- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

‘Idol’ reigns supreme

The start of NBC’s 17-day Olympics cavalcade took a less-than-commanding position in the Nielsen rankings last week.

It wasn’t the Winter Games from Turin that seized first and second place in the ratings, but battling singers on Fox’s “American Idol” Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Next came the forensics sleuths of CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” then the sexy docs of “Grey’s Anatomy” and the women of Wisteria Lane on “Desperate Housewives,” both ABC series.

NBC had to settle for a close sixth place for its Sunday prime-time Olympics coverage, seventh place for Saturday’s broadcast, and ninth place for Friday’s opening ceremony, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Still, NBC won the week in prime time overall, averaging 15.6 million viewers, while CBS had 12.6 million, ABC had 11.9 million and Fox had 11.0 million. Following were Univision with 4.3 million, the WB with 3.4 million, UPN with 3 million, Telemundo with 1.1 million and Pax TV with 420,000.

For the week of Feb. 6 through 12, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 31.1 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 28.7 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 27.4 million; “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 25.4 million; and “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 23.4 million.

Trio reborn

The defunct pop-culture channel Trio is living on online — and now it has a pair of sister Web sites to carry on its broadcast tradition, Reuters news agency reports.

Bravo is reincarnating the pop-culture-oriented channel with the recent TrioTV.com and the future start-up of OutzoneTV.com and BrilliantButCancelled.com, all inspired by programming created by the now-defunct network. All three channels exist under the umbrella of the network’s original site, BravoTV.com, and will be linked to the parent site.

Before its demise, the fledgling Trio lost two-thirds of its 20 million household subscribers at the beginning of the year when satellite TV giant DirecTV dropped it from its national channel lineup.

Last week, Bravo revealed the future start-up of OutzoneTV.com, its first broadband channel targeted specifically to a homosexual audience. The channel will feature video-on-demand content based around the network’s series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Boy Meets Boy” and “Gay Weddings” as well as blogs and other online community activities.

That channel follows TrioTV.com. It was introduced last month and features the docu-series “Parking Lot,” short films and such quirky content as the “Mr. Bill” Claymation series from the early years of “Saturday Night Live.”

The third slated channel, BrilliantButCancelled.com, is expected to start in early April and is dedicated to programming that didn’t survive long enough to find its audience. It will include the Trio original documentary of the same name and “EZ Streets,” a dark crime drama written and directed by Oscar-nominated “Crash” director and co-screenwriter Paul Haggis.

Compiled by Christian Toto from Web and wire reports.

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