Archive for January, 2008

Tom Sinkovitz back in the Bay Area

Former KRON-Channel 4 anchor Tom Sinkovitz joins KNTV-Channel 11 as a political reporter and fill-in anchor. He starts Wednesday live from Republican debates in LA and Thurs from Democratic debate.

Tom’s been missed since his departure from KRON back in Sept. 2006. You can check out the details on the Peninsula Press Club site.

Folks have been wondering where he would turn up. Good to hear it’s back on his old stomping grounds.

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Tom and his brother Jim, who is also a TV news man, at a recent high school reunion.

Emmy award-winning Tom began his career with the Armed Forces Vietnam Network when he was in Saigon in 1969. Before coming to the Bay Area eighteen years ago, he anchored and reported in Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Atlanta.

He won an Emmy award for his coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. He also reported live from the Nashville campaign headquarters of then Vice President Al Gore on the infamous election night of November 2000.

Coverage continues on Feb 5 live on NBC11′s digital channel and nbc11.com starting at 7 pm and continuing through a live simulcast of the 11 p.m. newscast on the digital channels also known as NBC11 WeatherPlus and nbc11.com.

Welcome home.

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Mark Curtis Update

Right now, former KTVU-Channel 2 anchor Mark Curtis is on his way to Florida to cover the primary.

I have already been to Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada,” Curtis writes in an e-mail.

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Mark Curtis

Mark has left KTVU-Channel 2 and has started his own freelance news reporting, public relations and political analysis agency.

Go to Mark’s blog for his campaign reporting. Or for more info on Mark, go to his Web site to read about his new adventures in reporting.

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“Lost” back, and it’s fantastic

I couldn’t wait to watch the first episode of “Lost” - and when you are a TV critic, that means you get the DVD screener before it airs.

Now, ABC offers critics an even faster way to see the show, via the not-for-public-viewing Web site. And I can tell you, this first episode doesn’t disappoint. It’s non-stop action from start to finish, leaving you aching for more.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen our “Lost” pals, and ABC has whipped up a great 8 minute and 15 second recap.

We should have gotten a full ride of all 16 episodes, but darn that strike (yes, we are still behind you), we’ll only be getting eight episodes and perhaps not getting the next ones until almost summer time if then.

“Lost” is a series that ends after 48 episodes. Fans expected 16 episodes a year until 2010, when the series would finish. If the strike ends by mid-February, there’s still a chance that “Lost” could produce the other eight episodes in time to finish airing in May.

After watching “The Beginning of the End,” I’m back on board the “Lost” train. The producers now have an end game and the energy level is back with the actors and the writing.

There’s a list of things ABC doesn’t want us to reveal to viewers, so I’ll just say that we get to jump into the future where some of the castaways have left the island – and are conflicted about it. And we see some of the things that happened on the island.

Oh, and one person comes back from the dead.

We can also tell you that Locke wants the survivors to stay on the island after Charlie’s last message saying that they aren’t from Penny’s boat, while Jack says it’s time to get off the island.

Who will stay and who will go?

Photobucketm>In the season premiere episode, “The Beginning of the End,” feeling that their rescue is close at hand, the survivors don’t know whether to believe Charlie’s final message that the people claiming to liberate them are not who they seem to be. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ) EMILIE de RAVIN

Damon Lindelof always said that “Lost” was about redemption. Perhaps some left the islad a bit too early to be redeemed.

Come back here after the show airs on Thursday and, as Heidi Klum says, we’ll have a little chat.

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Nielsen Ratings for Jan. 14-20

Sorry for the late posting:

Primetime Ranking Report for Jan. 14-20 shows “American Idol” coming in third to the NFC championship games.

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Look how cheery Simon looks. Randy and Paula also look like they are having too much fun.

