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Viewership for all network time periods is plummeting

NBC’s early morning, early evening and late-night programs carried on Channel 2 are the big local winners during the November sweeps.

But the decline in combined viewership in all network time periods compared to a year ago is eye-opening.

From 7 to 9 a.m., the three national morning programs have dropped a combined 22 percent. At 6:30 p.m., the three national newscasts have dropped a combined 14 percent, and at 11:35 p.m. the three late-night programs have dropped about 24 percent.

The improved local weather this November compared to last year could be one factor in the drop.

Additionally, more and more viewers – especially younger viewers – may be content with watching highlights of the shows online or watching them later on demand. And then there’s the possibility that viewers are choosing sleep over the late-night shows.

Let’s take a look at the three time periods programmed nationally:

Late night: In the first sweeps period since Stephen Colbert replaced David Letterman as host of CBS’ “Late Show,” the local order of finish is the same as it was a year ago. NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (3.0) is first, followed by Colbert’s “Late Show” (2.5) and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live (2.0) on Channel 7.

Kimmel has closed the gap here with his rivals by having the same 2.0 rating as he had a year ago despite getting the lowest local lead-in from Channel 7. Fallon (down from a 4.3) and Colbert (down from Letterman’s 3.5) have seen large percentage drops. However, the demographics that will arrive later will tell the full story. Colbert replaced Letterman and Fallon replaced Leno because they were expected to draw younger viewers than their older predecessors.

Early morning: NBC’s “Today” (6.2) on Channel 2 gets a local rating higher than the combined rating of “Good Morning America” (3.3) on Channel 7 and “CBS This Morning” (2.8) on Channel 4. Buffalo has always been a huge “Today” market. In May, Channel 2 had the highest or second-highest rating or share for “Today” in the country among all NBC affiliates in metered markets. Nationally, “Today” and “GMA” are locked in a very tight race, with NBC’s program experiencing a recent recovery.

Evening news: “The NBC Nightly News” on Channel 2 wins with a 9.6 rating, with “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” (7.5) on Channel 4 second and “World News Tonight with David Muir” (5.0) third. Pelley does much better here than he does nationally and Muir much worse than he does nationally. That has more to do with the strengths of the local CBS and ABC affiliates than the anchors’ performance. Nationally, “Nightly News” and “World News” are in a tight race for first place.


A select group of Western New Yorkers will be able to see the world premiere of the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary on the Buffalo Bills glory days three nights before the rest of the country.

The film, “Four Falls of Buffalo,” will have its world premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the North Park Theatre on Hertel Avenue.

Directed by Ken Rodgers, the film documents the Bills team that made it to the Super Bowl four straight years in the early 1990s, only to lose them all.

It will air nationally on ESPN on Dec. 12.

An ESPN spokesperson said the network is working with the Bills to fill the North Park Theatre by invitation only. It isn’t opening the film wide to the public.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Jim Kelly, Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas are among the Bills stars of the era who have been confirmed to attend. ESPN adds there will be a question-and-answer session after the film ends.


Here’s some good news for radio sports fans: Colin Cowherd, whose radio show recently left the local airwaves when he moved from ESPN to Fox Sports, is back on the air locally at 1270 The Fan.

Cowherd, whose Fox show is fed through the Premiere Radio Network, has the noon to 3 p.m. time slot that is being vacated by Rich Gaenzler so he can replace Larry Norton as the morning man at 97 Rock.

Cowherd’s show airs Tuesday through Friday during the Buffalo Bills season. Gaenzler will remain as the host on Monday, when 1270 will continue to devote the time period to discussions of the Bills and other sports topics by a team of Buffalo News sportswriters.