Paulie’s Perspective: Entertainment News & Notes For The Week Of 10/3



The supersized special episode of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park on Wednesday tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, skewered Disney, Donald Trump and cops, and drew a slew of viewers in the process. The Comedy Central animated veteran scored 2.3 million Live+Same Day total viewers and a 2.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic on the network. That was the show’s highest L+SD demo number in seven years, up 168% vs. the series’ Season 23 average. it also ranks as the highest-rated scripted telecast on ad-supported cable in 2020.  

The episode, titled “The Pandemic Special” was simulcast on ViacomCBS sister Entertainment and Youth brands MTV and MTV2, amassing 4.05 million total viewers across the premiere on Comedy Central, the simulcast on MTV/MTV2 as well as the two encores that aired in primetime on Comedy Central. (There is no multi-platform data yet; the episode will be available on HBO Max)  

South Park also had a strong showing on social, with MTV, VH1, CMT, Paramount Network, TV Land and Pop TV driving 2.2 million of the show’s 4.8 million views, the latter number more than doubling the Season 23 premiere.


Had enough of Bruce Springsteen yet? Well he’s not through with you! Letter To You is another documentary piece by Bruce to hit AppleTV+ on October 23. Letter To You is Bruce’s first studio album recorded live and together with the E Street Band since 1984’s Born In The USA. 

Oct. 23 is also the date the new album is to be released. 

Springsteen has begun this autobiographical series with a memoir Born To Run, continued it with his Broadway play Springsteen On Broadway and furthered it along with his film Western Stars.   Now Letter To You is supposed to give us all a behind the scenes look of his creative process with The E Street Band, in studio footage, and archival footage. 

Both the album and the film have ten original songs, recently written by The Boss along with The E Street Band. When it comes to talking about himself, I guess The Boss has a lot to say. 


SNL opened it’s 46th season with pretty great numbers. Host Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph playing Kamala Harris and Jim Carrey playing Biden pretty much hit a home run during the pandemic and had their highest rated opener in 4 years, second highest in 12 years. Do people still need comedy? Yes they do. 

Versus the year-ago premiere, last night’s telecast was up +27% in total viewers (7.765 million vs. 6.107 million) and up +26% in 18-49 (1.68 vs. 1.33). SNL traditionally has done well in the run-up to Presidential elections; the previous season opener high mark 12 years ago also was during an election year, 2008, when Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin dominated the pop culture conversation.  And we all know how iconic the Sarah Palin sketch became. Looks like politics is always great comedic fodder. 


Cinema giant Cineworld — the second largest global exhibitor behind AMC — early Monday morning London time confirmed that it is temporarily suspending its operation in the U.S. and U.K. The move — which sparked shockwaves across the industry when it first came to light over the weekend — impacts 536 Regal cinemas in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse in the U.K., and comes into force from Oct. 8. 45,000 employees will be affected.

“As major U.S. markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films,” it said in a statement. “In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK – the company’s primary markets – with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19.”

We all knew it was bound to happen, but we though maybe we could get our act together enough to at least partially open some movie theaters somewhere. Now the well is running dry, and who knows if theaters can ever recover from this. Streaming services are rolling in the dough as the big boys fail. Will this become the new normal? Who knows – I certainly hope not. I’d still love to be able to go to the movies with a date or a group of friends. I’m sure the industry will bounce back, but will it ever be the same? 

Thanks for reading this week, I’m Paul Bernardo, see ya next Thurs on!!