirely gotten the hang of registering sports bar viewing, let alone workplace TV sets in use. Commentators Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez seemed to do a solid job for the most part. But it's obvious that Texas isn't high on the TBS pecking order right now. The Rangers after all aren't playing the Yanks, who will get Wednesday's prime-time berth in their game at Minnesota. Lee had some shaky early innings, escaping a bases loaded, one out jam in the first. But in the end he gave the Rangers exactly what they paid for -- a dominating starting pitcher and now a commanding position in these playoffs. Another midseason acquisition, veteran catcher Benji Molina, also excelled with three hits, including a two-run homer in the 4th inning. Even WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen was on hand, "Crossing State Lines" to travel all the way to Tampa Bay after very, very seldom venturing to Arlington to watch the Rangers play in recent seasons. Good for him. He'll bring a lot to the party, even if he ranks as D-FW's consummate fair weather fan. Oh, but we kid. Sorta.10/06/10 09:53 AMABC continued to soar on the strength of Dancing with the Stars -- and then falter with two newcomers -- on another Tuesday with overall high-volume viewership. Dancing's latest results hour (outta here, Margaret Cho) racked up 464,022 D-FW viewers at 8 p.m. to hold off CBS' competing NCIS: Los Angeles (373,988 viewers). Dancing also called the tune in that time slot among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. But Fox's Glee had Tuesday's top haul in this age range while finishing second in total viewers at 7 p.m. to CBS' still incredibly potent NCIS (the most viewers of any attraction with 477,873). CBS' The Good Wife won at 9 p.m., but as usual dropped down from the two NCIS shows with 283,954 total viewers. NBC's narrowly won the hour with 18-to-49-year-olds. ABC opened Tuesday with the second episode of No Ordinary Family, which had 180,068 total viewers to run a distant third at 7 p.m. It also had the bronze with 18-to-49-year-olds, edging the first hour of NBC's The Biggest Loser ABC's other first-year series, Detroit 1-8-7 had a similarly tough time at 9 p.m., losing well over half the total audience provided by Dancing. Still, it ran second in total viewers, but fell to fourth with 18-to-49-year-olds. On TXA21, the Dallas Mavericks' pre-season game against Washington managed 48,480 total viewers. But a nice-sized chunk of them -- 29,615 -- were in the 18-to-49 age range. In local news derby festivities, CBS11 had a big night at 10 p.m., winning by comfy margins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. WFAA8 otherwise stood tall, running the table by solid margins at 5 and 6 p.m. while also nipping Fox4 for the 25-to-54 gold at 6 a.m. NBC5 won at 6 a.m. in total viewers.10/05/10 10:18 AMIt's increasingly no contest during Monday's first two hours of prime-time. ABC's Dancing with the Stars is crushing everything in its wake, even doubling the audience for CBS' long-potent Two and a Half Men The latest D-FW results were overwhelming. Dancing averaged 540,205 viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. while also winning comfortably among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds. From 8 to 8:30 p.m., ABC's hoof 'n' puffer had 567,907 viewers to make mincemeat of Two and a Half Men (No. 2 in that half-hour with 277,028 viewers). NBC's third episode of The Event clung to third place in the 8 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements. The Peacock's third episode of the made-in-North Texas Chase then lost audience but still managed a distant bronze with 131,588 total viewers. CBS' Hawaii Five-0 led the 9 p.m. parade with 360,136 viewers while ABC's ran close behind with 332,434. Hawaii Five-0 won by a wider margin with 18-to-49-year-olds. In the cable universe, ESPN's matchup of New England and Miami averaged 325,508 total viewers. From 9 to 10 p.m., though, it tied Hawaii Five-0 for first with 360,136 viewers. Over on CNN, the 7 p.m. premiere of Parker Spitzer (teaming former NY governor Eliot Spitzer with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker) drew a subterranean 5,541 viewers in a No. 5 market of 6.9 million. And it didn't exactly build interest, registering "hashmarks" (no measurable audience) in its closing 15 minutes. In local news derby results, WFAA8 ran first at 10 p.m. in total viewers in a relatively tight fight with CBS11. The two stations tied for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. NBC5 won at 6 a.m. in total viewers and finished in a three-way first place tie with Fox4 and WFAA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds. WFAA8 swept the 5 p.m. Nielsens and added a 6 p.m. win in total viewers. CBS11 took the gold at 6 p.m. in the 25-to-54 demographic.