We guess it depends on how you look at the numbers, but the stately gray New York Times has declared this morning that the syndicated television show based on the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com is a hit!
On Thursday, we’d told you that a month after the TV show’s debut, weekly ratings finally showed up on the national charts (the corporate suits behind TMZ sent the first two weeks numbers back to be “reprocessed” because they didn’t like them.)
The third week’s 1.7 national rating placed the new show last among the infotainment magazine shows. The stodgy old promotion tool Entertainment Tonight posted a 4.8, nearly three times that of TMZ (Inside Edition, a show that you’d assume was canceled years ago, rated almost twice as much, with a 3.3).
But the three weeks the AOL Time Warner Telepictures suits had to spin the early numbers has paid off, as the NY Times, which, with its writers like Alesandra Stanley, Virginia Heffernan and Jennifer 8, has dipped its own gnarly toe into the celebutard culture, bit. Writes Times reporter Brian Stelter:
"TMZ”… illustrates just how valuable the celebrity news niche has become… By the end of the month, it was the top-rated new show in syndication by a wide margin, delivering a 1.7 household rating, or about two million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research… “Entertainment Tonight,” the longtime leader among entertainment shows with a 4.8 household rating the same week, has little to worry about, at least for the time being. But “TMZ” is one of the first sites to successfully turn its Internet brand into a television series, and it has performed especially well among younger viewers…More crucial, is the help of the Times Headline writer who topped the article with the hedder:
Celebrities caught off guard? ‘TMZ’ is a hitAccurate or not, that’s the headline the AOL Time Warner Telepictures salespeople are emailing to station managers and TV writers across the country adding to their press kits this morning. And lazy mainstream reporters will pick up the story and the self-fulfilling spin means that yes indeed, TMZ is a hit!
Nice work, Harvey!