- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

O gets Olympics

NBC pulled a surprise in its first scheduling announcement for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing: Oxygen will get two hours of gymnastics and other sports each weeknight at 6 for 10 days, Variety reports.

Oxygen’s coverage for the 10 days between Aug. 11 and 22 will consist mainly of analysis and athlete interviews focusing on gymnastics, women’s tennis, synchronized swimming and equestrian competitions.

The 20 hours on Oxygen will be a relatively small part of the 3,600 hours of total coverage by NBC and its cable siblings USA, MSNBC, CNBC, USA HD, Universal HD and, in Spanish, Telemundo, Variety said.

Coming back

ABC yesterday said that it had ordered a season’s worth of episodes for nine series next fall, including four freshman series, Associated Press reports.

“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Private Practice” and “Samantha Who?” will all be back for a second season.

Other returning series include “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “Ugly Betty.”

Grammy letdown

Amy Winehouse, Herbie Hancock and Kanye West didn’t provide quite enough drama to enthrall television viewers. Preliminary estimates indicate the Grammy Awards telecast was watched by 17.5 million people, AP said.

Nielsen Media Research yesterday said that would make it the third least-watched Grammy Awards ever if later estimates confirm those numbers. Final figures are expected today.

According to Nielsen, viewership is down from the 20 million people who watched last year. The 2006 awards, with 17 million viewers, is the Grammy low point. The show had 17.3 million viewers in 1995.

On a night filled with nods to the show’s 50-year history, the most trophies went to Miss Winehouse, a 24-year-old singer known for her old-soul voice. The most sought-after prize, for album of the year, went to veteran jazzman Mr. Hancock for his Joni Mitchell tribute disc.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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