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Oct. 1-3) -- Redskins-Eagles edge Texas-OU among weekend's pigskin productions10/04/10 09:55 AMDeprived of the Cowboys, D-FW football addicts ganged around two showy games over the weekend. And in something of an upset, Texas-OU wasn't the biggest draw. Sunday afternoon's late afternoon game on Fox -- Donovan McNabb's Washington Redskins vs. Michael Vick's Philadelphia Eagles -- averaged 692,570 viewers while Saturday's annual Texas-OU clash on ABC drew 651,016 viewers. NBC's matchup between the Giants and Bears had the weekend's third largest football audience -- 457,096 viewers. Fox's early afternoon Sunday game between the Saints and Panthers drew 297,805 viewers while CBS was right behind with 290,879 for its competing Steelers-Ravens game. The Texas Rangers' final regular season game before beginning post-season play drew scant interest on Fox Sports Southwest. A meaningless home loss to the Angels on Sunday afternoon managed 76,183 viewers opposite the NFL. Texas next will play Tampa Bay Wednesday at 12:37 p.m. (central) on TBS. The Rangers and the Rays are scheduled to begin their first three games in afternoon hours, with Game 3 the latest starting at 4:07 p.m. on TBS (which has all of the opening round AL and NL matchups). That kinda sucks. But if their opponent instead were the marquee Yankees, you'd see the Rangers in prime-time. Games 1 and 3 of the NY-Minnesota series are at night, and Game 2 also starts later than the Rangers -- at 5:07 p.m. Elsewhere in Sunday's ratings, CBS' Undercover Boss and ABC's Desperate Housewives battled for non-sports dominance in the 8 p.m. hour. They tied in total viewers with 367,062 apiece while also matching each other's totals among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. CBS' CSI: Miami, in its first 9 p.m. Sunday outing, then beat ABC's competing Brothers & Sisters in total viewers. But those finishes were reversed in the 18-to-49 demographic. The second episode of CBS' Blue Bloods topped all Friday night programming in total viewers while also narrowly winning its 9 p.m. slot with 18-to-49-year-olds. But NBC's two-hour Dateline had the most viewers in that key demographic. Fox's made-in-Dallas The Good Guys ran fourth at 8 p.m. in total viewers with 76,183 but did manage to almost double the audience of the network's 7 p.m. House rerun (41,554 viewers). Good Guys climbed a rung to third place at 8 p.m. among 18-to-49-year-olds, outdrawing CBS' CSI: NY. In the national Nielsens, though, Good Guys was no match for CSI: NY in either audience measurement. In Friday's local news derby festivities, CBS11 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 inched to the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming) in an exceedingly close four-way battle. NBC5 nipped Fox4 for the 6 a.m. gold in total viewers, but those finishes were reversed with 25-to-54-year-olds before the 7 to 9 a.m. portion of Fox4's Good Day again whipped the three network morning shows in that demographic. WFAA8 ran the table at 6 p.m. and also took first at 5 p.m. in total viewers. NBC5 had the 5 p.m. edge among 25-to-54-year-olds.10/04/10 08:51 AM
Made-in-Texas series now are a done-and-gone two for two after just two weeks of the new fall season. ABC's Austin-originated My Generation has joined Fox's Dallas-produced Lone Star in the cancellation corral. Each aired for just two episodes before the ax swung. Generation drew a piddling 3.8 million viewers nationally for its second outing Thursday in ABC's prime-time lead-off spot. The network hasn't announced a replacement yet, but has removed the show from its press site. Fox's The Good Guys, also filmed in North Texas, could be joining this group imminently. Its latest Friday night episode had 2.5 million viewers. Although receiving generally favorable reviews, the serio-comic cop series has struggled mightily in the ratings since its summer launch. NBC's North Texas entry, Chase, continues to run in place on Mondays at 9 p.m. (central). It's getting a bit winded, though. Last Monday's second episode had 6.3 million viewers to finish a distant third in its time slot opposite CBS' Hawaii Five-0 (12.7 million) and ABC's Castle (11.1 million). Hold on though, the fifth and final 13-episode season of made-in-Austin Friday Night Lights is coming on Oct. 27th, although you'll need DirecTV to get the first looks. NBC, as in past seasons, will repeat FNL after its DirecTV run ends.10/01/10 02:11 PM Fox4 weathercaster Dan Henry skies and scores.It's not every day you can see a news anchor, sports anchor and meteorologist shoot baskets live during a local newscast. Let alone watch the weather dude dunk. Presenting Fox4's new and quite possibly very improved 9 p.m. local newscast, which on Thursday featured three live anchor-newsmaker interviews in an effort to better combat the oft-formidable network entertainment programming on rival stations. The center ring attraction was an extended in-studio interview with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. And I do mean extended. Co-anchor Steve Eagar set things up by talking to Cuban for one minute, 53 seconds before a commercial break. Then came an 11-second, drum-accompanied tease -- "Cuban. Doocy. Eagar. One On One On One with Mark Cuban" -- before an uninterrupted 13 minute, 12 second gathering of the Mavs main man, a vested Eagar, sports anchor Mike Doocy and climactically, weathercaster Dan Henry. Henry showed off his two-handed dunking prowess -- albeit on an obviously less than regulation height basket -- before Cuban tried and at first failed to execute a one-hand slam. But Fox4 later showed tape of Cuban kinda sorta dunking before he flashed a very broad grin. The ultra-elongated interview with Cuban, who alternately cradled and palmed a basketball, touched on a lot of topics but didn't mention the Securities and Exchange Commission's newly revived "insider trader" allegations against him. There probably wasn't much Cuban could say, but the question should have been broached. Other than that, no big problem. It's about time that Fox4 changes and livens things up without resorting to the cheap, sex-alicious content of CW33's competing 9 p.m. newscast. Eager and Doocy might have been overly chummy with Cuban at times, but they did press him a bit on why anyone should believe the Dallas Mavericks will be any better this