The audience for MTV's 'Jersey Shore' jumped to 5.3 million average viewers, an increase of 194 percent from its previous season, HBO's 'True Blood' saw an 20 percent increase to 4.8 million viewers and AMC's 'Mad Men' jumped 26 percent to 2.4 million viewers, according the Nielsen cable summer TV ratings data as released by the Hollywood Reporter.
But not everyone scored so well. We've reviewed the data and broken down the numbers. See which shows were summer's winners and losers ...
Here are my picks for the eight best things about late night TV right now. The stuff to watch with a bag of Doritos in one hand and the remote in the other.
1. Letterman's desk chat. This is the ten or fifteen minutes that starts after the first commercial break. It's Dave being his most Dave-est, when he just talks to the audience and to the camera and banters with Paul, usually telling a story about something that happened to him (such as that recent scandal) or going on a riff about something that irritates him. It's also the part of 'The Late Show' where we see some of the best comedy bits: on-the-street shenanigans, interaction with the audience, Stupid Pet Tricks, Lyle the Intern, visits with Rupert, Jay Thomas and his Lone Ranger story. This is the best part of the show.
While who owns the network may not seem all that important at first glance (quick: who owns CBS?), directives from the parent company often filter into programming, from the overt (such as the incessant cross-promotion between Disney-owned networks ESPN and ABC) to the more subtle (the parody version of GE that exists on '30 Rock').
The network has grabbed the rights to CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine. They'll show all of the older episodes of the show as well as new episodes after they air on CBS. The show will start airing on the network starting in the fall of 2010.
Time's James Poniewozik calls it "The Ratings Drought" and thinks that viewers didn't want to go back to watching the old shows after the writers strike, they wanted something new. Tim Goodman over at The San Francisco Chronicle says that the ratings for returning shows and new ones show a real disinterest from TV fans. Chuck, Heroes, and Life (all NBC shows) have seen big drops, and ABC's Pushing Daisies is even being beaten by...well, I'm let Goodman say it:
So here we are at the end of another television season. We're all exhausted from watching all of the finales, whether it was American Idol or The Office or Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives (there's still one biggie left to come next week: Lost!), and we're ready to take the summer off and enjoy cheeseburgers and the beach and fireworks and road trips, making sure we don't turn on our televisions unless it's for the news or maybe some daily soaps.
Of course, television doesn't really work that way anymore. There is no complete summer hiatus on the networks anymore. They all have reality shows and new scripted shows too, both network and cable. Here are the four shows that I'm most looking forward to watching this summer, and - God help me - there's one reality show in the mix.
It's always intriguing when a cable network has two or three original shows they're working on. But TNT has gone project crazy this year, with a whopping 14 shows in development.
It's an interesting mix of shows too. You have your dramas, including a mystery series set in Boston, based on the novels of Tess Gerritsen; a drama about a family in 1950s Indiana; an espionage drama titled Leverage; a drama from Robert Redford titled Generations, which focuses on several families who have lived in the same house over the decades; and Truth In Advertising, which sounds a lot like a modern-day Mad Men (not that I'm complaining) and stars Eric McCormack, Tom Cavanagh, and Monica Potter. Comedies include a show about a single, middle-aged woman, from Betty Thomas and Elaine Pope.
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