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Tuning in to TV: ‘Anger Management’ debut sets cable comedy record

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Charlie Sheen and FX should be nothing but happy with the ratings for its premiere of "Anger Management."

Thursday night's debut of the sitcom star's follow-up to "Two and a Half Men" ranks as the most-watched scripted comedy broadcast in cable history among viewers ages 18 to 49 and among total viewers (excluding children's programming).

The series averaged 5.47 million viewers, 2.65 million of whom were in the key demographic. A second episode at 9:30 p.m. improved on those numbers, posting 5.74 million total viewers, with 2.89 million in the demo.

If subsequent episodes meet an undisclosed ratings threshold, the series will earn an additional 90-episode order — per the arrangement with distributor Debmar-Mercury.

Meanwhile, the FX comedies airing after "Anger Management," "Wilfred" and "Louie," received significant boosts in their viewership over last season, thanks in no small part to the lead-in from "Anger." "Wilfred" rose 71 percent in its sophomore-season premiere from last year's average, while the season-three bow of "Louie" was up 55 percent.

'Fashion Star' loses Macpherson for season 2

When NBC's "Fashion Star" moves to Sundays next season, the sartorial competition will look a bit different from its original iteration. After reports about a new format, host Elle Macpherson announced her departure from the series Friday.

"I have been involved with 'Fashion Star' from the beginning, and am very proud to see it come to life, not only in America but globally," the model said in a statement. "The show is in great hands, and although I will not be hosting this season, I will still be very involved as executive producer where we will be reviewing the format for the upcoming season. Moving forward, I'll be focusing on building the 'Fashion Star' brand in the international market and pursuing various other producing projects close to my heart."

The brand has been sold in 75 countries.

Also not returning for the next run is H&M. The retailer joined Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue as buyers and distributors for the winning competitor's weekly designs.

NBC plans live broadcast of 'The Sound of Music'

NBC is going to the theater.

The network is teaming with "Smash" executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for a live broadcast of the stage play "The Sound of Music."

"There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s, and we're thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said Friday in a statement announcing the news.

"There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein's final — and most beloved — collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast," the executive added.

The producers noted that the plan wasn't to remake the 1965 feature-film version, saying such an attempt would be "artistic blasphemy," but instead offer a fresh take on the 1959 stage play combined with the "spontaneity" of a live performance.

"All of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-syncing to recordings," Mr. Zadan said.

Mr. Meron noted that classic songs from "The Sound of Music" will be included — "Do-Re-Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "My Favorite Things" among them — as well as tracks from the Broadway version that are "less familiar" to fans.

Casting will begin immediately, and an airdate is expected to be announced shortly.

For NBC, the live broadcast also continues a trend at the network, which has twice staged live "30 Rock" episodes. Medical drama "ER" also aired a live episode during its 10-season run.

"The Sound of Music," set in pre-World War II Austria, centered on Maria von Trapp, a nun who leaves the abbey to take care of widower Capt. Georg von Trapp's seven children. The play premiered on Broadway in 1959 and won a Tony for best musical. Richard Rogers penned the music with Oscar Hammerstein II the lyrics. The film version starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer won five Academy Awards, including best picture and best director for Robert Wise.

'30 Rock's' Baldwin heading to Broadway for 'Orphans'

Alec Baldwin will be kidnapped on Broadway next spring.

Producers said last week that the "30 Rock" star will appear in Lyle Kessler's "Orphans.". Daniel Sullivan will direct.

The play, which premiered in 1983, tells the story of two orphaned brothers, living in a decrepit Philadelphia row house, who decide to kidnap a wealthy man.

It will play at a Shubert-owned theater to be announced. The rest of the cast and exact dates will be revealed later.

Mr. Baldwin was last on Broadway in "Twentieth Century" in 2004. Before that, he played Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1992.

TNT's 'Dallas' revival gets second season

The Ewings are forever battling one another, and viewers clearly love them.

TNT network has renewed "Dallas" for a 15-episode second season. The network announced Friday that it will air in 2013.

Following the lives of J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing, as well as the rest of the fractious clan, "Dallas" was revived last month after decades off the air. It is averaging 6.9 million viewers in its first season.

"Dallas" brings back original cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, who are joined by Southfork newcomers including Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo.

The initial series was broadcast by CBS from 1978 to 1991.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports

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