How Oscar campaigns got a boost from Dorner coverage

silver-linings.jpgMichael Schneider, the TV Guide bureau chief in Los Angeles, writes at his personal blog that the saturation TV coverage of Christopher Dorner's mountain standoff with police, and his eventual death, had an unintended effect on the studios' promotion of movies for Oscars. Turns out that, because the State of the Union speech by President Obama was going to depress TV viewership numbers on the West Coast on Tuesday night, the local stations sold half-hour blocks for infomercials on the movies. But then, voila, lots of eyeballs were watching TV in Southern California. He explains:

Viewing was expected to be tiny last night, as very little regular network programming was airing in primetime. Because of the time zone difference, the State of the Union Address took up most of primetime in the Eastern, Central and Mountain time zones last night. But out here, the address aired from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. After that, the local stations were free to air whatever they wanted.....

ll of these infomercials should have received tiny, tiny audiences. But along came all that wall-to-wall Dorner coverage. Suddenly, those 30-minute Oscar ads were given HUGE lead-ins, as viewers were glued to what was happening in Big Bear.

As a result, the feature studios should be thrilled. Here's how the infomercials fared:

"Silver Linings Playbook" (KTLA, 7:30) 254,000 viewers

"Lincoln: An American Journey" (KCBS, 8:30) 219,000 viewers

"Argo: Declassified" (KNBC, 9:30) 158,000 viewers

"Lincoln: An American Journey" (KABC, 9:30) 148,000

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