- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 19, 2009

Palin scores on ‘O’

Oprah Winfrey’s Monday interview with former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin brought “The Oprah Winfrey Show” its best ratings in two years, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

The last time “Oprah” did as well was when the entire Osmond clan appeared on Nov. 9, 2007.

The Palin episode also was the highest-rated since this year’s season premiere featuring a tell-all interview with Whitney Houston and last year’s post-presidential-election episode, B&C; says.

Emmys are moving

The Emmys are moving to August again.

NBC on Wednesday announced that it will broadcast the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards live on Aug. 29, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

The network first shifted the Emmys from their traditional airdate - the Sunday before the official start of the TV season in late September - to late August the last time it carried the awards in 2006, when the Emmys aired on Aug. 27.

The move aims to accommodate NBC’s football coverage, moving the awards show to a pre-football season Sunday night, THR says.

Despite lower viewership levels in August, the 2006 Emmys on NBC still rank as the highest-rated in the past four years. When airing on another network, the awards telecast had to go up against NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

NBC is setting the airdate for the Emmys unusually early this year after a flurry of decisions, some of them reversed, by the TV Academy and CBS last summer. Those included an airdate, which was moved back and forth, and a plan to pretape some categories, which was scrapped.

“Scheduling and announcing the telecast for Aug. 29 this early in the awards cycle will give the Television Academy and NBC a head start on creative discussions,” said NBC alternative programming chief Paul Telegdy.

The next Emmy Awards is crucial for the TV Academy, as the ceremony is the last covered by its contract with the broadcast networks, which is up for renewal.

Nominations for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced July 8 at 5:40 a.m. from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, THR said.

Case dismissed

A federal judge in Massachusetts has dismissed a lawsuit accusing television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck of plagiarism.

A federal lawsuit accused the co-host of ABC’s “The View” of lifting content from a book written by self-published Cape Cod author Susan Hassett on the digestive disorder celiac disease. Mrs. Hasselbeck’s book was called “The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide” and appeared on best-seller lists earlier this year, Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro dismissed the lawsuit last week after Miss Hassett’s attorney declined to pursue it. The dismissal was first reported in the Boston Herald on Saturday.

Richard Cunha, Miss Hassett’s lawyer, said Monday that while he still believes there were instances of plagiarism, he isn’t sure they were egregious enough for his client to recover money damages.

Mrs. Hasselbeck has called the claims baseless.

‘Wendy’ to talk on

“The Wendy Williams Show” has been renewed by Fox TV Stations in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas through the 2011-12 season, TVWeek.com reports.

According to the trade publication, “The Wendy Williams Show,” which debuted in July, was up in the Nielsen ratings 43 percent in households its second eight weeks on the air and 43 percent among women 18 to 34, show distributor Debmar-Mercury says.

“Wendy” airs locally at noon on Fox5-WTTG and is rebroadcast weeknights at 12 on BET.

‘Browns’ syndicated

In other Debmar-Mercury syndication news, the distributor has cleared Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” in more than 70 percent of the U.S. for a September 2010 syndication premiere.

According to Broadcastingcable.com, the show has been licensed in seven of the top 10 markets: New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, the District and Houston.

“Meet the Browns” is the top series on TBS this season in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults 18 to 49. It premiered on the cable network in June.

‘View’ co-host here

Actress-comedian and “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd will appear in the District on Dec. 4 in support of her new book, “Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break.”

Miss Shepherd also stars in her own eponymous sitcom on Lifetime and has a role in the critically praised film “Precious.” She will meet fans and sign copies of her book at the Thurgood Marshall Center in Northwest Washington. The program begins at 7 p.m.

CBS’ new project

CBS News is planning an ambitious turn-of-decade look at America’s position in the world that’s also designed as an opening competitive shot at Diane Sawyer, who will be taking over as anchor on “ABC World News” when Charles Gibson steps down in January.

The series, “CBS Reports: Where America Stands,” will examine issues such as health care, the military, the economy and crime, Associated Press reports. Reporters will show what was happening 10 years ago and compare it to now, with predictions about how things will be at the start of the 2020s.

The “CBS Evening News” will be the centerpiece for the reports, but “The Early Show,” “Face the Nation” and the network’s radio and online outlets also will participate, says CBS News President Sean McManus.

Maher renewed

HBO has renewed “Real Time With Bill Maher” for an eighth season, Nancy Geller, senior vice president of HBO Entertainment, announced Wednesday.

The season launches Feb. 19, with new hourlong editions screening for the first time at 9 p.m. Encore presentations will follow two hours later.

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