Friday, May 26, 2006

TV: Thursday Ratings Report

Unnamed Media Research Company left a message for me Wednesday evening. My first thought was that they’d discovered this website – that’s always my first thought – and consequently wanted to leave detailed instructions about where I could put their ratings diary once I completed it.

But no. They were reminding me to send it back first thing in the morning. Yet the initial phone call and the directions that came with the booklet said I was to keep it for eight days.

I called their toll-free number yesterday and spoke to a very nice woman who was much happier about working for UMRC than I ever was. She cleared the matter up at once. “That call was a mistake,” she said. “You have the DVR diary, so we’d like you to keep it for eight days.”

Makes sense. If I watched the American Idol finale and saved the Lost finale for the next day, they’d want to log both.

“Just ignore that call and anything else we sent you,” my new friend told me. I understood that last part once my mail was delivered. It included a postcard from UMRC, reminding me that I should have sent back my diary already. Nice to know that the company is as dysfunctional as it was when I was there. Back then, I thought it was all my fault.

And so, on the eighth day, we watched ... nothing. Other than The Showbiz Show on Comedy Central. I think I tuned in just so I’d have something to write in the diary for Thursday after I went to all the trouble of calling them.

Which means my work as an arbiter of television is done. No need to thank me. When future seasons bring you more baseball and silent movies, you’ll know who to blame. Or credit, depending on how you feel about it.