- - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

‘Dancing With the Stars’ loses first competitor

“Dancing With the Stars” viewers didn’t give Metta World Peace a chance.

The basketball star formerly known as Ron Artest was the first celebrity ejected from the 13th edition of the ABC dancing competition. The show’s judges gave him the lowest score on Monday’s premiere: 14 out of a possible 30.

The outgoing Los Angeles Lakers forward was locked out after viewer votes were combined with the judges’ scores.

“All I want to know is who’s coming with me?” he joyfully shouted after his dismissal.

Len Goodman, the show’s head judge, said the 31-year-old’s cha-cha with professional partner Peta Murgatroyd was “all sizzle and no sausage” and his footwork in the ballroom was “atrocious.”

For his debut performance, the over-the-top athlete bared his chest in a shimmering gold vest and shaved the Hebrew words for “world peace” into the side of his head.

The 11 celebrities remaining in the competition are World Cup soccer player Hope Solo; reality stars Rob Kardashian and Kristin Cavallari; TV personalities Nancy Grace, Carson Kressley and Ricki Lake; actors David Arquette and J.R. Martinez; Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis; singer Chynna Phillips; and author and activist Chaz Bono.

N.J. governor may veto tax break for ‘Jersey Shore’

It’s not a “shore” thing yet.

According to the Associated Press, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is considering whether to stand in the way of a $420,000 tax credit for MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

The state Economic Development Authority approved the film credit last week. It covers production costs for the hit reality series’ inaugural 2009 season.

Mr. Christie suspended the film tax credit program in 2010 to close a budget deficit, but the 2009 season still qualified.

The governor’s spokesman suggested last week that Mr. Christie couldn’t stop the tax credit, but the governor now says a veto is possible and that he’s reviewing it.

The show centers on the cast living and partying along the beach and boardwalk in Seaside Heights.

Clinton’s schedule was too busy for ‘Dancing’

Former President Bill Clinton was invited to take part in “Dancing With the Stars” but said he turned the offer down because he didn’t have the time, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Clinton said, however, that he and his wife, Hillary, had promised themselves to do more dancing after she leaves office as secretary of state.

“This is interesting — actually they contacted me once about this,” Mr. Clinton said when asked about the dance show during an appearance on “The Rachael Ray Show.”

“And I told them I didn’t have the time to train for it. You know, you actually go out there and train — you really work at it.”

But he continued: “Just last night Hillary said to me, ‘You know, when I’m not secretary of state anymore, we should go take dancing lessons.’ So we’ll start with the tango.”

Kutcher, Sheen both find ratings success

Both Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Sheen have something to brag about during their big nights on television.

Mr. Kutcher’s debut as Mr. Sheen’s replacement in the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men” was seen by 28.7 million people Monday. The Nielsen Co. said Tuesday that was more than any other episode in the show’s first eight seasons, when Mr. Sheen was the star.

The sitcom’s previous best came in May 2005 following the final episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Sheen appeared Monday as the “victim” of a Comedy Central roast that reached 6.4 million people. That is the second most-watched telecast in the cable network’s history, behind only Jeff Dunham’s 2008 holiday special.

The success of “Two and a Half Men” gave a boost to the premiere of CBS’ new comedy “2 Broke Girls” that followed it. That show had an audience of 19.4 million, the largest audience for a fall sitcom premiere since “Inside Schwartz” a decade ago.

The veteran CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” had its best season premiere numbers. By contrast, the season premiere of “Hawaii Five-0” had a relatively modest audience of 12 million.

Netflix strikes deal for Discovery shows

Netflix and Discovery Communications have finalized a two-year content deal to bring the cable conglomerate’s programs to the streaming service, the companies announced Wednesday.

The nonexclusive deal covers only episodes and specials from prior seasons.

The flagship channel, as well as TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and the Science and Military channels, is included in the deal encompassing popular series such as “Man vs. Wild,” “Sister Wives” and “River Monsters.”

It does not include content from OWN or the Hub, which are joint ventures with Oprah Winfrey and toy-maker Hasbro, respectively. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal marks something of a departure for Discovery Communications, which has not widely offered full episodes of its series and specials online.

“With television shows playing an ever more important role for Netflix, Discovery is one of our finest suppliers of top quality programming,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “We look forward to bringing our members the wide range of the additional episodes and series covered in this deal.”

Discovery’s previous agreement with Netflix included only partial seasons of Discovery Channel series. The new deal adds complete seasons on more networks, as well as access to Discovery’s 25-year programming library.

The deal comes at a difficult time for Netflix, which is being pressured by content providers to pay more for movies and TV shows. At the same time, it finds itself fending off rival services from Amazon, Apple and Google.

The company was excoriated by subscribers for recent price increases and the way it handled this week’s announcement that splits its streaming and DVD services.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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