CBS was, for the most part, pretty happy with the ratings of last week's final episode of "Murphy Brown."
Not only did the show finish No. 4 in the weekly rankings, but it did considerably better than CBS has been doing on Monday nights this season.The network sent out a release that trumpeted, "CBS'S 13 owned stations see ratings skyrocket for series finale." The show was up 73 percent over its season average and 62 percent vs. the time-period average.
The market-by-market look at the results showed that, in comparison to how the network has done on Mondays from 8-9 p.m. this season, "Murphy Brown" was up 71 percent in New York, 80 percent in Los Angeles, 96 percent in San Fran-cisco, 61 percent in Minneapolis and so on . . . until you get to Salt Lake City where the ratings were down 8 percent.
Are Utahns still mad at Murphy over giving birth out of wedlock? Over the whole contretemps with Dan Quayle?
Nah. The "Murphy Brown" finale aired opposite Game 2 of the Jazz-Lakers series - a fact noted by CBS in its national release.
ONCE WAS ENOUGH: It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but, relatively speaking, NBC's rebroadcast of the "Sein-feld" finale didn't attract a whole lot of viewers.
The first airing was seen by 76 million viewers. The second was seen by 8.5 million viewers.
The Wednesday, May 20, repeat of the Thursday, May 14, finale finished fourth in its time slot - behind CBS's "Sonny & Me: Cher Remembers," Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210" and ABC's sitcoms "Spin City" and "Dharma & Greg."
Perhaps this is a sign of how quickly the "Seinfeld" phenomenon will fade.
NOT GONE VERY FAR: If, on the other hand, you're not tired of Jerry Seinfeld, he'll be making his (possibly) triumphant return to TV some three months after he left.
HBO has scheduled "Jerry Seinfeld Live: I'm Telling You for the Last Time" for Sunday, Aug. 9. It'll be a night of stand-up comedy, although most of it won't be new. According to HBO, "He'll be performing some of the classic stand-up material that established him as a major comedy talent."
RED GREEN RETURNS: For the second year in a row, KUED will be hosting the stars of "The Red Green Show" at Franklin Quest Field on Friday night.
But if you haven't already received your, uh, invitation, don't plan on heading down to the baseball stadium. What Ch. 7 is billing as the Second Annual Meeting of the Possum Lodge (Utah Chapter) is for KUED members who participated in the Red Green Live! contest in March.
For the second year in a row, KUED finished second place in the contest to raise pledge dollars for a Red Green visit. Thus, Harold and Red will be back on Friday.
How proud all of you must be.
WHINING (PART 1): "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" star Jane Seymour has issued a statement indicating that she is "stunned and devastated" by CBS's cancellation of her series, adding that she feels a great sense of loss for herself, the show's cast and crew and "all the millions of people out there who valued" the program.
Not to make too little of the fans' devotion to the show, and not to minimize Seymour's surprise (yours truly was sort of surprised at the cancellation as well), but wouldn't it be nice if one of these people could make a graceful exit? If, just once, someone could say, "Thanks, CBS, for keeping us on the air for 51/2 years."
And the fact remains that when "Dr. Quinn" went on the air, Seymour and her cast and crew pushed another show off - people who were no doubt "stunned and devastated."
They know going in that network television is a business. To moan about how unfairly they've been treated seems disingenuous at best.
WHINING (PART 2): Speaking of disingenuous, how about producer Steven Bochco's complaints about CBS canceling "Brooklyn South" after just one season?
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bochco complained that the network had "no patience" and was "short-sighted" to ax the show.
Let's see, this would be the same show that CBS gave perhaps its best one-hour drama time slot (kicking "Chicago Hope" to Wednesdays in the process), which CBS promoted the heck out of both last fall and during the Winter Olympics, and which saw its ratings decline as the season progressed.
NEW PREZ FOR PAXSON: Jeff Sagansky, the former CBS Entertainment president who recently quit his job as co-president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, is moving to West Palm Beach, Fla. He's been named the new president of Paxson Communications, which owns 78 stations (including KUPX-Ch. 16 in Utah) and plans to launch a network of sorts in August.
Of course, PaxNet will look more like a cable network than a broadcast entity - it will be programmed primarily with off-network reruns, most notably "Touched by an Angel" and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."
Perhaps that's best for Sagansky, whose tenure at CBS failed to produce a single hit series.
LOSERS: If you're looking for a laugh, don't forget the Tuesday, June 9, episode of "The Bold and the Beautiful," which airs at 2 p.m. on KUTV-Ch. 2.
That's the episode that features L.A. Lakers Robert Horry and Derek Fisher, who are part of an audience listening to teen R&B recording star Usher.
The Laker duo apparently had nothing better to do when they taped their appearance between Games 3 and 4 of their playoff disaster against the Utah Jazz. Like, maybe, practice.