GRAMMY RATINGS ARE MUSIC TO THE EYE
Sunday night's 46th Annual Grammy Awards telecast on CBS averaged a solid 17.6 rating and a 25 share from 8:00 to 11:30 p.m., up slightly from last year's 17.2/25, according to Nielsen overnights. Earlier in the evening, CBS also beat the competition, as 60 Minutes recorded a 10.2/16 in the 7:00 p.m. hour. With an average 16.0/23 for the evening, CBS's audience was more than twice the size of second place NBC's (7.9/11). ABC placed third for the night with the movie Pearl Harbor, which averaged a 6.8/10. Fox trailed with a 4.7/7.
TIMBERLAKE SINGS "I APOLOGIZE" -- JACKSON DOESN'T
Critics were generally praising the performances at the Grammy telecast, in particular the opening medley by Prince and Beyoncé that, in the words of the Boston Globe, "made them into a latter-day Fred and Ginger. CBS has confirmed that it demanded an apology from Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson as a condition of their participation in Sunday night's Grammy Awards. In a terse statement, the network said: "Ms. Jackson and Mr. Timberlake were invited to participate in the show as long as they agreed to apologize on the air for what happened during our network's broadcast of the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Ms. Jackson declined the invitation. Mr. Timberlake accepted." Timberlake, who was accompanied to the ceremonies by his mother, said: "What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys are offended." Hearing some hecklers in the crowd, he remarked "Don't, I've already had enough." Otherwise, the Super Bowl affair went virtually unmentioned. Nevertheless, in order to prevent any similar occurrence, CBS broadcast Sunday night's rites with a five-minute tape delay. (In its report about the show, the Associated Press commented that Jackson's "absence made her all the more noticeable.")
MTV YANKS 8 VIDEOS FROM DAYTIME PROGRAMMING
In yet another fallout from the Super Bowl halftime error, MTV has notified record companies that at least eight videos, including recent performances by Britney Spears, Maroon 5 and Blink 182, have been pulled from daytime airing to "overnight" programming because of sexual and political content. An MTV spokeswoman told today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times: "We support the creative community, but we have to take into account what's in the culture right now. ... It's part of our responsibility as broadcasters."
NO CAMERAS TO BE ALLOWED AT MICHAEL JACKSON'S HEARING
Santa Barbara Superior court Judge Rodney Melville, who is presiding over the Michael Jackson child molestation trial, has turned down a request by the news media to place cameras in court for a hearing scheduled for next Friday, Feb. 13. At the proceedings, regarded as routine, the judge is expected to set a date for a preliminary hearing. It was not clear whether Jackson will be required to attend.
BLUES FOR BLUE?
NYPD Blue, which returns to the ABC lineup tonight (Monday) following the end of the football season,may be forced to make drastic cutbacks as a condition for being renewed again next year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday. The newspaper said that ABC is likely to employ the same tactics that it used with The Practice, demanding cutbacks that were so extensive that producer David E. Kelley was forced to fire much of the cast in order to keep it on the air. Gordon Clapp, who won an Emmy for his performance as Detective Greg Medavoy on the show, told the Inquirer that "what happened with The Practice is making everyone a little apprehensive ... It's a pretty scary precedent."
OZZIE TO JOIN SHARON ON HER TALK SHOW
Ozzie Osbourne is expected to make an appearance on his wife Sharon's syndicated talk show on Wednesday to talk about his accident in an ATV on Dec. 8 that nearly took his life. He'll be accompanied by his bodyguard, Sam Ruston, whom he credits with taking emergency action -- including the kiss of life -- to restore his breathing. Ozzy and Sharon are also scheduled to be interviewed together by Diane Sawyer for the Feb. 19 edition of ABC's Primetime.
