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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., Aug. 17) -- a CBS island unto itself

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’ Big Brother again towered over the D-FW prime-time ratings Thursday -- and pretty amazingly so.

Here are the network’s decidedly up-and-down Nielsen numbers.

In total viewers, CBS’ opening rerun of The Big Bang Theory drew 116,338 before a Kevin Can Wait repeat slipped to 101,795.

BB then pole vaulted to 225,404 viewers before a new episode of CBS’ Zoo burrowed into last place among the Big Four broadcast networks with just 43,627 viewers.

The disparities were even more pronounced among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, a demographic that CBS has long found elusive.

Big Bang had 35,278 viewers in the 18-to-49 realm, with Kevin Can Wait falling to 19,243. Bang-zoom, BB then skyrocketed to 109,041 viewers in this bread-buttering measurement before Zoo fizzled out with 12,828.

ABC continued to scrape bottom in the 7 to 8 p.m. hour with Boy Band, which had a puny 36,356 total viewers and a sub-speck of 18-to-49-year-olds (1,604). Even The CW’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us, which is quite entertaining actually, squashed the competing Boy Band with 16,036 viewers of the 18-to-49 persuasion.

NBC’s The Wall won from 7 to 8 p.m. in both ratings barometers, as did Fox4’s local 9 p.m. newscast among the Big Four broadcasters.

In the cable universe on Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ marathon win over the Chicago White Sox grew in strength as the night wore on, peaking at 196,320 viewers in every quarter-hour between 10 and 11 p.m.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions with wins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

NBC5 ran the table at 6 a.m. and Fox4 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts were split between NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Show runner Matt Nix wanted to stay, but in the end Fox nixed Dallas and turned to Atlanta as the future home of The Gifted (updated)

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Mom, dad & their Marvel-ized mutant kids in The Gifted. Fox photo

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s not as if the world needs yet another movie or series bearing the Marvel brand.

But D-FW and the Dallas Film Commission certainly could have used Fox’s The Gifted as both an economy- and morale-booster.

Instead, despite show runner Matt Nix’s best efforts, the mutant-rich drama series has relocated to Georgia (specifically Atlanta) for future episodes after the pilot was filmed earlier this year in Dallas. The culprit? Mainly tax incentives. Georgia has them in abundance. Texas lately does not -- and increasingly is paying a price while the nearby Peach state is now a mecca for film and TV production.

In an interview with unclebarky.com following Fox’s Beverly Hills-based “press tour” panel for The Gifted, Nix said that incentives were “certainly a factor. I don’t know all of the details of the decision to move the show out of Dallas. They (Fox) said, ‘Look at the numbers’ blah blah blah. When they say ‘look at the numbers,’ a lot of that is taxes.” (Fox Television co-chair and CEO Dana Walden earlier said economics were the overriding reason for The Gifted’s evacuation.)

Nix said it was his idea to film in Dallas after a far lengthier stay in the city for Fox’s 2010 comedy cop series The Good Guys, which co-starred Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks. It got canceled after 20 episodes, but originated entirely from North Texas.

“I love shooting in Dallas,” he said. “It’s not an over-shot city. It’s really an underrated location.”

Many local crew members from The Good Guys were re-gathered by Nix for The Gifted. “The Good Guys was such a great experience,” he said. “The first day (on the set of The Gifted), the second catering assistant came up and gave me a big hug. Everybody was wearing their Good Guys gear. Dallas is such a fun, friendly city, and the crews are great. And I really loved it.”

The pilot for The Gifted, screened earlier this month during press tour, has been virtually scrubbed clean of all things North Texas. Remaining, though, is a reference to Garland and a few scenes from the “Garland Detention Center.” Nix said that an earlier “alt-version” tried Lubbock on for size, but “we figured more people would know that’s in Texas.”

Via email Wednesday, longtime Dallas Film Commissioner Janis Burklund said, “It was indeed VERY disappointing to lose them. We felt like we had a really good thing going given that Matt very much likes (Dallas) and wanted to be here.”

Before The Gifted’s post-Dallas destination was known, Burklund had told The Dallas Observer that “the show was not only going to spend more than $25 million in six months, but it was going to potentially last for years.”

