SINGER'S WRONG CHOICE OUSTS HIM FROM IDOL
With the singer who calls himself Chikezie being ousted from Fox American Idol Wednesday night -- amid criticism that he seriously miscalculated by selecting a ballad for his presentation after energetic turns earlier -- the show turned in another stellar ratings performance. Overnight ratings gave the show a 15.5 rating and a 24 share in the 9:00 p.m. hour. Earlier, at 8:00 p.m., Fox enjoyed another ratings win with its reality game show The Moment of Truth, which scored a 6.5/11. At 10:00 p.m., NBC took over the top spot with its old standby Law & Order, which recorded a 6.5/11.
AND THE WALLS TUMBLED DOWN
In the end, Jericho fans, who had successfully lobbied CBS to revive the series after it had been canceled, were unable to muster enough viewers to give even the series finale decent ratings. Tuesday night's show finished last in its time period with fewer than 6 million viewers. Nevertheless, the finale may not have been the Armageddon for Jerrico that it appeared to be. Carol Barbee, its executive producer, told the Sci-Fi Wire website that she foresees the possibility of a cable-network or web series, a graphic novel, or a movie in its future. "There are lots of things that I could easily see as a way to continue the story," she said.
CLAIM: OUTSIDE CHOREOGRAPHERS USED ON DANCING
The gossip website TMZ claimed Wednesday that most performances on Dancing With the Stars are not choreographed by the professional dancers who appear -- especially those of the "younger, less experienced" pros. The website cited "unimpeachable" sources as saying that many of the routines are actually arranged by outside choreographers. "The show makes it appear as if the professional partners create all the moves for the celeb contestants -- but that's just not the case. All that rehearsal video is a little deceptive," TMZ said. The website claimed that dancer Cheryl Burke's numbers are actually the creation of choreographer Wendy Johnson. A spokesperson for Burke, however, denied the claim. ABC said dancers on the show are not barred from seeking outside help.
WALLACE REPRIMANDED FOR REPRIMANDING COLLEAGUES
Chris Wallace has acknowledged that he was reprimanded -- gently -- by a Fox News executive (whom he did not name) after he accused Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson of "Obama bashing" and taking the Democratic presidential candidate's remarks out of context on a recent program. "Frankly, I think you're somewhat distorting what Obama had to say," he commented on the program. When he concluded by remarking, "I still love you," Doocy responded that he had "an odd way of showing it." Wallace later told the New York Observer that he received an email from one of his bosses scolding him. "It was in the sense that, isn't this the kind of thing we should be talking about off camera, not on camera? I emailed him back and said, 'I think you're generally right, and I'm not going to make a habit of it.' He wrote me right back and said, 'Fine, forget about it. Have a good Easter.'"
WERE CUTBACKS THE CAUSE OF NEWS FIASCO?
Raising new questions about the ramifications of recent editorial cutbacks at broadcast and print news organizations, the Los Angeles Times acknowledged Wednesday that a story it published linking Sean "Diddy" Combs to the murder of rap singer Tupac Shakur in 1994 was based on probably forged documents that were not subjected to the usual levels of review. In an article in which it admitted being the victim of a hoax and in which it apologized to Combs, the Times said, "Other investigative stories published by The Times in recent years have in some cases received the scrutiny of at least one more editor and often of the managing editor or editor of the newspaper." The documents used by the newspaper were exposed as forgeries by The Smoking Gun website, whose editor, Bill Bastone, was quoted by The Times as saying that he had warned writer Chuck Phillips after his report first appeared on the newspaper's website and before it appeared in print that it didn't "feel right."
OSCAR WINNING SCREENWRITER ABBY MANN DEAD AT 84
Screenwriter Abby Mann, whose work often carried controversial social messages, died Tuesday in Beverly Hills of heart failure at age 84. Many of his dramas were created during television's Golden Age in the 1950s. One of them, Judgment at Nuremberg, originally created for the anthology series Playhouse 90 and directed by George Roy Hillin 1959, was brought to the screen by director Stanley Kramer two years later and won Mann an Oscar. He is also credited with being the creator of the Kojak TV series, although he had no involvement in its production. In 1995 he and his wife Myra collaborated on Indictment: The McMartin Trial for HBO in which they argued that the charges of child abuse brought against the McMartin family had been manufactured by overzealous prosecutors and exploited by the news media. As production began their house was burned to the ground in a case of arson that was never solved. Recently he had been working with former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on a screenplay about Ryan's decision to halt executions in his state.