NEW BARBERSHOP'S BUSINESS IS UP
MGM's Barbershop 2: Back in Business got the biggest cut of the box-office over the weekend, taking in estimated $25.1 million, about what analysts had expected. The figure compared with $20.6 million for the original Barbershop's opening two years ago. Disney's Miracle, starring Kurt Russell as the coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, also performed well, pulling in about $19.4 million in second place. 20th Century Fox's Catch That Kid performed well below expectations opening in sixth place with just $6 million. Sony's You Got Served, which debuted in first place last weekend, dropped to third with an estimated $7.7 million, less than half what it took in at its opening. The top 12 films grossed $92.7 million, down 9 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago. In limited release, the opening of the NC-17-rated The Dreamers from Bernardo Bertolucci, earned an estimated $150,078 at five theaters in New York and Los Angeles -- or an average of $30,016 per theater, the best per-theater average of any film released so far this year. A spokesman for Fox Searchlight, which is distributing the film, said that the company had had no difficulty buying advertising to promote it, despite the policy of several newspapers to refuse ads for NC-17-rated movies. The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Barbershop 2: Back in Business, $25.1 million; 2. Miracle, $19.4 million; 3. You Got Served, $7.7 million; 4. Along Came Polly, $7 million; 5. The Butterfly Effect, $6.7 million; 6. Catch That Kid, $6 million; 7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, $4.4 million; 8. Monster, $3.51 million; 9. Mystic River, $3.5 million; 10. Cold Mountain, $3.2 million.
FRIEDKIN DRAWS NEW PARAMOUNT ASSIGNMENT; NEPOTISM CHARGED
The selection of William Friedkin to direct Paramount's upcoming The Man Who Kept Secrets has sparked renewed criticism that the 69-year-old Friedkin is being assigned plum projects because his wife, Sherry Lansing, is the studio's chairman, the New York Times reported today (Monday). The newspaper said that several top Hollywood figures, all of whom declined to be interviewed, criticized the choice of Friedkin, some noting that of the four films he had directed at Paramount since 1994, three have been flops; the other, a financial disappointment. The newspaper also publishes an excerpt from Joe Eszterhas's just-published Hollywood Animal in which the writer claims that Lansing asked him to publicly announce that it was his idea that Friedkin direct the 1994 movie Jade, which Eszterhas wrote, not hers. In the book, Eszterhas blames script changes by Friedkin for the film's failure.
DGA GIVES PETER JACKSON TOP AWARD
Increasing his odds for receiving the top director's Oscar this year, Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson received the Directors Guild of America's top award for outstanding directorial achievement in a feature film at Saturday night's DGA Awards. On only six occasions since 1949 the winner of the DGA award has not gone on to win to win the best director Oscar.
NEMO NAMED TOP ANIMATED FILM
Finding Nemo found nine awards Saturday at the International Animated Film Society's 31st annual Annie Awards. The Pixar film was honored as the best animated theatrical feature. Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich received best directing honors for it. And Ellen DeGeneres received the best voice acting award for her portrayal of an absent-minded fish in the movie.
RUNAWAY PRODUCTION IS EXPECTED TO SLOW
The weakening U.S. dollar is expected to brake runaway production over the next year, according to a forecast by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. The report, covering economic conditions in the industry, was generally sanguine but warned that doubts remained about whether contract negotiations can be concluded peacefully between the studios on the one hand and actors, writers and directors on the other. (On Sunday the two actors unions, SAG and AFTRA, and the studios said that they are considering extending their current contract for a year.)
DISNEY AND MICROSOFT IN NEW PACT
Disney and Microsoft are expected to announce a non-exclusive joint venture aimed at introducing Disney content on cell phones, PDAs, and especially portable video players. In an interview with the Associated Press, Peter Murphy, Disney's chief strategic officer, remarked that, like Apple's iPod, video players will change the way people record, store and play back movies and television programs. "We don't want to be behind the curve," he added.
MOSCOW MAYOR CRACKS DOWN HARD ON PIRATES
Thanks to efforts by the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, pirate DVDs and CDs are being swept off the streets of Moscow, according to a BBC report. BBC World Service business reporter Hugh Fraser reported from the Russian capital that while only a year ago, bootlegged product could be bought at almost every street corner, they are no longer being sold openly. Such is the case at the Gorbushka Market, which originated during the communist era when U.S. CDs were banned. While a year ago, the stalls were stacked with pirate DVDs and CDs, now they must be bought under the counter. The head of the company that owns the Gorbushka building told the BBC: "If you sell some infringement disks in this market, and if the police find you, you will never be allowed back. Your face will be banned forever."