THE AWARDS SHOW NO ONE WATCHES

Broadway's Tony Awards remained a flop on TV with CBS's telecast of the Broadway awards telecast averaging a 4.9 rating and an 8 share, not much better than the 4.5/7 in 2005, the lowest-rated Tonys in history. Sunday night's result was down a tad from the 5.0/8 of last year's show. (A revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific won seven awards, while the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County won five.) The top draw of the evening was NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open, which averaged an 11.4/22 between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., peaking in the final half hour with a 13.5/24.

WEBSITE BEATS NETWORKS TO REPORT RUSSERT'S DEATH

Hours before the death of veteran NBC newsman Tim Russert was announced by any broadcast or cable news network on Friday, word of his passing took the form of changes on Russert's Wikipedia listing, published reports observed today (Monday). The first official news came from Russert's employer, NBC, when Tom Brokaw broke into programming at 3:39 p.m. (NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is currently on assignment in Afghanistan.) However, the New York Times reported that the Wikipedia site edited Russert's listing with word that he had died and began modifying his entry more than a half hour earlier, at 3:01 p.m. The Times observed that the listing was updated by someone whose IP address belongs to Internet Broadcast Systems, the company that operates websites for NBC's owned-and-operated stations.

CBS WANTED TO REPLACE RATHER WITH OLBERMANN

Following their decision to oust Dan Rather as anchor of The CBS Evening News, CBS News executives, including then CBS President Les Moonves and CBS News President Andrew Heyward considered replacing him with Keith Olbermann, who currently hosts Countdown on MSNBC, according to an article that will appear in the next issue of The New Yorker. According to summaries of the article that were published Sunday, Heyward initially objected to Olbermann's approach, which included a closing three-minute commentary on the day's events. According to the New Yorker article by Peter J. Boyer, which cited no sources for the meeting, Olbermann later met with Heyward's successor, Sean McManus. No details about that meeting were included in the magazine article.

CUBAN TO PUT "SNEAK PREVIEWS" ON DISH

Magnolia Pictures, the indie film company owned by former Internet entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, plans to present a "sneak preview" of its forthcoming movie Finding Amanda on the DISH satellite network's DISH On-Demand between June 13 and 26. The film is scheduled to be released theatrically one later later, on June 27. It will cost subscribers $10.99 to see the movie in standard definition and $11.99 for high definition. In a statement, Andy Karofsky, vice president of programming for DISH, said that eventually, "our subscribers will see an even wider variety of programming options, including movies that are available on the same day as DVDs are released and others before they are released in theaters."

IS HEIGL JOCKEYING TO QUIT CONTRACT?

Producers and writers of Grey's Anatomy are angered by Katharine Heigl's recent announcement that she had decided to withdraw her name from Emmy competition because of the show's weak clips over the past season, the New York Times reported today (Monday). Today's New York Times reported that Heigl is looking for a way to pull out of her contract with the producers so that she can pursue further opportunities in Hollywood.

Brian B.