- - Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hope Solo eliminated in ‘Dancing’ semifinal

Soccer star Hope Solo has been kicked off of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Ms. Solo was eliminated from the ABC ballroom competition Tuesday after finishing in last place during the semifinal performance round, the Associated Press reports. Dancing for the mirror ball trophy Monday will be actor and Army veteran J.R. Martinez, TV personality Ricki Lake and reality star Rob Kardashian.

“Instead of winning the mirror ball trophy, I’m going to try and win a gold medal this summer at the Olympics,” a smiling Ms. Solo said after learning her fate.

Ms. Solo won gold in the 2008 Olympics.

She didn’t seem quite as happy during Monday’s semifinals. In backstage footage shown Tuesday, Ms. Solo was seen complaining about her scores and telling the judges, “Kiss my booty.”

Ms. Solo and professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy came into Tuesday’s episode with 49 points - nearly 20 points less than first-place finisher Miss Lake.

Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which contestant is sent home each week.

Each semifinalist performed two routines in addition to competing in a “cha-cha relay,” where all four couples danced to the same song.

Mr. Kardashian and partner Cheryl Burke won the relay and finished second overall. Miss Lake and her partner, Derek Hough, came in second place during the relay. Mr. Martinez was third and Ms. Solo was last.

Ms. Solo said Tuesday that “Dancing With the Stars” is “one of the toughest competitions I’ve ever been a part of.”

She joins previously eliminated contestants Nancy Grace, Carson Kressley, David Arquette, Chaz Bono, Chynna Phillips, Elisabetta Canalis, Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) and Kristin Cavallari.

New CBS morning show to strike a serious tone

CBS is rebuilding its morning franchise in another attempt to escape the ratings cellar, betting on a sober-minded news broadcast behind hosts Charlie Rose, Erica Hill and Gayle King.

According to the Associated Press, the new program, which has not been named, will replace “The Early Show” from 7-9 a.m. and will debut Jan. 9.

Its new Manhattan studio and newsroom were dusty construction zones Tuesday, symbolizing CBS‘ efforts to start an entirely new show rather than make cosmetic changes to the old one. CBS has been third in the ratings behind NBC’s “Today” show and ABC’s “Good Morning America” for decades.

CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said the show will be “hard news but not all serious.”

“It’s going to be a program that’s very different, that doesn’t try to copy what’s already out there and will be fulfilling to our viewers,” Mr. Fager said.

Mr. Rose, who will continue his late-night PBS interview show, will co-anchor the first hour with Ms. Hill, who has been on “The Early Show” for the past two years. Ms. King, a veteran talk show host, will join the panel at 8 a.m., an hour when morning show viewership is dominated by women. Ms. King said she is discontinuing her talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, and her satellite radio program.

Mr. Rose was recruited by Mr. Fager, with whom he has a long working relationship at CBS. Ms. King was the suggestion of the new show’s executive producer, Chris Licht, because he liked her style as an occasional guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he was the producer before joining CBS this year.

Mr. Rose said he was “thrilled” to be on the new show.

CBS has a new spirit today,” he said, “and it builds on the tradition that I have known for a long time.”

CBS sees a niche for a more serious show at a time when its chief rivals have moved in a softer direction, with rock concerts, Halloween costumes and more attention to tabloid stories, such as the Amanda Knox case and Kim Kardashian’s marital breakup. Mr. Fager said it bluntly: “We’re not going to do cooking.”

The show also won’t have a weatherman. Regular cast members will include veteran newsman John Miller, business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and correspondent Jeff Glor.

Bob Costas, expecting lawyer, surprised to interview Sandusky

Even Bob Costas was surprised that former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky spoke to him about child sex-abuse allegations.

Mr. Costas said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he was about to speak to Mr. Sandusky’s attorney the previous evening for an interview to air on NBC’s “Rock Center.” Just before it was to start, the lawyer offered up Mr. Sandusky on the telephone - and about 15 minutes later, Mr. Costas was interviewing the former coach.

It came together so swiftly that NBC raced to get the word out about the interview, the Associated Press reports. The network posted Mr. Sandusky’s words on Twitter even before the interview with Mr. Costas ended.

Monday night was a remarkable evening of news-making interviews on broadcast TV, with the Sandusky interview airing directly opposite ABC’s interview with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Death knell may be sounding for NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’

When production on NBC rookie drama “Prime Suspect” ends this month, it likely will be a permanent goodbye for the cast and crew.

A day after the struggling Maria Bello drama was left off NBC’s midseason schedule, a source confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that production on the series will close at month’s end.

While the network in October ordered six additional scripts for the drama, a reboot of the BBC franchise that starred Helen Mirren, the series likely will complete its run before the network considers its options.

“Prime Suspect” consistently has registered a last-place finish in its Thursday at 10 p.m. slot against CBS‘ “The Mentalist” and ABC’s “Private Practice.”

Freshman drama “The Firm” reportedly will take over “Prime Suspect’s” Thursday slot starting Jan. 12.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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