Showbiz Sandbox 253: Nielsen Is Rating TV Shows By The (Wrong) Numbers

October 14, 2014

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The method by which television ratings are collected and tabulated has long been criticized as imperfect. Now Nielsen, the research firm which provides the ratings, admitted this past week it had been reporting inaccurate audience figures to broadcast networks for the past seven months. Turns out viewership of this year’s season premieres was lower than originally thought. We’ll try and explain what the heck is going on here?

Comedian Adam Sandler is back in the news, though this time it’s for a movie which isn’t being made… even by Netflix. And just as she hits her stride as an action star, actress Scarlett Johansson (temporarily) gives up movies to appear in a television mini-series.

Even the world of live theater is a bit bizarre lately, at least according to composer Stephen Sondheim who is working on a new musical based on two surreal movies by the late Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel. If that’s not crazy enough, the biggest box office winner on Broadway this fall has been “The Lion King”, a musical that has been running for 17 years.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Katy Perry books a trip to the Super Bowl, e-book software that spies on you and the fifth season of “The Walking Dead” premieres to record numbers… or so we’ve been told.

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Box Office Mojo Site Disappears Into IMDb
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/box-office-mojo-site-disappears-into-imdb-1201326950/

Box Office Mojo Returns After One-Day Absence
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/box-office-mojo-returns-after-absence-1201327623/

China to Report Box-Office Data Via Social Media
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-report-box-office-data-740606

Warner Bros. No Longer in Talks to Make Adam Sandler’s ‘The Ridiculous Six’ (Exclusive)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/warner-bros-no-longer-talks-738466

Scarlett Johansson to Star in Limited Series Based on Edith Wharton Novel
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/scarlett-johansson-to-star-in-limited-series-based-on-edith-wharton-novel-1201324020/

Scarlett Johansson Welcomes Baby Girl With Fiancé Romain Dauriac
http://www.eonline.com/news/566521/scarlett-johansson-gives-birth-actress-welcomes-baby-girl-with-fiance-romain-dauriac-find-out-her-name

Stephen Sondheim Working on a New Musical Based on Luis Buñuel Movies
http://www.theatermania.com/news/_70233.html

Disney Tops the Broadway Box Office
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/disney-tops-the-broadway-box-office/

Katy Perry Booked for Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/katy-perry-booked-for-super-bowl-xlix-halftime-show-20141010

‘7th Heaven’ Star Stephen Collins Admits to Molestation: Report
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/7th-heaven-star-stephen-collins-738694

‘Ted 2’ Fires Actor Stephen Collins After Audio of Molestation Confession Emerges
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ted-2-fires-actor-stephen-738742

‘7th Heaven’ Reruns Dropped Amid Star’s Child Molestation Investigation
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/7th-heaven-reruns-dropped-amid-stars-child-molestation-investigation-1201324000/

Stephen Collins’ Talent Agency Severs Ties Over Molestation Scandal
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/stephen-collins-talent-agency-severs-740069

Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/adobe-spyware-reveals-again-price-drm-your-privacy-and-security

China Approves $3.25 Billion Universal Theme Park in Beijing
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-approves-325-billion-universal-740266

ESPN, Major TV Networks Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over College Athletics
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/espn-major-tv-networks-hit-738790

Starz to Launch Streaming Service in International Markets
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/starz-to-launch-streaming-service-in-international-markets-report-1201328356/

Somehow, New York Comic Con Gets Bigger
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/64349-somehow-new-york-comic-con-gets-bigger.html

AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Returns to Record 17.3 Million Viewers
http://variety.com/2014/tv/ratings/amcs-walking-dead-returns-to-record-17-3-million-viewers-1201328588/

AMC Abandons Unscripted Fare, Cancels Most Current Reality
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/amc-abandons-unscripted-fare-cancels-739792

TV Ratings by Nielsen Had Errors for Months
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/business/media/tv-ratings-by-nielsen-had-errors-for-months.html

Nielsen Mistake Means Ratings Are Even Lower Than We Thought
http://www.adweek.com/news/television/nielsen-mistake-means-ratings-are-even-lower-we-thought-160719

ABC Snaps NBC’s Five-Year Winning Streak In The Evening-News Wars
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/abc-snaps-nbcs-five-year-winning-streak-in-the-evening-news-wars-1201323573/

Marian Seldes, a Ruler of the Broadway Stage, Dies at 86
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/theater/marian-seldes-regal-presence-of-broadway-dies-at-86.html

Geoffrey Holder, Dancer, Actor, Painter and More, Dies at 84
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/arts/geoffrey-holder-dancer-choreographer-and-man-of-flair-dies-at-84.html

Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer-Winning Poet, Dies at 89
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/arts/artsspecial/carolyn-kizer-pulitzer-winning-poet-dies-at-89.html

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