- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Convention ratings sag

Even the poorly rated Democratic National Convention couldn’t derail another ratings win for CBS.

The Tiffany network scored eight of the top 10 shows last week, while its competitors sang the blues about audience apathy toward convention coverage, Associated Press reports.

CBS’ Thursday-night coverage from Boston was the most-watched, tying for 35th place with an edition of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in the week’s ratings.

Otherwise, overall convention coverage by ABC, NBC and even CBS (its Thursday showing not withstanding) landed in 54th place or lower among viewing households, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

More promising, though, was “Amish in the City,” the week’s most-talked-about premiere, which vaulted UPN to an unaccustomed high at 46th place.

Still, the week belonged to CBS, with an overall average of 7.8 million viewers (5.3 rating, 10 share).

Runner-up NBC averaged 5.5 million viewers (3.8 rating, 7 share), while ABC had 5.1 million (3.4 rating, 6 share) and Fox had 5.0 million (3.3 rating, 6 share).

UPN had 3.4 million (2.3 rating, 4 share), the WB had 2.5 million (1.7 rating, 3 share), and Pax TV had 1 million (0.7 rating, 1 share).

A ratings point represents 1,084,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of July 26 through Aug. 1, the top five shows and their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 13.5 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 11.9 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.9 million; “Cold Case,” CBS, 10.3 million; Movie: “The Pilot’s Wife,” CBS, 10.2 million.

More Martha

Martha Stewart’s empire sustained a massive blow when the homemaking diva was convicted of lying to federal investigators in March about her questionable sale of nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock.

Her company, however, shows no signs of slowing down, yesterday announcing the kickoff of “Everyday Food,” a half-hour program premiering in January on PBS stations.

The show is an offshoot of her magazine of the same name, which made its debut in October, 2003 and is to be published 10 times a year. It will offer common cooking solutions and easy recipes along with top-notch kitchen techniques.

The show’s cast will feature five veterans of Martha Stewart Living — John Barricelli, Sarah Carey, Allison “Allie” Lewis, Margot Olshan and Lucinda Scala Quinn.

The first season will consist of 26 weekly episodes.

Troubling ‘Thirteen’

Parents may develop their own terror-level chart after watching “Thirteen,” a poignant yet frightening view of growing up from first-time director Catherine Hardwicke.

The 2003 film, debuting at 8:15 tonight on Cinemax, stars Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed (who also co-wrote the script) as a pair of morally troubled teens trying to find their way in a brutish landscape of permissive sexuality and poor parenting.

Oscar winner Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) co-stars as Miss Wood’s overmatched mother.

Rebellion never seemed so raw. Or so dangerous.

Jackson unmasked

VH1 goes behind the music — as well as the crazy tabloid headlines and court cases — to tell the real-life saga of the fallen King of Pop.

The cable network is [R]debuting its original Michael Jackson biopic, “Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story,” [R]tomorrow at 8 p.m.

The film traces the trials and tribulations of Mr. Jackson’s life from his Motown days to his present legal woes over charges resulting from child-molestation accusations, with Flex Alexander donning dance shoes and a gilded glove to star as the plastic surgically-enhanced singer.

Mr. Alexander, star of UPN’s “One on One,” performed all the dance moves himself in the movie, Associated Press reports.

However, viewers won’t get to see the end of Mr. Jackson’s saga, which continues to captivate and disgust millions.

Although the superstar is still awaiting trial, the film concludes in January, when Mr. Jackson appeared in court to plead not guilty to charges of lewd and lascivious acts.

The final scene shows Mr. Jackson hopping on top of a sport utility vehicle and dancing before a crowd of cheering fans, who clogged the streets outside the courthouse in Santa Maria, Calif., where he entered his plea.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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