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“Crimetime in Primetime:” MSNBC’s Model (& The Channel’s #1 Program)

Why is MSNBC planning to add more long-form taped programming to its primetime lineup? Because it juices the ratings, at least on Friday nights. Back in January, Rick Kaplan announced a four-week pre-Olympic “pilot” of taped shows on Fridays. It must have worked, because it became known as Crimetime in Primetime, and it never went away.

“That model is doing well enough to be considered as a wider plan for MSNBC going forward,” today’s NYT says.

In May 2006, the Friday night editions of MSNBC Investigates averaged 195,000 demo and 369,000 total viewers between 9 and 11pm. The taped specials were the #1 show on MSNBC for the month, topping Hardball, Countdown, and the rest of primetime. (At 11pm, Investigates averaged 188,000 demo and 333,000 viewers.) Here’s the program ranker

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