Tuning in to TV: NBC wins ratings race for election coverage

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It looks as if NBC News notched two wins Tuesday night. After being the first network to call the presidential race in favor of incumbent Barack Obama, it also has an advantage in the ratings.

Fast affiliate returns for Tuesday’s prime-time block of election coverage gave NBC a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.56 million viewers – topping its final ratings from four years ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A distant second in the demo, ABC’s coverage was much closer to NBC among total viewers. The network averaged a 3.8 rating among adults (down from 2008’s 4.5) and 11.15 million viewers.

CBS was up from fast affiliate numbers in 2008, but down from the finals with a 2.7 rating among adults 18 to 49. The network averaged 8.42 million viewers.

On Fox’s “Fox News Election Special: You Decide,” measured only between 8 and 10 p.m., brought in a 2.0 rating among adults 18 to 49 and 4.95 million viewers.

Univision averaged a 1.4 rating among adults 18 to 49 and 3.52 million viewers, while the CW aired encores to the tune of a 0.5 in the demo and 1.55 million viewers.

Final ratings for all of the broadcast networks’ election coverage – as well as returns from the cable outlets – were to be available later Wednesday.

British politician suspendedover reality-TV appearance

A British lawmaker was suspended by her party Tuesday after she swapped the political jungle for the Australian jungle and became a contestant on a reality-TV show.

Conservative legislator Nadine Dorries was under fire for taking part in “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here,” The Associated Press reports. The show strands C-list celebrities in the Australian wilderness, subjects them to trials involving assorted creepy-crawlies and lets viewers vote them off one by one.

The Conservatives, who lead Britain’s coalition government, said Ms. Dorries was being suspended from the party’s parliamentary caucus until she could return and meet with Chief Whip George Young, who is responsible for party discipline.

Ms. Dorries was criticized by fellow Conservatives for taking up to a month off from her duties to appear on the show. Former Conservative member of Parliament Harry Greenway called the decision “outrageous,” and Home Secretary Theresa May said a lawmaker’s job “is in their constituency and in the House of Commons.”

But Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie said that appearing on the show, which begins Sunday, could help Ms. Dorries “present an image of a Tory MP that defies some of the popular preconceptions and caricatures.”

It also could backfire.

In 2006, George Galloway, a lawmaker with the small Respect party, appeared on the TV show “Celebrity Big Brother” – and was widely mocked for escapades that included performing interpretive dance dressed in a red leotard and lapping imaginary milk while pretending to be a cat.

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