Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ratings Roundup

Last week, football ruled.

CBS drew more than 44 million viewers for its AFC Championship game Sunday night, then got a big audience for its new drama, Numb3rs.

The return of American Idol lifted Fox to rarified air for them, making them runners-up for the week.

Meanwhile, NBC's highest rated show was the return of The Apprentice (number 14).

ABC's Desperate Housewives and Lost both landed in the top 10.

Network Rankings
1. CBS, 16.3 million viewers (10.3 household rating, 16 share)
2. Fox, 12 million viewers (7 rating, 11 share)
3. NBC, 10.8 million viewers (7.1 rating, 11 share)
4. ABC, 10 million viewers (6.4 rating, 10 share)
5. The WB, 3.13 million viewers (2.1 rating, 3 share)
6. UPN 3.05 million viewers (2.0 rating, 3 share)
7. Pax TV 700,000 viewers (0.5 rating, 1 share)

Top 20 Primetime Shows
1. AFC Championship: New England at Pittsburgh, CBS, 44.3 million viewers.
2. American Idol Tuesday, Fox, 33.6 million viewers.
3. American Idol Wednesday, Fox, 26.7 million viewers.
4. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 26 million viewers.
5. AFC Championship postgame show, CBS, 25.8 million viewers.
6. Numb3rs, (Sunday preview), CBS, 25 million viewers.
7. CSI: Miami, CBS, 22 million viewers
8. Lost, ABC, 19.7 million viewers.
9. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 19.2 million viewers
10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 19 million viewers
11. ER, NBC, 18.8 million viewers
12. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 18.3 million viewers
13. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 18.1 million viewers.
14. Apprentice 3, NBC, 15.6 million viewers.
15. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NBC, 15.3 million viewers.
16. Boston Legal, ABC, 15.3 million viewers.
17. Law & Order, NBC, 15.1 million viewers.
18. NCIS, CBS, 14.5 million viewers.
19. Medium, NBC, 14.4 million viewers.
20. Without a Trace, CBS, 13.6 million viewers.

Network Newscasts
1. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, 11.5 million viewers
2. ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, 10.4 million viewers
3. The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 8 million viewers

Shameless Promo: Coming Tomorrow on

The world is paying tribute to TV's eternal King of Late Night. But there's another loss we should be mourning... and Johnny would have wanted it that way. What the hell am I talking about? Find out tomorrow in this week's Static from the Geek In Chief.

Also: Wednesday's primetime TV picks. Plus! Take another trip in the trivia time machine as we once again go back to 1985-1986.

It's all coming tomorrow on! Today's content continues after this promo...

Queer Eye For The Sponge Guy

Today's New York Post offers some tips to make SpongeBob SquarePants a little less... you know... gay.

In tomorrow's Post: The Powerpuff Girls reveal tips for scoring great Indigo Girls tickets.

Carson Kin Keepin' Quiet

No details about a funeral. No memorial service at all. No word of Johnny's final resting place. Looks like Johnny's family is making sure he'll have the peaceful, private, and dignified farewell he always wanted.

Loser Wins Another Shot

NBC is serving up more of its hit reality show The Biggest Loser.

They're turning the flabfest into a series of stand-alone episodes, each boasting competing teams of portly players trying to shed pounds.

Rumored matchups include "The Biggest Loser: Town vs. Town," "The Biggest Loser: Family vs. Family," and "The Biggest Loser: Oprah vs. Oprah."

Worst... Plotline... Ever

Another first on The Simpsons: the show will reveal the real name of Comic Book Guy in the episode set to air after the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

Spies say we may learn other hush-hush secrets during sweeps, like where Marge bought her corncob kitchen curtains, and which brand of binky Maggie prefers.

Today's Worst Line Of Copy

Just overheard, on a Colgate Total commercial, as a woman talks about plaque:

"It's like having fuzzy slippers on your teeth!"

< retch >

24 in 99: 12:00 Noon- 1:00pm

Strap yourself in for this week's sub-100 word 24 recap. Here's JoeVideo's 24 in 99.

Jack enters the warehouse, kills everyone except the Hellers, then gets them to CTU for debriefing, where Heller realizes that Jack and Audrey are “together.” Audrey tells hubby-Paul that she’s seeing someone and their marriage is over. Jack assumes Field-Ops command at CTU from dead-Ronnie. Audrey sorta-remembers mysterious-briefcase-dude. DadAraz orders Behrooz taken out by Tarrick while Debbi’s body is buried, but Behrooz takes out Tarrick instead upon learning of Dad’s intentions. Marianne is revealed to be working for BAD GUYS! (Who’s Madwan? Answers soon) The (empty) briefcase, found at the warehouse, contained a missing nuclear plant controller…is Meltdown next?

