Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Overnight TV Ratings: "Idol" Huge, Bush Not So Much

Another huge night for "American Idol," of course. "Gilmore Girls" is weakened (I still haven't watched the episode; I'm trying to catch up with "24" and "Heroes" and "GG" after my trip but felt I had to start with the State of the Union and of course Idol. "Veronica Mars" had no competition from the other major networks and did okay but still couldn't really get a strong sampling from anyone.

I agree with richboy that the Democratic response from Senator Jim Webb was very good -- forceful, strong and direct. As for Bush's speech, I thought he started out pretty good but then once he began stumbling over words it just got worse and worse. He seemed less desperate without the White House library as a backdrop and his opening remarks about Pelosi were obvious and appropriate of course but still gracious -- especially when he repeated it and emphasized it again and then at the end (where it looked like he unintentionally copped a feel as well). I can't ever remember a State of the Union speech getting such tepid response on applause lines -- even from the President's own party. And I'm really tired of those inspirationalk guests they trot out -- Reagan started it and back in the 80s it was a clever, interesting move. Now it just feels pro forma and like an Oprah episode. Enough, already. I watched ABC's coverage, which like all the networks focused on style rather than substance. They suggested it was a bold move to feature Bush's line that the state of the union is strong at the end of the speech rather than at the beginning. Frankly, it's hard to think of anything more cosmetic and less important than that, don't you think? But kudos to ABC for rightly sticking with analysis of the speech and interviews with Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, John McCain and the like. (Why did all of them get to nodding their heads and almost bowing?) Their coverage beat the sitcom reruns the other networks threw onto the air and more power to them. What, NBC and CBS couldn't think of anything to say about a President's speech in a time of war? Shameful. Go to MediaWeek's Mark Berman for the complete ratings rundown.

8 p.m.
1. American Idol -- 31.17 million viewers
2. NCIS -- 14.33 million
3. Dateline -- 6.17 million
4. America's Funniest Home Videos -- 5.15 million
5. Gilmore Girls -- 3.65 million

9 p.m.
State of the Union on all channels except CW
1. Veronica Mars -- 3.29 million

10:30 p.m.
1. State Of The Union analysis on ABC -- 5.51 million
2. Two and a Half Men (rerun) -- 5.12 million
3. The Office (rerun) -- 5.05 million

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