- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2007

CBS, ‘Idol’ tops

Whether on the “American Idol” stage, the dance floor or the basketball court, competition had television viewers hooked last week.

Five of the top 10 spots were claimed by dual performance-results episodes of Fox’s singing contest and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and by the National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four game on CBS, in which the University of Florida defeated the University of California at Los Angeles to advance to the finals against Ohio State. (The Gators’ victory over the Buckeyes on Monday wasn’t part of the weekly ratings released by Nielsen Media Research.)

College basketball helped CBS grab the weekly ratings crown from Fox, which is used to ruling during the run of “Idol.” The UCLA-Florida game drew almost 14.3 million viewers, a 9 percent increase over last year’s comparable game between UCLA and Louisiana State University, Associated Press reports.

CBS also had the top-rated scripted series with “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” at No. 3 and another strong player with the James Woods drama “Shark,” which posted its highest weekly ranking, in seventh place, among total viewers.

Nevertheless, Fox still claimed victory for the week among the young-adult 18-to-49 viewers advertisers favor.

For the week, CBS averaged 11.4 million viewers, Fox had 10.4 million and ABC had 8.7 million. Following were NBC with 7.3 million, the CW with 2.8 million, My Network TV with 960,000 and the I network with 750,000.

For the week of March 26 through April 1, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 28.1 million; 2) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 26.8 million; 3) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 22.7 million; 4) “House,” Fox, 20.8 million; and 5) “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 20.4 million.

In

Abigail Breslin may have lost the title of “Little Miss Sunshine,” but she’s about to be crowned an “American Girl,” Zap2it.com notes.

According to Variety, the recent Oscar nominee — who turns 11 next week — has booked a pair of high-profile leading roles, opposite Jodie Foster in the doll-based feature “American Girl” and in “Nim’s Island.”

In “American Girl,” set to begin production on June 4, Abigail will play Kit Kittredge, a popular doll with a Depression-era back story. Ann Peacock (“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”) wrote the film, set up at Picturehouse and HBO Films.

Based on the book by Wendy Orr, “Nim’s Island” — which begins production this summer — is the story of a girl named Nim who lives on a remote South Pacific island with her scientist dad. When her father is lost at sea, Nim’s only connection to the outside world is her e-mail correspondence with a reclusive author.

Meanwhile, good news may also be in store for George Hamilton.

The perpetually tanned actor and former “Dancing With the Stars” hoofer may be in line to inherit the hosting gig on CBS’ “The Price Is Right” when Bob Barker exits the long-running show in June, TVGuide.com reports, citing a story from TMZ.com.

According to TMZ.com,CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves and show execs think the “wonderfully charming” Mr. Hamilton “could really make the show work.”

Out

Fox is annulling “The Wedding Bells,” its new dramedy from David E. Kelly, after seven episodes, MediaWeek.com reports. The final telecast is expected to air Friday.

Elsewhere, ABC’s drama “Six Degrees” — which moved to a new night and time (Friday at 9 p.m.) after a four-month hiatus — also has been canceled and will be replaced by repeats of “Wife Swap,” effective immediately.

The network also has rethought its strategy for the upcoming sitcom “Notes From the Underbelly.” It will air Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. following “According to Jim,” effective April 18, after a two-episode preview on April 12 at 10 p.m.

The CW, meanwhile, has canceled its long-running “7th Heaven.” The final telecast of the 11-year-old drama will air May 13 at 8 p.m.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports


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