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Heading west for another bout with the summer TV Critics Association "press tour"


A little piggy in a blanket, Uncle Barky? And so it begins yet again. Photo: Ed Bark

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Television Critics Association’s annual summer “press tour” gets underway this week, and your friendly content provider is heading west once again to arduous Beverly Hills.

The damned thing will stretch all the way through Aug. 9th, when FX typically puts an end to it with a full day of interview sessions. I’ll be there almost for the duration, missing just a handful of early panels on Tuesday, July 25th after arriving in mid-afternoon on that day.

Unclebarky.com will go dark during that time, with all of my dispatches being filed for the New York City-based tvworthwatching.com. You can read them here. (Note to readers: The publishing mechanism I use makes it very complicated to publish via a laptop or other device. And I’m not about to mess with it.)

My first press tour was in the summer of 1980, well before cable networks became a force and also pre-dating the launch of the Fox network, the Internet and latter day streamers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Only ABC, CBS and NBC “presented” during that 1980 tour. Now it’s an almost impossibly crowded field.

So please wish me luck as I strive to remain both ambulatory and of reasonably sound mind. Unclebarky.com will fire up again in mid-August.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., July 21-23) -- it's Spieth time

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Dallasite Jordan Spieth’s incredible down-the-stretch rally to win the (British) Open put virtually all eyes on NBC’s late morning/early afternoon live coverage Sunday.

Spieth teed off at 8:30 a.m. D-FW time and dropped a short putt to make his third Major tournament victory official at 12:38 p.m. The audience not surprisingly peaked at 225,404 D-FW viewers from 12:30 to 12:45 (Nielsen Media Research measures ratings in 15-minute increments.)

NBC’s 6 to 8 a.m. portion of golf coverage averaged just 29,084 viewers before Spieth and Matt Kuchar began what became a classic battle. Kuchar had taken a one-stroke lead after 13 holes, overcoming a three-stroke deficit at the start of the day. But then came a Spieth barrage of birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie and a closing par. He ended up beating Kuchar by three strokes, averting what for a time seemed like a Masters-style collapse.

Even the great Jack Nicklaus felt compelled to tweet, “Wow! What a wild back nine! Is @JordanSpieth something else?”

The 8:30 to 12:38 portion of The Open averaged 159,964 viewers, and the final hour, 203,591.

It wasn’t the top overall draw of the day, though. That crown again went to CBS’ Big Brother, with a 7 p.m. episode that averaged 232,675 viewers and 112,249 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old age range. BB has been a virtually unstoppable force this summer, increasing its viewership by the week. But CBS’ following Candy Crush again bombed Sunday night, plummeting to 43,627 total viewers and 12,828 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

A special edition of BB also easily ranked as Friday’s most-watched prime-time attraction, with 196,320 total viewers and 73,763 in the 18-to-49 realm.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

CBS11 broke through for a 10 p.m. win in total viewers while NBC5 ran first among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. in total viewers and shared the 25-to-54 lead with NBC5.

The 6 p.m. golds went to CBS11 in total viewers and NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds. The Peacock also swept the 5 p.m. competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., July 19-20) -- double dose of Big Bro goes down easy for CBS but can't save what follows

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Big Brother continues to work its hot weather magic for CBS, most notably among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds who otherwise tend to stay away from the older-skewing network.

But the following hours also have to be filled. And that’s not working out well at all.

Thursday’s 8 p.m. hour of BB easily led all prime-time attractions with 218,133 total D-FW viewers and 105,834 in the 18-to-49 age range. Then came Zoo, which fell to 65,440 total viewers and super-plunged with 18-to-49-year-olds (12,828).

It was the same story Wednesday night, although the 7 p.m. episode of BB initially had a tougher time of it opposite Fox’s Masterchef. The two shows tied in total viewers with 189,049 apiece while BB nipped Masterchef among 18-to-49-year-olds by a score of 73,763 to 70,556.

Then along came CBS’ new Salvation with 94,524 total viewers but almost a rock-bottom 9,621 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. Back-to-back episodes of NBC’s The Carmichael Show won the 8 p.m. hour in both ratings measurements.

