Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NBC Expands Thursday's Choir Finale

This just in: The popularity of NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" week has prompted the network to expand Thursday's finale to two hours (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2).

Tuesday's live telecast from New York averaged 7.7 million viewers, NBC says.

The 20 local singers and Lachey will learn on tonight's two-hour broadcast (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2) if their performance of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places" won them one of three spots in the finals tonight. One of the four remaining choirs – Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, New Haven or Cincinnati – will be eliminated during the show and will not sing tonight.

The three finalists each will sing three songs tonight. If Cincinnati advances, the choir will perform Lachey's "What's Left Of Me," a Christmas song and another "top secret" song Lachey doesn't talk about.

I'm not surprised to report that Cincinnati -- which has been CBS' No. 1 market for "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" -- was NBC's No. 1 market for the "Clash of the Choirs" premiere Monday. That was the 12.2 rating and 18 percent audience share I mentioned yesterday.

On Tuesday, Channel 5's ratings fell to No. 6 nationally with a 9.0 and 15 percent audience share (but still above the 5.6/9% national overnight average). Cincinnati finished behind NBC stations in Richmond, Va.; Indianapolis; St. Louis; West Palm Beach; and Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, N.C.

But Cincinnati had bigger ratings than the other four "Choir" cities for the second night, which could be a good omen when the viewers' voting is announced.

The choir began rehearsing at 6:30 a.m. today in New York for tonight's live show, says Dan Hilen, Lakota East High School sports information director and father of choir member April Hilen, 24, of Mason, the music director at Glen Este Middle School.

If Cincinnati wins, Children’s Hospital Medical Center will receive $250,000 from the show, and the local choir will record a song with Lachey on his next album.