1 FOX NFC CHAMPIONSHIP 18.8
2 FOX NFC CHAMPIONSHIP-GUN 14.2
3 AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY 11.7
4 AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY 10.6
5 FOX NFC CHAMPIONSHIP-POST 8.1
6 NCIS 5.5
7 DEAL OR NO DEAL-MON 5.3
8 CSI: MIAMI 5.2
9 CSI 4.9
10 WITHOUT A TRACE 4.6
11 COMANCHE MOON 2 4.4
12 LAW AND ORDER:SVU 4.3
13 COMANCHE MOON 3 4.2
14 DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED 4.1
15 LAW AND ORDER 4.0
16 SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER 4.0
17 TWO AND A HALF MEN 4.0
18 AMERICAN GLADIATORS 3.7
19 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HOME ED. 3.7
DANCE WAR:BRUNO/CARRIEANN 3.7
21 NUMB3RS 3.5
TERMINATOR: SRH CNR CHRON 3.5
23 GHOST WHISPERER 3.5
24 AMAZING RACE 12 3.4
25 UGLY BETTY 3.3
MEDIUM 3.3
27 APPRENTICE 7 3.2
28 WITHOUT A TRACE 8PM SPCL 3.1
29 E.R. 3.1
30 DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS 3.1
31 LAW AND ORDER:CRIM INTENT 3.1
32 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 2.9
33 MOONLIGHT 2.9
34 BIG BANG THEORY, THE 2.8
35 PRISON BREAK 2.7
36 CBS NWS PRSNT:GLOBAL WARM 2.7
37 SHARK 2.6
38 BOSTON LEGAL 2.6
39 GREY’S ANATOMY-THU 9PM 2.6
40 1 VS 100 2.6
41 CBS EVENING NEWS 2.5
42 BIGGEST LOSER 5 2.5
43 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 2.5
AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK 2.5
45 HOUSE-FRI 9P 2.5
46 COLD CASE 2.3
47 COPS 2 2.3
48 LAS VEGAS 2.3
49 20/20-FRI 2.2
50 SUPERNANNY 2.1
51 LAW AND ORDER-SAT 2.1
52 AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS 2.0
53 COPS 2.0
54 MY NAME IS EARL 2.0
55 LAW & ORDER:SVU-SAT 1.9
56 CASHMERE MAFIA 1.9
57 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS 1.9
58 CBS MOVIE SATURDAY 1.8
59 WIFE SWAP 1.8
60 BONES-FRI 8P 1.8
61 ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK 1.7
62 DATELINE SUN-7PM 1.7
63 OFFICE 1.7
64 OCTOBER ROAD 1.7
65 BROTHERS & SISTERS 1.7
LAW & ORDER:CI-SAT 1.7
67 POWER OF TEN 1.7
68 FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN 1.7
69 BIG SHOTS 1.6
70 NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY 1.6
71 JUST FOR LAUGHS-TU 8PM 1.6
72 JUST FOR LAUGHS 1.5
73 NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK-SUN 1.4
74 ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9PM 1.4
75 GREY’S ANATOMY-FRI 8PM 1.3
76 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-FRI 1.2
77 CARPOOLERS 1.1
78 ONE TREE HILL 1.0
79 SMALLVILLE .9
80 SUPERNATURAL .8
81 EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS .7
82 GAME, THE .6
83 REAPER-TUE .6
84 CROWNED .5
85 GIRLFRIENDS .5
86 ALIENS IN AMERICA .5
87 GOSSIP GIRL .4
88 LIFE IS WILD .3
89 CROWNED-ENC .3
90 CW NOW .2
91 ALIENS IN AMERICA-SUN .2

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KTVU Announces Dennis Richmond’s Retirement

The worst-kept secret in local TV history is now out in the open: KTVU-Channel 2′s veteran anchor Dennis Richmond will retire in May.

Although it hasn’t been a secret – Dennis Richmond himself has told people for almost two years about his plans – the station has been reluctant to make a public statement until now.

Today, the silence was broken and a full announcement made on the KTVU Web site There’s also a nice slide show on Dennis’ career.

“KTVU has always been one of the most respected TV news organizations in the country and I feel honored to be part of it for so long. It is gratifying to be trusted enough by Bay Area viewers to be welcomed into their homes each night,” said KTVU Anchor Dennis Richmond.

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Dennis Richmond

“Dennis is an icon. He has a presence that demands attention and respect. His anchoring has always been the perfect match for KTVU Channel 2 News,” said KTVU Vice President and General Manager Tim McVay, “As a working journalist, Dennis is the pinnacle of objectivity and fairness. When you watch him anchor, you know you’re getting the real news. He has never let his feelings or opinions drift into the stories he delivers. Dennis and his style of delivery has defined KTVU for decades.”

Richmond will continue to co-anchor the KTVU Channel 2 News at 6 and The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 until May 21, 2008. Richmond started at KTVU on April 29, 1968 and has anchored The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU since 1976.

“I drove with a friend out to California in January 1968 with $400 in my pocket. I had recently finished a three year hitch in the Army and didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted to do,” said Richmond. “I had some family and friends in the Bay Area and didn’t know where I was going to stay, but I knew I needed to find a job.”

He landed at KTVU as a part-time clerk typist. By 1969, Richmond was a full-time reporter and he was covering the Bay Area’s biggest news stories, including some with national attention.

