Thursday, October 1, 2009

News Round-up: Upscale, Nielsen, Alice Barrett, Boris

ABC Grabs Majority Of Upscale Viewers
Upscale TV viewers are still prime customers for TV marketers -- and for the first week of the season, ABC is claiming victory. ABC says it has grabbed the top seven of 15 shows with GREY'S ANATOMY the highest-rated non-sports prime program at an 8.43 rating among viewers 18-49 who make at least $100,000. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES also landed in the top five.

New media upends TV ratings system
Americans are watching more TV than ever -- an average of 151 hours a month -- on more networks and in increasingly diverse ways. Industry heavyweights and analysts are calling for a new ratings system to keep up.

"In the past one-and-a-half years there has been a geometric increase in consumers' access to the Internet for video, and the metrics market has not kept up," Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBC Univer, said.

As for CIMM, Susan Whiting, chairwoman of Nielsen Media Research, said, "We share all of the objectives of the leaders of the coalition, and we are interested in hearing more about their plans."

But for Tracey Scheppach, a senior vice president at SMG Exchange, an offshoot of CIMM member Starcom MediaVest, part of France's Publicis Groupe, Nielsen is partly to blame for the metrics lag.

"While audiences have fragmented, Nielsen's panel size has not kept up," said Scheppach. That has led to "dumbed down, inaccurate data," she said.

INTERVIEW: Former ANOTHER WORLD star Alice Barrett (ex-Frankie)
"I think it was a bit of a miscalculation on the part of the show to kill her off and in such a brutal way. They wanted something dramatic and her murder ended up being the entire hour. I think that they forgot who their audience was - they’re mothers. I really fought against giving Frankie a ‘beautiful’ death. There was something about ‘Take Frankie beautiful and at peace’ originally in the script and I countered that Frankie would’ve begged for her life and fought to be with her daughter so her death wouldn’t be beautiful. I allowed myself to make a few demands because I wanted Frankie’s death to be done realistically and I told them to have make-up put a big ring bruise around my neck, which they did. The audience was going to see the ugly realities of her murder."

HOLLYOAKS duo reflect on lesbian plot
Discussing the current state of Sarah and Zoe's relationship in an interview with DS, Zoƫ Lister explained: "I don't think they do have feelings for each other in that way. Last year happened and Zoe put it down to history and experience - one of those things that teenagers get up to occasionally and she was quite happy to leave it there."

Meanwhile, Loui Batley said: "I think that for Sarah, Zoe's the best friend she's ever had - a lot of people in her life have let her down but Zoe's her rock. Even though they've had their fall-outs, she's always been there for her and she loves her as a friend."

E4's late-night HOLLYOAKS spinoff HOLLYOAKS LATER averaged 474,000 viewers on Monday evening, just over half of last year's opening audience.

VIDEO: Boris's EASTENDERS cameo 'biased'
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has criticised the BBC for allowing Boris Johnson to appear in a guest role in an episode of EastEnders. Livingstone said he was turned down twice by the show, including in 2006 when he wanted to promote recycling. He said: "They told me it wouldn't be right to have a politician on a soap."

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