- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Wives’ bump Trump

Donald Trump will have trouble combing over the truth concerning his show’s ratings slippage.

NBC’s “The Apprentice 2” gave the network its highest-rated show of the week, but it paled in comparison to its first-season finale, Associated Press reports.

Nearly 17 million viewers tuned in last Thursday when Mr. Trump picked software executive Kelly Perdew as his latest protege, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released this week.

Still, the audience was down 39 percent compared to the first season’s wrap-up, when more than 28 million watched Bill Rancic win the competition in April.

NBC’s decision to stretch the latest finale over three hours helped dilute the rating, but even in the second hour, “The Apprentice” was beaten by a rerun of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBS.

ABC had the No. 1 show as the “Desperate Housewives” juggernaut continued. Yet CBS, which fielded eight of the top 10 programs, was the most-watched network and posted its sixth consecutive victory among advertiser-favored viewers ages 18 to 49.

NBC’s “Nightly News” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 10.3 million viewers (7.2 rating, 14 share). ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 9.6 million (6.7, 13) and “CBS Evening News” had 7.3 million (5.2, 10).

A ratings point represents 1.084 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 Dec. 13 through 19, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 22.3 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 20.5 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 19.5 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 18.6 million; “The Apprentice 2,” NBC, 16.9 million.

New to view on DVD

The fifth season of Fox’s “The Simpsons” leads this week’s pack of new DVD releases.

“The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season” features 22 episodes of the long-running (and once great) show.

Other TV shows out this week on DVD: “Star Trek: Voyager: Season Seven,” and “The 4400,” USA Network’s highly acclaimed time travel miniseries.

Polio fight revealed

Polio may no longer devastate children in the United States, but young ones in other parts of the world aren’t so fortunate.

“The Last Child: The Global Race to End Polio,” a documentary exploring the global fight against polio, airs Sunday at 6 p.m. on WETA-TV (Channel 26).

Filmed in seven countries, “The Last Child” explains that war, migration, refugee camps and dangerous mutations by the existing polio vaccine are helping the disease spread.

The number of existing cases hovers around 1,000 worldwide, but experts fear the disease could re-emerge should immunization rates drop.

Usher’s ‘Year’

E! Entertainment Television has a special gift for R&B; sensation Usher.

The cable channel is naming the handsome crooner the king of entertainment for 2004. Its annual “Entertainer of the Year” special airs Christmas Day at noon.

The 15th annual award recognizes Usher, 26, for having four No. 1 singles and eight Grammy nominations.

The hourlong special also offers accolades to some of his entertainment counterparts with special individualized tributes.

Among them: actor Jude Law (Role Hog), pop-music and reality-show star Jessica Simpson (Cover Girl of Year) and D.C.-born funnyman Dave Chappelle (Baddest Comic).

Dave’s action delayed

Speaking of Dave Chappelle…

We’ll have to wait a little longer for new material from the country’s “baddest” comic.

Work on the third season of Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show” is being delayed because of the star’s bout with the flu and the leisurely pace of his writing staff, the New York Post reports.

The new season was to debut Feb. 16, along with the DVD release of the show’s second season. Now, the new season will bow in late April or May, and the timetable for the DVD package is uncertain.

Mr. Chappelle’s show is Comedy Central’s current crown jewel, earning the comic a $50 million contract extension earlier this year.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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