- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rather claim returns

A New York City judge has restored a fraud claim he previously dismissed from Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS Corp. over a story about former President George W. Bush.

Mr. Rather’s lawyer, Martin Gold, said Tuesday the fraud stems from CBS’ failure to keep promises it made to Mr. Rather before firing him over problems with the story about Mr. Bush’s Vietnam-era military service.

Judicial hearing officer Ira Gammerman dismissed the claim last year because of technical legal errors but ruled Mr. Rather could refile it, Associated Press reports.

CBS lawyer James Quinn says that ruling was on technical grounds and he will move right away to have the complaint dismissed.

Mr. Quinn and Mr. Gold also are waiting for the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division to decide whether to dismiss Mr. Rather’s lawsuit.

‘Burn,’ ‘Bob’ tops

Buoyed by a record showing for its original drama series “Burn Notice,” USA Network enjoyed another ratings sweep among ad-supported cable networks last week, averaging 3.18 million viewers in prime time, the Hollywood Reporter says.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, USA once again laid claim to the three major demographics in the week ending July 19 - averaging 1.47 million adults ages 25 to 54, 1.31 million viewers 18 to 49 and 590,000 viewers ages 18 to 34.

In what is shaping up to be its most-watched summer ever, the cable network maintained its momentum with its Thursday night lineup. On July 16, the network drew 6.66 million viewers with a new episode of “Burn Notice,” of which 3.12 million were adults between the ages of 25 and 54. The spy drama also picked up 2.65 million viewers between 18 and 49.

Leading out of “Burn Notice” in the 10 p.m. slot, a fresh installment of “Royal Pains” delivered 6.23 million viewers, a crowd that included 2.9 million adults between 25 and 54 and 2.48 million viewers between 18 and 49.

The network also attracted a crowd on July 13, as its “WWE Raw” showcase drew 5.23 million viewers between 9 and 11:08 p.m. Hour two of “Raw” drew 5.52 million viewers, THR says.

All told, USA last week served up eight of the ad-supported cable networks’ 20 most-watched programs. Other standouts were repeats of “NCIS,” the Sunday night drama “In Plain Sight” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

Elsewhere, basic cable’s third-place slot for the week went to Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, which drew 2.09 million viewers in prime, thanks to its weekend 10th anniversary celebration of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” The daffy Porifera and his undersea pals accounted for five of the week’s top 10 most-watched shows on ad-supported cable, and half of the top 20 shows.

Nick’s biggest draw of the week came courtesy of a new episode of “SpongeBob,” which scared up 5.37 million viewers at 9 p.m. Sunday. A half-hour earlier, another fresh “SpongeBob” story delivered 5.17 million fans.

E!: More ‘Kendra’

E! has picked up a second season of “Kendra,” Variety reported Wednesday.

The cable network has given the go-ahead to 12 half-hour episodes, plus an hourlong special. Production will begin in early 2010.

The reality series, which spotlights Hugh Hefner’s ex-gal pal Kendra Wilkinson, is a spinoff of E!’s “The Girls Next Door.”

On a related note, Miss Wilkinson’s June nuptials to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett will be covered in E!’s Aug. 9 hourlong “best of” special.

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

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