Thursday, March 5, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 5:37 PM
Terry Crews as new "Millionaire" host. (Photo credit: ABC-Disney)

Apparently, Who Wants to be a Millionaire just needed more muscle. The syndicated game show is off to a strong start with new host Terry Crews. The one-time Eagles’ linebacker has vaulted the show to #1 in its new time period: 2 p.m. on ABC6

It opened with a 3.4 household rating in Philadelphia on Monday. That means over 100,000 homes in this market tuned in to see the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star make his debut.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 1:31 PM
Photo via Fox.

Utopia? Not if ratings are any indication. The new Fox reality show, in which 15 strangers create their own microsociety, may look more like Lonely Town.

The series got off to a disappointing start with its special Sunday night premiere, drawing 4.6 million viewers and notching a 1.9 rating among 18-49 year olds. And that was after an NFL lead in.

When Utopia moved to one of its regular time slots last night, the wheels fell off. (Fox is using the series to kick off Tuesday and Friday nights). The audience dropped 54 per cent, to 2.5 million. In the same time period, Big Brother on CBS had an audience of 6.8 million.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 10:48 AM

Time to play Family Feud. Your host: Steve Harvey. For Family Fallon it’s paterfamilias Jimmy, Jason Segel and announcer Steve Higgins. They’ll be taking on the Roots Family, headed by that percussive furball Questlove, Tarik and James Poyser.

Three questions on the board. Give us…hilarity.

Have to say, this one was never in doubt. Well except for whether Harvey would ever be able to get out the word “Philly” in introducing the Roots team. The questions seemed to be slanted towards the musicians, right from the start. Another word for marijuana?

POSTED: Monday, September 8, 2014, 1:15 PM

Didn’t think American Horror Story could get any sicker? Just wait for the fourth season, the rightfully titled Freak Show.

In this teaser you see some of the main “attractions”, including a two-headed woman (Sarah Paulson) and the mandatory strong man (Michael Chiklis).

The show’s two Emmy winning actresses return as well: Kathy Bates who you see here as the bearded lady, and Jessica Lange as the owner of this grotesque exhibition in Florida in 1952. Seems like she has a teeny tiny retainer.

POSTED: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 11:24 AM
Taney's Kai Cummings reacts to a called third strike in the sixth inning. Starting pitcher Mo'ne Davis struck out six batters but allowed three runs as Las Vegas rolled to an 8-1 victory. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff)
Wednesday night’s showdown between the Taney Dragons and Las Vegas was a blowout – in the ratings.

With national sensation Mo’ne Davis on the mound, the game set a ratings record, recording a 3.4 in the overnights.

That makes it the most watched Little League World Series game in history.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 11:26 AM
Robin Williams on 'The Late Show,' as presented in David Letterman's tribute to the late comic. (Photo via CBS)
Talk about saving the best for last. David Letterman was on vacation last week when Robin Williams died. When Dave returned to The Late Show on Monday night, one of the first things he did was to offer up this fond remembrance of the incomparable comic and actor.

The two men met in 1976 at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles when both were trying to break in as standups. That explains why this is such a long and lovely tribute (Dave reminisces about Williams for more than eight minutes before showing the montage).

Dave’s summation was both sad and sweet: “Beyond being a very talented man and a good friend and a gentleman, I’m sorry like everybody else I had no idea that the man was in pain, that the man was suiffering. What a guy – Robin Willaims.”

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 7:07 PM
"THE LAST SHIP" (Richard Foreman/SMPSP)

TV ratings are an increasingly complex consideration as more and more people forego live viewing and catch up instead on their favorite shows on demand. Nielsen has to slice up its data into increasingly arcane categories, like L+7 (how many people watched a show from the time it first aired through the next week.)

Everybody talks about time-shifted viewing but it’s been tricky to quantify. Until now. Comcast issued this list today of the 20 most popular shows from Xfinity On Demand for the week of Aug. 3 – 9.

In other words, here’s what we’re really watching. Sigh.

POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014, 12:30 PM
Taney's Scott Bandura exults after sliding home with the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning. He scored on Zion Spearman's two-out triple to the wall.
Philadelphia’s phenoms, the Taney Dragons, are apparently popular all over the country.

Last night’s thrilling come-from-behind walkoff victory over Pearland, Texas drew the biggest numbers in the Little League World Series so far, a 1.5 rating in the overnight calculations. Just to put that in a little perspective, it's the highest rating for a non-championship Little League game on ESPN2 since they started trackling that audience in 2001. It’s more than twice the viewership of the comparable game last year. And don’t forget, it came on ESPN2, a channel that traditionally gets significantly lower ratings than ESPN’s flagship.

In fact, the ratings for Taney’s Sunday night victory were 200 per cent higher than the average numbers for LLWS games on ESPN2.

About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

Reach David at

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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