Related link: Last week's 24 in 99

Tonight's Tube

Tuesday: On NBC, Colin Farrell threatens to ruin a perfectly good episode of Scrubs. Over on Bravo, after the season premiere of Celebrity Poker Showdown, there's Queer Eye for the British Guy, or as I like to call it, Beating a Dead Horse With A Cricket Bat. AMC proves it'll show just about anything with its umpteenth airing of Jaws 3, universally ranking as the second-worst Jaws movie ever. But for something really interesting, try Discovery's America's Deadliest Season: Alaskan Crab Fishing. And you thought your job was bad.

TV on DVD: This Week's New Releases

The following DVDs are available in stores starting today.

The Wire: The Complete Second Season
Coupling: The Complete Fourth Season
MacGyver: The Complete First Season
One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season
The Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete Second Season
Homicide Life on the Street: The Complete Season 6
Soap: The Complete Third Season
Batman The Animated Series: Volume 2
Benny Hill Set 2: Naughty Years 1972-1974
Jamie Kennedy Experiment: Season 3
Married With Children: Season 3
Renegade: Season 1
Saved By the Bell: Season 1: The New Class
Saturday Night Live: Best of Jimmy Fallon

TVGS Recommendation

99 Word Review: Law & Order: SVU

Which is your favorite Law & Order franchise? There's one for everyone, although the highest rated of the three doesn't exactly qualify for family-hour viewing. Here's the Geek-In-Chief's 99 Word Review of Law & Order: SVU.

As a fan of the Law & Order franchise, I often forget the shows aren't interchangeable. Sure, they all have the crimes, the process, the Clunk-CLUNKS. But on SVU, the crimes are uber-heinous and ultra-depressing: rape, incest, child molestation. The officers also regularly break a key L&O rule, relating personal history to their cases.

The show is well-written, with a great cast (especially the hott Marishka Hargitay). But it's just too... icky, tallying more cringes than Clunk-CLUNKS. It's often impossible to last the episode without searching for razor blades or cyanide.

And to me, that's not all that special.

TVGS Rating: 2.5 test patterns (out of 4)

Law & Order: SVU airs Tuesdays at 10pm et/pt on NBC.

Back to

Monday Trivia Solved: 1985-1986, Part One

Which of the following did not air on ABC in the 1985-1986 TV season?

A) Glitter
B) Lime Street
C) The Insiders
D) Diff'rent Strokes

The answer is A). Aaron Spelling's Glitter aired in the 1984-1985 season on ABC.

Geek/CounterGeek: TiVo? Or Not TiVo?

Here on, there's never a shortage of love for TiVo. But is this revolutionary device.... eviiillll? Vito pontificates in this week's Geek/CounterGeek.

Geek: TiVo, The Greatest Invention Ever

I was the first in my circle of friends to get TiVo. TiVo soon became more than a high-tech alternative to a VCR, it became a member of the family. I became an evangelical TiVo owner, and one by one, all my friends got one too.

My TV viewing habits became more efficient. If I skipped the commercials and all the teasers and re-caps, I could watch an hour long Behind The Music in twenty minutes! Why sit through a painfully unfunny SNL skit when with the touch of a button I could skip ahead to the next painfully unfunny SNL skit?

Live TV viewing and random channel surfing became a thing of the past. Tivo had what I wanted, when I wanted it. I now have two series 2 TiVos. I can record two shows at once and copy shows from one Tivo to another.

My life is complete.

CounterGeek: Tivo, The Dark Side

TV viewing is not meant to be stressful; in fact many people do it to relax. With TiVo, I find myself under pressure. My first TiVo held 30 hours of programming. That sounds like a lot, but that’s at basic quality, which looks like crap. When you up the quality, you lower the amount of shows TiVo can store. Even though I could watch more TV in less time, I was recording more than I could watch. When TiVo gets full, it automatically deletes the oldest programs to make room for the newest. I now had to hurry and watch shows before they disappeared.

To solve this problem, I bought a new TiVo and added drives to it. Now I have 302 hours of recording space instead of 30. I no longer have to worry about TiVo deleting anything. Instead, I have to worry that I’ll have to take an early retirement so I can watch all the shows I’ve recorded before I die.

Last week, some coworkers asked me about a greatly hyped show that aired recently. It sounded cool, but I’d never heard of it. By skipping commercials and never channel surfing, I’m missing promos for upcoming shows that I’d love to see. Which defeats the entire purpose of TiVo in the first place.

I’ve sold my soul to TiVo, and there is no way out.

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