Today begins May Sweeps, one of three times every year (including November and February) when Nielsen measures all 210 local markets so TV stations can set advertising rates and claim bragging rights for having the most-watched newscasts.
But to get those viewers to tune in, sweeps months often come with stunts and sensationalism. (A TV station I once worked at produced a live break-in into someone’s home, with their permission, on the 11 p.m. news just to show viewers how quickly your house can get burgled.)
Anyway, the networks do their part to deliver big ratings to the local stations. And that sometimes includes weddings. The Today show mastered this TV stunt in the 2000s.
This morning Good Morning America is racing to the altar with something they’re calling Wide World of Weddings, a 24-hour marathon of nuptials spanning seven locations around the world. ABC News correspondent TJ Holmes officiates the first ceremony in Times Square. (He’s been an ordained minister for a while and even had dinner with the happy couple the other night). GMA will then livestream back-to-back weddings in Michigan, Gretna Green, Scotland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco and Seoul, South Korea. A group wedding featuring 16 couples tomorrow caps off the event, complete with a live performance by Boyz II Men.