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Old 03-21-2003, 09:18 PM   #1
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viewers prefer old "Friends" over enemies

what do they mean by "repeat friends episode?"

they've all been repeats since the first season, same fucking script for the last decade, blah

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2003Mar21.html

TV's War News Coverage Outdrawn by Comedy Repeats

by Ben Berkowitz

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. television networks, facing a bill of up to $20 million each per day to cover the Iraq war, found that "Friends" are more popular than enemies as a repeat episode of the top sitcom on Thursday night beat live war cover on ABC in the ratings.

With networks wondering just how deep the American appetite for war cover will be, preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research on Friday showed ABC's live coverage running second throughout Thursday evening, behind NBC's entertainment programming, and later in the night an edition of its news show "Dateline."

For the 8 p.m.-11 p.m. prime-time period, ABC's news coverage averaged 10.83 million total viewers, behind NBC's 13.65 million viewers for its mix of half-hour comedies and "Dateline." At 8 p.m., NBC's long-running hit comedy "Friends" drew nearly 4 million more viewers than ABC's news, even though it was a repeat episode.

In the audience ages 18-49, considered key by advertisers and used by the networks as a leading benchmark of performance, NBC drew a 6.3 rating for the night, compared with a 3.9 for ABC. One rating point represents one percent of homes that own television sets.

Goldman Sachs research estimated this week that the cost to the networks of continuous coverage of the war could be $5 million to $20 million per day, in a worst-case scenario, depending on the network.

Tom Wolzein, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein who is a former NBC News executive and also served in Vietnam, said war coverage could increase costs for news divisions by 5 percent to 10 percent, or $40 million to $60 million for the year.

"From a business side, ABC's noncommercial coverage not only removed the network from ratings competition with CBS and NBC, but also kept its weak Thursday night out of the overall ratings averages, which don't include non-sponsored programs," Wolzein said in research note Friday.

The result: "This should actually help ABC's ratings for the season."

ABC MAKES A MEA CULPA

While dealing with the ratings and the possibility that this Sunday's Academy Awards may not go on because of the war with Iraq, the news division has also found itself having to issue a mea culpa to its affiliates.

The network on Friday confirmed that it has sent a letter of apology to its affiliate stations nationwide for a snafu Wednesday night, in the early hours of the war against Iraq, that left many of them with dead air where their late-night newscasts would normally have been.

Of all the networks covering the military conflict in the Gulf, ABC was last to come on with the news Wednesday night, nearly 10 minutes behind front-runner NBC.

When ABC did report the bombing around Baghdad, it was without lead anchor Peter Jennings.

Substitutes filled in until he came on the air a few minutes later, but at 11 p.m. ET, Jennings signed off. ABC affiliates on the west coast went back to entertainment programming, while those on the East Coast who were expecting sustained coverage from Jennings were left with nothing.

Affiliates, who had been told that the network would stay with news through the evening, were furious at the result.

"ABC News repeatedly informed affiliates across the country that network coverage would prevent local stations from airing 11 p.m. newscasts," local affiliate WCJB-TV, in the Gainesville, Florida area, said on its Web site.

"At 11pm, with no notice or warning, ABC decided to end their continuous coverage immediately," the note said. "We have been in contact with ABC and expressed our grave concerns over the decisions made at the network level."

Yet to be determined is whether news coverage of the war will displace Sunday's planned telecast of the 75th Annual Academy Awards.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the entertainment side of ABC said the network was taking a "moment-by-moment" approach to airing the highly lucrative event, which generated as much as $1.45 million for a 30-second advertising spot this year.

NBC is a unit of General Electric Co. ; CBS is a unit of Viacom Inc. ; ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co. ; and Fox is a unit of News Corp Ltd.
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Old 03-22-2003, 01:47 AM   #2
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i know that by the end of the day i just want to watch friends.


remember for days after 9/11 when there was nothing on television but footage of the towers? by the third day, what i wouldn't have given to see seinfeld.....not that i was paying disrespect to what happened...but i just wanted to not think about anything for 30 minutes.

it's the same reason movies like "bringing down the house" are top grossing movies for the weekends - people just want to chill out sometimes.
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Old 03-22-2003, 04:04 AM   #3
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Will Smith has decided not to show up for the oscars.

foray
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Old 03-22-2003, 04:10 AM   #4
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to the best of my knowledge, will smith was not nominated for an oscar, this year or any other year (thank god)

a film maker from finland is boycotting the oscars, his film is nominated for best foreign language film (dont recall the title)
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Old 03-22-2003, 05:06 AM   #5
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Hello old boy.

That would be Aki Kaurismaki for The Man Without A Past.
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Old 03-22-2003, 05:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
i know that by the end of the day i just want to watch friends.


remember for days after 9/11 when there was nothing on television but footage of the towers? by the third day, what i wouldn't have given to see seinfeld.....not that i was paying disrespect to what happened...but i just wanted to not think about anything for 30 minutes.

it's the same reason movies like "bringing down the house" are top grossing movies for the weekends - people just want to chill out sometimes.
I agree, there is only so much war coverage you can take..
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Old 03-22-2003, 06:45 AM   #7
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Actually, The Wanderer, you will be horrified to know that Will Smith was indeed nominated for an Oscar last year - for Ali.

I believe that the Oscars should go on. Why on Earth not?

Ant.
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Old 03-22-2003, 12:50 PM   #8
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I actually watched E! for more than a half-hour total this week just because there was nothing else on other channels besides war coverage.
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Old 03-22-2003, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly
i know that by the end of the day i just want to watch friends.


remember for days after 9/11 when there was nothing on television but footage of the towers? by the third day, what i wouldn't have given to see seinfeld.....not that i was paying disrespect to what happened...but i just wanted to not think about anything for 30 minutes.

it's the same reason movies like "bringing down the house" are top grossing movies for the weekends - people just want to chill out sometimes.
Don't feel bad-I felt the same way too after 9/11.

And I'm feeling the same way now. Every time my dad turns on a news channel to watch war coverage, I go somewhere else, just to get away from it for a while. I might watch for a few minutes, but after a while I just want to not think about war.

Which is why I'm hoping that there will be nothing big tomorrow that will interrupt the Oscars-for 3 and a half hours, can we just go back to our regularly scheduled programming?

Like you said, no disrespect or anything-don't want it to sound like that at all.

Now I understand why certain shows like "The Brady Bunch" and all them were so popular during the Vietnam War...people wanted a happy escape for a while from all the horror around them.

Angela
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Old 03-22-2003, 05:17 PM   #10
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Didn't ZooTV embody this concept? If ya don't feel like watching war, change the channel!
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Old 03-22-2003, 06:13 PM   #11
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I think network ratings are low because people who want war coverage are most likely watching CNN and FoxNews on cable.
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Old 03-23-2003, 12:52 AM   #12
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If you haven't watched 24, on Fox tuesdays night, there's a new episode this week... Quality television for a network tv show.. Keifer Sutherland delivers a stellar performance.. every week, when it is shown.. Really surprised it's being shown or maybe it won't be, depends on whats happening with the war.
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Old 03-23-2003, 01:49 AM   #13
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24 is one of the few shows actually worth watching in my opinion. Good stuff. Hope it won't be preempted by war coverage.
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