“We had a great opportunity competing against the networks on some big stories back then,” said Richmond. “Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, the Zebra Killings, Dan White’s shooting of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk; they were all high profile stories where the networks threw an army at us, but KTVU was scrappy and we scored some terrific wins with our coverage. Those were exciting times.”

While Richmond has vivid memories of his street reporting days, his decades of anchoring The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 has set him apart from others in the industry. He has delivered steady anchoring while being an eyewitness to history as he led KTVU’s coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Hills Fire, and field anchoring political conventions.

“Dennis is the ironman of the anchor desk at KTVU. It has been an honor penciling his name in the line-up each night. He’s been at KTVU for 40 years, but he could keep going for another decade if he wanted. He’s so strong; it’s hard to believe he’s retiring. We’d love to keep Dennis at KTVU forever and he knows that,” said KTVU News Director Ed Chapuis.

“I wish it wasn’t true. Dennis’s departure from the anchor chair will mark the end of an era in Bay Area television news. He is the ultimate pro and a good friend. What viewers don’t see every night is his compassion for people and his huge heart,” said KTVU co-anchor Julie Haener. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to co-anchor the evening news with him. There will never be another like Dennis.”

Being the anchor of the Bay Area’s top-rated newscast for decades has brought Richmond attention, but he is quick to point out that he’s only part of a winning team. “What we do every day at KTVU is truly a team effort. It wouldn’t exist without everyone here pushing in the same direction. I could not do this without the support of my co-workers. This is not an individual effort. We have a great team here at KTVU and I am happy to be a part of it.”

During Richmond’s tenure he has received a plethora of awards including several Emmy and Radio-Television News Director Association Awards.

In 1999, Richmond received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was elected into the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Silver Circle in 1994. Three years ago, he also received the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) Journalist of the Year Award. In 2005, The Radio-Television News Directors Association awarded a national Edward R. Murrow Award for best large market newscast in America to The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 which was anchored by Richmond.

“Dennis is as much of a leader in the newsroom as he is on-air. There is a side of Dennis that viewers don’t see, but his co-workers do and they love him for it. He has a fiery competitiveness. But ‘getting it right’ has always been the most important thing for him,” said KTVU Ten o’Clock News Executive Producer Mike Kelly. “Dennis is a legend in the KTVU newsroom for his attention to factual accuracy, his detailed editing of scripts, and his probing questions in editorial meetings. He is a leader in the KTVU newsroom in every sense of the word.”

Even with all the journalistic awards and recognitions, Richmond says he most appreciated being recognized by viewers. Over the years he has been named the best Bay Area television anchor in the reader’s polls of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, The Bay Guardian and San Francisco Weekly. “Feedback from viewers, which is unsolicited, is what is most important,” said Richmond. “It means a lot to me and I will miss it.”

Richmond has been recognized, saluted and honored by many civic organizations. He is the recipient of the Humanitarian Award of Oakland, the highest honor given in the city. He was honored as the Good Scout of the Year by the San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America in 2004. He is a member of the board of directors of the Child Abuse Consortium which is a statewide agency and has been the Chairperson of the YMCA fundraising drive for Alameda County.

Looking down the road at what life will be like in retirement, Richmond says, “I do know that I’m going to relax and get my golf handicap down. I might write a book, but it will definitely be fiction. My life in news has all been about the facts. So, I’m looking forward to making some stuff up.”

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Vamping out with Moonlight

Here’s the thing about TV criticism. You know you should objectively sit down and critique a show based on things like execution, acting, writing, and so on. And if I was doing that for “Moonlight,” I would have to admit that perhaps Alex O’Loughlin – who plays private investigator Mick St. John, a vampire seeking redemption – won’t be winning any Emmys for his performance.

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Mick (Alex O’Loughlin), Friday night is our night. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

Even the premise is so tired it should be taken off the field in a stretcher.

Yet, I just can’t seem to quit the show. There’s something charismatic about Alex, a guy I had lunch with last summer (Check out the blog item Lunch with a Vampire). The Australian charmed me then, and he’s still oozing charisma. Come on. Watch this video

OK, maybe not exactly “Angel,” but not bad.

This past week, “Moonlight” won the People’s Choice award for best new TV drama. Thank you, YouTuber Twilightdew, for posting this with Alex talking all Aussie and stuff:

Last night, I sat huddled on the sofa as Mick tried to save Beth, the mortal he loves, and protect her boyfriend too. He failed on the second part of the exam, leaving the path open for him to pursue the sweet Beth.

Or, it would have if she hadn’t gotten angry with him for not sucking the life into her boyfriend Josh as he lay dying from a gangster’s fatal gunshots.

