TEEN MUSICAL DOMINATES RATINGS
In a word, Disney Channel's TV movie Camp Rock Friday night rocked. With 8.9 million viewers counted by Nielsen, not only did it beat everything on the broadcast networks but it drew the biggest audience on cable for an entertainment telecast since last year's High School Musical 2 -- which attracted an astonishing 17.2 million viewers and also was carried by the Disney Channel. The following night, Saturday, Camp Rock drew 3.6 million viewers when it aired on ABC. It also aired Sunday on the ABC Family channel (ratings are not yet available) and will debut today (Monday) on Disney.com.
GENERAL HOSPITAL, STILL HEALTHY, CLAIMS 10TH EMMY
General Hospital, which debuted in April 1963 and dominated daytime drama in the '80s, may have fallen in the ratings in recent years, but it received the Emmy for top daytime drama Friday night at the 35th annual Daytime Emmy ceremony in Hollywood. It was the 10th such award the show has received -- beating its own record of nine. Ellen DeGeneres was voted best daytime host, while Rachael Ray won for best entertainment talk-show. The Tyra Banks Show was named best informative talk show. Among other winners, Jeanne Cooper won the award for best lead actress on The Young and the Restless. She has been with the show since 1973 and had previously been nominated seven times. She is 79. The ABC telecast's ratings slid as it attracted an average of just 5.4 million viewers, 3 million fewer than last year's show.
NBC LAMBASTED FOR HANDLING OF RUSSERT DEATH REPORT
St Paul, MN-based Internet Broadcasting Services, which operates the websites of several NBC affiliates, has fired the employee who posted news of the death of Tim Russert on the Wikipedia website before it was officially announced, the New York Times reported today (Monday). The newspaper quoted a spokeswoman for IBS as saying that the employee had thought that the death was already a matter of public record. The Times further reported that 11 minutes after the Wikipedia website reported Russert's death, another IBS employee updated the site again to make it appear that Russert was still alive. The report touched off angry condemnation by several online news sites. Henry Blodget, publisher of Silicon Valley Insider, wrote: "It's one thing for a news organization to decide to delay reporting news of a staffer's death out of deference to his or her family (this makes sense). It's another for the organization to expect other organizations to follow the same policy. And it is yet another thing for someone to deliberately strike accurate facts from a collective record to appease an upset client, which is what someone at IBS apparently did." John Biggs, editor of the tech site Crunch Gear, wrote: "NBC, of all organizations, should know what to do with news. They have been a trusted source for decades. For them to fumble in this way ... is an egregious chain of failure that led to what can only be described as a debacle. Fine, can the kid because he updated Wikipedia on the job. That's fair. But don't try to cover your tracks ham-handedly."
BROKAW TENTATIVELY REPLACING RUSSERT ON MEET THE PRESS
Tom Brokaw has told the New York Times that he "volunteered" to step in as a temporary replacement for the late Tim Russert as moderator of Meet the Press. "I looked at my calendar and manipulated a couple of personal things, and I told [NBC News President Steve Capus] I can get us through the election," Brokaw said. "A lot has been said in recent days about what Meet the Press means to NBC News and to the nation," Capus said in a statement. "To have someone of Tom's stature step up and dedicate himself to ensuring its ongoing success is not only a testament to his loyalty to Tim, but his enduring commitment to NBC News and our viewers."
CARLIN, "FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY," DEAD AT 71
Comedian George Carlin, whose "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV" routine lifted him to what he himself described as "a footnote in American legal history" that he was "perversely kind of proud of," died Sunday of heart failure at age 71. Jack Burns, who teamed with Carlin as a disc-jockey duo and later as a nightclub act in the early '60s, told the Associated Press, "He was a genius and I will miss him dearly." Only last week, it was announced that Carlin had been awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which was to have been presented to him in Washington on Nov. 10.