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast continued to hold up well in the summer heat, scoring twin wins on Thursday against competing network entertainment programming while also topping its slot Wednesday in total viewers. There was a stumble with 18-to-49-year-olds, though, where the newscast ran second to ABC’s repeats of Modern Family and The Goldbergs.

Here are the four-way local news derby results.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 notched a 10 p.m. win in total viewers by nipping NBC5. The two stations tied for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and added 5 and 6 p.m. firsts in the 25-to-54 realm. The total viewer golds went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and TEGNA8 at 6 p.m.

Thursday -- Fox4 made it a twofer at 10 p.m. and also ran the table at 6 a.m.

TEGNA8 was tops in total viewers at both 5 and 6 p.m. The firsts with 25-to-54-year-olds went to NBC5 at 5 p.m. and Fox4 at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon.-Tues., July 17-18) -- Fox4's 9 p.m. news puts crimp in NBC's usual Tuesday night dominance

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NBC usually calls the prime-time tune on Tuesdays with its combo of America’s Got Talent and World of Dance.

Both attractions again were tops in total D-FW viewers, with AGT leading all programming with 319,928. But among advertiser-coveted 18-to-to-49-year-olds, Fox4’s local newscast delivered a big wallop at 9 p.m. with 89,799 while Dance faded to a distant second (60,935). AGT took the 7 to 9 p.m. slot with 70,556 viewers in this key demographic. But that’s a lousy percentage of its overall total.

On a comparatively lackluster Monday, ABC’s The Bachelorette and Fox4’s 9 p.m. news tied for the prime-time lead in total viewers with 138,151 each. They also shared the lead among 18-to-49-year-olds, but with just 44,899 apiece.

And now, here are those delightful local news derby numbers for the four-way competitions.

Monday -- TEGNA8 ran first in total viewers at 10 p.m. while NBC5 drew the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept both the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions. At 6 p.m., CBS11 ended its latest drought with a win in total viewers and Fox4 took the 25-to-54 gold.

Tuesday -- NBC5 and TEGNA8 tied for the 10 p.m. top spot in total viewers, but TEGNA8 won outright among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 ran the table at 6 a.m. and TEGNA8 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. medals went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 realm.

Email comments or questions to; unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., July 13-16) -- still knuckling under to Big Brother

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Who’s your daddy? That would be CBS’ Big Brother.

The network’s annual summertime showcase of bickering “houseguests” continues to dominate, easily ranking as prime-time’s biggest draw on both Sunday and Thursday in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic.

Sunday’s 7 p.m. hour drew 83,385 D-FW viewers in this age range, blasting ABC’s competing Celebrity Family Feud (51,317). And Thursday’s 8 p.m. edition had 70,556 viewers of the 18-to-49 persuasion, spanking NBC’s competing game hour The Wall (41,692).

BB also pulled in more total viewers than any other Sunday program and tied CBS’ The Big Bang Theory rerun for Thursday’s biggest overall audience.

In the have-not realm, NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly continued to languish, with just 65,440 total viewers and 16,036 in the 18-to-49 realm. It’s not a good look when ABC’s competing repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos whips you on both ratings scorecards.

Other summertime losers are CBS’ hot weather pair of the new Candy Crush and Season 3 of Zoo. Each show plummeted, particularly among 18-to-49-year-olds, after inheriting substantial lead-in audiences from BB.

ABC’s Thursday night lineup was “led” by The Gong Show with just 65,440 total viewers and 19,243 in the 18-to-49 age range. But that made it a ratings monster compared to the network’s lead-off hitter, Boy Band (21,813 total viewers and 2,245 in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic).

(D-FW ratings were not available for HBO’s Sunday night seventh season premiere of Game of Thrones.) Relatively little action took place, but the lines are now pretty firmly drawn for the upcoming all-out war among all those armies in waiting and on the advance.)

Here are the Thursday and Friday local news derby results.

Thursday -- TEGNA8 took the 10 p.m. top spot in total viewers, but Fox4 had the most 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The 6 a.m. wins went to Fox4 in total viewers and NBC5 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. first among 25-to-54-year-olds. TEGNA8 drew the most total viewers at 6 p.m.

Friday -- NBC5 ran the table at 10 p.m. and Fox4 did likewise at both 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the golds went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net