- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Can’t stop ‘Dancing’

ABC danced away with the biggest audience for a single show last week.

The network’s out-of-the-blue hit “Dancing With the Stars” drew 18.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched show of the week by far, Associated Press reports.

The penultimate episode of ABC’s ballroom-dancing series was one of just five programs to reach an audience of more than 10 million. The finale aired last night.

ABC had been repeating the previous week’s “Dancing” episode right before the new one on Wednesday nights — and even that telecast made Nielsen’s top 10, according to Nielsen Media Research figures.

Over at Fox, the new drama “The Inside” drew a measly 4.2 million viewers last week.

CBS didn’t need original programming to win the overall ratings crown. The network averaged 7.1 million viewers with reruns.

For the week of June 27 through July 3, the top five shows and their networks and viewerships were: “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 18.6 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 13.3 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 11.4 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 10.7 million; and “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 10.6 million.

A hopeful ‘Colt’

The Hallmark Channel debuts an original Civil War movie this weekend centering on the life-affirming powers of a rather special horse.

“The Colt,” airing Saturday at 9 p.m., tells of the bond that blooms between an embattled soldier and a newborn colt.

Set in 1864, the story begins as the Union Army’s 1st Michigan Cavalry is trapped in a Virginia forest. When one of the soldiers’ horses gives birth to a chestnut colt, the cavalry commander orders that the foal be destroyed because of the demands involved in nurturing it. One soldier (Ryan Merriman, “Taken”) defies the order and becomes the colt’s protector.

Together, the two survive attacks by Confederate soldiers and horse thieves during the two-hour feature.

“The Colt” also stars Steve Bacic (“Out of Order”) and Darcy Belsher (“Legalese”).

Boyle rolls the dice

“The Practice’s” Lara Flynn Boyle is gambling that a role on NBC’s “Las Vegas” will be a boon to her career.

The actress has signed on to play the flamboyant new owner of the Montecito casino when the NBC drama begins its third season this fall, Reuters News Agency reports.

“Las Vegas” stars James Caan as the head of the casino’s surveillance team and Josh Duhamel as his protege. Molly Sims, Nikki Cox, James Lesure and Vanessa Marcil round out the cast.

Miss Boyle is best known for her role as assistant district attorney Helen Gamble on ABC’s “The Practice,” as well as a high-profile romance with Jack Nicholson.

“She will add even more story potential and star power to what is already a supercharged cast playing against the backdrop of a dynamic city,” Gary Scott Thompson, the creator and executive producer of “Las Vegas,” gushed to Reuters.

More on Michael

Black Entertainment Television goes inside Camp Jackson tonight for a glimpse at how Michael Jackson’s acquittal last month on child-molestation charges has affected his inner circle.

“Victory Verdict: The Jacksons’ POV” airs at 9 p.m.

BET’s news division gained access to the Jackson family estate near Los Angeles and landed exclusive interviews with older brothers Jermaine and Tito. The two reveal the family’s fear about the testimony during the trial and the possibility of a guilty verdict and also discuss the family’s plans for the future.

During the special, Jermaine Jackson describes the trial to BET’s Stephanie Frederic as “a modern-day lynching” and says what happened to the King of Pop could happen to any other black person. Later, he recalls accompanying his embattled brother to court on the day the verdict was announced as if he were “walking him to the electric chair.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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