Well, the year is nearly ended, so it is time to check in with the final results of the most important competition on the calendar: Which cable news network had the most viewers this year? Don't you just lie awake thinking about that, most nights from about, oh, Halloween on? Boy, I know I just can't stop wondering who will come out on top. Though, as it turns out, I'm foolish to worry or wonder. It's Fox News. It's always Fox News. Or at least it has been for the past eleven years. Yes, Roger Ailes's dream machine is once again the most-watched 24-hour news network in the land, averaging 2.071 million viewers in primetime for the year. That's an 11% increase since last year, likely because of that big dumb election that they couldn't win no matter how hard they tried. In second place was Current TV — no, of course not, just kidding. Second place was MSNBC, for the third year in a row, jumping up 18% to 913,000 viewers. So that's a big gap, between one and two. And then it's an even bigger gap to poor, sad number three, CNN, which trundled in with 670,000 sad viewers, which is down 3% from 2011. Yeah, they went down during an election year. ("Never go down during an election year." — Monica Lewinsky. Haha. #90sjokes) That's pretty bad! And pretty good news for Fox, which remains way far ahead of the pack as always, and will win and win and win until all of its audience dies. So, in like ten years or so. Ah, well. [Deadline]
Speaking of TV networks in trouble, Oprah Winfrey's OWN network (I just said "Oprah Winfrey's Oprah Winfrey Network network") has suffered from ratings problems since its launch, but now it's getting a little help from Oprah's pal and confidant Mr. Tyler Perry. Yes, he's thrown the network two bones in the form of a comedy show and a drama show, set to kick into gear next year. The drama will be called The Haves and the Have Nots and is sort of a Downton Abbey ripoff. Well, actually it's exactly a Downton Abbey ripoff (which of course is an Upstairs, Downstairs ripoff). The show is described as being about "the affluent Cyrer family and the impoverished family of their housekeeper, Hanna, and the obstacles and secrets that exist within both." Obstacles AND secrets?? My, my. Sounds exciting. The comedy is called Love Thy Neighbor, and is about "Love's Diner, where every day the menu serves up good food, great laughs, valuable life lessons and a lot of love for its zany neighbors." Haha, that sounds terrible. But that is a beautifully generic, general description of a sitcom. God bless them for having the balls to just describe it like that. "Our new show is about laughs and zany characters. I hope that will suffice." I mean, it's worked before. "Our show is about laughs and zany friends." A billion dollars later, David Schwimmer never has to work again. So you never know. Anyway, we wish both shows luck and hope that they can do something to raise OWN's profile a bit. Otherwise Oprah is going to have to smother it in its crib and toss into Lake Michigan in a garbage bag. And we don't want Oprah to have to do that. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Aww. Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, TV's Bosom Buddies, are reuniting! Not at a women-only hotel, on Broadway. See, Hanks is set to star in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy, marking his White Way debut (though, to be fair, Tom Hanks has been in something of a white way his entire career), and now Scolari is joining him in the cast. Isn't that cute? I think that's cute. And I credit Lena Dunham for bringing Scolari back into the mix by casting him on Girls and then showing him naked. This wouldn't have happened if Lena Dunham hadn't shown the world Peter Scolari's penis, is what I'm saying. [Entertainment Weekly]
Oh, man, this is sad/wonderful. It seems that the publicity people for the upcoming Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand road comedy The Guilt Trip had to scramble to pull an ad from YouTube this morning because the ad claimed that Babs had been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, when of course she hadn't. See, they made the ad just in case, or maybe assuming that, because it's Barbra Streisand, the Hollywood Foreign Press would bend over backwards to give her something. But nope. Nooooope. Here's Paramount's statement about the embarrassing oopsy: "Given Barbra’s incredible performance in the film, there was certainly every hope in our mind that she would be duly recognized this morning. Like all studios, we create many advertising spots in advance of they key award nomination announcements so we are prepared in the event of a nomination. One such spot was inadvertently posted online and immediately taken down." Haaaaa. "Incredible." Her INCREDIBLE performance. In The Guilt Trip. I think we need to reteach people how to use adjectives. We use "incredible" and "amazing" when we're referring to "Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip." The words have lost all meaning. Anyway, nice of the statement to get in a dig at the HFPA with that "duly," because you gotta do that. Eesh. Embarrassing for them. But at least one person likely wasn't fazed. I'm sure when asked about the situation Barbra responded irritatedly, "What? What are you talking about? I have no idea what words you're even saying. James, is this person even saying words? What is he talking about? I don't watch television. I can't do this, I don't even own a computer." And so on. That's exactly how it went down, I'm sure of it. And it, my friends, was truly incredible. [Deadline]
Hey, the world's ending. Not because it's 2012, that's just some old thing based on Maya Angelou's calendar or something. The world is ending because TLC has ordered a reality show called Best Funeral Ever. Mmhm. What, pray tell, could this show be about? "At the Golden Gate Funeral Home, Dallas-based funeral director John Beckwith, Jr.works with the families to create a central theme for a memorial and then throws a wild party." OK. Fine. Nothing wrong with a party at a funeral. Sometimes that's how it should go. But why does it have to be on TV? Do the dead consent before they're, y'know, dead? The one saving grace of this prospect is that it's a documentary-style show and not some hideous competition. "You love Four Weddings, where four women ruin the memory of their most special day in the hopes of getting a chintzy vacation. Well now here's Four Funerals, which will desecrate four dead people every Friday night." The winner gets buried at sea off the coast of a fancy resort. [Entertainment Weekly]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.