- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Can’t stop ‘Dancing’

Watching Tucker Carlson and Jerry Springer attempt to dance is apparently a popular pastime with TV viewers.

ABC won Tuesday night in the key 18 to 49 demographic in Nielsen overnight ratings thanks to the debut of the latest outing for “Dancing With the Stars,” reports broadcastingcable.com. The show topped its two hour time slot from 8 to 10 p.m, but viewership dropped sharply for the debut of the network’s new drama, “Men in Trees.”

Combining some elements of “Ally McBeal” and copying quite a bit from “Northern Exposure,” the show, headlined by Anne Heche, still notched a first place ratings berth in the 10 p.m. slot. But a steep ratings dip suggests that some viewers weren’t interested in sticking around.

Fox, led by a strong performance from “House,” was a competitive second place finisher for the night’s ratings derby. CBS was third, getting little punch out of its “Big Brother Finale.” Its top show for the evening was “Rock Star: Supernova” from 9 to 10 p.m.

Life imitates art

Dead bodies are an everyday occurrence on the set of “CSI: NY”— except when they’re real.

On Tuesday , an actual mummified body was found inside a Los Angeles building where the show was filming an episode that just happened to center on the discovery of a mummified body, reports Zap2it.com, citing a story in People magazine.

A source close to the production says the body “was discovered by a building engineer who checked on the tenant because he had not paid rent for the month.” Production was under way on the seventh floor of the building, only two floors above where the body was found.

According to published reports, regular cast members Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes weren’t on the set at the time, only day players and stunt people. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

“CSI: NY” premieres its third season on CBS on Wednesday.

‘24’ expands cast

Oscar and three-time Emmy nominee James Cromwell (“Six Feet Under,” “Babe”) has joined the cast of Fox’s Emmy-winning drama “24” in a recurring role as Phillip Bauer, Jack Bauer’s (Kiefer Sutherland) estranged dad, reports Zap2it.com.

British comic Eddie Izzard, who will star in FX’s upcoming series “The Riches,” will also appear on the show as a “villainous accomplice.” (No word from Fox on whose side he’ll take.)

Mr. Cromwell and Mr. Izzard join an ever-growing list of new additions to the “24” cast for season six. Other newcomers to the show include Peter MacNicol (“Numb3rs,” “Ally McBeal”), Regina King (“Ray”), Kal Penn (“Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”), Marisol Nichols (“In Justice”), Alexander Siddig (“Syriana”) and Harry Lennix ( “Ray,” “Commander in Chief”).

Katie rebounds

After falling back to third place Monday, “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” regained its footing, taking first place Tuesday in total viewers and adults 25 to 54, reports TVWeek.com.

“Evening News” garnered 8.6 million total viewers Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research. “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” scored 8.1 million viewers, while “ABC’s World News With Charles Gibson” brought in 7.9 million. Compared with the same night a year ago, CBS was up 16 percent in total viewers, while NBC was down 11 percent and ABC was even.

ESPN scores

In recent years, ABC has tried everything, including hiring comic Dennis Miller, to slow the ratings drain felt by its long-running telecast of “Monday Night Football.”

On ESPN, however, coverage of the game is proving to be a ratings bonanza. Its first regular-season Monday night NFL game under the new contract drew the biggest audience ever for the cable network, Associated Press reports.

The face-off between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, won 19-16 by Minnesota, drew a 9.9 rating share, representing an average of 9.2 million to 12.5 million households, the network said. The previous record was 8.9 million households tuned in on Christmas Day 1994 for a match between the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins.

ESPN’s second Monday night game, San Diego’s 27-0 win over Oakland, was seen in an average of 7.87 million households.

The first game began at 7 p.m., and the second started at 10:15 p.m.

Complied by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Christian Toto from Web and wire reports.

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