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Biden Town Hall Leads ABC to Ratings Win This week

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers

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The night of Thursday, Oct. 15 was supposed to feature a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Miami, Fla. But after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis on Sep. 30, the Commission on Presidential Debates offered the candidates to hold the debate virtually online, to which Trump declined. As a result, Biden instead scheduled a two-hour town hall from Philadelphia for the ABC network. Trump countered with his own one-hour town hall from Miami, Fla. hosted by “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie on the networks of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.

Despite three networks showing Trump, it was Joe Biden’s ABC town hall that drew more viewers — 14.13 million viewers vs. the combined 13.46 million (NBC 10.91 million, MSNBC 1.83 million, CNBC 0.72 million). Biden also won in the key demo battle of adults 25-54: 4.64 million vs. 3.74 million.

Here were the half-hour breakdowns of both town halls where Biden even topped Trump head-to-head in the 8-9 p.m. ET hour:

8:00-8:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 13.51 million, Adults 25-54: 4.13 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 12.79 million, Adults 25-54: 3.39 million

8:30-9:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 15.15 million, Adults 25-54: 4.97 million

NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Trump Town Hall

Viewers: 14.13 million, Adults 25-54: 4.09 million

9:00-9:30 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 16.70 million, Adults 25-54: 5.67 million

9:30-10:00 p.m. ET

ABC — The Vice President and the People: A Special Edition of 20/20 (Joe Biden Town Hall)

Viewers: 11.18 million, Adults 25-54: 3.78 million

Biden’s town hall peaked in its third half-hour (9-9:30 p.m. ET), presumably due to some of those who had switched over to ABC after Trump’s town hall had concluded.

For the week ending Oct. 11, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel and CNN shared top honors among the cable news networks: FNC in viewers (2.07 million); CNN in adults 25-54 (390,000: edging out FNC’s 382,000). MSNBC (1.54 million) surpassed CNN (1.47 million) in total viewers but lagged behind both cable news stations in the key demo (249,000 adults 25-54).

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs in total viewers:

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 11.898 million viewers

2. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 9.162 million viewers

3. VP Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 8.399 million viewers

4. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 7.705 million viewers

5. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 6.918 million viewers

6. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 6.635 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 6.122 million viewers

8. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 5.372 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 10/6/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.297 million viewers

10. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.276 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. VP Debate (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 91 min.) 3.097 million adults 25-54

2. Vice Presidential Debate (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:04 PM, 89 min.) 2.924 million adults 25-54

3. VP Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:34 PM, 26 min.) 2.333 million adults 25-54

4. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:33 PM, 87 min.) 1.948 million adults 25-54

5. VP Debate Coverage(FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 1.876 million adults 25-54

6. Debate (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 9:03 PM, 92 min.) 1.480 million adults 25-54

7. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Wed. 10/7/2020 10:35 PM, 25 min.) 1.430 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.351 million adults 25-54

9. Debate Night In America (CNN, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.243 million adults 25-54

10. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/7/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.209 million adults 25-54

News Television

CNN’s Chris Cuomo Accused of Sexual Harassment

“Shelley Ross who worked for ABC News and CBS News alleged Cuomo grabbed her inappropriately at a work party in front of her husband.”

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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is facing allegations that he sexually harassed a former television producer in a Manhattan bar in 2005.

Shelley Ross who worked for ABC News and CBS News alleged Cuomo grabbed her inappropriately at a work party in front of her husband. Ross made the allegations in New York Times op-ed Friday.

“When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock,” she wrote.

Ross served as Cuomo’s executive producer at Primetime Live. The alleged incident occurred while she was serving as the producer of an entertainment special.

 “’I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance. ‘No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.”

Last month, Cuomo’s older brother Andrew, resigned as New York’s Governor following a barrage of sexual misconduct accusations.

Cuomo gave a statement to Ross for her column: “As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”

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News Television

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” Renewed For a Seventh Season

“Full Frontal” continues to be a solid draw for TBS as its current season averages 2.9 million viewers per episode across all platforms.

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As Jimmy Kimmel ponders his future as a late-night host and James Corden discusses a new contract with CBS, WarnerMedia is locking its late-night host Samantha Bee. 

Deadline reported that the cable network picked up the seventh season of “Full Frontal,” scheduled to air in 2022. 

Furthermore, with “All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite” moving from TNT to TBS in January, the show is transitioning to Thursdays, away from its long-time Wednesday night slot. 

“I’m beyond excited to be returning to TBS for a seventh season,” said Bee. “Now we have enough seasons for you to binge one every day of the week. I warned you I was tenacious.”

“Full Frontal” continues to be a solid draw for TBS as its current season averages 2.9 million viewers per episode across all platforms.

“Shining a spotlight on important issues and people, Sam provides needed commentary and asks questions of authority and ourselves that need to be asked,” TBS, TNT, and TruTV general manager Brett Weitz said. 

“But most of all, Sam is just funny and makes me laugh out loud each week. I’m thrilled she will continue to call TBS home.”

Along with extending the show for its seventh season, TBS renewed a first-look deal with Bee’s production company, Swimsuit Competition, which aims to discover new talent and give support and exposure to their ideas.

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News Television

Meghan Rafferty Named NBC Nightly News’ Executive Producer

Since Suozzo left in August, Rafferty has served as the interim executive producer and her regular duties as the senior broadcast producer of the program.

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“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” will have a new executive producer as Meghan Rafferty is taking over the position left vacant following the departure of Jenn Suozzo. 

Since Suozzo left in August, Rafferty has served as the interim executive producer and her regular duties as the senior broadcast producer of the program. Still, it seems as though NBC News wants to remove the temporary label and hand the position to Rafferty.

Deadline relayed the memo of the appointment sent to NBC News staffers by NBC News President Noah Oppenheim. 

“Meghan has done a phenomenal job at the helm of the newscast during the last month,” Oppenheim wrote. “She is a respected, trusted, exemplary leader with the keen news instincts and innovative vision that have been a huge part of Nighty’s recent successes and, in this new role, will help propel the broadcast to the next level.”

“As Senior Broadcast Producer, Meghan has stepped up time and time again. She skillfully led the team through the unique challenges we faced during the onset of the pandemic and became a steadfast presence in the control room during those early days of uncertainty.”

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