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

October 14, 2014


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.


Box Office Mojo Site Disappears Into IMDb

Box Office Mojo Returns After One-Day Absence

China to Report Box-Office Data Via Social Media

Warner Bros. No Longer in Talks to Make Adam Sandler’s ‘The Ridiculous Six’ (Exclusive)

Scarlett Johansson to Star in Limited Series Based on Edith Wharton Novel

Scarlett Johansson Welcomes Baby Girl With Fiancé Romain Dauriac

Stephen Sondheim Working on a New Musical Based on Luis Buñuel Movies

Disney Tops the Broadway Box Office

Katy Perry Booked for Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show

‘7th Heaven’ Star Stephen Collins Admits to Molestation: Report

‘Ted 2’ Fires Actor Stephen Collins After Audio of Molestation Confession Emerges

‘7th Heaven’ Reruns Dropped Amid Star’s Child Molestation Investigation

Stephen Collins’ Talent Agency Severs Ties Over Molestation Scandal

Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security

China Approves $3.25 Billion Universal Theme Park in Beijing

ESPN, Major TV Networks Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over College Athletics

Starz to Launch Streaming Service in International Markets

Somehow, New York Comic Con Gets Bigger

AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Returns to Record 17.3 Million Viewers

AMC Abandons Unscripted Fare, Cancels Most Current Reality

TV Ratings by Nielsen Had Errors for Months

Nielsen Mistake Means Ratings Are Even Lower Than We Thought

ABC Snaps NBC’s Five-Year Winning Streak In The Evening-News Wars

Marian Seldes, a Ruler of the Broadway Stage, Dies at 86

Geoffrey Holder, Dancer, Actor, Painter and More, Dies at 84

Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer-Winning Poet, Dies at 89