Fox was on a “very tight timeline,” though, Burklund said. “It’s a big show. They had lots of sets to build and things to get ready. They also had an air date, and they delayed it as long as they could. But they had to make a decision because the (state) legislature wasn’t done doing their stuff” (regarding both any approval of tax incentives and a then pending “bathroom bill” which finally was killed this week).

Fox initially has ordered 10 episodes of The Gifted, which is scheduled to premiere on Monday, Oct. 2nd in tandem with the network’s returning Lucifer.

The series will have plenty of company in a bullish state where film and TV production reportedly had a record tax incentive-driven “economic impact” of $7.2 billion in fiscal year July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Besides The Gifted, upcoming new series being filmed in Georgia include Fox’s The Resident, NBC’s Good Girls, The CW’s Valor, Black Lightening and its Dynasty reboot, ABC’s retitled Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and Netflix’s Insatiable and The Haunting.

Georgia also is home to a wealth of returning series, including AMC’s The Walking Dead, FX’s Atlanta, CBS’ Macgyver, Fox’s Star and CW’s The Originals.

Additionally, at least 17 feature films and 11 “reality” series have set up shop in Georgia.

For now, the Dallas Film Commission mostly is licking wounds from series that got away or pilots that never made it to the next level. That includes the Reese Witherspoon-produced Broken, which was filmed in the city last year with an imposing cast that included Anna Paquin (as a “ruthless” Dallas divorce attorney), Blair Underwood and Penelope Ann Miller.

But ABC took a pass after seeing the pilot for Broken. And now The Gifted has gone thataway to deepen a slump that began when TNT abruptly canceled its new version of Dallas in 2014 after a three-season run that ended with an unresolved cliffhanger.

Burklund notes at least one bright spot beneath these otherwise gloomy skies. The first two seasons of USA network’s Queen of the South were filmed in Dallas and surrounding areas. USA recently picked up Queen for a third season, but it’s “yet to be seen,” Burklund said, whether the show will remain here or be lured elsewhere.

Given the state legislature’s intransigence when it comes to increasing tax incentives for filmmakers, just about everything is anything but a done deal these days.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Aug. 16) -- Big Bro keeps reigning while NBC enjoys solid start for Marlon

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
CBS’ latest hour of Big Brother again dominated in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic Wednesday by nearly doubling the audience for NBC’s competing America’s Got Talent.

The network’s annual summertime collection of bickering, mostly empty-headed “houseguests” drew 105,834 D-FW viewers in the 18-to-49 realm while AGT ran a distant second in the 7 p.m. hour with 54,521.

AGT edged BB in total viewers, though, by a score of 269,031 to 239,946. But networks of all sizes would much rather load up with 18-to-49-year-olds in pursuit of “premium” advertising rates. And close to half of BB’s viewership hit that sweet spot compared to barely 20 percent for AGT.

NBC’s 8 to 9 p.m. double-shot premiere of Marlon Wayans’ new sitcom, Marlon, won both half-hours in both audience measurements in competition among the Big Four broadcast networks. And despite falling substantially from AGT in total viewers, Marlon nearly equaled its lead-in’s 18-to-49-year-old numbers. The first half-hour of Marlon fared the best in total viewers with 174,506; both episodes performed equally among 18-to-49-year-olds with 51,314.

ABC’s three-hour CMA Festival lagged with 94,524 total viewers and just 22,450 in the 18-to-49 demographic. But this was still good enough to whip CBS’ two-hour episode of Salvation, which fell to 65,440 total viewers and a paltry 12,828 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast continued to hold up decently in the summertime heat, beating ABC, CBS and NBC in total viewers with 123,609 and tying NBC’s Law & Order: SVU with 18-to-49-year-olds (28,864 each).

In the cable universe, the rallying Texas Rangers’ pursuit of a post-season wild card spot continued to bolster the numbers for Fox Sports Southwest. The hometown nine’s win over the Detroit Tigers averaged a solid 167,235 total viewers and 35,278 in the 18-to-49 realm. The 8 to 10 p.m. portion of the game topped all prime-time programming in total viewers and also won the 9 p.m. hour among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Lastly, here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but NBC5 was tops with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 scored twin wins at 6 a.m. and the Peacock did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., Aug. 15) -- NBC crunches all but one

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
NBC’s America’s Got Talent again ruled two-thirds of the prime-time landscape Tuesday before the Peacock’s Hollywood Game Night almost finished the deal.

