Ratings have been very high for the news coverage. Nielsen Media Research estimages that 60.5 million watched prime-time coverage of the attack on Tuesday night. Nielsen ratings show that viewership was up 47 percent over the same time last year with NBC attracting 22.4 million, ABC 17.6 million, CBS 14.4 million and Fox 6.1 million. Among the cable outlets, CNN drew 7.7 million, Fox News Channel 4.4 million and MSNBC 2.4 million.
But there are no estimates yet of the huge amount of money lost because of this commercial-free coverage or of the cost of delayed production and rescheduling.
Most Hollywood soundstages had the cameras turned back on Wednesday and will continue to work throughout the remainder of the week. However, at Paramount, the set of Frasier remains dark in memory of producer David Angell, who was a passenger on one of the jetliners that crashed into the World Trade Center. A private memorial service will take place at an undisclosed location. Cast and crew are tentatively planning to resume work on the popular NBC series on Monday.
NBC, as previously announced, has pushed back its fall show premieres a week. The net issued a release Thursday stating it's offering a "balanced mix of news and entertainment programming for the remainder of the week, pending developments." That will include rerun episodes of Providence, Law & Order, Weakest Link and the movie Growing Up Brady.
It is not know when filming on NBC's New York-based series Third Watch will restart. The show had loaned its generator and other equipment to real-life rescue crews in Manhattan. All the Law & Order shows, which have standing sets in Lower Manhattan, were on hiatus at the time of the World Trade Center attacks. Because of the potential actors strike they had completed shooting a half season of episodes this summer. It is not known when they will resume shooting. However, the image of the Twin Towers in the franchise's SVU series will reportedly be edited out.
CBS, which had to cancel the Latin Grammys and delayed the Emmys, announced today it is also pushing back its fall season schedule by one week. Premieres of new shows like Ellen and Citizen Baines will now begin airing the week of September 24. The finale of Big Brother 2 will air September 20 and Wolf Lake, which was supposed to premiere this week, will instead debut next Wednesday. Meanwhile, the network is expected to drastically retool the new CIA drama The Agency, which contains references to terrorist Osama bin Laden in its premiere episode.
After an all-day meeting Thursday, ABC executives also decided to push back their prime-time schedule one week. In New Jersey, the ABC series The Job is still shut down but may resume filming Friday. The show's star, Denis Leary, lost a cousin and a friend (both firefighters) in a Boston-area blaze and reportedly has been particularly impacted by the loss of life among the New York firefighting community working to rescue victims.
Fox, renowned for its crash-and-trash product, will continue around-the-clock news coverage for now. Its new hot-bod reality series Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage, scheduled to debut on Tuesday, has been rescheduled for September 18. The network has also decided to replace its hyped Monday-night original movie The Rats, about vermin overtaking New York, with Eddie Murphy's The Nutty Professor. The debut of the new soap Pasadena, originally set for next week, will be pushed back because the attacks have kept the finished footage from being air-shipped to Los Angeles for editing.
UPN is hanging tough. It will air Live Smackdown from Houston Thursday night in prime time, describing it as a "very patriotic" episode. The net had already premiered its new Monday-night sitcom lineup before the September 11 tragedy. UPN's next scheduled premiere date is the Star Trek prequel Enterprise, which will air September 26 as planned, unless, according to a spokesperson, current events or "a change in other network premiere scheduling" prompts reconsideration.
The WB had initially put out a statement saying it was going forward with its Friday-night comedy lineup headlined by Sabrina but quickly changed its mind and pushed the debuts back a week in recognition of the national day of prayer and remembrance.
Late-night programs on both coasts have closed down for the week, but Jay, Dave and the rest of the after-hours crowd will likely be back on track next week.
Sports channels have obviously been impacted by the temporary close down of nearly all sports--including Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the NCAA--through the weekend. Even movie channels have been affected: AMC will not air a planned Backstory program on the making of the high-rise conflagration movie The Towering Inferno, which was scheduled for next Monday.
Finally, the Travel Channel has postponed the September 24 premiere of Jordan: The Royal Tour hosted by the country's royal leader. They hope to be able to run it later this year. The King of Jordan had been due to visit America for meetings with the government and to promote the documentary, but all those plans had to be canceled after the terrorist attack.