- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 21, 2009

‘A.I.’ final lowest

Tuesday night’s “American Idol” was the series’ lowest-rated final performance night ever, TVWeek.com reported Wednesday.

According to Nielsen Media Research, about 23.1 million viewers tuned in to see Adam Lambert and Kris Allen give their final performances before the winner was crowned Wednesday night.

Compared with last year’s live-plus-same-day numbers, Tuesday’s “Idol” dropped 18 percent in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 demographic and 15 percent in total viewers.

Week to week, “Idol” posted a 4 percent increase, but that bump pales in comparison to the 12 percent weekly increase for the comparable episodes last year, TVWeek said. In total viewers, this year’s final performance saw a 2 percent weekly increase, while last year there was a 9 percent increase.

Final numbers are expected to reflect a bump in “Idol’s” performance once the show’s three-minute overrun into the 9 p.m. hour is taken into consideration.

“Idol” also faced fierce competition for the night, including the three-hour finale of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and NBA basketball coverage, TVWeek notes.

CBS picks 6

CBS has picked up six new shows for next season - four dramas, a comedy and a new reality series, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

The dramas are: “The Good Wife,” starring Julianna Margulies (“ER”) as the wife of a politician who goes back to work as a lawyer; an “NCIS” spinoff; medical drama “Miami Trauma”; and “Three Rivers,” starring “Moonlight’s” Alex O’Loughlin.

“Accidentally on Purpose,” starring Jenna Elfman (“Dharma & Greg”) as a film critic who gets pregnant after a one-night stand, is the new comedy.

The new reality series is “Undercover Boss,” a show CBS has been planning based on a format that is under way in Britain and Australia, according to a report earlier this year in the New York Post. It features corporate executives doing dreary jobs at their companies while in disguise.

Meanwhile, CBS has moved its new hit drama, “The Mentalist” from Tuesday to Thursday nights, Associated Press reports.

Also, viewers can say goodbye to “Without a Trace,” “The Unit” and “11th Hour.” CBS says it’s canceling all three dramas.

‘World’ bow set

MTV has set June 24 as the premiere date for its next edition of “The Real World” franchise, Variety notes.

The newest installment takes place in Cancun, Mexico, with eight roommates living in the ME Hotel against a backdrop of newly created and broken friendships.

“Cancun” marks the 22nd season of “Real World.”

Chace is ‘Footloose’

“Gossip Girl” wrapped its season Tuesday night on the CW, but star Chace Crawford has a busy summer of work ahead of him: He’s reportedly just landed the lead role of Ren McCormack in Paramount’s “Footloose” remake, Zap2it.com reports.

The role of Ren - played by Kevin Bacon in the original 1984 film - was first offered to “High School Musical” star Zac Efron, who passed on the project because he’s hoping to branch out of the singing/dancing genre.

‘Cleaner’ returns

June 23 is the premiere date for the second season of the A&E; drama “The Cleaner,” Variety reports.

The series - starring Benjamin Bratt as a recovering addict who’s an interventionist helping others get their lives on track - had a tough time getting traction on the cable network. Still, it proved successful enough for a second go-around. The show averaged 4.2 million viewers over three telecasts per week, Variety said.

Guest stars for the upcoming season, which has a 13-episode order, include Whoopi Goldberg, Christine Lahti and Lori Petty.

Star power on TNT

“Leverage” and “Raising the Bar” return to TNT this summer for their sophomore seasons, while three new shows will premiere.

“The Closer,” starring Kyra Sedgwick, and “Saving Grace,” starring Holly Hunter, also are among the cable network’s returning original series, TVGuide.com reports.

The new fare TNT is rolling out this summer includes “HawthoRNe,” a medical drama fronted by Jada Pinkett Smith; “Dark Blue,” a police drama led by Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”); and “Wedding Day,” a reality series from Mark Burnett.

TNT’s development slate for the 2009-10 season and beyond, meanwhile, is both out-of-this-world and down-to-Earth.

The dramedy “Men of a Certain Age” - starring Ray Romano (also a creator on the series), Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula - has received the go-ahead and is tabbed for a December premiere.

Other projects in development include a science-fiction drama from Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Television. The untitled series will revolve around a group of freedom fighters who emerge six months after a worldwide alien invasion, TVGuide.com reports.

Also, Steven Bochco, who already gave TNT “Raising the Bar,” is developing “Class Action,” a legal drama about a down-on-his-luck attorney.

Other prospective series in the pipeline:

Zapata, Texas, produced by Miss Sedgwick and husband, Kevin Bacon, revolves around a newly elected small-town sheriff.

MacAlister, the story of a novelist-turned-professor working at an all-boys prep school.

Pastor Jazz, with Charles S. Dutton as a minister.

Proof, from “Star Trek: Voyager” scribes Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman, which follows an eccentric neuroscientist who helps the government solve unusual mysteries.

An untitled family drama from Matt Williams (“Home Improvement,” “Roseanne”).

An untitled period drama from Daniel Pyne (“The Manchurian Candidate”) about a private detective in Los Angeles set in 1954.

A pair of unscripted series - one about the doctors and patients at the Mayo Clinic, and the other centering on deserving people and their dream trips.

‘Dog’ chase crash

Police in Colorado Springs, Colo., say a driver being followed by bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman during filming for his reality TV show was involved in a rollover crash.

It’s not clear whether anyone was hurt, Associated Press reports.

Colorado Springs police say Mr. Chapman’s daughter called them to say the man was trapped inside the vehicle early Tuesday. But police say the man got out of the car, ran away and hasn’t been found.

Mr. Chapman is the star of A&E;’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” Authorities say he and a television crew were pursuing a man wanted for failure to appear on a narcotics charge.

Last month, Colorado Springs police arrested a man accused of shooting at Mr. Chapman and another bail bondsman, but prosecutors dropped the charge, citing conflicting witness statements and weak evidence.

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

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