NEW YORK TV STUDIOS FLOODED

Torrential rains in New York early today (Wednesday) disrupted operations of several TV outlets. The CBS stage used for The Early Show was flooded, forcing it to originate from a different studio several blocks away from the one located in the GM building. Co-anchor Hannah Storm told viewers that "there was water just pouring out of the ceiling onto people's desks." An emailer told the TVNewser website that Fox News Channel's newsroom had become "completely flooded," with workers having to hang a tarpaulin over the newsroom ceiling. Additionally, the networks had to contend with a crippled mass-transit system that prevented many network employees from getting to work. .

NBC SINGING PRAISE OF TALENT SHOWS

NBC continued to notch up the kind of ratings during the summer that it probably dreamed about getting during the regular season. Tuesday night's 90-minute performance episode of the network's America's Got Talent, combined with The Singing Bee on the same night proved to be a potent punch. Nevertheless, CBS remained the most-watched network during the week, even with a nearly full schedule of reruns. ABC, however, continued to struggle, with its nightly newscast turning out to be the highlight of its schedule. Indeed ABC World News With Charles Gibson produced higher ratings than any program on the network's primetime schedule. Overall, it was another week of dismal ratings, with CBS winning it with just a 4.4 rating and an 8 share. Fox placed second with a 3.5/7, edging out NBC's 3.5/6. ABC trailed with a 2.9/5. .The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. America's Got Talent, NBC, 6.7/12; 2. 60 Minutes, CBS, 6.1/12; 2. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 6.1/11; 2. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 6.1/10; 2. Without a Trace, CBS, 6.1/11; 6. CSI: Miami, CBS, 6/11; 7. Singing Bee, NBC, 5.9/10; 8. So You Think You Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 5.8/10; 9. CSI: NY, CBS, 5.6/9; 10. Hell's Kitchen, Fox, 5.4/9; 10. NCIS, CBS, 5.4/10. .

NBC PLANNING THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF OLYMPICS COVERAGE

If a viewer recorded all of NBC Universal's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and spent 10 hours a day watching it, it would take a year to view it all. Unveiling its coverage plans Tuesday, the company said that it plans to air more than 3,600 hours on NBC, USA Networks, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo and its various Internet sights, including NBCOlympics.com. In 2004, it offered 1,210 hours of coverage. (In 1996, before webcasting became commonplace, it carried 171 hours of programming.) .

U.S. PUBLIC SPENDING LESS TIME WITH MEDIA

For the first time in ten years, the American public reduced (by 0.5 percent) time spent watching broadcast television and cable TV, accessing the Internet, and reading newspapers, according to a report from Veronis Suhler Stevenson and reported today (Wednesday) on Broadcasting & Cable magazine's website. Instead, they turned to Internet sites like YouTube, where they watched for just a few minutes at a time, compared with television, where they typically watched for 30 minutes at a clip. The study also found that viewers spent 6.3 percent less time watching broadcast television than they did a year ago, turning instead to cable and video games. .

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED TV NEWS

CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld said Tuesday that he was "disgusted" with the round-the-clock live coverage by all three cable news networks of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. "That story ended early Thursday morning when the rescue teams went home and said that henceforth that their mission would be recovery rather than rescue. Everyone who could be saved was saved, all the rest were dead," Schonfeld wrote on his blog, meandted.com. Schonfeld also criticized the decision to send all of the broadcast network anchors to Minneapolis to cover the tragedy. "The broadcast nets sent Charles and Brian and Katie right to the scene so they could show the bridge behind them and have them doing slightly more intelligent interviews than local reporters might have done. Even a good anchor/reporter like CNN's John Roberts couldn't find anything original to say about the story. By the time the anchors got there, there was no news to report." .

LAWYER HALTS SALE OF ANNA NICOLE'S BREAST-IMPLANT OP

Although it may be hard to imagine a TV outfit actually airing it, a video showing Anna Nicole Smith's breast augmentation surgery in 1994 is being offered for sale by a memorabilia dealer who received it from the plastic surgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. Gerald Johnson. On Tuesday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the sale for the time being. The order had been sought by Smith's former attorney, Howard K. Stern. However, Johnson claims that he regularly records such surgeries with the consent of the patient and agrees to keep the tapes private "during the patient's lifetime" .

LEGENDARY L.A. TV ANCHOR FISHMAN DEAD AT 75

Los Angeles news anchor Hal Fishman, a local television presence for 47 years, died of cancer early Tuesday at age 75. He had anchored the 10:00 p.m. newscast on KTLA since 1975.

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Brian B.