- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hasselbeck returns

Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be back on “The View” on Oct. 19, Associated Press reports.

Miss Hasselbeck has been off the daytime talk show since Aug. 7 - two days before she gave birth to her third child, Isaiah Timothy. She’s married to Tim Hasselbeck, a former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and four other NFL teams.

Since then, her only contact with viewers was last Thursday, when she phoned “The View” for an on-air chat with fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd.

During Miss Hasselbeck’s maternity leave, numerous guests have filled in. Upcoming subs include “The Hills” star Heidi Montag, former “View” co-host Lisa Ling, “Ugly Betty” star Ana Ortiz, TV reality star Khloe Kardashian and “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco.

Matt is back

Showtime network says “Friends” alum Matt LeBlanc is returning to TV in a new comedy.

According to Associated Press, Mr. LeBlanc will star in “Episodes,” a single-camera series about a husband-and-wife producing team whose witty hit comedy on British TV is turned into a dumbed-down American sitcom starring Mr. LeBlanc, who plays himself.

“Episodes” is a sendup of the TV world and Mr. LeBlanc’s image as a sitcom veteran. The show will be a co-production of Showtime, and the BBC and will begin shooting a six-episode season in London and Hollywood in winter. It is scheduled to air next year on Showtime and BBC Two.

Mr. LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani on “Friends” for a decade. He followed that NBC hit in 2004 with a sitcom based on the same character, “Joey.” It flopped.

Leno TiVo’ed less

Time-shifted viewing of NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show” among TiVo users is below the network’s year-ago levels for 10 p.m. programming. But it eats more into the network’s 11 p.m. viewership, including “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” DVR pioneer TiVo Inc. tells the Hollywood Reporter.

After the show had been on the air two weeks, an average 46 percent of its TiVo subscriber audience opted to record it and watch it later, TiVo found. That compares to an average of 7 percent of time-shifted viewing of NBC programs in the 10 p.m. slot last season. This also has resulted in less time shifting for NBC thus far this season at 10 p.m. when compared with other broadcast networks, TiVo said.

However, the TiVo Stop||Watch ratings service also found that nearly 20 percent of time-shifted viewing of the Leno show occurred within one hour of the start of the program, up from 13 percent last season.

“Depending on whom you ask, NBC’s glass is either half full or half empty,” said Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager of TiVo Audience Research & Measurement.

“While Leno is succeeding in reducing the amount of time-shifted viewing for NBC’s 10 p.m. time slot, he certainly isn’t ‘TiVo-proof,’ as nearly 50 percent of viewing is still time-shifted. Moreover, those time-shifted viewers are nearly twice as likely to watch within one hour, displacing NBC’s 11 p.m. time slot,” Mr. Juenger said.

Spelling sidelined

“Tori & Dean” star Tori Spelling was taken to the hospital twice in two days this week with severe abdominal pain, says a People.com report and various tweets from Miss Spelling and husband Dean McDermott.

According to EWonline.com, Miss Spelling went to the hospital Monday night but, per a tweet from Mr. McDermott, she was released overnight: “Just out of the hospital. After a battery of tests, no conclusive answers. She still feels terrible. Hope it passes soon. She’s in a lot of pain.”

Miss Spelling was forced to cancel her gig of hosting the West Coast Liberty Awards held Tuesday night.

Westward, ho!

When ABC’s “All My Children” makes its move from Manhattan to a new home in Los Angeles, Susan Lucci won’t stay behind.

The leading lady of this durable daytime drama says she has decided to keep playing oft-wed diva Erica Kane, just as she has since “All My Children” premiered in 1970.

“I made my final decision just a couple of days ago,” Miss Lucci tells Associated Press. “But as an inveterate New Yorker,” she added that she wouldn’t be uprooting herself and her family for a permanent move.

Meanwhile, most of the New York-based cast will be joining her at the new L.A. shooting site, where production begins in early January, ABC has announced.

The main exception is Ray MacDonnell, who, like Miss Lucci, is an original cast member. He is retiring from his role as Dr. Joe Martin.

ABC’s list of continuing cast members also includes Brittany Allen, David Canary, Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Stephanie Gatschet, Ricky Paull Goldin, Vincent Irizarry, Michael E. Knight, Jamie Luner, Adam Mayfield, JR Martinez, Cameron Mathison, Debbi Morgan, Cornelius Smith, Jr., Denise Vasi, Darnell Williams and Jacob Young.

Thorsten Kaye (who plays Zach Slater) will not relocate to Los Angeles, and Alicia Minshew (Kendall Hall) will be on maternity leave beginning in November, ABC said.

The cross-country move was first announced this summer, with Dec. 11 the final day for the show in its current New York facilities. It airs weekdays at 1 p.m.

Set in the fictional town of Pine Valley, “All My Children” is moving to save money and to enhance the show’s production values, according to ABC.

Of the seven daytime dramas, just two - ABC’s “One Life to Live” and CBS’ “As the World Turns” - will still be in New York.

CBS’ New York-based “Guiding Light” ended its 57-year TV run in mid-September, the latest chilling hint that the soap opera genre is a dying institution.

cCompiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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