ABC'S TWO-HOUR DANCING HAS LEGS
Struggling ABC, seemingly seeking to milk its highest-rated show, aired a two-hour edition of Dancing With the Stars Monday night. Although it indicated that it meant the first hour to serve as a wrap-up, it amounted to little more than a rerun of last week's performance show. Nevertheless, the hour attracted solid numbers, averaging 17.01 million viewers as it placed first in the hour among overall viewers and second among young adults. It was unbeatable in both categories in the second hour, however, as it averaged 19.62 million viewers.
LAKERS-ROCKETS GAME SETS RECORD
The Los Angeles Lakers' 108-94 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday was watched by 5,952,000 viewers on ESPN, making it the most-viewed NBC conference semifinal game ever on cable. The telecast was also ESPN's highest-rated program this year. While it averaged a 4.5 rating nationally, it pulled a 12.2 rating in Houston and an 11.9 rating in Los Angeles.
COWELL SAYS LAMBERT WILL WIN THIS YEAR'S IDOL CONTEST
One of the reasons for this season's falling ratings for American Idol may be the lack of suspense over which contestant will ultimately win. As this week's episode prepared to spotlight the final three, even producer-judge Simon Cowell was suggesting that there no longer was much of a contest. Appearing Monday on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Cowell predicted that Adam Lambert will win, because he is fearless, he's "got that 'it'" and "he's got swagger."
WHERE DID THE BITTORRENT HITS GO?
Recent episodes of Lost, Heroes and Prison Break that were once easily accessed via the Mininova BitTorrent index can no longer be found since Mininova, one of the largest BitTorrent indexers, agreed to test a copyright filter that enables copyright holders "to easily remove and ban torrents from the site," TorrentFreak.com reported Monday. The disappearance of the shows, some of the most popular on BitTorrent sites, coincides with Mininova's experimentation with a content removal tool that some analysts had predicted would not work. TorrentFreak said that now anyone trying to upload the shows -- and others -- receive a message reading, "Your torrent has been uploaded successfully. It will not appear immediately on the site, as the content will be downloaded first by a third party to check for infringing content. If the content is found to be non-infringing, the torrent will be posted on the site right away."
DISH LOSES SUBSCRIBERS, INCREASES PROFITS
Despite the continued erosion of its subscriber base, DISH network reported a 21-percent profit increase during the first quarter to $312.7 million, versus $258.6 million during the comparable period a year ago. The company reported that it lost 94,000 subscribers during the quarter, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline. "In recent years, Dish Network's position as the low cost provider in the pay-TV industry has been eroded by increasingly aggressive promotional pricing used by our competitors to attract new subscribers and similarly aggressive promotions and tactics used to retain existing subscribers," the company said in its filing. By contrast, rival DirecTV reported last week that it had added 460,000 new subscribers during the same quarter. There has been increasing speculation that AT&T will buy DirecTV.