- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Summertime blues

Fall unofficially began on Labor Day, but television viewers are acting as if it’s the dog days of summer all over again.

Even Fox’s attempt to jump-start the fall season wasn’t enough to jolt audiences out of their late-summer languor.

Only one program last week, a rerun of “CSI: Miami” on CBS, cracked the 10 million mark in viewership, according to Associated Press, citing data released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research.

The prime-time top 10 rankings included nine reruns and Fox’s season premiere of “Prison Break.” Other Fox shows that debuted last week — “Justice,” “Celebrity Duets” and “Bones” — finished in Nielsen’s top 20 but with audiences that should be considered puny when the real season begins in two weeks.

CBS, averaging 7 million viewers, was the top-rated network last week. ABC had 6.3 million, Fox had 6.1 million, and NBC had 5.8 million. Following were the WB with 1.9 million, UPN with 1.8 million and I network with 660,000.

For the week of Aug. 28 through Sept. 3, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 10.8 million; “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 9.9 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 9.8 million; “Prison Break,” Fox, 9.4 million; and “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.2 million.

Paquin heads to ‘Knee’

HBO is going West — again.

The network that gave us the revisionist Western saga “Deadwood” three years ago is planning a movie version of Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” Reuters news agency reports.

Oscar winner Anna Paquin is set to star opposite Aidan Quinn in the film, which chronicles the story of American Indian displacement as the nation expanded West during the latter half of the 19th century.

Miss Paquin will play Elaine Goodale Eastman, a novelist, poet, journalist, editor, schoolteacher and activist with considerable influence on 19th-century American Indian education. In 1885, Eastman traveled West and opened a school on the Great Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, where she witnessed monumental events, including the fallout from the Wounded Knee massacre in December 1890, and emerged as a voice for American Indian rights.

Production is slated to begin this month in Calgary, Alberta. “Wounded Knee” will be executive-produced by “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf and Tom Thayer.

Miss Paquin, a native of Canada, won an Oscar for her supporting role in 1993’s “The Piano.” Her upcoming film projects include roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret” and Marshall Lewy’s “Blue State,” which she produced with her brother Andrew Paquin.

The latter is a romantic comedy about a man who makes good on a drunken pledge to leave the U.S. for Canada should President Bush get re-elected in 2004.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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