Michael Learmonth of Variety writes about how the news magazine show on television, once an endangered species, is getting a second life on CNBC.
Learmonth wrote, “The next crop of documentaries will include a look back at the stock market crash of 20 years ago, ‘October ’87: Crash and Comeback,’ and a look inside the business of a professional baseball franchise, a project he expects to complete early next year.
“To make the documentaries pay, CNBC wrings an enormous number of airings out of both the newsmagazine and the docs. The network’s first, ‘The Age of Wal-Mart,’ produced before Howard arrived, has aired more than 60 times since it debuted in 2005.
“But when CNBC airs an original doc, it typically draws its biggest aud of the evening. When the McDonald’s doc premed in August, 514,000 viewers tuned in at 9 p.m. and an additional 307,000 joined at midnight.
“It has aired 10 more times since gathering 5 million viewers in the process. Elements of the doc have also appeared on ‘Today,’ ‘Nightly News’ and MSNBC.”
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