- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2009

Pressing on

TLC, dealing with a real-life controversy stemming from its real-life reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” put the show on full display with a Memorial Day weekend marathon leading into tonight’s season premiere.

The fifth season premiere of the now-controversial series — which focuses on the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight children — bows at 9 p.m. on the cable network.

TLC is continuing the show despite reports that Jon is having an affair. According to Multichannel.com, network suits declined comment on recent photographs published by Us Magazine of Mr. Gosselin leaving a bar at 2 a.m. with third-grade teacher Deanna Hummel.

However, Mr. Gosselin released a statement, saying his late-night jaunt “showed poor judgment” and that he is not cheating on his wife.

Kate Gosselin, during a May 7 appearance on NBC’s “Today,” said she’s “very hesitant” to believe Jon is cheating, the New York Daily News reports.

Now, there are more recent reports that the show will continue for two more seasons if marriage counseling is involved and that the show is actually more scripted than real because the couple has an open marriage, Multichannel.com reports.

“Jon and Kate Plus 8” is a major hit for TLC. The show’s fourth season averaged 2.9 million viewers for the network, and the season’s March 23 finale drew a record 4.6 million viewers.

A TLC spokeswoman had said the controversy will be addressed “in some way” during the fifth-season premiere episode, but did not provide further details.

According to TLC, the couple will appear “side by side” in tonight’s premiere to “address what the future” holds for the family.

Fewer viewers

The top television networks closed their 2008-09 season on Wednesday with a 16 percent decline in ratings from a year earlier, says TVWeek.com, citing a story from the Hollywood Reporter.

Fox won the season in adults age 18 to 49 with an average of 9.8 million viewers, but it also dropped the most among the top broadcasters, THR says. Fox lost 13 percent in total viewers and 16 percent among the 18 to 49 demographic, the trade publication said.

Ready to rumba

Fox’s summer season got started with a bang thanks to “So You Think You Can Dance.”

The season premiere of the reality hit kept the network in first place Thursday, a night after the finale of ratings leader “American Idol,” Broadcastingcable.com reports.

“So You Think You Can Dance” attracted 8.4 million viewers in the opening hour of prime time at 8 p.m.

McCain on AMC

John McCain will be the host of AMC’s Memorial Day marathon of movies celebrating war heroes, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

The former prisoner of war and Republican presidential candidate will introduce today’s slate of films, which includes “Battle of the Bulge” (8 a.m.), “The Longest Day” (noon), “Patton” (4 p.m.), “Midway” (8 p.m.) and “Hamburger Hill” (11 p.m.).

THR quotes Mr. McCain as saying the most interesting thing he’s found about heroes is that “they’re the last people to believe that they’re really heroes.”

The Arizona senator was held captive in Hanoi for more than five years after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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