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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Phelps’

‘Today’ Enjoys Bounce Back During London Games

With 6.35 million viewers, Monday’s “Today” show was its second-best outing since May 2011. (Its best came last Friday with 6.45 million). “Today” drew +1.92 million more viewers than “Good Morning America,” according to Nielsen Fast National data. Compared to the second Monday in Beijing, Aug., 18, 2008, “Today” was up +12% in total viewers. Today’s show featured Matt Lauer‘s interview with Michael Phelps, the most-decorated Olympian ever.

Last week, the first week of the games, “Today” was on par with its numbers from the first week in Beijing. “Today” averaged 6.50 million total viewers for the week of July 30, 2012 vs. 6.52 million for the week of Aug. 11, 2008.

The week before the games — July 23 — “Good Morning America” won in both total viewers and A25-54 viewers for the first time in nearly 17 years.

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There Are Spoiler Alerts, and Then There are Spoiler Alerts

“Today” show EP Jim Bell has turned his full attention to the Olympics. While racking up ratings gold as the executive producer of NBC’s primetime coverage, (28.7 million watched Saturday night, the most ever for the first day of competition) Bell is also seeing the criticism about why NBC isn’t showing more events live — a critique that comes up every four years. (With the next Summer games in Rio de Janiero, more events will be live in the U.S. as Rio is only one hour ahead of the East Coast, compared to London’s 5-hour time difference)

Bell has gone so far as to respond to some viewers directly.

Bell, in some of his back-and-forth with online critics Sunday, answered one tweeter who described herself as a St. Louis mom and complained about NBC’s “Nightly News” on Saturday airing results of events that hadn’t been shown on the network yet. Bell tweeted that he’d look into it, and shortly after told her that “Nightly News” would announce a “spoiler alert” to tell people to avert their eyes if they didn’t want to see results.

The thing is, Brian Williams did give a spoiler alert, albeit  in a round about way, right at the top of the broadcast:

Good evening from London. While we try to be sensitive about spoiler alerts for our viewers who like to watch the Olympic games in prime time here on NBC and let the story play out, the news we begin with here tonight has already rocketed all the way around the world.

That was Ryan Lochte beating Michael Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley hours earlier.

Sunday night’s spoiler alert was more upfront, though it came 7 minutes into the newscast as “Nightly” began with political and international news before getting to the Olympics:

If you don’t want to see the results, close your eyes or look away for a moment. We won’t say anything on the air to give it away, but it will be on the screen, and then we will tell you when it’s safe to look back.

’60 Minutes’ Finishes in Top 10

CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” cracked the top 10 during, not bad considering this is the time of year broadcast networks throw everything at the wall with season and series finales. “60″ drew 11.73 million Total Viewers making it the 10th most-watched show of the week. “60″ was also Sunday’s #1 show, but was the 11th most-watched in the A18-49 demo for the night. The show featured Lesley Stahl’s interview of two pilots turned military whistleblowers, Byron Pitts’ story of two young journalists who risked their lives to expose corruption and Anderson Cooper’s interview with Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps.

Video: Djokovic Impersonates Sharapova in Head Commercial

Novak Djokovic on WhoSay

In this commercial for Head, men’s tennis star Novak Djokovic dons a blond wig and impersonates women’s tennis star Maria Sharapova. Thankfully the send-up doesn’t include an imitation of Sharapova’s annoying, on-court grunting.

(H/T to Darren Rovell)


Former CNN Anchor Nick Charles Dead At 64

Nick Charles, the first sports anchor at CNN, died Saturday morning from bladder cancer. He was 64.

According to his wife, Cory, Charles died peacefully at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Charles was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer in 2009 and took a leave of absence from calling boxing fights on Showtime. Thanks to HBO, Charles had a chance to call one last fight in March, working alongside Bob Papa on Boxing After Dark.

Born Nicholas Charles Nickeas in Chicago, Charles graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Before arriving at CNN in 1980, Charles worked in Washington D.C. and Baltimore.


