- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

‘Break’ return a bust

Maybe Fox should renew “Dollhouse”after all.

Despite significant promotion, “Prison Break” returned Friday night and received disappointingly low ratings.

The launch of the veteran Fox drama’s final episodes was seen by a scant 3.4 million viewers, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

That’s below the time period average of “Dollhouse” in same hour and comes despite usual night-leader CBS airing repeats. The performance helps reiterate how tough this time period is for male-friendly action dramas. An encore of “Break” warmed up the night.



Yet the comparative weakness of “Break” isn’t necessarily good news for “Dollhouse” fans.

“Break” will shift to 8 p.m. and serve as the “Dollhouse” lead-in next week, and Joss Whedon’s drama could use a push.

Hefty ‘Catch’

Season five of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” got off to a fast start Tuesday, drawing 4.1 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot, making the premiere the most-watched episode in the series’ history.

The season opener set a high-water mark, breaking the previous record established by the season three finale, which delivered 4 million viewers on June 19, 2007, MediaWeek.com reports.

This week’s show also bagged record demo deliveries, including adults 25 to 54 (2.7 million) and viewers 18 to 49 (2.6 million).

On the day of the premiere, Discovery bought up more than 90 percent of Microsoft’s online and mobile advertising inventory, as interactive “Deadliest Catch” creative appeared on MSN, Windows Live Hotmail, the MSN Mobile home page and Xbox Live.

While Discovery did not disclose the cost of its 24-hour takeover, the company confirmed that the deal ate up the show’s entire seven-figure online marketing budget.

DJ AM gets show

MTV is teaming with DJ AM to launch an intervention-style reality show.

Tentatively titled “Gone Too Far,” the series will feature the celebrity DJ, who has had his own battles with drug addiction and last year survived a plane crash.

According to THR, the show chronicles tough-love interventions for young people whose lives have become unmanageable because of chemical dependence. DJ AM will be present throughout the intervention process, which will be led by an addiction specialist.

Ish Entertainment and Gigantic Productions will produce the series, which does not have an airdate.

DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein) has had a few TV gigs, appearing on MTV’s “Punk’d,” Fox’s “The Simple Life” and HBO’s “Entourage.”

Last year, he revealed that he was abused by his father, became addicted to drugs and had attempted suicide. He said he attended recovery meetings and has been sober for about a decade.

In September, DJ AM was critically injured when a Learjet carrying him, frequent collaborator Travis Barker of Blink-182 and four others burst into flames during an aborted takeoff in South Carolina. DJ AM and Barker were the only survivors.

Report: Cable bills up

Even as the economy plunged into a recession through the back half of 2008, Americans saw the cost of their cable and satellite-TV services creep up to an average of more than $70 per month, Multichannel.com reports.

Cable-TV bills rose 7.5 percent in the second half of 2008, to an average of $71 a month up $5 from a year earlier, according to a study released last week by research firm Centris.

Klum expecting No. 4

“Project Runway” host and supermodel Heidi Klum is pregnant with her fourth child, husband Seal announced.

The bundle of joy is due in the fall and will join sister Leni, 4, and brothers Henry, 3, and Johan, 2, TVGuide.com reports. Leni is Miss Klum’s daughter with Italian businessman Flavio Briatore.

Miss Klum and the children were in the front row at the Radio City Music Hall show when Seal announced the news, Us Weekly reports.

Miss Klum’s pregnancy comes on the heels of “Project Runway’s” lawsuit settlement, which frees the show to air on Lifetime this summer. A casting call for Season 7 is also out.

What’s a season of “Runway” without Klum pregnant?

Signing on for History

History is teaming with education organization the People Speak for a dramatic documentary starring a host of celebrity talent.

Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Viggo Mortensen, David Strathairn, Marisa Tomei and others will lend performances chronicling key moments in American history, THR notes. Mr. Damon will appear in a vignette about John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” Miss Tomei will play factory worker Harriet Hanson Robinson, and Eddie Vedder will read Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.”

The network will air a two-hour special titled “The People Speak” during the fourth quarter of next year and release at least 24 short-form segments through 2010 for online and video-on-demand distribution.

Mr. Damon and Mr. Brolin also are onboard as executive producers, along with “Speak” co-director Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, Howard Zinn, David McKillop and Russ McCarroll.

“This is a brand marriage made in heaven,” says Nancy Dubuc, History’s executive vice president and general manager. “Matt and Chris are trying to show here that democracy is not a spectator sport.”

The film will focus on the concept of democracy and be based on the lives of ordinary Americans who changed the course of history.

“I am a firm believer in this project, proud to be part of it and proud that we are working jointly with History,” Mr. Damon said.

On tap tonight …

We Shall Remain: American Experience (9, WETA-Channel 26 and WMPT-Channel 22 — The acclaimed series about American Indians continues with a segment titled “Tecumseh’s Vision,” which recalls Shawnee brothers Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh. In 1805, Tenskwatawa — considered a prophet — had a vision that Indians should reject white culture. Tecumseh, in turn, led an alliance of tribes to stop the whites’ westward push.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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