AGT averaged a league-leading 334,471 D-FW viewers in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot while also ranking as the night’s top draw with advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds (86,592).

Game Night then topped the 9 p.m. field with 174,506 total viewers but was edged by Fox4’s competing local newscast in the 18-to-49 realm (51,314 viewers to 44,899).

Sent to Fox Sports 1 rather than their usual Fox Sports Southwest home, the lately resurgent Texas Rangers’ home win over Detroit averaged 116,338 total viewers. Texas remains in the wild card race while Joey Gallo continues to deliver big bops in pursuit of the American League home run crown. He now has 34 in a hot August for him while slumping Aaron Judge (did he screw up his swing in the All-Star game’s home run derby?) is now just two ahead of Gallo.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 and NBC5 shared the lead among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

It was another split decision at 6 a.m., with Fox4 tops in total viewers but the Peacock winning in the 25-to-54 demographic.

NBC5 recorded Tuesday’s only sweep with twin wins at 6 p.m. Fox4 and NBC5 tied for the most total viewers at 5 p.m. while Fox4 narrowly had first place to itself in the 25-to-54 mix.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Catching up on D-FW's TV news developments

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In the news: Jean-Jacques Taylor, Gabriel Roxas & Ron Corning.

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Your friendly content provider has just returned from 16 days worth of the Television Critics Association “press tour” in Southern California. And boy, are my mental faculties tired.

Still, it’s time to catch up on local TV news developments while also urging readers to check out the entire press tour collection of 14 stories right here on tvworthwatching.com. OK, here we go:

***NBC5 has added Jean-Jacques Taylor to its sports staff, where he’ll be the designated “Cowboys Insider” in time for the team’s Sept. 10th regular season opener at home against the New York Giants.

In a social media post, the former sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News says he’s “pumped” to be included “on all of Ch. 5’s platforms, whether I”m writing columns, news or on-air.”

Taylor said he’ll continue co-hosting J Dub City with Will Chambers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on ESPN Dallas radio (103.3 FM).

“Six great years of working with a collection of talented reporters and editors at ESPN positioned me to land a fantastic opportunity like this,” Taylor said. He’l be joining longtime head sports anchor Newy Scruggs and reporter/anchor Pat Doney and “making it do what it do,” as Taylor put it.

***CBS11 and reporter Garbriel Roxas have parted ways after his two-and-a-half-year stint with the station. Roxas’ last day was on Sunday, July 23rd, director of communications Lori Conrad confirms.

There’s no word yet on a replacement for Roxas or where he might be headed next. He joined CBS11 in December 2014 from Sacramento’s ABC affiliate station, KXTV-TV (News 10) after earlier stints at TV stations in Yakima, WA and Lexington, KY.

***This is the opposite of a lucky break. Ron Corning, co-anchor of TEGNA8’s early morning Daybreak program since April 2011, recently “wiped out on a slippery concrete deck” during a house tour in Santa Fe, NM.

As Corning further reports on an August 13th Facebook post, he “came down squarely on my left knee.” Three hours of surgery later, he found himself in a full straight leg cast for a minimum of six weeks.

“No driving, months of rehab, out of work for the week, all travel canceled -- that’s the long and short of it,” Corning writes. “You just never know how quickly life can throw us a curve ball. Thanks to my friends here (in Santa Fe) who gave up all their plans to see me through this, my WFAA family for their support , and everyone back home who has stepped up to help me when I get back.”

In a text message Tuesday, Corning said, “Yeah, it was a nasty fall. And life-halting for now. Probably a long road ahead of rehab. Trying not to get too down about it.”

We wish him a full and quick recovery here at unclebarky.com.

***”HD Chopper 8” is no more, at least as a separate entity. Sources tell unclebarky.com that TEGNA8 is selling its helicopter as the result of a corporate budget-trimming mandate. The station is now time-sharing a Robinson R66 flying machine with Fox4 and CBS11 via Sky Helicopters at the Garland/DFW Heliport. NBC5 continues to lease a Robinson 44 chopper through Sky Helicopters.

TEGNA8 president and general manager Mike Devlin has a standing “no comment” policy with unclebarky.com. Sources say he had to make the tough choice to bid adieu to HD Chopper 8, ending the station’s long run as the only D-FW TV news station with its own, independently owned helicopter.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net