Fox Gets 3.0 Overnight For Primetime MLB; Silverman's Appearance Falls Flat
Fox earned a 3.0 overnight Nielsen rating for MLB regional coverage on Saturday night, the network's first primetime baseball telecast this season. Fox' coverage, which featured Red Sox-Yankees in 71% of U.S. markets, is up slightly from the net's last primetime telecast last June. That window earned a 2.7 overnight rating for coverage featuring Yankees-Dodgers. Fox also earned a 1.1 overnight last May for a primetime MLB telecast which featured Yankees-Mets (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
THREE'S A CROWD IN THE BOOTH: Comedienne Sarah Silverman appeared in the broadcast booth with Fox' Joe Buck and Tim McCarver during Saturday's Red Sox-Yankees broadcast. Buck said Silverman was "representing all of the Red Sox fans that are out there." Silverman noted the Red Sox’ World Series win in ‘04 was "bittersweet." Silverman: "Being a Red Sox fan is about being a loser, and it was very identity crisis-sy to win. As Red Sox fans, they're Massholes. You can say that because it's with an 'M.' It's not as charming when you're winning and a Masshole." Silverman said coming back against the Yankees down 0-3 in the '04 ALCS was "incredible" but then as "winners, when we won it all, it was great and then you're just stuck going, 'Well what now? This doesn't feel like us?'" Silverman: "Personally and as a Red Sox fan we're better as underdogs." She later added, "I think steroids are wrong, but what about LSD for pitchers? That worked so well for Doc Ellis and I think that should be okay." Buck: "No, we do not condone that whatsoever" ("Red Sox-Yankees," Fox, 5/14). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin wonders "who will be fired" for putting Silverman in the booth. Dowbiggin: "Ostensibly booked to flog her new Fox series, the profane Silverman served up zingers to a fawning Joe Buck and a mortified Tim McCarver" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/16).
HITS & MISSES: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Silverman is "one of the funniest people on the planet," yet her appearance during the game was "akin to crickets chirping," mostly because Buck and McCarver "gave her absolutely nothing to work with." Buck "tried but, while being an excellent play-by-play announcer, he is not nearly as hip as he tries to come off." McCarver "seemed totally out of his comfort zone and barely uttered a word." Meanwhile, Fox was "all over the Jorge Posada story." Posada "pulled himself from the lineup Saturday after learning he was hitting ninth," and Fox' coverage included reports from Ken Rosenthal and an interview with Yankees GM Brian Cashman (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/16). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Fox did a "good job reporting on the Jorge Posada drama." But the net "wrecked its Red Sox-Yankees telecast" by bringing in Silverman for an "endless, needless, awkward and excruciatingly painful episode" (N.Y. POST, 5/16). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes other than a "lame semi-joke about pitchers using LSD, it was stultifying TV. And a reminder that those celeb cameos in live sports coverage should include cue cards" (USA TODAY, 5/16).