- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2008

Falling 'Idol'

Tuesday’s seventh-season premiere of Fox’s “American Idol” was its lowest-rated in four years, TVWeek.com reports.

“Idol” fell from last year’s series-high premiere perch, yet was once again a ratings titan that readily blew away all competitors Tuesday night as well as all other network premieres from earlier this season.

Among total viewers, “Idol” was seen by an average of 33.2 million, down 11 percent from last year, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research.

Among the night’s other network competitors, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” held up much better against the Fox ratings “Death Star” this year.

Ratings for the two-hour “Loser” were up 58 percent from last year’s performance in the time period against the “Idol” premiere, said TVWeek.com.

On tap tonight

Queen Latifah’s new film, “Mad Money,” opens in theaters tomorrow, but tonight she’s on Starz to host an evening of her favorite films.

Her choices are surprising.

Sure, the first film, 1996’s “Independence Day”(airing at 9 p.m.) isn’t such an odd selection. After all, Will Smith’s most recent blockbuster, “I Am Legend,” proved the actor might be the most likable man in Hollywood. However, the Oscar-nominated Queen Latifah — known best for starring in madcap comedies such as “Bringing Down the House” and, recently, “The Perfect Holiday”— shows a taste for foreign fare with Ang Lee’s Mandarin-language “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” at 11:30.

Most surprising is the actress’s final choice: Mel Gibson’s violent tale of early America, “Apocalypto,” at 1:35 a.m.

The evening starts at 8:45 with behind-the-scenes footage from “Mad Money.” That footage will continue during breaks throughout the night.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.