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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

High School Musical Notes

I knew "High School Musical 2" was going to be huge, but did anybody ever expect the Disney Channel sequel to be this big? Consider this:

--The 17.24 million viewers made it the No. 1 show for last week on cable or broadcast TV. It drew nearly 6.5 million more viewers that the No. 1 broadcast show, NBC's "America's Got Talent" (10.83 million). "HSM2" nearly doubled the ratings of the No. 2 show, CBS' "60 Minutes" (9.9 million).

--"High School Musical 2" became the No. 1 all-time basic cable telecast by beating a North American Free Trade Agreement debate on CNN (16.8 million) on Nov. 9, 1993. Next was the best ever ratings for ESPN’s "Monday Night Football," the Giants-Cowboys game (16 million) on Oct. 23, 2006.

--"High School Musical 2" now is the No. 1 basic cable movie, surpassing TNT's "Crossfire Trail" (12.5 million) on Jan. 21, 2001.

--It's the No. 1 show watched by kids 6-11 (6.1 million) and tweens 9-14 (5.9 million). About 80 percent of all girls 6-11 watched "HSM2."

--Disney’s Friday line-up with 14 million viewers was the largest prime-time audience for any network (excluding sports and Olympics) in nearly 10 years (Sept. 5, 1997, on NBC).

So with "High School Musical 2," "The Closer," "Saving Grace," "Damages," "Mad Men," "Rescue Me," "Burn Notice," "Army Wives," "Greek," "Monk" and other shows, will broadcast TV have a hard time winning you back this fall? What is your favorite summer basic cable drama (and why)?


at 8/22/2007 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe 16 million people watched a NAFTA debate on CNN in 1993. There is no way that is correct.

at 8/22/2007 12:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Crap! I just Googled it, and it appears to be true!!! 16.8 million people watching a NAFTA debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot???

How do we get Americans this interested in current events again?? There is so much malaise - and too many people tuning in to garbage like HSM2.

at 8/22/2007 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Rescue Me and Army Wives. I have watched every episode of Rescue Me in its 4 years. I think it's some of the best writing on TV.

Also, I know a lot of 20 and 30 year olds without kids who also love HSM and HSM2. I'm 28 and couldn't wait until the 2nd one premiered. And to the other poster who said it's Saved By the Bell with music and dancing, not quite. I love SBTB also, but HSM is very different. The choereographer Kenny Ortega has been part of many big time box office hits. Kenny and his assistants do a great job with the music and dancing. It doesn't seem like a made for TV movie. Can't wait until HSM3 hits the theaters next summer.

at 8/22/2007 12:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Anon 12:31pm 8/22/07, I'm also 28 and enjoyed both HSM and HSM2. Not sure why, but the movie pulled me in, and now I'm humming the songs everywhere I go. My coworkers think I'm weird, but I don't care. At least it's decent music.

at 8/22/2007 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will miss rescue me and damages. Two great drama's on FX. Glenn Close and Dennis leary should win emmys for their performances.
Also cant wait for "its always sunny in philly"

at 8/22/2007 4:35 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

To Anon 4:28 p.m.:
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" returns with two new episodes 10 & 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13. FX will air 15 new episodes over 10 weeks for the third season.

at 8/22/2007 8:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

since I refuse to pay for TV, I will be watching the networks, if at all.

at 8/23/2007 10:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure HSM may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the message it sends to the children watching it is positive, diverse, etc. This is a far cry from other shows that push the boundaries of decent values or taste... all the while it doesn't come off too preachy either.

And, you don't have worry about the Desp Houswives types of commercials that you might get during daytime hours.

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