Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Big month for ‘SNL’

After dominating headlines and ratings with its early launch in mid-September, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” shows no signs of slowing. It has six live broadcasts slated for this month — including three live Saturday shows and three live prime-time “Update” specials.

The lineup:

Saturday: Anne Hathaway (“Brokeback Mountain,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) makes her “SNL” debut as host, with musical guests the Killers.

Oct. 18: Actor Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men,” “American Gangster”), who’s already generating heat for his upcoming portrayal of President Bush in Oliver Stone’s biopic “W,” will host. Twenty-year-old U.K. soul-singing sensation Adele is the musical guest.

Oct. 25: Jon Hamm, star of AMC’s Emmy-winning “Mad Men,” hosts. The British band Coldplay is the musical guest.

In addition to the star-studded Saturdays, “SNL” is ready for prime time with “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday” — three live prime-time half-hours beginning Oct. 9 at 9:30 p.m., reports. These prime-time special editions will be anchored by the show’s signature “Weekend Update.”

This marks a return to the NBC Thursday night lineup for “SNL,” which produced similar live “Update”-centered broadcasts in 2001.

CBS hires Myers

CBS News has added former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to its stable of political analysts, Variety reports.

Miss Myers, who was chief spokeswoman for the first two years of the Clinton administration, will team with the two other CBS analysts: President Bush’s former communications point man Dan Bartlett and one-time Howard Dean presidential campaign manager Joe Trippi.

Reality fare for Jesse

Jack-of-all-trades Jesse Ventura is about to add another specialty to his resume — reality-show host.

According to Variety, the former Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, small-town mayor, actor and governor of Minnesota has struck a deal with truTV to host a series that will find him investigating the validity of various conspiracy theories. Mr. Ventura also will receive a producing credit, Variety says.

The pilot, from A. Smith & Co. Productions (“Hell’s Kitchen”), begins shooting this month.

Honoring Newman

Turner Broadcasting System is giving over all of its airtime on Oct. 12 for a tribute to Paul Newman, reports. The tribute will feature 11 of the beloved actor’s best-known films, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Hud.”

Mr. Newman died of cancer Friday at age 83. He won an Oscar, an Emmy Award and six Golden Globe Awards but later in life started a second career as a philanthropist, using the profits from his Newman’s Own line of foods to fund various charities.

ABC rules top five

For the week of Sept. 22 through 28, the top five shows, according to Nielsen Media Research, along with their networks and viewerships were: 1) “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 21.3 million; 2) “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 18.6 million; 3)”Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 18.4 million; 4) “Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday), ABC, 18.3 million; and 5) “NCIS,” CBS, 18 million.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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