i>DANCING STEPS ON RIVALS' TOES
An episode of ABC's Dancing With the Stars lasting one hour and 45 minutes overwhelmed competition from the other networks Monday nights -- including programs that had managed to make the Nielsen top ten before the dancing competition reappeared. Dancing averaged a 13.2 rating and a 20 share. In the 8:00 p.m. hour it made NBC's Deal or No Deal seem like not an especially big deal. The game show drew a 7.7 rating an a 12 share. In the 9:00 hour,the usually unbeatable CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men drew an 8.5/12 against Dancing. NBC's Heroes was third with an 8.5/12. ABC scheduled The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman at 9:45 p.m., hoping that the audience for Dancing would stay tuned to the once-popular Bachelor series. That did not prove to be the case as the show averaged only a 6.2/10, only half of Dancing's numbers, over its one hour and 15 minutes. CBS won the 10:00 p.m. hour with CSI: Miami, which registered a 12.2/19. On NBC, the second week of The Real Wedding Crashers crashed to a 4.1/7.
FORMER IDOL CONTENDER LANDS ROLE ON SOAP
Constantine Maroulis has become the second American Idol finalist to land a role on a daytime soap opera. He is due to debut on CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful on May 15, playing a music producer. Maroulis finished sixth during the fourth season of Idol. Another Idol finalist, Matthew Metzger, who was a semi-finalist in the third season, landed a role on One Life to Live. TV soap operas have a long history of attempting to boost their ratings by hiring second-tier pop idols. Singer Rick Springfield spent three years on ABC's General Hospital in the early '80s, then returned again to reprise his role as Dr. Noah Drake in 2005.
IN COURT FILING, GOOGLE RESPONDS TO VIACOM'S $1-BILLION LAWSUIT
Google claimed Monday that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects it from the kind of lawsuit that Viacom has filed against it. In a court filing in New York, Google argued that its YouTube video site follows the letter of the 1998 law and said that the DMCA allows users of its website to post clips from television shows like Viacom's The Daily Show, which is carried by Comedy Central, and SpongeBob SquarePants, which is carried by Nickelodeon. Google attorney Mia Garlick said that YouTube provides copyright holders like Viacom with information about which clips of its video shows are posted by users of the site and a simple method for Viacom to request that unauthorized clips be removed. Viacom has sued Google and YouTube for $1 billion.
U.K. RIVALS TO PROVIDE ON-DEMAND VIEWING
The BBC plans to provide a range of its television shows online, allowing viewers to access them on demand via its iPlayer, developed by Microsoft. Reporting on the plans, the Dow Jones news service commented that the service "could radically change the way people watch television." Earlier this year, the BBC announced a deal with YouTube that allows some of its programs to be viewed on the video-sharing website. Meanwhile, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported today (Tuesday) that Britain's commercial network ITV plans to offer all of its channels online as well as a service to allow viewers to watch TV shows up to 30 days after they air.
REARDON NAMED AFTRA PRESIDENT
Roberta Reardon has been named the new national president of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA). Reardon, who has served as president of the New York local since 2006, replaces Bob Edwards, the former host of NPR's Morning Edition and currently the host of two radio shows that air on XM Satellite Radio. She has performed in hundreds of TV commercials. Edwards had agreed to serve as interim president of the union after John Connolly resigned in March to head Actors Equity, the stage-performers' union. However, he said last week that he was no longer able to carry on due to his commitments to his on-air work at XM Satellite.