After serving in the Army Corps. of Engineers during World War II, Nielsen joined his father's research firm, A.C. Nielsen, in 1945. He stayed with the firm for the rest of his adult life, becoming President in 1957 and Chairman in 1975.
Nielsen ratings are now synonymous with TV ratings, thanks largely to his use of cutting-edge technology -- he had the first general-purpose computer, the Univac, built back in 1948 -- which revolutionized the nascent business of market research.
Variety's picks for the top new series of the 2009-10 season suggest that, in these tough times, viewers' favorite new shows were generally the light, escapist, family-friendly ones. Most were comedies (including 'Community,' 'Glee,' and 'Modern Family'), but even the dramas were low-key affairs ('Parenthood,' the strangely reassuring 'Good Wife,' the fantasy 'Vampire Diaries').
Of the four new dramas on the list, only one was a crime procedural ('NCIS: Los Angeles'). Even the one reality show on the list was one that didn't involve competition and elimination ('Undercover Boss').
Tuesday's episode, titled "Fire in the Hole" after the Elmore Leonard novella upon which the series is based, scored 4.2 million sets of eyeballs, the network's second highest rating since the premiere of 'The Shield.'
Naturally, the show scored more older than younger viewers, but my gut tells me that could change once word spreads about the type of show it is and the quality it can produce. Sure it's a pseudo-western, but it has a very updated and edgy feel. It's fun for the whole family, if your family is one of those weird groups that lets their kids watch anything whether it's an edgy Western drama or late night Cinemax.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network has announced that it will be signing up with Nielsen Ratings, providing a weekly -- but not daily -- outlook on its programs. This will be a first for the network, which launched back in 1970.
According to the Associated Press, the 10PM hour has become the time when viewers catch up with the shows on their DVR queues. So viewership of first-run shows at 10PM is down at all of the big three broadcast networks.
It seems that the show has
Even the holidays didn't dampen the show's ratings. The show before Thanksgiving was his most watched since October and was the only show in his timeslot that didn't see a decline in the ratings.
Does this mean Leno will pull himself out of the muck or just sink deeper into the bottomless swamp that is NBC?
The Nielsen Company announced that TV viewing for the 2008-09 season reached a new high in average watching time. Now the average American spends four hours and 49 minutes every day in front of the idiot box and the average household spends more than eight hours a day watching television. ("God bless America, land where we loaf, staring down from, our favorite futon, all day and night at the light of HBO")
However, this doesn't mean everyone to celebrating. In fact, the big four networks (five if you count the CW) actually saw a decline in viewers because we have so many other choices now between cable and the Internet. Do you any of you actually watch that much television?
Admittedly we here at AOL TV are little biased towards the television side of things, but all joking aside, the latest figures from Nielsen are a bit of a surprise considering the amount of time people are now also spending online and pursuing alternate forms of entertainment such as video games.
If Jay Leno isn't the answer for NBC prime time, perhaps the network should think about booking President Obama. NBC News devoted two hours, on Tuesday and Wednesday night, for Inside the Obama White House and the ratings were strong. Better than the insipid I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, which acted as a lead-in. Of course the season finale of Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday didn't hurt the news production.
Having watched the two hours, NBC should sign the president ASAP. There's always the curiosity factor when a viewer is being given access behind the scenes, and that's what Inside the Obama White House did. It was a look at the real West Wing, which reminded me a lot of the fictional, Aaron Sorkin West Wing creation, and that was quite cool. President Obama still fascinates me, and it's well past 100 days.
The celebrations may be over in Washington D.C. as President Barack Obama gets to work, but there's probably still some partying over at the networks as the ratings for the Inaugural Day coverage have begun to come in. Things look good for a number of networks as they continued their upward trend of viewership that began during election coverage.
Overall, nearly 38 million of viewers in the U.S. tuned into one of the 17 broadcast and cable networks to watch the inauguration events. While not the 41.8 million that watched Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981, it is the most viewers since that time. Breaking it down further, NBC, ABC and CNN led the way with the most viewers between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Even further than that, NBC had the most viewers between 11:00 and the end of Obama's speech with a total of 11.5 million. In the world of the Internet, MSNBC was king with a total of 16.4 million unique visitors throughout the day.
This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:
So, knowing all that, we have to acknowledge when a network does something right. NBC is bending over backwards to see to it that Chuck becomes a ratings hit, to go along with its already established and growing fan base. Creator Josh Schwartz expressed his thanks to NBC for the post- Super Bowl Chuck episode. The Super Bowl is Sunday, February 1.
"They were doing this big promotion inside of the Super Bowl and handing out 150 million 3-D glasses, so we are the beneficiaries of that. ...Chuck seemed like the best fit for that type of thing."
The network apparently isn't sure that Worst Week has earned that coveted spot -- even though it's doing well enough in the ratings -- or else they're wondering what they have in Gary Unmarried.
Next Monday, Gary Unmarried will get a shot at 9:30. The pilot episode of Gary Unmarried -- which was pretty good -- will be rerun in that cushy timeslot with the idea of getting more people to sample it.
The Nielsen numbers are in for last night's debate between Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin and they're huge -- 69.9 million viewers watched the VEEP debate. That's a whopping 17.5 million more viewers than Barack Obama and John McCain drew for their first debate last Friday night.
Why were so many more people tuned in for Biden-Palin? There are a few reasons, starting with the curiosity about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
As I said, the big number was hardly a surprise, especially if you are at all media savvy. On the net, the name Sarah Palin has become the top draw on every search engine. She's presently a bigger celebrity -- yes, sorry, but that's the word that fits -- than Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Madonna or Barack Obama. She's on the cover of every supermarket magazine this week, as well as the news magazines.
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