"Must Hear TV" on "The Frank DeCaro Show" on Sirius OutQ 109
Wednesdays, 1-2 PM
In news from today's "Must-Hear TV" report...
- The latest word out of NBC is that the Beijing Olympics are on track to be the most watched games in history. As of this afternoon, the network is saying that total viewership for Beijing in these first 5 days has reached 168 million people – that’s nearly 15 million more than Athens in 2004.
Monday night’s coverage has been so far the highest rated night of the games. As Michael Phelps worked towards a new record for the most Olympic medals ever won, his triumph reached 82 million total viewers, posting a 19.9 rating and 34 share. (34 share is HUGE – that means of all television sets that were on at the time, over 1/3 were tuned to NBC’s Olympic coverage. With so many channels for us to choose from, that kind of concentration of viewers never happens anymore.) To compare, Athens’ numbers were an 18.3 rating and 30 share.
And of course, more and more of us are catching up on the games online. Since the internet has grown exponentially since 2004, it’s no surprise that so many more of us are watching online since then. http://www.nbcolympics.com/ is reporting 17.7 million video streams so far for Beijing, as compared to 2.2 million for the entire Athens games. Presenting the Summer Olympics for the 11th time, more than any other network, NBC will be bringing us a record total of 3,600 hours of coverage, with 2,900 of those live, and across more platforms than ever. “Obviously our multi-platform Olympic strategy is a success,” NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker brags. “But this record-breaking Olympic performance is proving that network television is more alive than ever.”
- Diana in TX perfectly anticipated my next item: yes, I have Big Bang Theory news. Not only will the show return – on Monday Sept. 22 at 8 PM ET – but it comes back with a new cast member. After making a guest appearance last season as Leonard [Johnny Galecki]’s love interest Leslie Winkle, Sara Gilbert is back to stay as a series regular. For those of us who loved them as a married couple on Roseanne, it’ll be fun to watch their continued chemistry – even if it does screw up Leonard’s chances of making it with neighbor Penny [Kaley Cuoco.]
By the way, in case you missed season 1 of this fun comedy, it's due out on DVD on September 2.
- We’ve all heard about the updated version of 90210 premiering soon on the CW network (a 2-hour launch on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 8 PM ET). Many of us have also heard the rumor that this show may be the CW’s last chance. Yes, Gossip Girl is popular, but only a minor ratings hit – and according to rumor, the CW needs 90210 to break big in order to stay alive.
Things were looking up for the show when early on, producers announced they’d enticed three original West Beverly High alums – Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling and then Shannen Doherty – to return. Then, with the birth of Tori’s baby, plans were reportedly delayed a bit. Now Tori’s a no-go altogether; both her reps, and those for the CW, confirm that Tori’s Donna Martin will not be back. US magazine is reporting the real reason: whereas Jennie and Shannen are to be earning $35-50K per episode, Tori was offered just $10-20K.
And yet another actor from the original has weighed in: Ian Ziering’s Steve Sanders will not be back. “It’s not really where my career goals are focused right now,” Ziering told People magazine. “I think that it’s fantastic that they’re trying to recapture some of the excitement that 90210 brought to a decade. I wish them all the best of luck.”
- In other revival news, CBS is reportedly considering a revamped version of its incredibly long-running detective series, Hawaii Five-O. The original show ran on the Eye Network for what was then a record-breaking 12 seasons, from 1968-80 (a drama record broken now by Law & Order, about to enter its 19th.) Criminal Minds’ showrunner, former Chicago cop Ed Bernero, will be at the helm of what he’s codenaming “Hawaii Five-O 2.0.”
“We will try to keep as much of the original show as possible,” Bernero told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not trying to reinvent it.” And so, the new show will, like its predecessor, film on location in Hawaii, and the famous theme song will be back, albeit modernized. Alas, Jack Lord has gone off to the great luau in the sky, and so the fictional Hawaiian police department at the show’s core will now be run by his character Steve McGarrett’s son Chris, yet to be cast.
My two cents: don’t you think Frank should be cast on this show (so that I can go with him and live in Paradise)? Don’t they need comic relief? (And no, Frank, you can’t play the villain Wo Fat just for the sake of a silly pun.) Hey, Mr. Bernero: Frank loves all things Hawaiian, can save you budget by providing his own full wardrobe of flowered shirts and muumuus, and will even ship you a bunch of his tiki mugs to use in bar scenes. Sure, Frank Sr. will be sorry to see us move 6,000 miles away – but on the plus side, with all Frank’s tiki crap cleared out, the man will have half of his house back!
- And finally, if you were listening to the show yesterday, Frank’s guest Alison Arngrim wasn’t lying: the Little House on the Prairie musical – starring original “Half Pint” Melissa Gilbert (Sara’s big sis) this time as Ma Ingalls -- is hotter than a grass fire. It hasn’t even opened yet – that’s this Friday, August 15 – but it’s breaking box office records at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater, and has already been extended by 2 weeks, to October 19. After that, playbill.com is already announcing, these prairie girls are hitting the road, taking the show on a 40 city tour starting in Fall 2009.
And you callers asked...
- Brian in Toledo: Here’s some info you asked for regarding Doctor Who’s ratings. Looks like things are looking up in the UK!
- Chris in New Orleans: the fire on the Universal Studios backlot in early June did badly damage an area as large as two city blocks, including the Courthouse Square set used in Back to the Future and, as you noted, currently being used by Ghost Whisperer on CBS. However, as this article notes, that is just a secondary location for the series, which is now back in production as usual. In fact, Ghost Whisperer is set to start its fourth season on CBS on Friday October 3 at 8 PM ET.
- Mark in FL: Here’s some more info on the show you recently discovered, TNT’s The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick. The show started its 4th season in early July, and is still a ratings juggernaut for basic cable. Its season 4 premiere episode attracted 7.8 million viewers, which is more than most shows on network TV! It was slightly off from the 8.8 million who tuned in for the season 3 opener – but still, it’s enough for the show to remain the most popular show so far this year on ad-supported cable.
- Paul in MA: Good question! I have not yet seen any Nielsen ratings for LOGO’s Sordid Lives: The Series, and I’m not sure they’ve been released. And with only 4 [of 12] episodes having aired, it’s probably too soon to speculate about renewal (but isn’t the show fabulous! I SO hope there’s a season 2!) But I’ve emailed a source who might be able to shed some light on this situation, so check back right here for more info soon!
- And lastly, Randy in Vancouver, this one’s for you! Check It Out!
Well that's it for me -- my theme music is playing me out. Tune in next Wednesday for the next installment of...
"Must Hear TV!"