WILL IDOL'S RATINGS RISE FOR FINALE?
American Idol's final performance show tonight (Tuesday) and results show on Wednesday are expected to draw the highest ratings for any regular programming this year. But both the Fox network, which carries the series, and advertisers will be keeping a close eye on the actual numbers. Idol's average ratings are down 7 percent from last season, and revenue is reportedly down $4.1 million, Reuters reported today. Last year's finale attracted 31.7 million viewers, up from 30.7 million in 2007. Tonight's penultimate episode pits Adam Lambert against Kris Allen, with Lambert heavily favored to win. Meanwhile, the Internet has been deluged with rumors that Michael Jackson will perform on Wednesday's telecast -- rumors that could boost the finale's ratings.
FAWCETT ASKED ABOUT RATINGS FOR SPECIAL, SAYS O'NEAL
Despite recent claims by producer Craig Nevius that the NBC documentary "Farrah's Story," which the network aired last Friday, was not the story that the actress, who reportedly is near death, had intended to tell, close friends of Farrah Fawcett said on NBC's Today show Monday that she became very emotional as she watched it. Ryan O'Neal, her longtime companion said that on Saturday he told her, "We did very well last night." O'Neal said that Fawcett replied, "What were the numbers." He added: "And it made me laugh that she would still have those terms in her head."
WOODY ALLEN WINS $5-MILLION SETTLEMENT
American Apparel has agreed to pay Woody Allen $5 million to settle his lawsuit against the company for using his image in advertisements without his consent. Appearing outside the courthouse where his $10-million suit was scheduled to begin on Monday, Allen remarked, "I am told the settlement of $5 million I am being paid is the largest amount ever paid under the New York right to privacy law." In a prepared statement distributed to reporters, Allen said, "American Apparel calculatingly took my name, my likeness, and image and used them publicly to promote their business." Referring to reports that the clothing company planned to call witnesses to testify about Allen's personal life in order to prove its claim that Allen's reputation could not be harmed by use of the photos," Allen said, "Threats and press leaks by American Apparel designed to smear me did not work and a scheme to call a long list of witnesses who had nothing to do with the case was disallowed by the court. I hope this very large settlement will discourage American Apparel and others from doing this type of thing to myself or others in the future."
FERRELL, O'BRIEN'S LAST GUEST, WILL BE HIS FIRST, TOO
Will Ferrell will be Conan O'Brien's first guest on the Tonight show when O'Brien takes over the late-night show from Jay Leno on June 1, NBC announced on Monday. "Ferrell, who helped usher O'Brien out of New York on the final Late Night with Conan O'Brien, will help welcome O'Brien to his new home in Los Angeles," the network said in a statement. "In addition, Pearl Jam will be the inaugural band."
WORLD SERIES GETS EARLY START TIME
Fox Television and Major League Baseball have agreed to air this year's World Series beginning at 7:57 p.m. Eastern Time, with the pregame show starting at 7:30 p.m. On the West Coast, the games would start at 4:57 p.m. and the pregame show at 4:30 p.m. An announcement said that Saturday and Sunday games could begin even earlier. "Prime time postseason games on Fox have always been scheduled for a window that maximizes the potential audience from coast to coast," said Fox Sports President Ed Goren. "The fact is that over the last few years, games have been ending a bit later than we'd like. This new schedule, made possible through the cooperation of our stations, affiliates and Major League Baseball, should help fans of all ages see weeknight games from start to finish." There was no word on whether the games would be streamed over the Internet.