Why should Larry King have walked out on Carrie Prejean? Did Gossip Girl's threesome radiate an afterglow? And what did Craig Ferguson do that Craig Ferguson had never done before?
The answers—and more questions—in the latest TV ratings quiz:
1. Whom did viewers find more "inappropriate," Carrie Prejean or Larry King? Judging by the numbers, Prejean. Wednesday's Larry King Live, featuring Prejean (and to be fair, other guests, as well), was the CNN show's second-least-watched episode of the week, averaging only 633,000, or a fraction of what clips of the Prejean-King dustup scored on YouTube.
2. Were Gossip Girl's bedroom antics good for the CW? In the aftermath of the headline-making smoochfest, 90210 (2.1 million) was up from the previous week, Smallville (2.7 million) hit a season high and Vampire Diaries (4.4 million) rivaled NBC's 8 p.m. Thursday comedy block. Oh, wait, Vampire Diaries does that just about every week.
3. What was Craig Ferguson's first? For the first time since the comic took the com at The Late Late Show back in 2005, the CBS show scored a ratings week victory among the demographically desirable over Conan O'Brien. Oh, wait, Ferguson actually beat Jimmy Fallon, who replaced O'Brien, who's now fighting to top David Letterman, who used to lose regularly to Jay Leno, who's now regularly losing to everything at 10 p.m.
4. Why should you stop blaming all of NBC's troubles on Jay Leno? Because Leno's still delivering his Leno audience, and because he's apparently doing it economically. Also, as of the week of Nov. 8, ABC, which is not in the Jay Leno business, had actually shed more viewers this season than NBC.
5. What does George Lopez have that Letterman and O'Brien don't? An audience unburdened by midlife crises. In his first week on the late-night job for TBS, the former sitcom star entertained viewers who were, on average, just 33 years old. By comparison, O'Brien's Tonight Show crowd is closer to 50 than 40; Letterman's Late Show fans are closer to death than 50. Overall, Lopez Tonight got off to a fast start, averaging 1.6 million any-aged viewers.
6. Why didn't TiVo save Dollhouse? Because, in TV as in life, the rich generally get richer, and the poor generally don't. For the week of Oct. 26, the latest Nielsen stats available for weeklong DVR use, the shows that added the most viewers were, for the most part, the shows with the viewers, i.e., The Mentalist, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, etc. Among that week's top 10 DVR hits, no show placed lower than 36th in the regular standings. (That honor went to NBC's The Office.)
7. So what were the top shows last week (among DVR users or no)? While we could guess, we'd rather not, and we can't provide Nielsen's rankings because Nielsen blew a fuse today, and the rankings were delayed. Until further notice just assume NFL football and NCIS did not lack for attention.
(Originally published Nov. 17, 2009, at 12:25 p.m. PT)
Can't get enough of Carrie Prejean's antics? From biblical boob jobs to solo sex tapes, we got you covered right here.