- - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oprah’s promotional tweet gets Nielsen’s attention

It was Oprah Winfrey’s turn to learn a lesson Sunday night.

Miss Winfrey, with her show “Oprah’s Next Chapter” about to air on her OWN network and facing competition from the Grammys, tweeted “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box.”

Aside from making her sound a bit desperate, the tweet violated the rules of the powerful Nielsen Media Research organization that dominates the TV ratings business. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she broke the rules by mentioning she specifically wanted to reach viewers with the Nielsen boxes used to measure viewership in their homes.

Of the more than 100 million homes with televisions in the U.S., some 25,000 get such boxes. Results are then used to project what everyone is watching. Those numbers are used to set advertising rates and can make or break a show, a personality or a career - so they are taken very seriously.

When notified of her violation, Miss Winfrey immediately pulled back and her spokesperson issued the following statement: “I removed the tweet at the request of Nielsen. I intended no harm and apologize for the reference. - Oprah Winfrey.”

The ratings service put out a statement as well: “In accordance with our policies and procedures, Nielsen is reviewing this incident with our clients and we may withhold, break out and/or make a note in the ratings. We take any violation of our policy seriously and will work with clients to resolve the situation.”

A Nielsen spokesperson told the New York Times that “an asterisk will be attached to OWN’s ratings at the time of day Miss Winfrey’s message was sent, noting a ‘possible biasing effect.’ “

China puts limits on imported television shows

China’s television broadcasters will be limited in the number of imported series they can show, the government has announced, as China continues to try to rein in foreign influence.

Under the new rules, no foreign TV series may be shown during the prime-time hours of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and overseas-produced shows “could take up no more than 25 percent of total programming time each day,” the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said late Monday.

It also said domestic channels would not be allowed to show too much programming from any one country or region, but it did not elaborate.

According to the Associated Press, the move comes in a politically sensitive year for China, with a planned change of leadership, and after President Hu Jintao said the Communist Party needed to get a firmer grip on Chinese culture.

In early January, Mr. Hu told Communist Party members that hostile forces abroad were trying to westernize and divide the country with their cultural influence and that officials must remain vigilant against such efforts.

Mr. Hu did not say who the hostile forces were, but Chinese leaders have tried to bolster their legitimacy with a more demanding public by depicting China as being engaged in an ideological and cultural war with the West.

To compete for ideological influence, party leaders have said China must create more cultural products such as books, films and art to attract Chinese and foreign audiences. As part of efforts to wrest back Communist Party control over cultural industries, China also recently said it would limit reality TV shows and other light fare shown on satellite television stations.

‘Survivor’ producer maintains innocence in Mexico hearing

A U.S. reality television producer has repeated his claims of innocence during a court hearing on the death of his wife at a Mexican resort in 2010.

Former “Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman said noises reported by witnesses coming from his room were him playing loud games with his children.

Mr. Beresford-Redman made the statement at a hearing Monday, two days before a judge is scheduled to decide whether the evidence warrants holding him over for trial.

The body of Monica Beresford-Redman was found in a sewer cistern at the resort.

The producer’s defense lawyers said the three-hour hearing in the city of Cancun went well.

A lawyer for his wife’s family said Mr. Beresford-Redman offered nothing new to support his story.

Singer laughs off alleged ‘19 Kids’ extortion plot

A Branson, Mo., singer said he’s laughing off an alleged attempt by a photographer to extort the hit TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” by threatening to release photos of him with a cast member.

James Garrett told the Quad-City Times that 24-year-old Amy Duggar, the niece of Duggar patriarch Jim Bob, occasionally performs in his John Denver Tribute shows, but they’ve never been alone together and aren’t having an affair.

According to the Associated Press, he said photos that photographer Teresa Hunt claimed were intimate were “totally benign” and weren’t taken by Ms. Hunt.

Investigators said Ms. Hunt threatened to release what she called compromising photos of Miss Duggar and Mr. Garrett if she wasn’t paid $10,000. Her attorney declined to comment.

Mr. Garrett said he hired Ms. Hunt to be his photographer in 2010 and feels betrayed. But he says “we’re all laughing about” the alleged plot.

‘Jersey Shore’s‘ Pauly D gets gig as Harrah’s DJ

A “Jersey Shore” cast member is taking his act south. DJ Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio will become a resident DJ at the Pool at Harrah’s, the swimming pool and nightclub at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

His debut performance is March 31, with another April 28, the Associated Press reports. A Harrah’s spokeswoman said the casino hopes to have him perform at least nine times during the year.

Mr. DelVecchio was voted the eighth-best DJ in America in 2010 by Vibe magazine.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.