- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Emmys up, ball wins

Sunday’s telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards posted credible numbers on CBS — rising about 10 percent in key demographics vs. last year’s record-low averages — despite facing a monster NFL game on NBC, Variety reported Monday.

According to preliminary national results from Nielsen, the Emmys telecast averaged 13.3 million total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m., an increase compared to its previous year on ABC with 12.3 million viewers overall. Despite the improvement, this year’s Emmys appear headed for the third-smallest overall audience (in addition to last year’s, it also edged out the 13 million who watched on Fox in 2007).

Although the show and host Neil Patrick Harris received widespread critical acclaim, the audience declined with each half-hour. After opening with more than 15 million viewers at 8 p.m. (following a big NFL overrun and a shortened version of “60 Minutes”), the awards ceremony wrapped with a little under 11 million viewers at 10:30 when “30 Rock” and “Mad Men” walked away with the top prizes.

On NBC, the NFL game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys — the first regular-season contest played in the Cowboys’ new $1.2 billion stadium — delivered the best-ever overnight score for “Sunday Night Football” and crushed everything in its path. The game, whose outcome wasn’t decided until the closing seconds, is expected to show an audience of more than 25 million viewers overall when national ratings are released Tuesday.

No NFL regular-season primetime game has rated higher in the overnights since a matchup between the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” in December 1998, Variety notes.

Life mirrors art

Actor Hugh Laurie says he may be forced to abandon his lead role in award-winning TV medical drama “House” — because pretending to limp is such a pain, says TVWeek.com, citing a report from mirror.co.uk.

According to the British Web site, Mr. Laurie, 50, said perfecting Dr. Gregory House’s trademark hobble for the cameras has forced him to contort his body for hours on end. And it’s causing him real damage.

“The show might last to series seven, eight or nine but I don’t know if I will because I’m starting to lose my knees a little bit,” the actor said.

“It’s a lot of hip work. There’s things going badly wrong. I need to do yoga.”

Mr. Laurie won two Golden Globes for the medical drama and was in line for his third Best Actor award at Sunday night’s Emmy telecast.

“I’ve no idea why people like it so much,” he said of his Fox series.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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