1:56pm PT by James Hibberd
Thursday premieres; McCain vs. late-night; Web ratings
>> Friday's televised debate is still up in the air. "The debate that matters most right now is taking place in the nation's capital," John McCain said. Barack Obama said, "The American people I believe deserve to hear directly from myself and Sen. McCain about how we intend to lead our country." ... Man, these two. They can’t even agree to argue ... Meanwhile, stakes are high for the debate, as one poll suggests 18% are still undecided. Really? If you can’t choose between idealogical and stylistic opposites like McCain and Obama, it’s not that you don’t know the candidates, it’s that you don’t know yourself.
>> From what some critics are saying, ABC’s two-hour "Grey’s Anatomy" premiere tonight is creatively back on track. Also up: the two-hour HD-finally premiere of "Survivor." Should be interesting to see of CBS’ premiere week streak of ratings gains extends to its veteran reality hit, which has ebbed in the Nielsens in recent years. Here’s Jeff Probst chatting about the Gabon edition. Pet peeve: It seems like every cycle Probst talks up the unique dangers of the new setting’s local wildlife, which then only serves to populate confusingly metaphoric cutaway shots between watching the survivors argue and run around (hey, a shot of a spider catching an insect -- does that mean Janice finally has Maxine caught in her web of deception, or that there are a lot of spiders nearby, or the director thought it looked creepy, or that Raid is a CBS sponsor?). Just once I want a survivor’s whiny confessional interrupted by a Bengal tiger.
Some admittedly dull late night and network Web site traffic ratings buried after the jump.
>> The 2007-08 broadcast year concluded last week and"The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" finished its 13th year in a row as theNo. 1 late-night program among adults 18 to 49, and "Late Night WithConan O'Brien" wrapped up its 14th straight season at No. 1 in its timeperiod. Leno averaged 1.8 million viewers in the demo (up 23% from keyrival CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman") and O'Brien had 984,000(up 39% in the demo from CBS' "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson")
>> Web site traffic: NBC.com continues to lead the broadcastnetworks in online traffic, with the site receiving a 15% market shareof visits, according to Hitwise for the week ending Sept. 20. As usual, reality show dominated thetop 10 most-visited series sites, with NBC’s "America’s Got Talent" inthe top spot, followed by CBS’ "Big Brother," ABC’s "Dancing With theStars" and NBC’s "Deal or No Deal." Among cable networks, ComedyCentral’s "South Park" has the most-visited site.
1 NBC America's Got Talent 14.93%
2 CBS Big Brother 8.77%
3 ABC Dancing with the Stars 6.07%
4 NBC Deal or No Deal 5.81%
5 NBC The Biggest Loser 3.44%
6 FOX America's Most Wanted 3.41%
7 FOX Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles 3.07%
8 FOX American Idol 2.56%
9 CBS NCIS 2.21%
10 NBC Heroes 2.07%
1 NBC www.nbc.com 35.56%
2 CBS www.cbs.com 22.51%
3 ABC abc.go.com 17.64%
4 *FOX Aggregation *FOX Aggregation 15.57%
5 The CW Television Network www.cwtv.com 7.73%
1 Comedy Central South Park 4.17%
2 Food Network Paula's Home Cooking 3.92%
3 Comedy Central The Daily Show 3.80%
4 Fox News O'Reilly Factor 3.48%
5 MTV The Hills 3.31%
6 BET 106 & Park 3.20%
7 CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight 2.64%
8 Fox News Hannity & Colmes 2.43%
9 Food Network 30 Minute Meals 2.31%
10 Bravo Project Runway 2.15%