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Tuning in to TV: ‘Survivor’ crowns 24th winner

- - Monday, May 14, 2012

"Survivor: One World" should have probably just been called "Survivor: Kim's World."

Kim Spradlin not only won the CBS reality competition's $1 million grand prize Sunday, the crafty 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, Texas, also brought the alliance that she helped form at the game's outset to the final tribal council all while engineering the dismissal of each member of the show's nine-person jury of former players.

"I strategized until I was blue in the face," Ms. Spradlin said.

The jury ultimately voted for Ms. Spradlin over her allies, 33-year-old high school teacher Sabrina Thompson of New York and 26-year-old medical saleswoman Chelsea Meissner of Charleston, S.C. Ms. Spradlin, Ms. Meissner and Ms. Thompson worked together from the first day of the game, which originally featured two tribes divided by sex living on the same beach in Samoa.

Ms. Spradlin also received the most viewer votes, winning an additional $100,000 fan-favorite prize.

At the end of the finale, "Survivor" host Jeff Probst announced that the upcoming 25th season would be titled "Survivor: Philippines" and would feature three tribes as well as three returning contestants who previously were removed from the game for medical concerns.

'Desperate Housewives' wraps up eight-year run

There was nothing desperate about this finale. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" concluded its rocky, racy and macabre eight-season run with a tidy, affectionate send-off.

For those who haven't yet made their farewell visit to Wisteria Lane, be advised: Plot spoilers from Sunday's finale await.

Suffice it to say, everyone seems destined to live happily ever after. At least, with the exception of Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten), the cranky but lovable senior who was battling cancer. But she dies peacefully at home, the way she wanted, with a favorite Johnny Mathis record serenading her.

By this point, she has saved the day for Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross), who was on trial for murder — an accidental homicide that actually was committed by Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), the husband of Bree's fellow housewife, Gabrielle (Eva Longoria).

The charges are dropped against Bree, who overcomes her fear of commitment and settles down with her cute lawyer, Trip (Scott Bakula), after he assures her that her tarnished past doesn't bother him.

Lynette (Felicity Huffman) and Tom (Doug Savant), whose marriage seemed on the rocks, reconcile passionately in the middle of Wisteria Lane in the romantic glow of streetlights.

Preparations are afoot for the gala marriage of Renee (Vanessa Williams) and Ben (Charles Mesure), with all the expected hysteria and confusion.

Then Julie (Andrea Lauren Bowen), the daughter of Susan (Teri Hatcher), gives birth at the hospital as, in crosscuts, the wedding reception takes place and Karen breathes her last. Life, nuptials and death: a bittersweet confluence.

The ratings and heat that greeted "Desperate Housewives" eight years ago have faded during the series' run. The season finale for its first year drew more than 30 million viewers, while, this season, the series has averaged 8.5 million each week.

But Sunday's two-hour finale (whose second hour was written by series creator Marc Cherry) was a reminder of why "Desperate Housewives" struck such a chord with its arrival in fall 2004.

It burst on the scene as a lighthearted souffle of blackmail, lust, adultery and sisterhood; as TV's go-to address for sexy suburban angst. Then, as now, at the heart of this throbbing universe are the four titular housewives: overwrought career woman and weary mom Lynette; sexy, spoiled spitfire Gabrielle; good-hearted bubblehead Susan; and wired-too-tight homemaker Bree.

But that's all over. All four women (we are told) will soon scatter, living out their lives elsewhere, but happily.

NBC betting on comedy in new fall schedule

Hoping to lure viewers with laughs, struggling NBC is calling on old friend Matthew Perry to lend a hand.

The TV network unveiled a fall schedule on Sunday that has 10 sitcoms, double the number of dramas it will air. Comedy is being added to two nights, Tuesday and Friday. All the low-rated but critically acclaimed Thursday comedies earned renewals, although "Community" will move to Fridays.

Four of the comedies are new, including "Go On," starring former "Friends" actor Mr. Perry as a fast-talking, sarcastic sportscaster who loses his wife in a car accident.

"It is heavy on comedy," said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment president. "It was a conscious decision we made ... at the beginning of the development season. The audience is really open to comedy right now."

Among the shows canceled by NBC are "Harry's Law," "Awake," "Are You There, Chelsea?" and "Bent." One show on the bubble was Brian Williams' newsmagazine, "Rock Center," but it is on the fall schedule for Thursday nights at 10 p.m.

"Smash" was renewed, although the series about putting on a Broadway production will not be back until midseason.

Two of the current Thursday comedies, "30 Rock" and "Community," have orders of only 13 episodes next season, often a sign that executives are hedging their bets. "The Office" and "Parks & Recreation" have full-season orders.

Besides "Go On," the new NBC shows on in the fall are:

• "The New Normal," about a gay couple that invites a surrogate mother into their home as they try to have a baby. Ellen Barkin is featured as the prospective mom's grandmother.

• "Animal Practice," a comedy about a veterinarian who learns his ex-lover is taking over his business.

• "Guys With Kids," a comedy executive produced by Jimmy Fallon. The show is what it sounds like: three guys in their 30s trying to hold onto their youth despite being new fathers. Jamie Lynn Sigler of "The Sopranos" and Tempestt Bledsoe of "The Cosby Show," are featured.

• "Revolution," a J.J. Abrams action series where the world is plunged back into a time when electricity doesn't work.

• "Chicago Fire," a drama about a fire rescue unit from "Law & Order" executive producer Dick Wolf.

Compiled from Web and wire reports