IDOL FANS UPSET OVER UPSET
In an upset so stunning that it sent bloggers to their keyboards complaining that the show must have been fixed, Kris Allen defeated Adam Lambert Wednesday to become the latest American Idol. Even Allen was shocked by the audience vote, saying, "Adam deserves this. I'm sorry, I don't even know what to feel right now. This is crazy." (Oddly, his fans voiced little jubilation over his victory on most of the entertainment blogs.) One hundred million votes were cast -- roughly four per viewer. In reporting the results, the Association Press commented, "Lambert's commanding vocal range and stage presence -- and the judges' lavish adoration -- at times turned Idol into The Adam Lambert Show, with the other contestants mere guests. But it turned out that Idol viewers could embrace a gifted performer like Lambert, one who sported black nail polish and bold self-assurance, only to a point." As for the Idolfinale itself, which was watched by 27.7 million viewers, Robert Bianco wrote in USA Today: "If you've ever wondered why a show that's a pop culture phenomenon has never managed to win the Emmy, perhaps it's because it routinely departs with a two-hour special that looks like it was modeled on The Simpsons Family Smile-Time Variety Hour."
CBS TO ADD FOUR SHOWS NEXT FALL
CBS has unveiled four new series that it plans to introduce this fall, the sitcom Accidentally on Purpose and dramas NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife and Three Rivers. with the changes impacting five nights of the week. The new Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) sitcom Accidentally on Purpose is slated to become part of the network's Monday-night comedy bloc. NCIS: Los Angeles is scheduled to be paired with the original NCIS on Tuesdays and will be followed by The Good Wifewith former E.R.star Julianna Margulies. The medical drama Three Rivers will air on Sundays.
ESPN SCORES RECORD RATINGS FOR NBA CONTEST
ESPN's coverage of Tuesday's Los Angeles Lakers-Denver Nuggets contest -- Game 1 of the Western Conference NBA Finals -- drew 8.1 million viewers, representing the biggest audience ever for an ESPN basketball telecast. It topped the previous record of 7.3 million viewers set only last week by the cable network's coverage of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals between Houston and L.A. In Los Angeles and Denver, the game also drew a larger audience than any program on either broadcast or cable TV with the exception of American Idol. The second game of the series is scheduled to air tonight (Thursday).
DAN RATHER'S CABLE NETWORK YANKED BY TIME WARNER
Dan Rather's audience -- a shadow of what it once was when he anchored the CBS Evening News-- is about to shrink even further. Rather, who has been given a free hand to produce documentaries for entrepreneur Mark Cuban's HDNet, learned Tuesday that Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable-TV provider (behind Comcast), is dumping HDNet beginning May 31. A spokesman for the cable provider told Multichannel News that it was dropping HDNet because "there's a limited appeal for the programming. In a world with more than 100 HD channels, being in HD is not enough." But Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told Multichannel News in an email. that there are "millions of viewers who enjoy our unique and exclusive programming. ... We are not a cookie-cutter network like those from the big media conglomerates."
VOICE OF MICKEY MOUSE DEAD AT 62
Wayne Allwine, a Disney sound-effects technician who became the falsetto voice of Mickey Mouse in 1977, died Monday in Los Angeles at age 62 from complications related to diabetes. In a statement, Disney CEO Robert Iger said, "Wayne dedicated his entire professional life to Disney, and over the last 32 years, gave so much joy, happiness and comfort to so many around the world by giving voice to our most beloved, iconic character, Mickey Mouse." Allwine was the third person to provide Mickey's voice in films and TV shows -- the first, being Walt Disney himself, who did so from 1928 to 1947, when Jimmy McDonald, another Disney "sound designer," took over.