They showed the arrival of the Messiah on HDTV, which, in retrospect, was something of a mistake. It was sweeps week, after all, and other shows were dominating the airwaves. And, to be completely fair to the execs who had approved the broadcast, no-one had had any idea beforehand just how much competition there'd be in the news category that week.
So, to make a long story short, the footage of the ice floes crashing in over Hilo took the highest news ratings with a Nielsen Household rating of 2.1, while CNN's All Five Fronts up-to-the-minute programming on the various wars garnered a 1.7 (a boost of nearly a full percentage point, attributable to the renewed assaults on Ouagadougou, Dublin, and Monte Carlo). Fox scored well with their new quasi-governmental reality show Survivor: Fascist Youth Snitches (taking a 16.1), but the biggest winner was this season's entry in the venerable "Humiliate Yourself on Television for Money" franchise: Strip Search! with an 18.0.
The critics universally panned the arrival of the Messiah, on both technical and plot points. The beams of light emerging from the clouds evidently caused too much contrast for the cameras, so the features of the Legions of Angels were somewhat obscured. "All that endless singing reminded me of when I was a kid and I got stuck at a Kylie Minogue concert with my parents," sniffed Times culture correspondent Anna Steezia. "The light show was OK, but the dancing was pathetic."
While some thought that this arrival was merely an audience test, a number of religious authorities were not willing to take that risk. Paperwork has been submitted to the Patent and Eternal Copyright Enforcement Police to investigate whether the Messiah took cues from extant religious predictions and was thereby infringing on protected Intellectual Property.
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The two of us ventured out t the Stunt Road overlook, where we saw fireworks in the distance that, initially anyway, seemed to be summer lightning.
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