- - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

After opening theatrically abroad, “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden” saw its stateside premiere Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel, giving the cable network its highest ratings of the year.

The initial 8 p.m. broadcast of the feature film, which was inspired by the events that led to the al Qaeda leader’s 2011’s assassination, averaged 2.7 million viewers for the two-hour telecast, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “SEAL Team Six” drew a 1.4 rating among adults age 25 to 54, nearly five times the network’s 0.3 average, and a 1.9 among men age 25 to 54.

The special ranks as NatGeo’s top show of 2012 and is the network’s sixth highest-rated broadcast ever. “SEAL Team Six” ranks as the highest-rated telecast in adults 25-54 since August 2011’s “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” which drew a 1.7 rating.

Starting Tuesday, the Weinstein Co.-distributed movie was available on Netflix for U.S. subscribers. The film also will be replayed at 8 p.m. Friday on NatGeo.

The network’s decision to air the film, its first feature premiere, comes after the recently announced plans to premiere “Killing Lincoln.” The Scott Free production of Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination will arrive on the network in early 2013, with Tom Hanks on board as narrator and host of the scripted feature.

Bruno Mars ready to return as ‘Saturday Night Live’ host

Bruno Mars‘ recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live” was more like “Saturday Night Fever”: He said he had so much fun hosting the show, he’d be happy to do it again.

“Whatever ‘SNL’ wants from me, they can always call me,” the smiling 27-year-old said in an Associated Press interview. “I don’t know who told them I can act or anything ‘cause I can’t. I don’t know what they saw. [But] whatever they need from me, they can get.”

The singer-songwriter’s Oct. 20 appearance as host and musical guest gave the NBC variety show its second-best ratings this season behind last week’s episode, hosted by comedian Louis C.K.

Mr. Mars was praised for his hilarious and silly sketches, particularly one skit where he did impersonations of other musicians as a live fill-in at Pandora when the company’s computers crashed.

“It was kind of a way for me to face my fears and just let it all hang loose, literally,” he said, laughing. “People don’t understand that they’re changing things right before the show, so you can’t memorize lines because they’re going to change it. They cut sketches and it’s an amazing operation. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.”

The “SNL” success is giving Mr. Mars a boost as he readies the release of his sophomore album, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” out Dec. 11.

On “SNL,” he debuted a new song, “Young Girls,” and performed his current single, the upbeat “Locked Out of Heaven.”

CBS’ ‘Medium,’ ‘Numb3rs’ coming to Hulu Plus

Older CBS shows like “Medium” and “Numb3rs” are coming to the $8-per-month online video service Hulu Plus.

Monday’s deal falls short of what other broadcast networks provide, according to The Associated Press. ABC, NBC and Fox, whose parent companies own Hulu, offer recently aired episodes, such as free next-day access for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The CW, which is partly owned by CBS Corp., makes recent shows available for free on Hulu as well.

By contrast, the new CBS deal covers only shows that are no longer on the air. CBS offers free, next-day access to some of its current shows, including “The Amazing Race,” on CBS.com.

The addition of some 2,600 episodes of older CBS content starting in January bolsters the Hulu Plus offering, which has more than 2 million subscribers. Certain episodes will be offered for free to promote full-season access through the paid subscription plan.

CBS will earn unspecified licensing revenue from the multiyear agreement.

Celebrities turn out for Eddie Murphy tribute

However riotous the Eddie Murphy stories from Arsenio Hall, Tracy Morgan, Adam Sandler and Russell Brand, the highlight of Spike TV’s tribute to Mr. Murphy was the comedian’s duet with Stevie Wonder.

Mr. Murphy joined the subject of one of his classic impressions for a rousing rendition of Mr. Wonder’s 1973 hit “Higher Ground” during the taping of the Spike TV special “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only,” which is set to air Nov. 14, according to The Associated Press. The Roots served as the house band.

Jamie Foxx, Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock and Keenen Ivory Wayans also were among those paying tribute to Mr. Murphy Saturday at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles.

Accompanied by a pretty blonde, Mr. Murphy beamed throughout the two-hour program, saying he was touched by the tribute.

“I am a very, very bitter man,” he said with a beguiling smile. “I don’t get touched easily, and I am really touched.”

Mr. Morgan called Mr. Murphy “my comic hero” and came onstage wearing a replica of Mr. Murphy’s red leather suit from his stand-up show “Delirious.”

“He set the tone for the whole industry a long time ago,” Mr. Morgan said before taking the stage. “He inspired me in a fearless way.”

Mr. Sandler was still in high school when he first saw “Delirious,” which he described as “one of the most legendary stand-up specials of all time.”

“Everybody on the planet wanted to be Eddie,” he said. “He’s funnier than us. He’s cooler than any of us.”

The program featured clips of Mr. Murphy’s stand-up shows, his film work in “Shrek” and “Nutty Professor” and his work on “Saturday Night Live.”

Mr. Murphy, 51, insisted before the tribute that he is retired from performing.

“I’m just a retired old song and dance man,” he said, adding that he only makes rare appearances these days. “That’s what you do when you’re retired: You come out every now and then and talk about the old days.”

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