- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

‘Kings’ dethroned

Despite generally positive reviews, NBC’s “Kings” had devastating ratings with its Sunday-night premiere, attracting a scant 6 million viewers, the Hollywood Reporter says.

The show, hailed by some as the most original new drama of the season, was the lowest-rated program between 8 and 11 p.m. on a major broadcast network.

Its two-hour debut was on par with this season’s other bottom-of-the-barrel premieres - the reality show “Chopping Block,” which debuted March 11, and the former Friday-night adventure “Crusoe.”

Nobody expected “Kings,” an allegorical tale retelling the story of King David in modern times, to break from the gate as a major hit, especially after the network moved the show from its originally planned slot of Thursdays at 10 p.m. to Sundays at 8 p.m. However, industry observers did not expect a fully budgeted scripted drama with a standard marketing push to open to this modest a number.

“Kings” also didn’t give much help to NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” with 6.7 million viewers at 10 p.m.

Overall, ABC won the night with “Desperate Housewives” (14.4 million viewers) and “Brothers & Sisters” (10.6 million), both up several notches from the previous week, THR notes,along with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (9.4 million).

CBS was second with “The Amazing Race” (10.4 million), “Cold Case” (12.9 million) and “The Unit” (10.9 million). Fox placed third with “The Simpsons” (6 million), “King of the Hill” (5.4 million), “Family Guy” (7.2 million) and “American Dad” (5.8 million).

Chase, HBO reunite

“Sopranos” creator David Chase is returning to HBO to develop a miniseries about the beginnings of the movie business, the network announced Monday.

According to TVWeek.com, Mr. Chase will write and be executive producer of the miniseries, titled “A Ribbon of Dreams.” He also will direct the initial episodes.

“A Ribbon of Dreams” will begin in 1913 and follow the men who form an unlikely producing partnership and become pioneers and then powers in motion pictures.

ABC sets finales

As we inch closer toward the end of the traditional (September to May) TV season, ABC has announced its season-finale dates, MediaWeek. com says.

Keep in mind, of course, that some of these season finales ultimately could end up as series finales. “Ugly Betty,” which is about to go on a six-week hiatus, will return on May 7 after the conclusions of”In the Motherhood” and “Samantha Who?”

The list of the shows and dates:

Better Off Ted, April 29, 8:30 p.m.

In the Motherhood, April 30, 8 p.m.

Samantha Who? April 30, 8:30 p.m.

Private Practice, April 30, 10 p.m.

Wife Swap, May 1, 8 p.m.

Supernanny, May 1, 9 p.m.

Scrubs, May 6, 8 p.m.

Brothers and Sisters, May 10, 10 p.m.

Castle, May 11, 10 p.m.

Cupid, May 12, 10 p.m.

Lost, May 13, 9 p.m.

Grey’s Anatomy, May 14, 9 p.m.

America’s Funniest Home Videos, May 15, 8 p.m.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, May 17, 7 p.m. (two-hour season finale)

Desperate Housewives, May 17, 9 p.m. (two-hour season finale)

Dancing With the Stars, May 19, 9 p.m. (two-hour season finale)

Ugly Betty, May 21, 8 p.m. (two hour finale)

On tap tonight:

Better Off Ted (8:30, WJLA-ABC7). Jay Harrington stars as Ted, the head of a research-and-development team at Veridian Technologies, where he is faced with the moral, ethical and legal situations that sometimes arise during the search for new and exciting products.

Portia de Rossi co-stars.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff Web and wire reports

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