There have been so many GOP presidential debates in the past few months, it’s actually got more aired episodes than “Playboy Club,” “Free Agents” or “How to Be a Gentleman.”
The latest “Your Voice, Your Vote” on ABC outperformed the ratings record-holder — Fox News Channel’s GOP presidential hopefuls sparring match of Sept. 22 — by about 1.47 million viewers.
FNC’s debate, which clocked about 6.11 million viewers, had held the record while three more debates came and went:
●A CNN debate on Oct. 18 (5.5 million).
●A CNBC debate on Nov. 9 (3.3 million.
●A CBS debate on Nov. 12 (5.3 million).
“We’re just so excited people are tuning in for this election — paying attention to this election,” Diane Sawyer told The TV Column on Monday morning. “As we said, people really want to be informed for this choice. I think that’s what we’re seeing, the viewership in all these debates.”
Alec vs. the airlines
One of the big advantages to starring in a Lorne Michaels sitcom on NBC is that when you have a tantrum on an American Airlines flight — causing the flight to be delayed and you to be deplaned — you get the considerable forum of Michaels’s NBC late-night show “Saturday Night Live” that very weekend to spin your latest temper flare-up into PR gold, while, you know, American Airlines does not.
“On Wednesday of this week, actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight after he refused to turn off his phone and stop playing ‘Words With Friends,’ ” “SNL’s” Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers said during last weekend’s episode.
“Now here to comment: the pilot of that flight — Capt. Steve Rogers.”
Huge applause. Capt. Rogers was, of course, Baldwin. Seth asked the captain for his take on the events of last week.
In case you were sleeping: Baldwin, star of NBC’s “30 Rock” and co-star of TCM’s “The Essentials,” was removed from an American Airlines flight last week after refusing to turn off his mobile device while the plane was still at the gate but preparing to depart.
Here was Baldwin, spinning on “SNL”:
“It was awful, Seth, which is why it was important for me to come here tonight and, on behalf of everyone at American Airlines, issue an apology to Mr. Alec Baldwin,” Capt. Rogers told Seth.
“So, let me get this straight: You, Capt. Rogers, want to apologize to Alec Baldwin?” Seth faux-wondered.
“Yes. Mr. Baldwin is an American treasure and I’m ashamed at the way he was treated. I mean, what harm would it do to let him continue his game — not any game, mind you, but a word game for smart people,” Baldwin noted.
Then Seth asked about cellphones interfering with plane communications systems.