- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Univision’s solid Gold

Sunday’s soccer match between Mexico and the U.S. was ratings gold for Univision, Multichannel.com reports.

The Spanish-language broadcaster averaged 5.4 million viewers for its coverage of Mexico’s 5-0 shellacking of Sam’s Army in the Gold Cup final on July 26, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That was the most ever for Univision with a Gold Cup match.

The match proved particularly attractive in Los Angeles, where KMEX Univision 34 drew 1.1 million viewers, regardless of language, for the match, which kicked off at noon Pacific Time. Univision officials said that audience was 47 percent greater than Sunday night’s combined prime-time viewership of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, My Network TV and Ion stations in that market.

According to Univision officials, the match, language notwithstanding, ranked first in its time period in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco and Sacramento among viewers 12 to 34, 18 to 34 and 18 to 49.

It also topped the Nielsen chart in its time period in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco and Sacramento among total viewers, men 18 to 34 and 18 to 49.

Fall hits predicted

NewMediaMetrics Inc., a New York-based research company, is predicting that CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles” will score big ratings at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, while NBC’s “Jay Leno Show” could be a strong performer at 10 p.m., particularly on Tuesdays, says TVWeek.com, citing a report from MediaWeek.

The research also found promising ABC’s “Flash Forward” on Thursday nights at 8, NBC’s Monday 9 p.m. hospital drama “Trauma,” Fox’s “Family Guy” spinoff “The Cleveland Show” Sundays at 8:30 p.m., and the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” Wednesdays at 8 p.m., MediaWeek says.

More ‘Make It’ for ABC

“Make It or Break It” is making it at ABC Family.

Halfway through its 10-episode freshman run, the drama series set in the world of competitive gymnastics has received an additional 10-episode order, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

The second batch of 10 segments is slated to air in the first quarter of 2010.

Airing behind ABC Family’s top-rated series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Make It” ranks as the cable network’s second-highest-rated series ever, THR notes.

Holly Sorensen created the drama, starring Peri Gilpin and Candace Cameron Bure, and is executive producing with Paul Stupin.

“Make It” was the first of three new series ABC Family launched this summer. A decision on the other two, comedies “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Ruby & the Rockits,” is not expected until September, THR says.

Charges upgraded

A Toms River, N.J., man faces aggravated manslaughter and drunken driving charges after a weekend accident at the Jersey shore that killed a former “American Idol” contestant whose angry rejection rant became an Internet sensation.

According to Associated Press, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Ford announced the upgraded charges Monday shortly after 23-year-old Daniel Bark had an initial court hearing on charges of reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Alexis Cohen was killed when she was struck by a motor vehicle early Saturday in Seaside Heights, AP said. The 24-year-old Allentown, Pa., resident performed during “American Idol’s” seventh season.

Mr. Bark was arrested Sunday.

Defense attorney David Glassman said Mr. Bark and his family are distraught over Miss Cohen’s death.

Fewer minorities

Women represent 41.4 percent of the local-news work force, according to a new study from RTNDA/Hofstra, an all-time high. A full 29.1 percent of the nation’s TV news directors are female, also a record level, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

However, when RTNDA/ Hofstra looked at gender and race in local news, minorities made up 21.8 percent of local TV news staff in 2009, down from 23.6 percent last year. Hispanics in local news also fell, from 10.3 percent to 8.8 percent in the past year, while the percentage of blacks decreased by a half percentage point, the study says.

The percentage of minority TV news directors also dropped slightly in 2009.

The RTNDA had a mixed reaction to the findings.

“While the increase in the number of women serving as news director is encouraging, the drop in the percentage of minorities employed in newsrooms is not,” said Chairman Stacey Woelfel. “It is my hope the gains made in the last few years to make our newsrooms more diverse were not lost in the recent economic downturn. RTNDA is committed to working with our partners at the minority-journalism associations to make sure all owners and managers know the value of putting more journalists of color in their newsrooms.”

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2008 among all 1,648 non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 2,000 radio stations, B&C noted.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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