By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Apr 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Two network shows have come back from long breaks to very different results.

ABC's "V" aired four episodes November and then went on hiatus until the end of March. The 7 million people who tuned in for the March 30 return was half the size of the audience for the premiere. Nielsen numbers show the ratings continuing to decline.

Fox's "Glee" came back this week after four months off the air and attracted its largest audience ever.

There are some easy conclusions to draw.

First, "V" never really created an audience in the first place. Although it opened to an audience of around 14 million people, those viewers were attracted by the hype -- and maybe nostalgia for the 1980s miniseries it's based on.

ABC made a mistake that will likely doom the sci-fi show.

"Glee," on the other hand, was already a cult hit when it took the time off. As I wrote earlier this week, the mistake Fox made with the "Glee" hiatus was that it removed a show that could help the faltering "American Idol."

The numbers show that.

While Tuesday's "Idol" had far bigger overall numbers -- more than 20 million viewers to 13.7 million for "Glee" -- it actually was behind in a couple key demographics.

Among adults 18 to 34, "Glee" posted a 5.8 rating, to the 5.6 for "Idol." Among women 18 to 34 -- a key target for both shows -- "Glee" had a 7.8 rating, and "Idol" had a 7.1.

"Idol" needs "Glee." But "Glee" doesn't need "Idol." On today's "Oprah": The story of Racine's Teri Jendusa-Nicolai, whose ex-husband beat her in 2004 and left her sealed inside a garbage can in an unheated storage unit in winter is told on today's "Oprah Winfrey Show" at 4 p.m. on Channel 12.

As long as we're talking about Oprah, she's scheduled octomom Nadya Suleman for her Tuesday afternoon show.

On the radio: Sirius XM satellite radio reports that it picked up 171,441 net subscribers in the first quarter of this year. In the first quarter of 2009, it reported a net subscriber decline of 404,422. It has 18.9 million subscribers.

  • WYMS-FM (88.9) has begun a project to tell the stories of seven area neighborhoods "88Nine RadioMilwaukee's 2010 Neighborhood Project" starts with a look at Martin Drive on Milwaukee's West Side. In addition to on-air reports, you can find the stories Online.
  • WTMJ-AM (620) reports that it has raised $250,000 to send up to 300 southeast Wisconsin World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial honoring their service. The campaign -- promoted on Charlie Sykes' daily show -- was supposed to run until mid-April, but reached its goal by the end of last month.
  • WUWM-FM (89.7) Milwaukee Public Radio is planning an Earth Day fund drive from 6 a.m. to midnight April 22.
  • Pat Cassidy returns to the morning anchor desk at Chicago's all-news WBBM-AM (780) after the end of his ill-fated partnership with Erich "Mancow" Muller on WLS-AM (890).

Speaking of "Glee": This week's "Glee" return closed with a music video featuring Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) doing Madonna's "Vogue."

Here it is:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.