- - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Obama’s bin Laden speech nets 56.5 million viewers

Despite the late hour in the East, President Obama’s speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden had an audience of 56.5 million viewers, according to the Associated Press.

The Nielsen Co. said Sunday’s audience was larger than Mr. Obama’s recent prime-time addresses, including his March 28 speech on Libya. The Wall Street Journal reported that Nielsen said it was Mr. Obama’s biggest audience since election night in 2008. On that night, about 70 million people were watching election coverage during the period that included Mr. Obama’s speech.

Sunday’s audience is evidence of how quickly word spread and the level of interest in the story no matter the hour. Mr. Obama did not begin speaking until 11:35 p.m. on the East Coast. The speech was carried on ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News, HLN and MSNBC.

Oprah Winfrey inducted in Illinois hall of fame

Oprah Winfrey is now a member of the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, the Associated Press reports.

Film critic Roger Ebert was among those who honored the talk-show queen Tuesday at a downtown Chicago hotel. Association President and CEO Dennis Lyle called Miss Winfrey “the epitome of broadcasting excellence.” Mr. Ebert already is a member, along with late partner Gene Siskel.

Miss Winfrey came to Chicago in 1984 when she started hosting “A.M. Chicago” on WLS-TV. That show eventually became “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which will end this month after 25 years.

Other famous hall-of-fame inductees include Paul Harvey, Hugh Downs and Charles Gibson.

Aldean, Lady Antebellum to perform at CMT awards

Country star Jason Aldean is not only the top nominee at this year’s CMT Music Awards, he’ll also be performing.

Fellow nominees Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland also are among the first performers announced for the show, according to the Associated Press.

This marks the 10th anniversary of the fan-voted awards show. It will air live June 8 from Nashville, Tenn. Fans can pick their favorites on CMT.com through June 7.

Mr. Aldean has four nominations, including a nod for video of the year. Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland have three nominations each and are competing against Mr. Aldean for the top prize. Mr. Urban is up for two awards, including male video of the year and CMT performance of the year.

Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh sues ex over reality show

Miami Heat star Chris Bosh is suing the mother of his child for appearing on a reality TV show called “Basketball Wives,” which he said intrudes on his private life.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Bosh claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court that Allison Mathis and Shed Media are trying to unjustly enrich themselves by using his name and intruding into his private affairs.

He acknowledges that he and Miss Mathis have a child together.

The suit says Miss Mathis was hired to appear in the third season of the VH1 reality show and wants to use it to become a TV star. Mr. Bosh is seeking damages and an injunction to block her and the media company from trademark infringement by using his name and disclosing private facts about his life.

A&E plans ‘Storage’ spinoff, renews ‘Hoarders,’ ‘Intervention’

A&E will renew 11 series and launch 10 new ones, the network announced Wednesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The network also OK’d the multinight television event “Coma” from Ridley and Tony Scott.

Capitalizing on the ratings of “Storage Wars,” which averaged 2.8 million total viewers per episode, the network is ordering eight episodes of the spinoff “Storage Wars: Dallas.”

A&E also is picking up “In-Laws,” “Ship Happens” and “Boar Hunters.” The network is in development on more than 40 original series concepts, including projects from Ryan Seacrest, “Glee’s” Ryan Murphy, Mark Burnett and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s” Michael Davies.

“Last year marked an unprecedented seventh consecutive year of growth at A&E, the longest growth streak in cable,” says Bob DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel in a statement.

Returning series include “Beyond Scared Straight,” “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” “Hoarders,” “Intervention” and “Parking Wars.”

Infomercial star pledges Social Security checks

TV infomercial star Matthew Lesko is making a Maryland community college the launch pad for a scholarship program funded by Social Security payments people don’t need, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Lesko, who is known for wearing a suit covered in question marks, said he’ll make three $1,000 donations Wednesday at Frederick Community College to what he calls the “I Don’t Need My Government Money Scholarship Fund.”

Mr. Lesko said he makes enough money to live comfortably without a $2,400 monthly Social Security check. He’s asking other wealthy people who get Social Security benefits to consider making similar donations to help community college students in financial need.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Lesko’s Rockville-based company, Information USA, said it aims to establish scholarship funds at community colleges nationwide.

Compiled from web and wire reports.

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