- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009

Ferguson’s ahead

Domination by CBS in the final half-hour of prime time is contributing to a shift in the late-night ratings race, where the network’s shows fronted by David Letterman and Craig Ferguson both defeated their NBC rivals in key demographics earlier this month, Variety says.

Mr. Ferguson’s “The Late Late Show,” which bowed in January 2005, posted its first outright victory to date over NBC’s “Late Night” in the prized demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds, according to national estimates from Nielsen.

After finishing in a virtual tie in some weeks this season, “The Late Late Show” averaged 747,000 among adults in that age group during the week of Nov. 2 through 6, while NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” drew 712,000.

CBS won, as well, in adults 25 to 54 and in total viewers (1.86 million vs. 1.26 million for Mr. Fallon).

CBS also led that week at 11:35 p.m. with “Late Show With David Letterman” (1.22 million adults 18 to 49 and 3.88 million viewers overall) over NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” (1.21 million adults 18 to 49, 2.33 million viewers overall).

For the season to date, “Late Show” leads “The Tonight Show” by 10 percent in the demographic — after trailing the Jay Leno-hosted “Tonight” at this point a year ago by 15 percent. That’s not even close, though, in total viewers, where “Late Show” holds a 72 percent advantage (4.31 million vs. 2.5 million) compared to trailing by 17 percent last year (3.95 million vs. 4.76 million), Variety says.

While Mr. Leno’s absence in late night has certainly helped CBS’ “Late Show” and “The Late Late Show,” it’s also clear that NBC is suffering at the close of prime time with Mr. Leno’s new 10 p.m. show — and this effect has become even more pronounced during a sweeps month when the competing dramas pump up the story lines.

Another late-night talker gaining ground on NBC is ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which drew a larger 18-to-49 audience during the week of Nov. 2 through 6 than NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” for the first time (720,000 vs. 712,000) while also prevailing in total viewers (1.70 million to 1.26 million). Mr. Kimmel’s Nov. 5 show, featuring Elizabeth Mitchell of “V” and Jesse Williams of “Grey’s Anatomy,” drew the show’s largest nightly audience since June (2.02 million).

“Kimmel” also got a boost from ABC News’ “Nightline,” which was the top-rated late-night show that week in adults 18 to 49 (1.31 million) and tied with Mr. Letterman for the lead in total viewers (3.88 million). The show gained ground with coverage of the Fort Hood, Texas, massacre.

Free online concerts

A new Web site will allow music lovers to watch concerts for free online, choosing from five camera angles as they watch.

BillboardLive.com says its new concert-viewing Web site offers visitors different perspectives on performances by Alicia Keys, Usher and “American Idol” finalists David Archuleta and Chris Daughtry, as well as other artists yet to be announced.

According to Associated Press, music fans can select from different views as they take in full concerts by these artists, focusing solely on the drummer or guitarist, if they choose.

The site also allows visitors to use Twitter or Facebook during the Webcast without leaving the show. The application is also available on the iPhone, and new concerts will be added through February.

Who at Super Bowl

Legendary British rock group the Who will perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIV, says TVWeek.com, citing a report by Jimmy Traina at Sports Illustrated.

According to TVWeek, Mr. Traina says the Who — best known for “Pinball Wizards” and “Tommy” — will definitely be performing on Feb. 7 in Miami’s Landshark Stadium, although the NFL has yet to confirm the engagement.

The Who will be following in the tradition of other famous rock acts who have played the big game, including the Rolling Stones, Prince and Paul McCartney.

WE’s got male

Cable’s WE tv has launched GuySpeak.com, an interactive forum for women to have their questions about the opposite sex answered by real men, Multichannel.com reports.

Six dedicated bloggers will answer women’s questions on everything from relationships and romance to family and fitness, offering their honest and often no-holds-barred opinions.

The centerpiece of GuySpeak.com is a Q&A-style format where users receive answers to their questions on everything from dating, relationships and sex to pop culture, news, family, food and fitness, style and work. The questions are answered by one of six GuySpeak.com bloggers (also known as the Guys) who each represent a distinct male persona such as Chic Geek, Funny Guy and Mystery Man.

The bloggers are men with an established online presence who were invited to participate because of their unique perspectives and humorous takes on each of the site’s topics, says MultiChannel.com.

The Guys will make regular blog postings to the site, commenting on news and events relevant to women. The site also will feature a user-generated GuySpeak dictionary, providing the real meaning behind popular male jargon.

Digital marketing buys for the site will be on women-centric sites Instyle.com, Match.com and HollywoodLife.com, as well as Facebook. On Monday, GuySpeak.com will take over the homepage of celebrity gossip site PerezHilton.com through interactive banner ads and creative elements. The new site also will be supported by WE tv and Wedding Central on-air and online.

Tambor joins ‘Rex’

Jeffrey Tambor is set to co-star opposite David Tennant in NBC’s hourlong pilot “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer,” notes the Hollywood Reporter.

The show centers on Rex Alexander (Mr. Tennant), a top Chicago litigator who begins suffering panic attacks and takes up coaching clients to represent themselves in court.

Mr. Tambor, who also starred on the critically acclaimed “Arrested Development,” will play Rex’s psychiatrist, a specialist in anxiety disorders who himself suffers from them and who also becomes romantically involved with Rex’s mother.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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