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Tuning In

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rock ladies on Bio

The Biography Channel — which just last month introduced a new logo and tagline ("True Story") and started referring to itself as simply "Bio" — is airing three new episodes of "Biography" this month that take a look at the lives of the women behind some of the greatest popular music, whether they wrote and performed it themselves or just inspired it.

Tonight at 9 marks the first premiere, a portrait of "The Beatles' Women." You won't see just the usual suspects — Yoko Ono, Linda Eastman, Pattie Boyd and Barbara Bach. "Biography" also reminds us of May Pang, who may have been encouraged by Yoko Ono to become John Lennon's lover; Jane Asher, the actress who dated Paul McCartney during the Beatles' heyday; and Maureen Cox, Ringo's first wife.

Then, tomorrow night at 9 is the biography of the woman who far eclipsed the husband whose surname she bears: Tina Turner. Her story, of course, is familiar to anyone who saw the excellent 1993 biopic starring Angela Bassett, "What's Love Got to Do With It."

Aretha Franklin finally gets the "Biography" treatment on Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. The doc takes you, as Lady Soul has, from gospel to soul to pop.

Roach to 'Recount'

Will HBO's upcoming film "Recount" turn into a comedy?

Director Sydney Pollack ("Out of Africa") was set to film the drama behind the 2000 presidential election, but he has stepped down for unnamed personal reasons.

Jay Roach, best known for the three "Austin Powers" movies and the two "Meet the Parents" movies, is taking his place, Variety reports.

Mr. Roach has some experience with politically oriented projects, though not particularly dramatic ones. He co-directed "Earth to America," a TBS comedy showcase to raise awareness about global warming, and he was an executive producer on Showtime's "American Candidate."

Mr. Pollack continues as an executive producer on "Recount," which explores the personal drama following the Florida recount from the contested Election Day results through the Supreme Court's decision in favor of George W. Bush five weeks later. The film is set to air next year, during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Gibson on top

Associated Press suggests that ABC should consider Charles Gibson for a job in prime time.

The "World News" anchor finished on top of the evening-news ratings during a busy week led by the Minnesota bridge collapse, AP noted, citing Nielsen Media Research.

The average audience of 7.9 million people who watched Mr. Gibson each night topped anything the network offered in prime time. ABC tied a record low rating among young viewers for the week. Its top-rated program, the candid-camera clip show "Just for Laughs," reached just 7.4 million people.

Popular ABC scripted series such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives" pull in about one-fifth of the audience in repeats that they do in their original runs. ABC's assorted reality programs don't impress viewers, either.

Not that any networks pulled in the viewers last week: NBC's "America's Got Talent" was the only program with an audience of more than 10 million viewers, Nielsen said.

CBS, whose shows do better in repeats, won the week with an average of 6.5 million viewers. Fox averaged 5.6 million, NBC had 5.3 million, ABC had 4.3 million, the CW had 1.9 million and My Network TV had 890,000.

For the week of July 30 to Aug. 5, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships: "America's Got Talent," NBC, 10.76 million; "The Singing Bee," NBC, 9.8 million; "So You Think You Can Dance," (Thursday), Fox, 9.56 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 9.23 million; "Without a Trace," CBS, 9.12 million.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.