The Cutline
  • (HLN)

    The Casey Anthony murder trial proved to be a boon for HLN. Led by Nancy Grace's obsessive coverage of "Tot Mom" and America's fascination with the case, CNN's tabloid-minded cable franchise nearly tripled its total viewers in July compared to the same month last year. The network also doubled its pool of prime-time viewers, while topping both its parent company CNN and MSNBC for second place—behind Fox—on cable news.

    Every HLN show saw ratings increases in July, including Grace's 8 p.m. program (up 98 percent in total viewers, 89 percent in the coveted 25-54-year-old demographic) and the 4 p.m. (up 352 percent) and 5 p.m. (318 percent) hours of "HLN News"—when viewers were turning in for daily updates on the trial.

    On July 5, more than 5.2 million viewers tuned in to HLN between 2 pm and 3 pm, to learn that the Orlando, Fla., jury found Anthony not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, according to Nielsen estimates--HLN's best-ever ratings ever for a single hour. Roughly 2.9 million were watching Fox News during the long-running trial's apex, with 2.3 million tuning into CNN and 920,000 viewing MSNBC. (In June, HLN topped MSNBC in Monday-Friday primetime, total day and every hour of dayside programing in June for both total viewers and viewers in individual demographics, with the exception of the total viewers in the 9 a.m. hour.)

    HLN's second-place finish—coupled with Fox News' sizable lead—took some of the bite away from MSNBC president Phil Griffin's presentation at the Television Critics Association yesterday. "For the first time we're beginning to chip away at Fox News Channel," Griffin said.

    Read More »from Fox News tops cable ratings as Casey Anthony helps HLN beat MSNBC, CNN in July
  • (Comedy Central)

    Last month, "The Daily Show" aired a segment about Rupert Murdoch's Parliamentary hearing, including footage of Prime Minister David Cameron being grilled by British lawmakers.

    "England is awesome!" Jon Stewart proclaimed on the July 20th broadcast after playing clips from C-SPAN's coverage of Cameron's flogging.

    But when the segment—dubbed "Fawlty Powers"—aired in the U.K., it was censored.

    "Why?" Stewart asked on last night's show. "We were praising them!"

    As it turns out, the overseas edit had nothing to do with praise or insult and everything to do with the law. It's illegal in England to air Parliamentary footage in a comedic or satirical context.

    Stewart pointed out that "The Daily Show" now reaches 85 countries, "including such free speech havens as ... Somalia and Saudi Arabia."

    Watch both the original segment and Stewart's reaction below:

    Read More »from ‘The Daily Show’ censored by British television for using Parliament footage
  • The set of "Fox and Friends." (Daily News)

    The rift between the White House and Fox News isn't merely relegated to Jay Carney and Ed Henry.

    A week after the White House press secretary Carney lashed out at Fox's new chief White House correspondent during a debt deal briefing, the cable channel's morning show hosts took a swipe at President Obama's statement honoring the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    "Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam--that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us," the statement read.

    "Some people are saying is this an outreach to the Muslim world," Gretchen Carlson, co-host of "Fox and Friends," said. "Why isn't there an outreach to the Christian world?"

    The panel pointed out that Obama did not issue a proclamation for Easter. (Though he didn't technically issue one for Ramadan either; it was a "statement," a subtle but key difference, as far as the Office of the President is concerned.)

    Read More »from ‘Fox and Friends’ irked by Obama’s Ramadan ‘proclamation’

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