SHORTER GAME SHORTENED RATINGS, SAYS FOX

Final ratings figures on Monday indicated that Sunday's Super Bowl game drew 4 million fewer fans than last year's. According to Nielsen Research, the game averaged a 41.1 rating and a 62 share. Last year's game averaged a 41.4/63. Reuters reported that the estimated average of 86.1 million represented a smaller average than seven of the past 10 Super Bowls. In an interview with USA Today, Fox Sports research chief Bill Wanger observed that last year's game was 25 minutes longer than this year's and thus "gave more people more opportunity to view the game." Nevertheless, Wanger pointed out, 133.7 million people tuned in to at least a portion of the telecast.

SUPER BOWL TELECAST STILL DRAWS PROTESTS

Despite complaints that Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show was bland and forgettable, the FCC received 33 complaints Monday from viewers who either objected to Paul McCarthy's rendition of "Get Back," which contains a reference to "California grass," or were upset by the content of some commercials. Those who complained about the ads deprecated one for GoDaddy.com, featuring a young woman who almost bares a breast; ads for erectile dysfunction medication; and a scene in a spot featuring one member of the Queer Eye crew ogling a man.

ABC TO CARRY OSCAR TELECAST AT LEAST UNTIL 2014

ABC has extended its contract with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to the year 2014. It had been scheduled to expire in 2008. "By the end of this new extension ABC will have carried 38 consecutive Oscar telecasts, and 56 of the 61 ceremonies ever televised. Oscar lives at ABC," academy President Frank Pierson said in a statement on Monday. ABC's corporate sibling, Buena Vista International, has overseas rights to the Oscar telecast. Meanwhile, the Oscar telecast's producer Gil Cates, said Monday that he will be departing from the traditional method of announcing winners, saying that in some instances, nominees will all be brought together on stage before a winner is announced, and that in other cases the presenter will go out into the audience and visit with each of the nominees briefly before announcing the winner.

HOUSEWIVES DVD WILL REVEAL ALL

Desperate Housewives

producer Marc Cherry plans to include scenes in the DVD version of the show that had to be cut out because they were deemed too racy for broadcast television, the New York Post reported today (Tuesday), citing an interview with Cherry that appeared on the entertainment industry website jackmyers.com. Cherry noted that scenes in the TV version that had to be blurred out will be shown in their original focus once the DVD is released. Among the sequences that will be restored on DVD will be one involving S&M featuring Sharon Lawrence and Steven Culp. Cherry said that it had to be cut because ABC's censors "went nuts." Cherry also indicated that scenes that were cut from the TV version, presumably to keep it from running over its one hour length, will return. He remarked, "We've got a couple of plots that are going to make much more sense once you see what we've cut out."

U.K.'S COMMERCIAL BROADCAST REGULATOR WANTS TO REGULATE BBC, TOO

OFCOM, Britain's official commercial-TV watchdog, appeared to be making a move to bring the BBC under its purview. Until now, the BBC's board of governors has been responsible for administering oversight of the nation's publicly supported television and radio company. However, in a statement issued today (Tuesday), OFCOM argued that the board of governors was not "sufficiently independent of the BBC's executives, thereby running the risk that both internal governance and effective oversight in the public interest are compromised."

IT'S "HORROR MOVIE SEASON"

Despite Super Bowl weekend, two films that debuted at the box office took in far more than anyone had expected. The fright flick Boogeyman was the No. 1 film with $19 million, while the chick flick The Wedding Date premiered in second place with $11.1 million (and also earned more per theater than any other movie). Horror films have dominated the box office for weeks now, leading Orlando Sentinel film critic Roger Moore to observe today (Monday): "When, exactly, did midwinter become horror-movie season? The pre-Oscars dumping ground of movies that weren't marketable enough for the holidays and not good enough for the spring is overrun with boogeymen this year."

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. The Boogeyman, Sony,$19,020,655, (New); 2. The Wedding Date, Universal,$11,129,580, (New); 3. Are We There Yet?, Sony,$10,614,455, 3 Wks. ($51,272,367); 4. Hide and Seek, 20th Century Fox,$8,906,932, 2 Wks. ($35,714,609); 5. Million Dollar Baby, Warner Bros.,$8,515,365, 8 Wks. ($34,436,002); 6. The Aviator, Miramax,$5,427,739, 8 Wks. ($75,895,720); 7. Meet The Fockers, Universal,$4,807,635, 7 Wks. ($265,163,545); 8. Sideways, Fox Searchlight,$4,657,390, 16 Wks. ($46,665,695); 9. Racing Stripes, Warner Bros.,$4,282,291, 4 Wks. ($40,370,403); 10. Coach Carter, Paramount,$4,233,812, 4 Wk3. $59,338,414.

ROY DISNEY APPLAUDS FILM MADE BY FIRED ANIMATORS

Roy Disney has given his blessing to the 40-minute documentary Dream On Silly Dreamer, which is due to be shown in Minneapolis on Thursday, a day before the city hosts Disney's annual shareholder's meeting. The film by veteran Disney animator Dan Lund discusses Disney's decision to shut down its hand-drawn animation department and move exclusively into computer-generated animation. Some veteran Disney animators are interviewed for the documentary, which is partially animated itself. Roy Disney, a nephew of Walt and the leader of a group of dissidents calling for an executive shake-up of the company, including the ouster of CEO Michael Eisner, said in a statement on Tuesday: ""I have to say how very human a face [the documentary] puts on an institutional tragedy ... the slow, cruel and insidious death of Disney animation over the past several years."

DEEP THROAT TO RETURN AFTER 33 YEARS

Deep Throat, regarded as the most successful porn film of all time (it cost $25,000 to make in 1972 and has earned more than $600 million) will be re-released later this month as both an NC-17 production and an R-rated censored edition, Daily Variety reported today (Tuesday). The release coincides with that of Inside Deep Throat, an NC-17 documentary produced by Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer, that discusses the trials and tribulations of those involved in producing the original movie.