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News Television

60 Minutes Lifts CBS to Top Spot in Weekly Ratings

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

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On prime time television for the week ending October 25, 2020, there were three NFL games, five MLB World Series games and the final U.S. presidential debate. But none of those telecasts achieved the week’s most viewers for a single prime time program on a single network. Those honors went to the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes”. The special Oct. 25th edition drew 17.4 million viewers.

The hour-long candidates’ edition – the fourth such pre-election “60 Minutes” broadcast since 2008 – featured Lesley Stahl’s interviews with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and interviews with their opponents on the Democratic ticket, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

While “60 Minutes” was certainly assisted by its late Sunday afternoon NFL lead-in (49ers-Patriots or Chiefs-Broncos or Jaguars-Chargers, based on their respective regions), the special had attracted controversy when the petulant Trump, who had openly railed against Stahl and her style of questioning, broke an agreement with CBS News and released his videotaped interview on Facebook before it was broadcast on CBS.

Online, it drew season-high digital traffic levels for a “60 Minutes” program on CBSNews.com, and an excerpt from the segment was the top video on YouTube’s trending list on Monday, Oct. 26th.

Excluding sports and multi-network programming, the Oct. 25th “60 Minutes” attracted the largest audience for any television broadcast since the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. Additionally, it was the most-watched “60 Minutes” edition since March 25, 2018; that edition was also featured a Trump-related controversy: Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006.

Sunday’s broadcast saw its best delivery of adults 25-54 (3.6 rating/14 share; equating to 4.33 million viewers within that age range) since the aforementioned date of March 25, 2018.

Over on the cable front, for the second consecutive week, Fox News Channel topped the cable networks in both viewers and adults 25-54. For the week ending Oct. 25, 2020 in total day data (from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. each day), Fox News Channel averaged 2.43 million viewers and 467,000 adults 25-54.

Also like the prior week, MSNBC was the runner-up cable news network in total viewers while CNN was runner-up among adults 25-54. Their averages were, as follows:

  • MSNBC: 1.47 million viewers, 245,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 1.33 million viewers, 348,000 adults 25-54

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

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 15.405 million viewers

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 12.143 million viewers

3. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 11.289 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 8.152 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 7.533 million viewers

6. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 7.508 million viewers

7. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 6.929 million viewers

8. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 6.594 million viewers

9. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 10/21/2020 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 5.330 million viewers

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 5.275 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs among adults 25-54:

1. Presidential Debate (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 4.385 million adults 25-54

2. Presidential Debate Analysis (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 3.495 million adults 25-54

3. Final Presidential Debate (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:04 PM, 93 min.) 3.019 million adults 25-54

4. Presidential Debate Coverage (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:50 PM, 13 min.) 2.803 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.908 million adults 25-54

6. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 83 min.) 1.817 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 50 min.) 1.745 million adults 25-54

8. Debate (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 9:03 PM, 94 min.) 1.584 million adults 25-54

9. MSNBC Debate Analysis (MSNBC, Thu. 10/22/2020 10:37 PM, 23 min.) 1.469 million adults 25-54

10. Debate Night In America (CNN, Thu. 10/22/2020 8:00 PM, 64 min.) 1.230 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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