season after not signing anyone resembling a marquee free agent. Cuban stuck to the notion that nothing less than an NBA title will satisfy him, although few believe that's a realistic possibility in the coming season. The only technical glitch was a "Dress For Success" tag that briefly showed up on-screen. Heather Hays split-screens it with tree protector Ray Deshaw.Before Cuban's appearance, co-anchor Heather Hays had a solid live interview with Collin County rancher Ray Deshaw, who's battling officials over the preservation of trees he planted 20 years ago. The county says they pose safety and drainage problems. Unfortunately, Deshaw's name was misspelled "Dishaw" throughout the interview. These things happen. Eagar earlier had a live interview with Fox football analyst and former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury over the issue of intrusive parents at youth football games. The segment was sparked by a recent parental brawl during which one dad brutally forearm-shivved another dad from behind. Fox4 repeatedly played the footage. All of the interviews provided in depth looks at newsworthy topics or people. This of course enhances the anchors' profiles while reducing the need for reporters in the field. Still, the newscast found time for three fairly lengthy dispatches from reporters Matt Grubs, Sophia Reza and Lari Barager. Henry also got around to doing the weather after dunking. There are some perils. Those with no interest in Cuban might well have changed the channel rather than sit through more than 15 minutes with him. It did in fact seem like an eternity, even for a big sports fan like yours truly. The plusses also are apparent. Standard issue news blips are mostly eliminated, as are run-of-the-mill crime stories and other junk on a bunk. At least that was the case Thursday night. The ratings didn't quite pan out, though. Fox4 ran fourth in total viewers and with 18-to-49-year-olds in Thursday's 9 p.m. slot while tying NBC's for third among 25-to-54-year-olds. No matter. I'd stay the course with this more substantive, enterprising treatment of local news. No need to make that big a fuss over Cuban, whose segment should have been trimmed by at least a few minutes or more. But I'm betting the producers already are making adjustments. And kudos to them for making the effort to try something different without selling out the news product.
Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Sept. 30) -- sagging numbers for My Generation and $#*! My Dad Says (also, DISH network at least temporarily drops Fox Sports Southwest)10/01/10 09:37 AMPremiere week sampling is over and rejection is starting to settle in. In D-FW at least, that means trouble for ABC's Austin-made My Generation and CBS' damnable $#*! My Dad SaysGeneration drew just 76,183 viewers in the 7 p.m. hour, roughly half the audience it had for last week's considerably less than successful debut. It ran fourth in both total viewers and advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds. Dad Says inherited a sizable 318,582 viewers from The Big Bang Theory before bungee jumping to 173,143 at 7:30 p.m. It still ran second in its time slot to Fox's concluding half-hour of Bones. But Dad Says beat only My Generation among 18-to-49-year-olds. CBS' again drew Thursday's biggest overall crowd, with 367,062 viewers. That's more than the combined audience for its 9 p.m. competitors -- ABC's Private Practice (138,514); NBC's The Apprentice (110,812) and Fox4's local newscast (103,886). Mentalist also called the tune with 18-to-49-year-olds, although its victory margin wasn't quite as daunting over the second-place Apprentice CBS' took the 8 p.m. gold in total viewers but sank all the way to fourth in the 18-to-49 demographic behind ABC's top-drawing Grey's Anatomy. NBC's second episode of Outsourced drew the most 18-to-49-year-olds for its network, running second from 8:30 to 9 p.m. Katie Couric's CBS Evening News continued its resurgence in D-FW. Largely ignored at this time last year, it ran a close second to ABC's World News in total viewers and nipped Fox4's 5:30 p.m. local newscast for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds (principal target audience for news programming. In local news derby results, CBS11 ran the table by wide margins at 10 p.m. and also swept the 6 p.m. competitions. Fox4 countered with twin wins at 5 p.m. and paper-thin 6 a.m. margins over NBC5 in total viewers and a lately resurgent WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demo. PROGRAMMING NOTE: What usually happens in these stare-downs is an 11th hour agreement, which WFAA8 reached last weekend with Time Warner cable to keep its programming on the air. At issue is higher transmission fees, which in this case were negotiated. But DISH network fired a cannon shot at Fox Sports Southwest at midnight Sept. 30th by dropping the network from its lineup. FSS notes that this will mean a DISH blackout of this weekend's three concluding Texas Rangers games, Saturday's Kansas-Baylor matchup and possibly the starts of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars seasons if this thing drags out. Which it likely won't. "Fox has been trying for months to reach a fair agreement, but DISH refuses to play ball," FSS spokesman Ramon Alvarez said in a statement. "Our programming is among the most valuable DISH offers, and we're simply looking for a fair deal." DISH says Fox is asking for an "unprecedented" rate increase of more than 50 percent. As a consolation prize to subscribers, it will offer the NFL Network, NBA TV and ESPN Classic free of charge until a resolution is reached.