- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2009

‘Rock’ opener down

Despite winning yet another comedy series Emmy less than a month ago, viewership was down for NBC’s “30 Rock” season opener on Thursday compared to 2008, on a night when ABC topped the pivotal 18-to-49 demographic and CBS won in overall viewers.

According to Variety, citing preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “30 Rock” had 6.3 million viewers overall and lost viewers from its 9 p.m. lead-in, “The Office” (with 8.1 million viewers). Those numbers, however, could be affected by results of TBS’ broadcast of the Dodgers and Phillies baseball playoff game.

On the other hand, time slot rival “Grey’s Anatomy” (with 13.6 million) viewers) was ABC’s top performer of the night among 18-to-49-year-olds, while CBS’ “CSI” with 15.1 million) was first in overall viewers.

Fox’s “Fringe” (6 million) and the CW’s “Supernatural” (2.6 million) rounded out the 9 p.m. hour.

It was a similar story at 10 p.m., with ABC’s “Private Practice” (10.4 million) winning in the demographic and CBS’ “The Mentalist” (14.4 million) winning in overall viewers. “The Jay Leno Show” (5.2 million) showed a slight bump from the previous week for NBC, Variety said.

There was also consistency at 8 p.m. compared with a week earlier for CBS’ “Survivor” (11.9 million), ABC’s “FlashForward” (9.1 million) and the NBC sitcom “Community” (5.1 million). However, NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” (4.7 million) and Fox’s “Bones” (9.1 million) had slight drops, while CW freshman favorite “The Vampire Diaries” delivered its best performance since its early September season premiere with 3.9 million viewers.

‘DWTS’ lauds

“Dancing With the Stars” says it plans to honor Michael Jackson with a special performance by the 16 professional dancers participating in this season’s competition.

According to Associated Press, Tuesday’s show will pay tribute to the King of Pop with a medley of Jackson songs representing different eras of his long career, in a fusion of classic ballroom and Latin styles.

One member of the “Dancing With the Stars” troupe, Cheryl Burke, says Jackson and his music are “an inspiration to every dancer.” Being part of this tribute “is an honor,” she says.

The program airs at 9 p.m. on WJLA-ABC-7.

‘Rivers’ admits Patinkin

Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin is returning to CBS, but he won’t be solving crimes or healing sick people.

The former “Criminal Minds” and “Chicago Hope” star will make a guest appearance on the network’s new medical drama “Three Rivers” later this fall, says Zap2it.com. He’ll be playing an ALS patient who, after a car crash, asks to be taken off life support so others can use his organs.

Mr. Patinkin is a transplant recipient himself. He underwent corneal transplants in both eyes in 1997 and ‘98 to correct keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea is misshapen and severely impairs vision.

CBS hasn’t yet set an airdate for the episode, Zap2it.com reports.

Mr. Patinkin won an Emmy in 1995 for his role on “Chicago Hope” and was nominated again in 1999 (he earned another guest-acting nod for HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show” in 1996). Mr. Patinkin also starred on CBS’ crime drama “Criminal Minds” for its first two seasons and won a 1980 Tony Award for his role in the Broadway musical “Evita.”

Bon Jovi, NBC team

Bon Jovi has a new album and a new gig- artist in residence with NBC, its affiliated cable TV networks, and all its news, information and digital brands.

In a deal unveiled Thursday by NBC Universal, the veteran rock band will perform on NBC’s “Today” show on four Wednesdays in November, the Hollywood Reporter says. The band’s lead singer, Jon Bon Jovi, also will be a guest on cable channel Bravo’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” as well as the subject of a character showcase on the company’s USA network.

The band’s music, and its new studio album “The Circle,” which launches Nov. 12, also will be featured heavily throughout NBC Universal’s network and cable programing.

The unusual deal gives NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co, exclusive access to the band and its music during the first month of the album’s launch, while giving Bon Jovi the opportunity to reach a diverse audience, THR notes.

NBC is currently lagging at the bottom among the four leading U.S. TV networks amid falling audiences for all network programing in recent years.

Bon Jovi, the Grammy-award-winning New Jersey band, has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide in its two decade career and was one of the top five touring acts worldwide in 2008. Yet its album sales have also fallen sharply over the past 10 years due to digital downloads, piracy and the recession.

“The Circle,” the band’s 11th studio album, will be released on Island Records, a unit of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group. Vivendi has a 20 percent stake in NBC Universal.

Short takes

• TV bad girl Shannen Doherty has signed on for a role in a holiday-themed Hallmark Channel original movie, says the Hollywood Reporter. The former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star has been cast in “Growing the Big One,” which centers on a woman who inherits her debt-ridden family farm and enters a pumpkin-growing contest in hope of avoiding foreclosure. Along the way, she falls in love with her partner in the contest. The movie has begun production in Vancouver and will premiere in October 2010.

• Fox has committed to its “Family Guy” spinoff, “The Cleveland Show,” through at least mid-2011, says Broadcastingcable.com. The network gave a back nine order to “Cleveland’s” second season, which is currently in production (due to the long lead time necessary for animated series). Fox had already picked up a full first season of “Cleveland,” and earlier gave a greenlight to season two’s first 13 episodes.

• Oxygen Media will put a fifth season of reality series “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood” on the road next spring. The series’ fourth season became Oxygen’s most-watched among viewers, adults 18 to 49 and women of that age group, Multichannel.com reports. The season finale also marked another Oxygen first, delivering more than 1 million adults ages 18 to 49 to become the cable network’s most-watched telecast ever, with 1.47 million viewers. In previous seasons, fans witnessed how the celebrity parents balanced their Hollywood life while catering to their two children. In the new season, they will offer an even closer look into their family life and at their own relationship, including a first ever Tori Spelling-Dean McDermott cross-country family road trip.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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