“Turn him!” she implored. But Mick knows better. He’s trying to become a mortal again with the help of his former wife/vampire Coraline. He knows that living as a vampire is no real life at all.

Oh, Beth.

Oh, me, for being addicted to this show each week. But sometimes, you’ve just got to a fan.

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Vamped up About Moonlight

Here’s the thing about TV criticism. You know you should objectively sit down and critique a show based on things like execution, acting, writing, and so on. And if I was doing that for “Moonlight,” I would have to admit that perhaps Alex O’Loughlin – who plays private investigator Mick St. John, a vampire seeking redemption – won’t be winning any Emmys for his performance.

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Mick (Alex O’Loughlin), Friday night is our night. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

Even the premise is so tired it should be taken off the field in a stretcher.

Yet, I just can’t seem to quit the show. There’s something charismatic about Alex, a guy I had lunch with last summer (Check out the blog item Lunch with a Vampire). The Australian charmed me then, and he’s still oozing charisma. Come on. Watch this video

OK, maybe not exactly “Angel,” but not bad.

This past week, “Moonlight” won the People’s Choice award for best new TV drama. Thank you, YouTuber Twilightdew, for posting this with Alex talking all Aussie and stuff:

Last night, I sat huddled on the sofa as Mick tried to save Beth, the mortal he loves, and protect her boyfriend too. He failed on the second part of the exam, leaving the path open for him to pursue the sweet Beth.

Or, it would have if she hadn’t gotten angry with him for not sucking the life into her boyfriend Josh as he lay dying from a gangster’s fatal gunshots.

“Turn him!” she implored. But Mick knows better. He’s trying to become a mortal again with the help of his former wife/vampire Coraline. He knows that living as a vampire is no real life at all.

Oh, Beth.

Oh, me, for being addicted to this show each week. But sometimes, you’ve just got to a fan.

Comments (5)

Willie Monroe: Why I Left KGO-Channel 7

This is Willie Monroe’s response to my email. We’ll miss him.

Greetings.

Yes it’s true. My last official day was December 31st. After almost 23 years (It would have been 23 years at KGO on April Fool’s Day. Make of that what you will.) I decided it was time to give it a rest. It’s been a great ride. I’m not closing any doors on the future, nor are there any imminent plans. For now I’m on vacation. Here’s the note I sent out announcing my departure. I think it says it all.

To my colleagues and friends I’ve not been able to reach yet,

My sudden departure is really not so sudden. It has been in the works for a while. As many of you have heard me say, “I was glad I was here to do that story. That’s what keeps me going.” It is no longer enough.

At my request, KGO-TV has been gracious enough to release me from my contract. I have nothing but the utmost respect for KGO-TV management which has treated me with respect and understanding. I do not have a plan. One thing at a time. My only objective now is to achieve peace. I have done that.

My sincere thanks to those of you who have appreciated what I’ve done over the years, and let me know about it. I’m grateful to have worked with the most talented and erudite photographers and editors I’ve ever known, and shared those enlightening conversations in the course of our work and play.

My thanks also to management which allowed me to make some small contribution to the community, and to become recognized for that. I was never in love with the notoriety, but my opportunities were in my visibility, and for that I truly am grateful.

Please understand this is not a requiem. I am not going away mad. I am just going away.

Willie Monroe

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Willie Monroe out at KGO-Channel 7

Just before the holidays, veteran KGO reporter Willie Monroe left the station.

Monroe has been the Oakland bureau chief for KGO since 1991. Prior to that he served as weekend co-anchor of the ABC-owned station. He joined KGO in 1985 as a general assignment reporter.

Monroe began his television career in 1972 working as a reporter and photographer for KXAS-TV in Fort Worth. From 1976 – 1977 he worked at KBTV in Denver, and in 1978 returned to KXAS-TV where he produced and hosted a weekly news interview program, and produced and the anchored the weekend news broadcasts.

In 1979 he became a network correspondent for NBC, operating out of the Southwest bureau in Houston and the Northeast bureau in New York. Monroe spent three years in Philadelphia as a reporter and anchor for the NBC affiliate KYW-TV, where he also worked as a reporter for their I-Team investigative unit before coming to the Bay Area.

Monroe graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in communications and public policy in 1971. That year he began working as news editor and reporter for the Sun Reporter, a San Francisco newspaper. In addition, he attended a summer program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

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Tuesday Nielsen Ratings Day – Dec. 31-Jan. 6

It was a bittersweet hour on Sunday when we had a fresh episode of “Desperate Housewives” only to know that it probably will end up being the season ender.

