- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

‘Sopranos’ take hit

The beginning of the end of “The Sopranos” drew 7.7 million viewers to HBO Sunday night, down from the premiere of the previous season, which drew 9.5 million viewers to the pay cable channel, reports TV Week.com.

On the other hand, the new season of HBO’s “Entourage” got off with a bang, drawing 3.8 million viewers thanks to “The Sopranos’” lead in.

An HBO spokesman noted the network’s shows run several times a week and also are available on-demand, which might account for the lower ratings on Sunday, a competitive night that featured a new episode of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

Last season, for example, “The Sopranos” averaged 8.6 million viewers on Sundays, but over the course of the week averaged cumulative viewing of 13.1 million, plus another 1 million viewers using HBO On Demand.

B-ball boosts CBS

In other ratings news, Florida’s second-straight NCAA men’s basketball championship proved a boon to CBS, which rode its telecast of the final game to a weekly win in the ratings.

An estimated 19.6 million people watched Florida’s victory over Ohio State on April 2 , reports Associated Press, citing data released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research. Florida’s championship-game victory last year over UCLA drew 17.5 million viewers.

The game was the fifth most-watched prime-time program last week. Coupled with the overall strength of the CBS schedule, it enabled the network to overcome Fox’s “American Idol” juggernaut.

Overall, CBS averaged 11.5 million viewers for the week, Fox had 9.7 million and ABC had 9.3 million. Following were NBC with 7.1 million, the CW with 2.6 million, My Network TV with 1 million and the I network with 600,000.

For the week of April 2 through 8, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 26.6 million; 2)”American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 26.1 million; 3) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 21.6 million; 4) “House,” Fox, 20.3 million; and 5) NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Ohio St. vs. Florida, CBS, 19.5 million.

Fruitful ‘Roots’

The Silver Spring-based TV One scored its highest ratings ever with the first episode of the historic miniseries “Roots” Sunday night, notes TVWeek.com.

The 30th anniversary telecast drew more than 586,000 viewers.

“We are delighted that this landmark miniseries not only has set ratings records for TV One, but that a new generation of viewers is tuning in to watch,” said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers.

Reality star arrested

Television actor Jason Wahler hurled racial and homophobic invectives at a police officer when he was arrested over the weekend after punching a hotel security guard and passing out drunk in a hallway, a Seattle Police Department report says.

According to AP, Mr. Wahler, 20, a star of MTV’s “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” was arrested early Sunday for investigation of assault and criminal trespass. He posted bail and was released from the King County Jail nine hours later.

It was Mr. Wahler’s third arrest since September.

The police report said Sunday’s incident began when officers responded to the Waterfront Marriott hotel after a security guard told them there had been an altercation in the lobby and that someone had wrestled with Mr. Wahler to restrain him. When the guard asked the pair to settle down or leave, Mr. Wahler shoved him in the chest and then punched him in the mouth, the police report says.

Two police officers found Mr. Wahler passed out on the third floor, reeking of alcohol, and woke him up. Mr. Wahler “repeatedly” addressed Officer C. DePina, who is not black, with racial and homophobic slurs and also “made vague threats to assault officers,” the report states.

On tap tonight

It’s a family affair on NBC’s “Medium” at 10 p.m.

Actor David Arquette, known best for his big-screen role in the “Scream” franchise, directs the show, which stars his sister Patricia Arquette as the title psychic, Allison DuBois. Tonight’s episode, titled “1-900-LUCKY,” marks the first time Mr. Arquette has directed his older sister.

The story centers on Allison’s brother, Michael Benoit (Ryan Hurst), whose work as a telephone psychic leads him to Arizona where a distressed client’s husband has been murdered. To Allison’s surprise, her brother’s trip plays a surprisingly large role in her investigation of the case.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance from staff, wire and Web reports.

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