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Ch.2., Ch.4 in tight morning race; Bills game, "Bad" finale score here

By Alan Pergament

A month after Channel 4's new morning team of co-anchors Teresa Weakley and Jordan Williams and meterorolgist Todd Santos has made its debut, the race with Channel 2's "Daybreak" has become tighter than Williams' suit coats.

Last week, the two stations tied with a 3.4 average rating at 5 a.m., more than tripling Channel 7's 1.0.

At 6 a.m., Channel 2's team of co-anchors John Beard and Melissa Holmes and meteorologist Andy Parker won, 5-5-5.4, which more than tripled the 1.6 for Channel 7's new team of Tiffany Lundberg, Cole Heath and meteorologist Mike Randall.

Channel 2's lead over Channel 4 from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. combined last week was believed to be .03 if a ratings point. That's three-hundreds of a ratings point.

Of course, these are households ratings and advertisers are more interested in the demographics.

Now that much of the audience sampling is over and Channel 4's promos for the morning show have accelerated it will be interesting to see if the trend continues in the upcoming November sweeps that measure demos.

The local audience for the excellent finale of AMC's "Breaking Bad" was a record-setter, with the 6.6 rating here more than doubling the average it had been getting in recent weeks. It might hit double-digits after viewing on DVRs and On Demand.

The 6.6 rating was higher locally than the two non-football broadcast network series that ran opposite "Bad" -- "Revenge" (5.9) on ABC and "The Good Wife" (5.3) on CBS. Of course, it couldn't compete with the Sunday Night Football game (15.0) on NBC between New England and Atlanta.

Spoiler alert: If you don't want to read more of my views about the finale -- I addressed it some Monday -- cover your eyes.

That rating undoubtedly meant a lot of people were watching the series for the first time Sunday and might not have understood how Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was able to out-smart or kill all of his enemies before saving the life of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and finding a way to get his family the millions he earned.

It was a brilliant finale that achieved something rare in finales -- almost universal love that started the conversation about what was the best finale in history.

The Badfinger song "Baby Blue" that played as White died (and I was told has been played before on the series) seemed to have double meaning. Besides being about the color of the special crystal meth White cooked up, the song and its lyrics about a "special love" also seemed to illustrate his feelings for Jesse.

White's classic admission to his wife that he enjoyed the bad things he was doing gave him something in common with his audience.

Of course, the Buffalo Bills' 23-20 victory over Baltimore Sunday was the highest-rated show of the week. It averaged a 33.6 rating on Channel 4, which was about 18 percent lower the Bills loss to the New York Jets a week earlier. Why?

For one thing, the Jet game was played in New Jersey in the late afternoon and early evening when more people are in front of their TV sets. Secondly, there were aboout 70,000 people at The Ralph instead of in front of their TV sets. The 64 share -- or percentage of people with their TVs on watching the Bills game -- was actually higher for the Baltimore game than for the Jet game.

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Drama | Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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