Friday, August 11, 2000

Even tornado warnings can't deter 'Survivor' addicts

        It has come to this: Survivor is so popular here that people called Channel 12 during Wednesday's tornado warning and begged the “weather authority” station not to interrupt the popular summer series with weather bulletins.

        That's why news anchors promised viewers at 7:59 p.m. that Channel 12 would try not to pre-empt the hit CBS show.

        “We are going to do our very best to show you Survivor tonight in its entirety,” Rob Braun said.

        “That may not be possible, if there is life-threatening weather out there,” Kit Andrews said. “We hope you enjoy Survivor. We'll only cut in if necessary.”

        In fact, Channel 12 did the least live coverage during the Wednesday storms. It aired part of Entertainment Tonight (7:30 p.m.), while Channels 5 and 9 did continuous weather reports past 8 p.m.

        Channel 19 also liberally interrupted evening programming to match the other TV news stations. Channel 19 got a weather bulletin on the air about 5:45 p.m., before Channel 12.

        Survivor record: The bad weather, which always boosts TV ratings, helped Survivor set a new record here. The show averaged a 26.4 rating (more than 212,200 households) and a 45 percent share of the audience.

        Nationally, Cincinnati was second in the 53 overnight Nielsen meter markets to Norfolk, Va., which scored a 28.5 rating and a 43 audience share. Norfolk is the market for Rudy Boesch, 72, one of the five remaining Survivor contestants. (Do they know something we don't?)

        On Wednesday's show, the 11th week, Colleen Haskell, 23, a Miami Beach college student, was voted off the island.

        That leaves only five former members of the “Tagi” tribe. Things should really get nasty as these five folks turn on each other to win the $1 million prize in two weeks (8-10 p.m. Aug. 23, Channels 12, 7).

        No repeat: CBS has denied Channel 12's request to repeat Survivor on Monday for those who lost power during Wednesday's storm. CBS said Channel 12 only would be allowed to repeat the show if the station was knocked off the air during the telecast. That didn't happen.

        See you, Later: Later Today signs off after 11 months today (9 a.m., Channels 5, 22). It never lived up to its billing as “Just like Today, only later.” (Around Channel 5, they said: “It's just like Today, except it's crappy.”)

        Starting 9 a.m., Monday, NBC will feed affiliates Home Page, a weekday MSNBC cable show, for five weeks.

        Talk of TV: Talk show highlights today: Teri Hatcher on Rosie O'Donnell (10 a.m., Channel 9); Britney Spears on The View (11 a.m., Channel 9); family reunions on Oprah Winfrey (4 p.m., Channel 9); first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on The Tonight Show (11:35 p.m., Channel 5); and Catherine Bell on the Late, Late Show (12:35 a.m., Channel 12).

        Shark alert: Discovery Channel's 13th annual “shark week” starts 9 p.m. Sunday with the U.S. premiere of Sharks 3-D.


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