Grab Bag: “The Game” loses in its first PPM matchup

The Game





Plus: Divorce Court to stick around; and a new first-run syndicated drama on tap

Nielsen Radio’s March PPM ratings period just concluded and it shows the new sports radio talker WGWG-FM, or The Game stalled at the starting gate. The station tied for 37th place overall with a measly 0.3 rating, far behind competitors WSCR (tied for 19th with a 2.0) and WMVP (22nd with a 1.7).

Meanwhile, Clear Channel’s WVAZ-FM (V103) remained on top, followed by WBBM-AM and WTMX. Of note was fourth-ranked WKSC-FM (Kiss) blowing out rival tenth-ranked WBBM-FM by a wide margin. Can’t remember the last time B96 was this far behind a rival.

Also of note was the consent growth of Cumulus/Merlin’s alt-rock WKQX, whose rating on the 101.1 frequency has grown an amazing 77 percent since the Holiday book, tying sister station WLUP for twelfth place. WKQX is now attracting more listeners than it did in July 2011, in its final Emmis days. Indeed, the Alternative Rock format has made a strong comeback in Chicago.

Another surprise saw WLS-AM fall behind WPWX (Power 92), of all stations.

Clear Channel’s WLTW and KIIS topped the New York and Los Angeles ratings charts respectively, giving the radio giant overall victories in the top three markets.

While the first-run syndicated action hour genre – popular in an age before Netflix and Hulu – isn’t returning in full force anytime soon, there is a new drama coming down the pikes for this fall – Rohrs Entertainment Group announced the launch of The Pinkertons, a new show set in the 1850s about a detective agency using the latest technological advances (at the time), including surveillance, mug shots, and undercover work.

Rohrs has cleared The Pinkertons in 70 percent of the U.S., including WCIU here in Chicago and WPIX in New York.

Currently, only one other action hour (SAF 3) is on the air in first-run syndication. Is it not known if the series, which airs at 11 p.m. Saturday nights over WGN-TV, is coming back next season. Before that, local stations aired Disney/ABC’s Legend Of The Seeker, which ran in first-run for two years (2008-10.)

Thanks to a recent ratings surge, you won’t be seeing Divorce Court leaving the airwaves anytime soon. Twentieth Television recently granted a three-year renewal for the longtime daytime franchise, with the most current incarnation now in its fifteenth season. The series hit a four-season ratings high point in the most recent sweep (1.8 household, live-plus-same day) and is averaging a 1.6 HH rating this year – not bad for a show in year fifteen.

Divorce also benefited from seeing some time periods open up thanks to the recent demise of fellow court show Judge Alex and freshman talker Bethenny, which ran on many of the same outlets Divorce did.

This version of Divorce Court has now outlasted the original (1957-69) and the 1985-91 version of the series, presided by former California Supreme Court Judge William Keene, who is best known for presiding over the Charles Manson murder trial. Unlike the two previous versions of the show (which everything but the verdict were scripted and based on real-life cases), today’s Divorce Court features real couples and is unscripted. With 34 seasons on the books overall, Divorce Court is TV’s longest-running court show of all time.

If you haven’t seen last Monday’s Dallas mid-season finale, then stop reading now. In this so-called “Golden Era Of Drama”, buzzworthy series such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones and others have served up cliffhangers that are original and different – even if some viewers disagree. So what did the revival of Dallas serve up for its mid-season finale? Another Southfork fire, similar to the original series’ season six’s cliffhanger in May 1983 – which itself was similar to a Dynasty cliffhanger where Krystle and Alexis were… you guessed it, trapped in a fire. And both cliffhangers aired within days of one another.

And oh yeah, Sue Ellen is drinking again – just like in… oh, never mind.

Yeah, I can totally see this happening: