VIEWERS SIGN FOX'S DANCE CARD

Fox's two-hour So You Think You Can Dance stomped all over its mostly rerun competition Wednesday night, averaging a 5.2 rating and a 9 share (8.38 million viewers), giving the network a win for the night. CBS, thanks to a solid 5.1/9 for its 10:00 p.m. CSI: NY, (Fox does not air programming past 10:00 p.m.) placed second with a 5.0/9 (7.44 million viewers). But the two other major networks finished out of the money. ABC drew a 3.4/6 (4.69 million viewers), while NBC placed fourth with a dismal 2.8/5 (4.15 million viewers).

HIP-HOP STAR NAS LEADS FOX PROTEST

A protest by about 50 persons including hip-hop star Nas brought the news media out in force outside the New York headquarters of News Corp Wednesday. Two groups, ColorofChange.org and MoveOn.org, brought hand-printed signs demanding that News Corp's Fox News network "stop its racist smears against the Obamas and other Black Americans." The groups carried boxes containing what they said were 620,000 signed petitions protesting against what they claimed was the channel's biased news coverage and remarks by its commentators. But News Corp employees refused to allow them to deliver the boxes. A Fox News spokesman later told the TVNewser website "Fox News believes in all protesters exercising their right to free speech, including Nas, who has an album to promote."

OBAMA CAMPAIGN TO SPEND $5 MILLION ON OLYMPICS

Among the races to be highlighted during NBC's Olympics coverage next month will be the U.S. presidential one. The Barack Obama campaign confirmed Wednesday that it had purchased a $5-million package of spots that will run on both the broadcast network and on its sibling cable channels. Advertising Age reported on its website today (Thursday) that it was not clear how many spots would run on NBC and how many would run on cable. Ordinarily presidential candidates purchase spots on local television stations, not on national TV.

FOX'S O'REILLY SAYS NBC OFFERED HIM "A TON OF MONEY"

NBC offered Bill O'Reilly "a ton of money" to bolt Fox News and join NBC News, O'Reilly said on his syndicated radio show Wednesday. According to a transcript of his remarks posted on the Johnny Dollar website, O'Reilly told his audience, "I wouldn't work for NBC News. ... They offered me a ton of money to go over there and I said no. They offered me more than I am making now at Fox, OK. And the reason I am saying this is because now NBC News attacks me everyday. And um, I said ... 'I think that I am better suited to Fox, more traditional and you dance with the one who brung you.' Not to say that I wouldn't go someplace else. That's possible, but it would have to be a Godfather offer."

NEW TECHNOLOGY WILL ELIMINATE CORDS FROM TV SETS

Big-screen monitors can now be mounted on the walls of homes, along with surround-sound speakers, but the result is often an unsightly jumble of wires leading to satellite receivers, amplifiers, DVD players and the like. On Wednesday, Sony and Samsung announced that they plan to address the issue by adopting as an industry standard a technology called Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), developed by Amimon Ltd. of Israel. The technology had already received a boost from Motorola, Sharp and Hitachi. High-definition television sets using the WHDI technology are likely to become available in 2009, costing about $100 more than comparable sets now on sale, although the price is expected to drop as the technology matures. However, unless they can be brought into the fold, Matsushita (Panasonic), LG, Toshiba, and NEC are planning to produce their own sets using a similar wireless system called SiBeam.

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.