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Archives: May 2012

Kid Offered Free Trip to Disney World on ‘Good Morning America.’ Passes

“GMA’s” Robin Roberts interviewed a 9-year-old Massachusetts boy this morning who came up with an ingenious way to earn enough money to give the family of a fallen soldier a trip to Disney World. At the end of the interview, Roberts presented Brendan Hass with a trip of his own to Disney, courtesy of Disney.

“We are owned by The Walt Disney Company,” Roberts explained. “They want to give you and your family a trip to Disney World.” The all-expenses paid trip would come with VIP status and red carpet treatment.

Brendan’s response:

“We can’t accept a trip to Disney. But we have many more people who would like to have an all-expenses paid so we can do another raffle.”

Roberts saw it coming.

“You know what? I said you were going to do that. I knew you were going to do that.” Luckily, the trip is transferable. “Whatever you want to do with that trip, young man, you can do with it.”

Watch after the jump…

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Sorkin On ‘The Newsroom’: ‘None of the characters are inspired by real people, not even a little bit’

TV and film writer Aaron Sorkin appeared at the All Things D conference, where he talked about writing the Steve Jobs biopic, and of course “The Newsroom,” his upcoming cable news-centric show on HBO.

Sorkin revealed some new details about the show, including the influence (or lack thereof) from real cable news channels.

“The show takes place in a fictional newsroom, none of the characters are inspired by real people, not even a little bit,” Sorkin said. “It’s entirely fictional. It isn’t meant to be anything on CNN, MSNBC or Fox, it’s generic cable news.”

He also talked about Dev Patel‘s character “Neal.” Patel plays a young staffer on ACN’s “News Night” who is the digital-savvy one on the team. He is an Internet idealist, and runs the show’s blog. “I have a blog?!?” anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) asks him in one scene.

“We get to see how the people who report the news first get the news themselves, and it is almost always entirely digital,” Sorkin says.

Sorkin also notes that the show will take place in the recent past, kicking off in the pilot episode with “a news event from about two years ago that we are all familiar with.”


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How Oliver Got His Sword Back

Tonight on Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” the story of Oliver North‘s once lost and 32-years-later found Marine sword. Glenn Garvin of The Miami Herald talked with the Fox News host about the saga of the sword.

[T]he story of his sword goes back to 1980, when he was an utterly unfamous Marine major, moving from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to his new assignment at the Naval War College in Rhode Island. “A wardrobe box disappeared off the truck, including several uniforms and my sword,” says North.

North’s name was engraved on the sword’s blade, and he occasionally chased rumored sightings of the weapon, which increased in frequency after his name became a household word during the political infighting over the Iran-contra scandal and a subsequent criminal trial in which he was eventually cleared of all charges.

The show will document how North got the sword back, and what he’s doing with it now.

He planned to put it over his fireplace. But his replacement sword, a gift from his wife when he completed studies at the Naval War College, already hangs there.

“Betsy said, ‘Let me get this straight — you’re going to take down the sword that I gave you?’ ” North sighs. “So I called [auction house owner] Paul Brown back and told him I’m putting it my office. Otherwise, his next show will be called Sword Fights, with Oliver and Betsy North.”

The Scoreboard: Tuesday, May 29

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 273 | MSNBC: 135 | CNN: 93 | HLN: 86
  • Primetime: FNC: 364 | MSNBC: 271 | CNN: 129 | HLN: 132

5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC TheFive: Baier: FoxReport: O’Reilly: Hannity: FoxReport: O’Reilly: Hannity:
393 344 300 446 348 298 361 259
MSNBC Matthews: Sharpton: Matthews: EdShow: Maddow: O’Donnell: EdShow: Maddow:
117 163 192 244 308 261 145 140
CNN Blitzer: KingUSA: Burnett: Cooper: Morgan: Cooper: Burnett: Morgan:
99 66 87 132 139 115 138 128
HLN Special: Prime: VelezMitchell: Grace: DrDrew: Grace: Showbiz: DrDrew:
45 42 82 163 133 104 106 65

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Cable Network Ranker: May 2012

The slow news month in May was reflected in the basic cable rankings.

Fox News remained the top cable news channel, placing 4th in primetime among ad-supported cable networks with 1.69M total viewers. In total day FNC placed 6th overall with 1.01M.

MSNBC placed 28th in primetime and 32nd in total day with 674 and 385,000 viewers, respectively. CNN was 37th in primetime with 389,000 viewers, and 35th in total day with 286,000. HLN was 40th in both primetime and total day, drawing 326,000 and 234,000 viewers, respectively. Current TV was last among ad-supported cable nets in primetime with 25,000 viewers, but placed ahead of VH1 Classic and Fuel TV in total day with 24,000.

