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Comey interview lags behind Academy of Country Music Awards, 'Roseanne' locally

It is time for another in the occasional series of "What Western New York is Watching."

Former FBI director James Comey had tough competition in the Buffalo area for his Sunday sit-down interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

After all, WNY is country music territory.

Comey's interview had a 5.7 live household rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7).

That is hardly a blockbuster rating, perhaps because so many details were leaked out or promoted before the interview ran. He has since made the media rounds promoting his book, including an interview this morning on WBEN-AM.

The Sunday rating was about half of the 11.0 local rating that the Academy of Country Music Awards averaged in the 10 p.m. Sunday hour on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) when the Comey interview ran on Channel 7.

The CMA Awards won nationally by a much closer margin, 12.1 million viewers to 9.8 million.

But at least Comey's interview locally beat NBC's "Timeless" and AMC's "The Walking Dead."  "Timeless" is in severe danger of being canceled. WNY doesn't seem to care. It had a 1.6 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) Sunday.

The season finale of "The Walking Dead" Sunday had a 4.5 local rating.

Now on to "Roseanne." The revival is slipping weekly, but still qualifies as a major hit here and is holding its audience in the age 18-49 nationally.

The fifth episode Tuesday night, which had an assist from an appearance by Johnny Galecki, who went on to success with "The Big Bang Theory," had a 11.2 live local rating on Channel 7. "NCIS" beat it in the time slot here with a 12.2 rating on Channel 4.

"Roseanne," which stopped dealing with President Trump after the premiere, is steadily declining here from 15.2 on opening night to ratings of 13.0, 12.4 and 11.2 each succeeding Tuesday night. I still figure it will eventually get as low as a 10 rating.

Still, it is very rare for any broadcast TV show comedy outside of "Big Bang" to average a double-digit local rating.

ABC reports that counting delayed viewing "Roseanne" is the season's No. 1 TV show nationally in both total viewers and the age 18-49 demographic.

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Buffalo's love of hockey – the area usually is No. 1 or near it when ratings come out -- was evident last weekend, with an assist from the nasty weather that kept people home.

NBC reports that the Buffalo market is No. 2, behind only Pittsburgh, in the average ratings for 18 games on its broadcast network and cable networks over the first five days of the playoffs.

Of course, ratings are only a percentage of the TV population in each market. Many cities with lower average ratings but much larger populations have more people watching than Buffalo does.

The Saturday afternoon game between New Jersey and Tampa Bay on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) had a 4.3 local rating and a Saturday night game between Toronto and Boston had a 5.3 local rating on the same channel. That's a very strong rating for any program on Saturday night. The Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game Sunday afternoon had a 4.0 rating.

WNY isn't much of a pro basketball town compared to the rest of the nation. Buffalo could be the only TV market or certainly one of the few in the country that gets higher ratings for NHL playoff games than NBA playoff games.

A Golden State win over the San Antonio Spurs Saturday afternoon had a 2.5 rating on Channel 7 and Indiana's upset of Cleveland Sunday afternoon had a 3.6 rating on the same channel.


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