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Television Audiences

December 15, 1999 | From a Times Staff Writer
There are approximately 1.6 million political junkies in the United States, or at least that's how many Americans consistently tune in for debates featuring candidates seeking the presidential nomination. Monday's debate, the Republicans' sixth and the third including front-runner George W. Bush, averaged about the same number of television viewers as previous forums.
February 27, 2014 | By Scott Collins
If the TV audience for the Oscars were a person, it might soon be eligible for the senior discount.  Sunday's Academy Awards presentation ABC is almost certain to generate big ratings. After all, the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted event will feature an all-star cast of presenters, including Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, and will honor popular films such as "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "12 Years a Slave. " But here's a less-celebrated fact about Oscar viewers: They aren't getting any younger.
Can you say "yanked?" That is what Nike did this week to one of its commercials featuring NBA basketball star David Robinson that parodies "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." In the TV spot for the company's Force line of basketball shoes, Robinson ties his shoes, then looks at the camera and asks: "Can you say, 'Kick some butt?' " The commercial premiered on CBS during the World Series.
June 25, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
As the NBA's popularity has increased around the world over the last decade, its TV viewership in the United States has become more diverse, according to Nielsen. Whereas the audience for the 2003 NBA finals was 63% white, only 52% of the viewers for this year's finals were white. The seven-game series this month between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, which generated strong ratings for ABC , drew more Latino viewers than previous NBA Finals. PHOTOS: Cable versus broadcast ratings Viewership among Latinos increased 31% compared with last year, and their share of the total audience has grown too. Latinos made up 16% of NBA Finals viewers this year, compared with 13% a decade ago.  In the last decade, African Americans have increased their share of the TV viewing audience.
It didn't top the final episode of "MASH" or Gulf War coverage, but the verdicts in the O.J. Simpson murder trial drew a huge television audience of about 51 million people at home and untold millions more at work, Nielsen Media Research reported Wednesday. With live coverage on four national broadcast networks and six national cable channels, the dramatic determination of Simpson's fate accounted for a whopping 91% of all home TV watching between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
July 23, 1996 | LARRY STEWART
The Olympics are a bigger draw in Los Angeles than most other major markets, with an average Nielsen rating after three days of 27.3, compared to the national average of 21.2 The national rating for Sunday night's prime-time competition was a 22.9, while L.A. drew a 27.1. The L.A. rating ranked 12th among the nation's 33 largest markets. Topping the list, somewhat surprisingly, was Sacramento with a 34.5. Second was Atlanta, the host city, with a 31.7 and third was Orlando, Fla., with a 30.6.
October 21, 1991 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
The sale price was $59.95, a bargain we could hardly believe. After bringing them home, I pulled two from their individual cardboard boxes, set them up and admired them. They were beautiful, and they were ours. I ran my hand across the wood, feeling the slick finish while experiencing the pride of ownership. We sat down in front of them. "A little high," I said. "A little heavy," my wife said. "We'll get used to them," I said. "Will we really?" she asked, unsurely.
The first presidential debate didn't exactly pack in viewers, as Sunday's 90-minute Bill Clinton-Bob Dole showdown was seen in less than one-third of the nation's 97 million homes. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN totaled about 48% of homes watching television at the time but not quite 32% of all possible TV households in the United States--translating to an audience of roughly 30.6 million homes.
Fox, the network that gives fleeing criminal suspects their moment in the sun, will let Lowell Waddy of Michigan City, Ind., have his fling with fame in December when he leads a high-speed chase that ends when he crashes into a tree on an episode of "World's Wildest Police Videos." It seems like only yesterday, but more than a decade has passed since Barbour/Langley Productions rolled out the series "Cops" and its gritty brand of video verite.
A Super Bowl halftime show is an odd bird. For starters, the audience comes for football, not for song and dance. The costly extravaganza lasts only 11 minutes, with only five minutes before and after to set up and tear down. And it must captivate the year's biggest U.S. TV audience--an estimated 130 million viewers--not to mention the 75,000 fans in the stadium.