Among the business networks, CNBC led the way (with a little help from playoff hockey), placing 54th in primetime and 58th in total day, drawing 187,000 and 130,000 viewers respectively. Fox Business Network placed 89th in primetime and 84th in total day, drawing 43,000 and 53,000 viewers, respectively. Bloomberg TV isn’t rated by Nielsen, and hasn’t been since launching in 1994.

The full ranker is below.

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Matt Lauer on ‘Today:’ ‘The Show is Not Where I Want it to Be Right Now’

Matt Lauer is doing double duty today. After anchoring “Today” this morning, he’ll fill in for Brian Williams on “NBC Nightly News” tonight. It’s the first time in almost 10 years Lauer has sat in the “Nightly” chair. He last filled in in 2002 when Tom Brokaw was anchor. Last night, Lauer opened up about his new deal with NBC News and about the ratings slide “Today” has experienced.

“The show is not where I want it to be right now, the ratings are not where I want them to be right now,” Lauer told Donny Deutsch who guest-hosted CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” last night. “I want to make it better,” Lauer added.

When Deutsch went “there” about how much Lauer is making as part of his new deal, Lauer said, “I have not heard anybody come up with the right amount. I think two percent of what was written was true and the number has never been true.”

As for why he stayed: “I have fed off the company trough at NBC for a long time, and I have been the benefactor of great success there.”

TV Jobs: Fox News, MSNBC, Penn State

This week, Fox News has several openings available. The network is hiring a booker for Your World With Neil Cavuto, a freelance weather producer and a designer. Meanwhile, MSNBC is looking for a line producer, and Penn State is seeking a director of student television and online operations. Get the scoop on these openings below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great TV jobs on the TVNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented TVNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Fox News Exec. Blames Associate Producer for Anti-Obama Video

A Fox News executive says the four-minute story heavily critical of Pres. Obama which aired on “Fox & Friends” this morning was the work of an associate producer, and “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.” EVP of programming Bill Shine adds the incident “has been addressed with the show’s producers.”

The video — with soundbites, graphics and news clips all set to ominous music — has been pulled from and Fox Nation, and wherever it was embedded, including here on TVNewser. We’ve embedded a YouTube version below

“Fox & Friends” hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade all congratulated Chris White, the AP who assembled the story. “Chris White, great job putting that together,” said Kilmeade. “No kidding. He remembered everything, everybody said over the last 3 1/2, four years,” added Doocy. “Took a tremendous amount of research,” said Carlson. “Good job, Chris.”

Painstaking research, to be sure. But the premise of the piece is not sitting well with bosses especially after the the uproar that occurred following the airing.

TVNewser also hears White may not be with Fox News much longer, not because he’s being let go over the incident, but because he has an offer on the table from CNN, according to three sources in the know.

The Scoreboard: Monday, May 28

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 188 | MSNBC: 93 | CNN: 92 | HLN: 87
  • Primetime: FNC: 217 | MSNBC: 107 | CNN: 104 | HLN: 83

5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC TheFive: Baier: FoxReport: O’Reilly: Hannity: FoxReport: O’Reilly: Hannity:
179 210 219 247 242 163 193 181
MSNBC Lockup: Lockup: Lockup: Lockup: Lockup: Lockup: Lockup: Lockup:
148 135 167 114 119 89 157 181
CNN Blitzer: KingUSA: Burnett: Cooper: Morgan: Cooper: Burnett: Morgan:
65 60 96 95 107 109 72 71
HLN Special: Prime: VelezMitchell: Grace: DrDrew: Grace: Showbiz: DrDrew:
24 14 59 122 44 86 82 76

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May 2012 Ratings: Despite Declines, Fox News Still Far Out Front

As usual, Fox News comes in first among the cable news channels in May, but even the perennial ratings leader was not immune to a decline this month. Compared to May 2011, FNC is down -6% in Total Viewers and -12% in the A25-54 demographic in Total Day. In primetime, the network is down -9% in Total Viewers and -23% in A25-54 viewers.

The ratings for May, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1.692M Total Viewers / 326,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1.011M Total Viewers / 248,000 A25-54

Like last month, the daytime programming on Fox News performed particularly well among younger viewers in May. “America Live with Megyn Kelly” was up +11% compared to last year, and “Studio B with Shepard Smith” was up +8%. The second hour of “Happening Now,” co-anchored by Jon Scott and Jenna Lee, also gained younger viewers, up +16% compared to last year.

Fox News was down significantly in primetime in May, posting its lowest weekday ratings since July 2008. “Hannity” is down -8% in Total Viewers and -20% in the demographic compared to last year, while “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren” is down -13% and -20%, respectively. “Fox Report” is down -13% in Total Viewers and -19% in the demographic.

“Fox & Friends First,” which debuted in March, was up +31% in Total Viewers and +29% in A25-54 viewers compared to last year, when a repeat of “The O’Reilly Factor” ran at 5amET. This gives the network its highest rating during that timeslot since the coverage of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.