- - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A second voice mail message from Chevy Chase leaked online Tuesday, depicting a deep rift between the veteran comedian and the creators of his ratings-challenged NBC sitcom “Community.”

The show’s creator, Dan Harmon, played voice mails from Mr. Chase at a Los Angeles comedy show last year. They since have found their way on to the Internet, including a recording released Tuesday by Celebuzz.com.

In the voice mail, Mr. Chase calls “Community” a “mediocre sitcom” that “is not my kind of comedy,” the Associated Press reports.

“It ain’t funny to me because I’m 67 years old and I’ve been doing this a long time,” Mr. Chase says. “I’ve been making a lot of people laugh, a lot better than this.”

Though the recordings left on Mr. Harmon’s phone appear to have taken place during the show’s second season, they reveal just how badly things have been for Mr. Chase and “Community.” The now-68-year-old “Fletch” and “National Lampoon” star initially was meant to be the most familiar face on the show, which has generally found critical acclaim and a cultish following.

But the airing of such squabbles adds another challenge to “Community,” which had its current third season delayed to midseason by NBC, and which faces an uphill battle for renewal. Last week’s Thursday night episode drew 3.1 million viewers, a series low.

NBC declined to comment. A representative for Mr. Chase said the actor was also declining to comment.

Last week, Mr. Harmon wrote a lengthy apology on his Tumblr page for what he called a “horrible, childish, self-obsessed, unaware, naive and unprofessional decision to play someone’s voicemail to me.”

‘View’ co-host Shepherd eliminated on ‘Dancing’

Sherri Shepherd typically is full of laughs on “Dancing With the Stars,” but on the latest episode, it was tears instead.

“The View” co-host was dismissed from the ABC competition Tuesday.

Judges’ scores are combined with viewer votes to determine who is ousted each week.

Miss Shepherd’s eyes filled with tears when she learned she was among the lowest scorers. She said dancing on the show was a dream, and she urged viewers to tackle their fears the way she did “because it’s so amazing on the other side.”.

Returning to compete on next week’s Latin-themed episode will be actors Jaleel White, Roshon Fegan, William Levy and Melissa Gilbert; singers Gladys Knight, Gavin DeGraw and Katherine Jenkins; TV personality Maria Menounos; and football player Donald Driver.

‘Idol’ tops Forbes list of TV moneymakers

Glitzy productions, highly paid judges and lots of public jabs at the competition has paid off for reality shows when it comes to making the all-important ad revenue. Fox’s “American Idol” topped Forbes’ list of TV’s biggest moneymakers, followed by the network’s freshman talent competition “The X Factor.”

Using ad estimates per half-hour tracked by data firm Kantar Media, Forbes ranked TV programs by how much ad revenue they generated.

While seeing a dip in its ratings this season and a 6 percent drop in revenue over last year, “American Idol” still holds the top spot with an estimated $6.64 million every half-hour.

“The X Factor’s” inaugural season raised an estimated $5.55 million in ad revenue per half-hour for Fox. But Forbes said those numbers were based on predictions before the show premiered — who can forget Simon Cowell’s 20 million viewers prediction? — and not with the average 12 million viewers per episode in mind.

The highest-ranked scripted series is CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” at No. 3. While ratings are lower in the show’s post-Charlie Sheen age, Forbes predicts that Ashton Kutcher should keep the rates high for another season.

An interesting inclusion in the list? CBS’ canceled Jason Biggs comedy “Mad Love” at No. 9 with an estimated $2.4 million in ad revenue. It apparently benefited from its spot between “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men.”

‘Game of Thrones’ renewed for third season on HBO

Fans of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” can expect “A Storm of Swords” in 2013. The network said Tuesday that it has renewed the fantasy hit for season three, meaning at least part of George R.R. Martin’s third book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series will get a television adaptation.

The news comes after record-breaking ratings during last week’s season two premiere. A total of 3.9 million viewers watched the inaugural broadcast, with a combined 6.3 million tuning in to the network’s multiple broadcasts for the night. That marked 53 percent gains from its freshman season average and a 27 percent increase from the previous high reached by last season’s finale. The second episode dropped less than 3 percent, pulling 3.8 million viewers.

“Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season — and then surpassed them,” said HBO programming President Michael Lombardo. “We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”

Keeping with the first two seasons, the show’s third likely will consist of 10 episodes — but unlike the first two, it likely won’t follow one of Mr. Martin’s books from start to finish. Echoing past sentiments, co-creator Mr. Weiss recently acknowledged that “A Storm of Swords” couldn’t be told in just 10 episodes.

” ‘A Storm of Swords’ is too long to fit in a single season,” Mr. Weiss said. “And as readers know, ‘A Feast for Crows’ and ‘A Dance With Dragons’ take place during roughly the same time frame, so we’ll have to fold those together. The plan, if we’re lucky enough to be given the opportunity to see it through, is to use as many seasons as we need to tell the story as a whole, to do justice to George’s entire opus.”

Complied from wire service reports.

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