- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

You’re fired — up

“Apprentice” runner-up Kwame Jackson is starting to look more like Donald Trump, rather than the runner-up on last spring’s hit reality show.

Mr. Jackson, along with two partners, has completed a multibillion-dollar real estate deal with officials in Prince George’s County to develop 550 acres into commercial and residential property.

The deal is worth $3.8 billion and will provide more than 32,000 jobs, Mr. Jackson told Associated Press.

His company, Legacy Development Partners, was set to announce the specifics of the deal at a news conference yesterday.

NBC’s gold rush

While the Olympic Games coped with disputed judges’ scores, there was no argument about NBC’s domination of TV ratings with its coverage from Athens.

The network attracted more viewers last week than its five major broadcast competitors combined, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday.

Of the top 10 programs, six were from NBC’s Olympic coverage, AP reports.

The highest-rated was Thursday, when gymnast Carly Patterson became the first U.S. woman to win the all-around gold medal since Mary Lou Retton in 1984. Slightly more than 31.7 million people tuned in that night, giving NBC a 32 percent share of the TV audience.

The electrifying freestyle relay in which American swimmers narrowly beat the Australians was the week’s second-most-watched program, with an audience of 30.1 million and a 30 share.

Gymnast Paul Hamm’s unprecedented U.S. victory in the men’s all-around competition, which came after judges incorrectly scored a South Korean in one event, drew 28.4 million viewers and a 29 share.

Given NBC’s heavy promotion of its upcoming fall schedule during the Olympics, new series can’t complain that they missed a chance to win over lots of potential viewers.

For the week, NBC was the clear winner, averaging 26.7 million viewers (16.2 rating, 27 share).

CBS averaged 7.3 million viewers (5.0 rating, 8 share), ABC 4.5 million (3.0 rating, 5 share), and Fox 4.4 million (2.9 rating, 5 share). UPN had 2.5 million (1.7 rating, 3 share), the WB 2.2 million (1.6 rating, 3 share), and Pax TV 650,000 (0.5 rating, 1 share).

A ratings point represents 1.08 million households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Aug. 16 through 22, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships were:

Summer Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 31.7 million; Summer Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 30.1 million; Summer Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 28.4 million; Summer Olympics (Monday), NBC, 27.1 million; Summer Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 26 million.

Postpartum Paltrow

Talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey chats with actress Gwyneth Paltrow today, the Oscar winner’s first TV interview since becoming a mom.

Miss Paltrow will discuss the birth of her daughter, Apple; her secret marriage to Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin; and the death of her beloved father, director Bruce Paltrow, in 2002. The episode also will feature actor Jude Law, who co-stars with Miss Paltrow in the upcoming film “Sky Captain and the World Tomorrow.”

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” airs at 4 p.m. on WJLA-TV (Channel 7).

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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