- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sesame’s‘ busy ‘Body’

“Sesame Street” characters have trotted the globe and soared into space — and soon they’ll be exploring the human body.

Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization, is creating a series of museum learning experiences, and “Sesame Street Presents: The Body” is its first project, AP reports. It will premiere at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix in May and run through November. The interactive exhibit will then travel to cities around the country through 2010.

“An interactive exploration of the human body is the perfect topic for our youngest visitors, and that, in combination with Sesame Workshop’s expert educational content and their large cast of lovable characters, creates a quality experience that we’re proud to offer to our community,” said Chevy Humphrey, executive vice president of the center.

The exhibit will emphasize scientific investigation and developmental and curriculum-based learning goals for children ages 2 to 8.

‘Raymond’ holiday

This might be the final season for “Everybody Loves Raymond,” but fans of the long-running CBS hit aren’t ready to let it go just yet.

The family comedy drew the most viewers last week, a time when many networks relied on reruns to compete with holiday plans, Associated Press reports.

Likewise, Fox News Channel mined similar ratings gold. FNC’s average prime-time viewership topped the combined total audience of CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Headline News for the first time, Nielsen Media Research said.

Barring any sudden change in the year’s final days, Fox News also will log 11 of the top 12 cable news shows, led by “The O’Reilly Factor.” The only non-Fox show to crack that list is CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

ABC’s freshman blockbuster, “Desperate Housewives” — TV’s most-watched program for the previous week — is on hiatus until Jan. 9 and aired its pilot episode Sunday in its regular 9 p.m. slot.

For the week, CBS averaged 10 million viewers (6.4 rating, 11 share). ABC had 9.7 million (6.0, 11) and won convincingly among viewers 18 to 49. NBC averaged 7 million (4.6, 8), Fox had 5.8 million (3.6, 6), UPN 2.8 million (1.9, 3), the WB 2.3 million (1.6, 3) and Pax TV 560,000 (0.4, 1).

A ratings point represents 1.096 million households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 109.6 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Dec. 20 through 26, the top five shows and their networks and viewerships were “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 17 million; “NFL Monday Night Football: New England at Miami,” ABC, 16.2 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 15.8 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 15.5 million; “CSI: Miami,” 14.8 million.

A jumbo ‘Jeopardy!

We haven’t heard the last of “Jeopardy!” superstar Ken Jennings.

The producers of the enduring quiz show are planning a “Super Tournament” for the new year, allowing returning champions to test their mental mettle against that of Mr. Jennings, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Jennings, a Utah native, won more than $2.5 million during an unprecedented 74-game winning streak on the brainy quiz show earlier this year. He eventually was beaten by California real estate agent Nancy Zerg.

The new showdown will pit Mr. Jennings in a final match against two survivors of a competition among nearly 150 five-time winners. The tournament’s winner will earn $2 million. The third-place winner will receive $250,000 and the second-place winner $500,000.

Host Alex Trebek called the tournament the “quest for Ken.”

“Ever since Ken started his amazing run, people have been speculating on how some of the past ‘Jeopardy!’ players would do against him,” Mr. Trebek says. “We’re answering that question.”

The matches will begin airing in February or March, and the finals will air in May.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports



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