And if that happens, at least viewers were given answers to the Who died in the tornado question and a couple of juicy new storylines like Carlos being blind and Katherine’s secret out, at least to her husband and her daughter.

Of is Dylan really her daughter?

And even a spankin’ new episode of “Friday Night Lights” couldn’t woo viewers. We love this show, but as Bonnie Raitt warbled, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t…”

Here’s the list of 94 primetime network shows and how they ranked for the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6 and their rating:

1 NBC NFL PLAYOFF GAME 2 9.0
2 NBC NFL PLAYOFF PRE-KICK2 8.3
3 AFC WILDCARD POST GAME 7.5
4 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES 6.9
5 60 MINUTES 6.4
6 LAW AND ORDER 4.7
7 DEAL OR NO DEAL 1/3 4.7
8 CSI 4.6
9 EXTREME MAKEOVER 4.4
10 LAW AND ORDER:SVU 4.3
11 DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED 4.3
12 TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL 4.2
13 AMERICAN GLADIATORS 1/6 4.2
14 AMAZING RACE 12 4.2
15 FEDEX ORANGE BOWL 4.2
16 NCIS – SPCL 4.1
17 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL 4.1
18 APPRENTICE 7 3.9
19 COLD CASE 3.8
20 CASHMERE MAFIA SP-1/6 3.7
21 WITHOUT A TRACE 3.7
22 BIGGEST LOSER 5 3.7
23 DEAL OR NO DEAL 1/6 3.6
24 E.R. 3.3
25 DEMOCRATIC DEBATE-ABC 3.3
26 NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN EVE ’08 3.2
27 SUPERNANNY SP-1/2 3.2
28 SUPERNANNY 3.1
29 WIFE SWAP 2.9
30 1 VS 100 2.9
31 WITHOUT A TRACE – 8P SP 2.9
32 AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS 2.9
33 SIMPSONS 2.8
34 SHARK 2.8
35 CRIMINAL MINDS 2.8
36 WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB 2.7
37 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL-PRE 2.7
38 20/20-FRI 2.6
39 ANALYSIS 1-ABC 2.6
UNIT, THE – SPCL 2.6
41 LAS VEGAS 2.5
42 ABC MON MOVIE OF WK-12/31 2.5
43 KING OF THE HILL 2.4
44 ANALYSIS 2-ABC 2.4
45 GHOST WHISPERER 2.4
46 48 HOURS MYSTERY 2.3
47 HOUSE-FRI 9P 2.3
48 POWER OF TEN 2.3
49 ROSE BOWL-POST GAME 2.3
50 CSI: NY 2.3
51 TWO AND A HALF MEN SPCL 2.3
52 FAMILY GUY 2.1
53 GREY’S ANATOMY-THU 9PM 2.1
54 NUMB3RS 2.1
55 48 HOURS MYSTERY -SPECIAL 2.1
56 BONES-FRI 8P 2.0
57 AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK 2.0
58 COPS 2 2.0
59 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS 1.9
60 CSI: MIAMI SPECIAL 1.9
61 CBS MOVIE SATURDAY 1.9
62 AMERICAN DAD 1.8
63 ACCORDING TO JIM SP 1-1/1 1.8
64 UGLY BETTY 1.8
65 MOONLIGHT 1.8
66 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-1/3 1.8
67 RULES OF ENGAGEMENT SP 1.8
68 ACCORDING TO JIM SP 2-1/1 1.7
69 COPS 1.7
70 BOSTON LEGAL SP-1/1 1.7
71 JUST FOR LAUGHS SP-1/1 1.7
72 FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN 1.7
73 AMERICAN DAD SP-1/6 7:30P 1.6
74 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER SP 1.4
75 GREY’S ANATOMY-FRI 8PM 1.4
SNL 90S POP NATION 1.4
77 FOX MOVIE SP-NY EVE 8P 1.4
78 BIG BANG THEORY, THE SP 1.3
79 AMERICAN DAD SP-1/6 7P 1.3
80 LAW AND ORDER:SVU 12/31 1.2
81 SMALLVILLE .8
82 GOSSIP GIRL .8
83 SUPERNATURAL .7
84 CROWNED .7
85 EV HATES CHRIS-NYEVE .5
86 CROWNED-NY .4
87 ONE TREE HILL-NY .4
88 ALIENS IN AMERICA-NYEVE .4
89 GAME, THE-NYEVE .3
90 GIRLFRIENDS-NYEVE .3
91 CROWNED-ENC .3
92 LIFE IS WILD .3
93 ALIENS IN AMERICA-SUN .2
94 CW NOW .2

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