Boston Marathon bombing case a boost for news shows


NEW YORK -- The deadly Boston Marathon bombings and the massive manhunt for two suspects helped television news, with Fox News Channel leading all cable networks in prime-time ratings for the first week since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Fox averaged 2.87 million viewers in prime time last week, topping the USA network, which had 2.62 million viewers. CNN finished in third place, the Nielsen ratings company said. MSNBC was No. 19 for the week.

The story, which began with two bombs exploding near the marathon's finish line on April 15, also brought more people to the broadcast network evening newscasts. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, totaled together, averaged 25.6 million viewers last week. The week before, the three newscasts had 22 million viewers.

The networks stretched their normally half-hour newscasts to an hour on April 15 and on Friday, when the second of the two suspects, holed up in a tarp-covered boat outside a suburban Boston home, was captured by police during prime time. The first suspect, his older brother, had died after a shootout with police about a day earlier.

Meanwhile, NBC's "The Voice" seems to be settling into a position of eclipsing television's longtime leader, Fox's "American Idol." Both episodes of "The Voice" had larger audiences than "American Idol" last week.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 8.3 million viewers. ABC was second with a 6.6 million average, Fox had 5.6 million (3.4, 6), NBC had 5.56 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.8 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 8.5 million, and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.3 million viewers.

For the week of April 15-21, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships (in millions):

1. "The Voice" (Monday) (NBC), 14.4.

2. "The Voice" (Tuesday) (NBC), 14.1.

3. "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC), 13.4.

4. "Dancing With the Stars Results" (ABC), 12.73.

5. "American Idol" (Wednesday) (Fox), 12.71.

6. "NCIS" (Tuesday, 9 p.m.) (CBS), 12.6.

7. "American Idol" (Thursday) (Fox), 12.4.

8. "60 Minutes" (CBS), 11.9.

9. "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS), 11.4.

10. "The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 9 p.m.) (CBS), 10.8.

Marathon trivia quiz show due in fall

NEW YORK -- NBC says it's planning a 12-day-long, around-the-clock competition show to air this fall.

The network said that the trivia-based game show, "The Million Second Quiz," will air live in prime time from a specially built studio in the heart of Manhattan. This hourglass-shaped complex will also serve as the living quarters of the four finalists.

When the 12 days -- or 1 million seconds -- draw to a close, the winner could claim a cash prize of as much as $10 million.

Viewers will be able to play along in real time and sync to the prime-time broadcast.

NBC's president of alternative and late night programming calls the show "a game, a social experiment and a live interactive event."

The network didn't announce a premiere date.

BBC tweeting for feathered friends

LONDON -- Remember when tweeting was for the birds?

The BBC is hoping to revive that simpler time with "Tweet of the Day" -- an early-morning radio program dedicated to British birdsong.

Veteran naturalist David Attenborough will host the 90-second show, which will feature the song of a different bird each weekday, along with background on the species' behavior and habits.

The show on the BBC's main speech station, Radio 4, may be best appreciated by those who rise with the birds. "Tweet of the Day" will be broadcast at 5:58 a.m.

The BBC said Wednesday that 265 different birds will be featured during the year-long series, which begins next month with a recording of the cuckoo. Attenborough will host for the first month, and be followed by other BBC presenters.

Jenner hosting daytime talk show

LOS ANGELES -- The studio behind Kris Jenner's new daytime talk show says it will launch the program in July.

Twentieth Television said that the show, titled "Kris," will air for six weeks starting July 15 on selected Fox-owned stations. Those will include stations in New York and Los Angeles, with more to be announced later.

The studio says Robert Lifton has been picked as the executive producer of Jenner's show. His credits include "Access Hollywood" and "ESPN Sportscenter."

The limited run for "Kris" is aimed at proving itself for a national niche.

Kris Jenner is the matriarch of the media clan that includes daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions