Daily Marauder

May 5, 2009, 9:21 PM


In a Cinderella story that will become legend, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby witnessed Mine That Bird and jockey Calvin Borel winning the race after starting in last place with 50-1 odds, catapulting NBC to its highest ratings for the sports event in 17 years. During 6-7p, the race posted a 10.2 rating and a 22 share among households, according to Nielsen’s overnight ratings. This is the best Kentucky Derby performance since 1992 and a +7% increase in viewers compared to 2008. (Cynopsis 5/5)


A tax bill that was 36% lower than the comparable quarter in 2008 along with a 2.1% increase in advertising revenue helped Discovery Communications put together a robust earnings statement in the first quarter. DCI posted revenue of $817 million during the first three months of the year and turned a profit of $119 million, up from $34 million a year earlier. The Wall Street Journal (5/5) , OneTRAK (5/4) , Reuters (5/4)


AMC’s third season of original drama Mad Men began production and is slated to premiere this August. (Cynopsis 5/5)


The premiere of Disney Channel’s "Jonas" this past weekend attracted 4 million viewers, including 2 million in the 2-to-11 age demographic. In head-to-head competition, the freshman series outdrew Nickelodeon’s well-established "Fairly OddParents," which had 3.6 million viewers in its first half hour. Broadcasting & Cable (5/4)


Jenny McCarthy is poised to become the next star in Oprah Winfrey’s media empire. McCarthy is entering a deal with Winfrey’s Harpo to develop projects, including a syndicated talk show. The first collaboration under the pact is a blog by McCarthy on Oprah.com. (Iwantmedia 5/5, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i06056b3e4345348447df69f8ec765ae3  5/4)


FOX handed frosh series Fringe a full-season order for next season. Fringe has been a consistent time period winner among A18-49 on Tuesdays at 9p and the first season wraps May 12 at 904p with special guest star Leonard Nimoy. (Cynopsis 5/5)


Additionally, FOX ordered a second season of the animated Family Guy spinoff, Cleveland even before the series premieres this fall, reports THR. (Cynopsis 5/5)

CW will be out of the Sunday programming business entirely as of next year. The CBS-Time Warner network is in talks with affiliates to give up five hours of network time, 5 to 10 p.m., on Sunday, which has long been a weak spot for CW and its WB Network predecessor. (Iwantmedia 5/5, http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003188.html?categoryid=14&cs=1  5/4)


FX has locked down the network rights to eight films, including "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "The Wrestler," "Taken" and "Marley & Me." The deal, believed to be worth about $80 million, kicks in about 30 months after the films’ theatrical releases, which means "Wolverine" could run in late 2011. Variety (5/4)


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