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Volume 24 No. 157
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HBO's "Real Sports" Takes Look At TNT's Wildly Successful "Inside The NBA" Studio Show

Last night's edition of HBO's "Real Sports" went behind the scenes of TNT's "Inside The NBA" studio show, with co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal. HBO's Bernard Goldberg said, "Sometimes it's a game show, sometimes a workout show and sometimes -- sometimes -- it's actually a show about basketball." Goldberg said TNT's Tim Kiely is "probably the only Executive Producer in TV who actually roots for chaos." Kiely said Smith, O'Neal and Barkley are not allowed to attend the pre-show meetings because "we don't want them to know what we're doing. We want them to react to everything that we're doing." Goldberg added, "If they have one sacred rule around here, it's that nothing is sacred" ("Real Sports," HBO, 4/22).

WHIZ KIDS: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Wizards-Bulls Game 1 on Sunday earned a 3.3 local rating on TNT and a 2.1 rating on Comcast SportsNet Washington. That makes for a combined 5.4 rating, the "second-highest local rating for a Wizards playoff game" since Cavaliers-Wizards Game 5 in '06 (, 4/22). noted Nets-Raptors Game 1 on TSN averaged 539,000 viewers, making it "the most-watched Raptors game on English television in Canada in 12 years." Saturday's broadcast "ranks as TSN's second most-watched Raptors game ever and the team's most-watched game in Canada" since '02. Overall, more than 2.8 million unique viewers "tuned in to TSN to watch" the game (, 4/21).

EVERYBODY'S ATWITTER: Nielsen Social data shows that all NBA playoff games through Monday ranked in the top five of the most talked about daily TV programs on Twitter. This past Saturday and Sunday, the NBA received a combined nearly 2.3 million tweets by fans, accounting for 42% of all TV program conversations on those days. Securing the top spot overall for the weekend was Warriors-Clippers Game 1 with more than 455,000 tweets (THE DAILY).

RAPTUROUS RAPTORS: On Long Island, Neil Best writes thanks to a "botched opportunity by the Nets" last night to go up 2-0 over the Raptors, the "rest of the NBA and the U.S.-based TV networks now are stuck with the Raptors for a bit longer, at least for a return trip by the team in black for Game 5 next week." Globe & Mail columnist Cathal Kelly yesterday wrote, "No one outside Canada wants them to win." Best notes that is a "fair point in TV ratings terms; a second-round matchup featuring the Nets and Heat has a far juicier ring to it than the alternative." But there is a "big step from that to the conspiracy theories rampant across" Canada that claim people in America want the Raptors to lose (NEWSDAY, 4/23).