Five weeks into the new network TV season, it isn’t a network show topping our weekly Top Five this week. Instead, it’s a news story — the death of a dictator.
1) The 42-year reign of Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi comes to a fatal conclusion: The story of Gadhafi’s death after six months of civil war in the beleaguered North African country broke Thursday morning and will likely emerge at year’s end as one of the biggest single news stories of 2011. The story dominated TV news Thursday and Friday.
2) The second item on our Top Five is another one torn from the week’s headlines: It was another fun-filled GOP debate –this time on CNN this past Tuesday. Originating from Las Vegas and moderated by the tireless Anderson Cooper, this debate made headlines for the way Rick Perry tangled with Mitt Romney. Our take: Romney won the face-off. Bill O’Reilly’s take: Cooper wasn’t a very good moderator.
3) The incredible story of “NCIS”: Now in its ninth season, “NCIS” is, right now, network television’s top-ranked scripted show. And at the rate it’s going, it will end the season that way for the first time (barring some unforeseen circumstance). That’s not bad for a show that ranked 26th in its first season, but has risen steadily in the rankings ever since. After five episodes, “NCIS” is averaging more than 19 viewers a week, Tuesday nights at 8/7c — numbers other shows would kill for. This week’s tally: 19.41 million.
4) Speaking of ratings, you might say that increasing the ratings is the best revenge: That’s especially true if you’re talking about ABC’s “Revenge,” the drama airing Wednesday night’s at 10/9c that has suddenly experienced an upward reversal of fortune. It’s a rare achievement for a newly introduced show — decline in the ratings for the first three episodes and then start ascending again. That’s what “Revenge” did in its last two airings, giving hope that this Emily VanCamp series will see a second season.
5) It’s a Guy thing: “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” maven Guy Fieri got in hot water this week when a disgruntled former producer of his far-flung Food Network show griped in an interview in an obscure paper in Minneapolis that Fieri has a pottymouth. Well, boo-hoo. We happened to think the producer was all wet (after we carefully analyzed his statements), but whether he was telling the truth or not, our story on the dust-up — which you can read here — generated a ton of readership (for which we thank you).