February 23, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik and John Horn, Los Angeles Times
Sunday's Academy Awards will feature many of Hollywood's shiniest stars, including Barbra Streisand, the cast of "The Avengers" and comic Seth MacFarlane. They'll be celebrating a slate of nine best picture nominees that includes six $100-million blockbusters. But the celebrities must do more than hand out awards or sing and dance: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and longtime broadcaster ABC, need their talent to inject new life into a show whose audience has been declining steadily and aging rapidly.
January 11, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
As 2013 begins, Robert Sean Leonard is the theater world's equivalent of a star athlete who's just completed his contract and become a free agent. There isn't a team that wouldn't want him; all he has to do is pick the best fit and sign. What's missing - this being stage acting instead of professional sports - is the chance for a big payday. But that's all right with Leonard. For eight seasons ending last spring, he played Dr. James Wilson, the often-bemused sole friend of Gregory House, the brilliant, extremely eccentric and incredibly arrogant protagonist of the Fox television series, "House, M.D. " PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times He took the gig in 2004 because he needed the money.
January 8, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Satellite broadcaster DirecTV is taking the next step with its in-house channel Audience Network. Best known as the channel that gave a second chance to critically acclaimed but low-rated dramas "Damages" and "Friday Night Lights," the Audience Network is now making a big push into original scripted programming with the drama "Rogue. " Set to premiere in April, "Rogue" is a gritty and dark look at a detective (Thandie Newton) who goes undercover and finds herself crossing lines and putting her career in jeopardy.
January 8, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Huell Howser, a great man of television, died late Sunday in Palm Springs, to which he retired quietly late last year - or as quietly as an interested public would let him, the announcement that he would make no more programs being news throughout the state and prompting tributes and some expressions of concern that now will be multiplied many times over. He was a boyish 67 years old. If you lived in California in the last few decades and owned a television you likely have an opinion, and quite possibly do an imitation, of Howser, and it probably involves the phrase "That's amazing!"
December 17, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Nielsen and Twitter have struck a multi-year partnership to measure the reach of online conversations about television shows. The new Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will do more than provide information about how many people have Tweeted about a particular show, a service that is already available from other measurement firms. It also seeks to quantify the number of people who've read each comment. "It captures the whole audience of that conversation, not just the specific Tweeter," said Steve Hasker, president of global media products at Nielsen.
August 20, 2012 | By Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
When Democrats and Republicans gather for their national nominating conventions, star-spangled in silly hats and their donkey and elephant jewelry, some may see it as a colossal waste of time and money. Decades have passed since the last time convention delegates actually decided a presidential nominating fight. The selection of a running mate, which used to be a big part of the drama, now occurs well ahead of the opening gavel. Given the lack of suspense, the major TV networks, which once competed with blanket coverage, have cut back in recent years to a scant one hour of prime-time programming each night.
Each year around this time, television networks conclude their long and frenetic scramble to discover the next hit show. But one program to emerge from this process has never been broadcast--even though executives were certain it would have rivaled the Super Bowl as a prime-time attraction, out-rating "Friends" and "ER" combined. The program is "Frogmen," and in a business desperate for hits it remains an anomaly--the blockbuster no one saw.
Everyone in town is home watching the big series finale of "Seinfeld." So, figure the newlywed couple on ABC's "Dharma & Greg," what better time to be adventurous and have sex in a public place? But as the San Francisco couple--she's a yoga instructor, he's a U.S. attorney--prepare to get down to business on the steps of the federal courthouse, they are spotted by Greg's African American supervisor.
June 15, 2012 | By Aida Ahmad, Los Angeles Times
Top brass atWarner Bros.International Television Distribution have unveiled plans to capitalize on the instant popularity of the studio's updated"Dallas"series. With nearly 7 million viewers tuning in for Wednesday night's U.S. premiere on TNT - the best in its time slot - Warner will roll out the new version of the classic soap opera to 170 countries around the world, many of them where the original series was hugely popular during its 1978-91 run. Britain will be the first overseas market to get the show, in September.
October 20, 2011 | By David Wharton
A stormy sky that dumped rain on South Bend over the last few days is expected to clear by this weekend, leaving sunshine and nice weather for football. Maybe too nice. With Notre Dame playing a rare night game at home — against rival USC, no less — university officials and local police worry about legions of Irish fans tailgating for hours and hours beforehand. "Weather is a big factor," said Capt. Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department. "If it's a great day to stand around, they'll tend to get much more intoxicated.
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