Shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ will air instead of Obama’s immigration announcement
President Obama’s prime-time, 8 p.m. announcement tonight could change the entire country’s immigration system and the lives of millions of people living in the U.S. But some networks will air shows like Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Bones and The Biggest Loser, instead.
In fact, of the major broadcast networks, only Univision will be airing the speech live, and even interrupting the Latin Grammy awards to do so. But stations like ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS won’t be showing the announcement at all. Cable networks — think Fox News and CNN — will be covering the event and showing the speech. Obama’s speech will also be streamed online by the White House.
According to The Hill, officials in the Obama administration did not formally request that the networks save the space, citing that they were under the impression that the networks would not want to interrupt “sweeps month,” one of the four times a year when when Nielsen collects its TV ratings.
Many expect the president to announce executive action allowing up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits in the country, and possibly abolish the age limit on those eligible to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That announcement could affect millions of undocumented immigrants, and millions more of their friends and family, not to mention anyone who cares about immigration policy in the U.S. Compare that to the 7.3 million viewers who tuned in to watch last season of The Biggest Loser.