Mitt Romney is leading indisputably in the late night polls — late night joke-telling polls, which may be either a dubious distinction or reasonable proof of where late night hosts' political sentiments lie. (Or remotely a third option — he had a rough few weeks before the debates, like the "47 percent" comment, which maybe made his campaign an easier target.
In any case, the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which has been measuring late night joke content for years, reports this:
Mitt Romney was the target of 148 jokes on late-night talk show monologues, over twice as many as President Obama. Obama finished second with 62 jokes. The disparity was greatest on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Letterman told 44 jokes about Romney and 9 about Obama, a five to one margin. But all four comedians told more Romney jokes than Obama jokes. There were 290 jokes about Republicans, more than twice the 138 jokes about Democrats. The Top Ten joke targets included 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats. For Barack Obama, being bypassed by TV’s humorists is nothing new. In the 2008 general election, CMPA found that he finished fourth with 243 jokes, behind GOP candidates John McCain (658), Sarah Palin (566), and outgoing President George W. Bush (244).
Here's the full count, as measured from Aug. 27 through Oct. 3: Mitt Romney (R) — 148 2. Barack Obama (D) — 62 3. Arnold Schwarzenegger — 39 4. Bill Clinton (D) -- 28 5. Paul Ryan (R) -- 20 6. Prince Harry — 19 7. Clint Eastwood (R) — 18 8. Joe Biden (D) -- 16 9. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — 15 10. Chris Christie (R) -- 14.
And just like that, late night TV is back in business, or at least back in front of audiences. Both "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" are expected to'tape a bit later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, both Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel taped before live audiences Tuesday while David Letterman continued to fly solo. He said last night, "I felt like Clint Eastwood — an old guy talking to empty chairs." Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel observed that Monday night's audience was the "worst." Of course there was no audience.
Letterman, by the way, will be on Kimmel tonight. No word just yet on when Dave will get a studio audience back into the Ed Sullivan Theater.
Some highlight's from last night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "Late Night:"
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" which plans to originate from the Brooklyn Academy of Music this week, has canceled Monday's show. Here's the statement:
Due to stupid Hurricane Sandy and in the interest of the safety of our studio audience, Jimmy Kimmel Live! will not broadcast tonight from the Harvey Theatre at Brooklyn Academy of Music. We are hopeful to be back on the air tomorrow night with Howard Stern, Tracy Morgan and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.
By the way, with the exception of news, much of New York television and movie production has stopped. It's an extensive list -- here from the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting. Keep in mind that many of those listed here are currently in production, so it's a large number of shows currently on ice. Other talk shows -- like "Katie," "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" -- have also canceled Monday's productions. Besides safety reasons, it's difficult to impossible to muster studio audiences. No word yet from "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Both are expected to tape later at this point.
The CW -- or as far as Cablevision subscribers on Long Island are concerned, WPIX/11 -- is back in business. Cablevision, the parent company of Newsday, has announced a resolution to the conflict, which began in mid-August. (And yes, go ahead and check -- WPIX and the CW are now back on the channel position they have long occupied -- 11.)
Terms were not announced, although the dispute centered on retransmission fees for the broadcast signal of Ch. 11 and other stations owned by the Tribune Company. Interestingly, Cablevision didn't even cite the long absence of the CW, and instead said the resolution of the dispute would help roughly 50,000 subscribers in Connecticut who haven't had access to the Fox signal there (WTIC) -- and the ongoing World Series.
Here's the full statement (no comment so far from Tribune, but the signal is up and running).
“We are pleased to have reached agreement with Tribune to return its stations to Cablevision, particularly its FOX affiliate in Connecticut, the only source of FOX programming for about 50,000 of our customers. We sincerely appreciate the patience of our customers as we worked to reach an agreement that is consistent with our focus on minimizing the impact of rising programming costs on cable rates.”
Returning to Cablevision are: WTIC, the exclusive source of FOX programming in about 50,000 Cablevision homes in Connecticut; WPIX (CW); WCCT (CW), carried in a small portion of Connecticut; KWGN (CW) carried in some Optimum West markets; WPHL (MyNetwork), carried in a small portion of New Jersey; and WGN, carried in a small portion of Cablevision’s Optimum West service area.
Donald Trump's done it again: Fooled the press into thinking that he'd make a HUUUUGE announcement at noon today which would rock the presidential race, and quite possibly — at least in the febrile imaginations of assorted press members who still take him seriously — threaten the very presidency of the Barack Obama.
His announcement: He'll give $5 million to the president's charity of choice... » more
Fox just announced its winter premiere dates, and let's get straight to it: “American Idol,” with new judges and presumably new life, returns for the usual two-nighter, Jan. 16 and 17.
But perhaps of greater significance (to Fox) this: Kevin Bacon's new prime-time series, “The Following,” also has a start date: Monday, Jan. 21. It's terrifically grim subject material (serial killers) but it is Kevin Bacon, and a show with substantial advance buzz.
I'm not certain but believe this could be before the spring season of “The Voice” launches -- good news for “The Following,” if true, though NBC has shown a willingness -- even eagerness -- to use its hit to punch Fox in the nose.
Meanwhile, “Touch” is back Feb. 1.
Here's the trailer.
CBS gave two big and important newcomers good news today: Full season. Here's the note from entertainment chief Nina Tassler:
“VEGAS and ELEMENTARY have opened strong, delivering big audiences and winning performances in important time periods,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. “Each of the shows has rich characters, big stars and a unique visual style that have stood out in the crowd, helping make two of our strongest nights even stronger.”
Will get you the audience totals for last night's debate later this afternoon, but in the meantime, this: All three cable news networks had big audiences last night, but the one for Fox News was outtasight: Nearly 12 million.
The figures (gratis CNN):
CNN: 5.808 million total viewers/2.476m adults 25-54/1.208m adults 18-34
MSNBC: 4.064 million total viewers/1.702m adults 25-54/499k adults 18-34
FNC: 11.475 million total viewers/3.433m adults 25-54/941k adults 18-34
Bob Schieffer, moderator of last night's third and final debate, was on "CBS This Morning," and offered a deconstruction of last night. Plus, he makes an interesting prediction about the election.
Bob? He was good, but then he's always good. He jumped in at the right time, and jumped out at the right time, and — wisely — declined to pull a "Candy Crowley" and attempt to correct either candidate about the record (because he'd be jumping in and out all the time, and then deal with disputes to what he'd said the following day.)
Sometimes it is best to let sleeping dogs lie, as Candy found out, who had to deal with semantics "he-said-he-did-not-say" battle for days afterward. Yes, there was a brief bobble over the president's name that became a trending topic for a time, but apparently no harm done:
The final debate and now the final TV verdict -- who won the foreign policy fracas? Mr. Battleships and Bayonets? Or Mister Go the Website? Once again - and thankfully for the last time this political season -- the rules: This post isn't about ideology or who has the best-plan-to-save-the-economy plan.
This is all about who comes off best on TV, for it is TV, sayeth the wise political man... » more