Of Course the Roger Federer Viral Video Is Fake

You’ve probably seen it by now. (It’s been viewed 2.3 million times since Monday.) Roger Federer, the Greatest Of All Time, is hanging out at a Gillette ad shoot, deep in conversation with a PA. They discuss a trick, and the assistant winds up with a water bottle on his head that Fed proceeds to knock off with a serve. Twice.

The Web can’t decide if it’s real or fake. Newsflash: it’s doctored.

A couple reasons for that reasoning. First, the fact that Federer just happens to be carrying a racket and ball while having the conversation is about as likely as Ron Burgundy keeping a jazz flute up his sleeve. More damning, however, is the entire scene. The players involved look as though they are prepared to start shooting the advertising spot the tennis star is (supposedly) there to film. Everyone, that is, except for Roger himself. After he knocks the water bottle off the second time, he walks off the set, saying “Take it easy. See you later, eh guys?”

Both Gillette and the GOAT are remaining coy. As Fed told the Associated Press, he’s “not saying it’s real” but “a magician doesn’t tell how his trick works,”

But it’s fake. Of course, that doesn’t matter.

The Bong Hit Heard Round The World

phelps_2-3.jpgA tipster asked last night: “Do you know why the Michael Phelps bong pic was shown on ‘Today’ this AM and then when it was discussed during the 3PM MSNBC hour, Norah O’Donnell said they couldn’t show it?”

Here’s what we’ve been able to figure out…

While reporting the story, O’Donnell said, “The photo showed up in a British tabloid and is now all over the internet. We can’t show it to you.”

An NBC spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We got permission to run the photo from News of the World.” The agreement called for a one-time use of the photo on the “Today” show, without excerpting on MSNBC. The NBC spokesperson adds, “We did not pay for the picture.”

(Here’s News of the World’s story.)

Cooper: “This Is The First Job I’ve Actually Nailed Things On The Walls Of My Office”

cooper_12-11.bmpAnderson Cooper is happy where he’s at — and at CNN, he’s sticking around. “It’s hard to predict things on TV,” he tells TVNewser. “This is the first job I’ve actually nailed things on the walls of my office. I’ve never had that much confidence I’d be around very long. I certainly hope to be in it a long time.”

He’s hosted AC360 for more than five years, and for the second year in a row, he’s reported for the “Planet in Peril” documentary series, which premieres tonight at 9pmET.

“To me it’s always interesting to see the ripple effects of things, to see the connections we don’t necessarily think about,” he says of this year’s special. For example: “The global economic crisis is leading to higher food prices which is leading communities to push deeper into the forest to search for bushmeat.”

The two-hour program, which also features correspondents Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Lisa Ling, looks at environmental issues on four different continents, with focus ranging from deadly diseases to the plight of Mountain Gorillas.

But after seeing a preview of the documentary, one of the most shocking segments is when Cooper takes a dive with great white sharks without a cage.

“It certainly was one of most memorable things I’ve every done,” he says. “I grew up terrified of sharks.”

But what was more scary — his swim with sharks or his swim against Michael Phelps a couple weeks ago on 60 Minutes?

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Cooper Talks Phelps, Peril on Letterman

cooper_12-9.bmpAnderson Cooper appeared on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman last night and discussed the upcoming “Planet in Peril” on CNN (airing Thursday at 9pmET) and his recent interview with Michael Phelps for 60 Minutes.

“I recognize that it is a planet in peril, and that it’s too late,” said Letterman. “If we stop the bad behavior tomorrow, everyone, we’d still be screwed.”

“There’s various levels of screwdom, I guess,” said Cooper.

TVNewser will be attending the premiere of “Planet in Peril” tonight, and we talked to Cooper about “Planet in Peril,” his future at CNN and more for a post coming later this week.

Click continued to see the interview…

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60 Minutes is the Week’s #3 Show

Phelps_12.3.jpgFor the sixth time in 10 weeks, 60 Minutes cracked the top 10 network prime time shows. Last Sunday it was #3.

18.64 million viewers watched a joint investigation with The Washington Post in which Steve Kroft exposed cheating in the online gambling industry as well as a profile of U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

The show may have been helped by its NFL lead-in, but unlike weeks past, the Jets-Broncos game wasn’t close at the end. Just ask the five Jets fans who stayed to the end.