24 ROARS BACK

The two hour TV movie 24: Redemption drew solid ratings Sunday night, auguring well for a return of the 24 series in January. The telecast averaged 12.04 million viewers. Combined with a half-hour football over-run earlier in the evening that drew 17.86 million viewers, Fox was able to post a rare win for a Sunday night. CBS, last week's Sunday-night winner, remained competitive as its 60 Minutes drew 14.53 million viewers. ABC also registered strongly with the 36th Annual American Music Awards, which captured 12.20 million viewers. NBC's Sunday Night Football, however, fell victim to the heavy competition, posting a below-average 12.29 million viewers and its pregame Football Night in America attracting only 6.71 million.

TV VIEWING STILL ON THE RISE

Despite competition from the Internet, videogames, and DVDs, more people are watching television than ever in history, according to a report by the Nielsen Company. During the third quarter of 2008, the report said, the average person in the U.S. watched about 142 hours of TV a month. The report, titled "A2/M2 Three Screen Report," found that viewing was up significantly on the other two "screens," PC and mobile devices, with people spending 27 hours a month on the Internet and people watching mobile video 3 hours a month. Nielsen Vice Chairman Susan Whiting said in a statement: "Americans keep finding more time to spend with the three screens. ... TV use is at an all-time high, yet people are also using the Internet more often." In fact, she indicated, 31 percent of those surveyed watch TV and use the Internet at the same time. The report found that people who "time shift" their TV viewing far prefer doing so by using their digital TV recorders rather than watching TV shows available online. The average viewer spent more than 6 hours a month watching TV via their DVRs, more than twice the time they watched video online. Mobile video was given a boost in the quarter from the Olympics, the political conventions and debates, post-season baseball, and the financial crisis.

NINE MEN IN BLACK ROBES MAY HEAR WARDROBE MALFUNCTION CASE

The nearly five-year-old Janet Jackson breast-baring incident at the 2004 Super Bowl may come before the U.S. Supreme Court if the high court assents to a request by the Federal Communications Commission to review a lower-court ruling overturning the agency's $550,000 fine against CBS for airing the incident. Earlier this month the justices heard arguments in a similar case involving Fox broadcasting in which the principal issue involved "fleeting expletives" that were uttered during a 2002 awards show by Cher and during a 2003 awards show by Nicole Richie. In petitioning the court on the Janet Jackson case, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Gregory G Garre, representing the FCC, proposed that it not decide whether to review the lower court ruling until after it reached a decision in the Fox case.

ONLINE VIEWERS PREFER TO GET ADS IN SINGLE DOSE

Although the Fox-NBC video website Hulu started out presenting four 30-second ads within each half-hour (actually 22 minutes) TV show, which could not be fast-forwarded by viewers, a recent experiment in which viewers are given the choice of viewing all four ads at the beginning of the show has proved far more popular. According to TelevisionWeek, 88 percent of Hulu viewers prefer the head-end load of ads.

JOB-HIRING SITES BUYING SUPER BOWL ADS

Two online job sites will battle it out during next year's Super Bowl telecast, as Monster.com returns to the playing field after being absent for four years, taking on CareerBuilder.com, which plans to air two ads, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Monday). Ted Gilvar, Monster's chief global marketing officer, told the Journal that Monster would be using its commercial time on the Bowl telecast to promote its redesigned website. In its report about the rivalry between the two job sites, the Journal observed: "The presence of both companies in the Super Bowl comes at a critical time in the online-recruiting business. The nation's unemployment rate continues to soar in the face of an accelerating economic downturn. The companies are now fighting over the dwindling pool of employers who are still in hiring mode -- the main source of their revenue."

SUSPENDED BBC HOST WILL NOT BE FIRED

The BBC's governing body said Friday that it's star night-time host Jonathan Ross will not be fired and that he will be able to return to the air after his 12-week suspension with no pay. Ross was suspended after he engaged in what was described as an obscene phone call to actor Andrew Sachs that was broadcast during comedian Russell Brand's BBC radio show. Brand subsequently quit. BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons said Friday that while Ross's comments during that show and ones that he made about actress Gwyneth Paltrow on his TV show were "grossly offensive," the editorial supervision by BBC management -- or lack of it -- was "shocking."