A total of 26.42 million Americans tuned in to Barack Obama's political infomercial on CBS, NBC and ABC Monday. NBC drew the most viewers, 9.85 million, followed by CBS, with 8.65 million. Fox, which aired the political ad before its telecast of the World Series, averaged 7.92 million viewers. Figures were not immediately available for Spanish-language Univision and the cable networks which carried it. ABC was the only broadcast network that did not air the program, going with its regular program, Pushing Daisies , but the drama drew only 6.64 million viewers, about what it has averaged the rest of the season. TV critics generally agreed the program was well produced, combining documentary footage of Obama talking to struggling working families in Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado -- states that the Democratic presidential candidate is trying to win over -- and closing with live scenes of Obama speaking at a rally in Florida. Washington Post TV writer Tom Shales called it "somehow both poetic and practical, spiritual and sensible."Robert Bianco in USA Today wrote, "You can, of course, complain about the money spent [reported $3.5 million]. But it's hard not to think it was well-spent." But Jessica Heslam commented in the Boston Herald "The Democratic contender had better be elected president, because he wouldn't make a great late-night infomercial pitchman." The McCain campaign called it a "gauzy, feel-good commercial." And campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds commented "As anyone who has bought anything from an infomercial knows, the sales job is always better than the product. Buyer beware." The film was shot and directed by Davis Guggenheim, who produced and directed Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

30/10/2008