A couple of columns back I shared a news release from Waterman Broadcasting (which operates NBC 2 and ABC 7) concerning its ratings victories and improvements, based on Nielsen Media Research numbers (if you missed it, you can read that article at naplesnews.com). Now, WINK TV is sharing some numbers with us from November, but from competing ratings measurement company Rentrak.
"When a sample of 13,000 homes ranks WINK News ahead of our competition, you have tremendous confidence in the data," said Wayne Simons, WINK vice president and general manager; adding "The other TV stations in this market still rely on a significantly smaller sample — only a few hundred homes. When we participated in the smaller sample we would see wild swings in the data from day to day. Now with the larger sample you get much more stable, consistent results."
Some highlights from the Rentrak numbers:
■ WINK leads in early morning, at 5 a.m., with a 3.43 share (or percentage of available viewers tuned in to that channel), followed by NBC 2 (3.21), ABC 7 (1.35) and Fox 4 (. 50).
■ At noon, WINK has a 5.45 for first place; followed by NBC 2 with a 4.59.
■ At 4 p.m., WINK (4.66) is neck and neck with NBC 2 (4.59).
■ At 5 p.m., WINK (6.20) edges NBC 2 (6.32) and beats ABC 7 (3.23).
■ At 5:30 p.m., WINK is ahead with a 6.84, followed by NBC 2 (6.32 and ABC 7 (3.23).
■ The all important 6 p.m. lead, according to Rentrak goes to WINK (8.44); followed by NBC 2 (8.37), ABC 7 (3.72) and Fox 4 (1.67).
■ At 7 p.m., WINK goes head to head with ABC 7 in local news. WINK earns a 6.53; ABC 7 a 3.72.
WINK also provided prime time averages from the November 2012 period. WINK earns a 7.90, followed by ABC 7 with a 5.45, NBC 2 with a 5.27, Fox 4 with a 2.55 and TV 6 with a 2.55.
News Director Russ Kilgore says he is pleased to see viewers responding so favorably to WINK newscasts throughout the day, particularly in the morning.
"The phenomenal growth in our morning ratings tells us viewers have chosen to start their day with the largest, most experienced morning news team in southwest Florida. We're now No. 1 for 90 straight minutes! It's the result of a lot of hard work by a team of dedicated professionals with decades of experience and deep roots in our community."
SOAPS: NBC RENEWS 'DAYS'
"Days of Our Lives," which aired its 12,000th episode on Friday, has been renewed through September 2014.
The series, one of the longest-running scripted television series in the world, has been on NBC since Nov. 8, 1965. The soap opera debuted as a half-hour show in 1965, expanding to an hour 10 years later.
READER QUESTIONS ON...
Margaret asks, "Can you tell me why 'Fringe' is coming to an end? I've seldom seen such a good sci-fi show so full of future possibilities. Did the show not have a large enough fan base? Was there no outcry from viewers for the show's continuation? The actors are superb. I see it's to start on the Science channel, but I assume that will be reruns. ..."
Much love to you, Margaret. I'm a huge "Fringe" fan. The show features some of the finest acting on television, and if it were up to me, Anna Torv and John Noble would have an armful of Emmys by now.
To answer your question, the show has never set the ratings on fire. Its first season averaged 10.02 million viewers. By season four it was doing 4.22 million viewers.
The show is currently in its fifth season, almost unheard of for a show this deep into science fiction territory. This season is only 13 episodes and the series finale airs Friday, Jan. 18.
And yes, Science is currently airing reruns from the first four seasons. There have been rumblings about a possible "Fringe" feature film. So, here's hoping.
'Body of Proof'
Tom asks, " 'Body of Proof' — is it coming back?"
The ABC series, which stars former Desperate Housewife Dana Delany as medical examiner Dr. Megan Hunt, debuted on March 29, 2011 and has since run for the past two seasons. And yes, Tom, I'm happy to report that the show returns at 10 p.m., Feb. 5.
Bety asks: "One of our favorite TV programs is 'Doc Martin' which is a PBS program. I can't seem to find it down here, any ideas?"
Tell me, Bety, would that be a shoo-in for your favorite show?
I kid. For those unfamiliar, "Doc Martin" is a British TVcomedy-drama series starring Martin Clunes in the title role. It was created by Dominic Minghell after the character of Dr. Martin Bamford in the 2000 comedy film "Saving Grace." The show is set in the fictional seaside village of Portwenn and filmed on location in the village of Port Isaac, Cornwall, England.
The show returns to WGCU at 9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 24. Also, check out PBS.org for the Doc Martin ultimate fan quiz.
Sandy writes: "Last year, 'The Closer' was replaced by 'Major Crimes.' Will this new show be coming back this spring?"
The "Closer" spinoff sans Kyra Sedgwick — but with the lovely consolation prize of Mary McDonnell — returns with new episodes this summer.
Until next time, stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.