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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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Is Milwaukee a little more interested in the Octomom and her brood than the rest of the country?
Is Milwaukee a little more interested in the Octomom and her brood than the rest of the country? (Photo: Fox)

The Octomom wasn't a ratings behemoth, but...

Let me be clear from the start, I didn't watch Wednesday night's Fox "documentary" on Nadya Suleman, "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage."

I tried, but the opening scene of Suleman primping and mugging for the camera as she brought her herd home so disgusted me that I had to stop watching. It's still there, all two hours of it, on my DVR. But I can't bring myself to go back to it.

I'm sure I'll feel better when I hit delete.

Instead of writing about the show today, I'm going to offer some numbers that are both heartening and disheartening, thanks to Nielsen Media Research, the folks who measure our TV viewing.

First, the good news. "Octomom" wasn't the top-rated prime-time show on Wednesday night around the country. Nationally, the trashy special averaged 4.2 million viewers nationally over its two-hour run. NBC beat Fox for the night with its "America's Got Talent" averaging 7.9 million viewers. No, "Talent" isn't great television. But its Wednesday night victory over the Octomom's bizarre story is somehow heartening for the future of the Republic.

Now brace yourself for the bad news: Channel 6's airing of the Octo-fest topped Wednesday night's Nielsen list for the Milwaukee TV market. It averaged 57,040 southeast Wisconsin  homes, with Channel 4's airing of NBC's "Talent" pulling in 54,324 households. 

Let's accentuate the positive here. It wasn't a huge win or a huge audience, only an 11% share of Milwaukee TV households that were watching on Wednesday night, compared to the 10% watching Channel 4.

Nationally, we're in the dog days of TV viewing and the fact that the heavily hyped "incredible unseen footage" didn't wipe out all opposition is good news. Really, smart viewers should flee from any show that calls itself "incredible." And the buzz is that the lackluster national numbers may doom Suleman's cable "reality" series.

That would be good for all of us, especially her kids.

 

Talkbacks

dwood520 | Aug. 24, 2009 at 9:48 a.m. (report)

35125 OK - I'll shamefully admit that I watched this trainwreck.
It left me feeling very disturbed and sorry for the kids, who are the real victims of this whole scenario.
The only person that came across as halfway normal was Octomom's mom - although everytime she criticized her daughter, Nadya gave her the Botox scowl.
Octomom seems like a self-absorbed, selfish person.
She is totally out of touch with reality.

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hotfreddy06516 | Aug. 23, 2009 at 10:10 a.m. (report)

Leave the girl alone and get a life of your own. She is trying to make a living for her kids like everyone has the right to. I think your a very lonely man and you gossip too much.

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Downtowner | Aug. 21, 2009 at 2:45 p.m. (report)

Watched 2 minutes, only because people all over FB and Twitter were talking about it, and ... honestly, had to leave the room and go for a walk. Annoying doesn't even begin to explain it. Give the mom credit, for as entertainment this doesn't work for me.

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Ofreo | Aug. 21, 2009 at 2:17 p.m. (report)

I think it would be interesting to see how she manages all those kids if it was done better, more impartial and not trying to push for a new show to make money.

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TosaJim | Aug. 21, 2009 at 12:43 p.m. (report)

I was channel surfing and came upon the show....watched for 5 minutes and left...then I came back 30 minutes later....and watched for another 5 minutes....it was like checking in on a train wreck. I feel very sorry for those kids..all 14 of them. This is not going to end well.

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