CITY SHUTS DOWN DR. PHIL'S HOUSE
Los Angeles authorities have forced Dr. Phil McGraw to shut down a kind of Big Brother house in the posh mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles that had been rigged with 45 cameras and a control room. According to TMZ.com, neighbors had complained of loud arguing coming "addicts, racists, misfits and others who populated the house." Tom Griep, who lives next door, told TMZ that the producers often taped past midnight and started again before 7:00 a.m., that they violated parking restrictions, and that the cables and eqipment on the outside of the house created an eyesore. An official for FilmL.A., which issues permits for film and TV productions in Los Angeles, told TMZ that Dr. Phil had effectively turned the house into a studio, thereby violating local zoning laws.
LIGHTS OUT FOR LIGHTS?
The lights continued to remain dim for NBC's Friday Night Lights as the football drama posted a fourth-place 4.1 rating and a 6 share Tuesday night. It was a rare case of baseball beating football -- kind of -- as Fox's playoffs telecast (Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A's) scored a 6.0/9. Both the football drama and the baseball game were beaten handily by ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which delivered a 12.6/20 at 8:00 p.m., rising to a 14.3/21 at 9:00 p.m.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. Grey's Anatomy (Thursday), ABC, 14.9/22; 2. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 13.5/20; 3. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 13.0/19; 4. Dancing With the Stars, ABC, 12.0/19; 5. Dancing With the Stars Results, ABC, 11.6/18; 6. CSI: Miami, CBS, 11.4/18; 7. Lost, ABC, 11.1/17; 8. CSI: NY, CBS, 10.3/17; 9. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 10.2/15; 10. Criminal Minds, CBS, 10.0/15.
NFL FOOTBALL PLAY ONE FOR THE (RATINGS) BOOKS
The decision to move the NFL's NBC telecasts to Sunday night and its ESPN telecasts to Monday night has resulted in improved ratings all around. Even though the Sunday telecasts are being beaten by some of the competition -- something that rarely occurred in the case of ABC's Monday Night Football -- NBC is drawing significantly larger audiences than MNF did a year ago. Meanwhile, ESPN is often beating the broadcast networks on Monday nights, even though nearly 20 percent of the country is still not hooked up to cable TV. It is currently averaging 12.9 million viewers each week, 36 percent more than the average for its Sunday-night telecasts during the first five weeks of the season last year.
NORVILLE SAYS SHE WON'T JOIN THE DANCE
Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville says that she has twice turned down the producers of Dancing with the Stars, who have invited her to become a celebrity contestant. (MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson accepted an invitation and was the first celebrity dancer to be kicked off the show this season.) Norville told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I don't think it's something that someone who works in what's supposed to be the credibility business ought to be doing. And I'm a damn good dancer." She says she still is regarded by some viewers as "the other woman" who replaced Jane Pauley on the Today show in January 1990 (by contrast, she said, NBC handled the Couric-to-Vieira transition "masterfully," she said) and works hard to protect her image. "I've turned down infomercials, weird TV-hosting opportunities, putting my name on something produced or written by someone else," she told the Inquirer.
CNN RAISING DOBBS'S PROFILE
CNN, which appeared to be disregarding its opinionated star Lou Dobbs while it focused on Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Paula Zahn, has added weekend editions of Lou Dobbs Tonight to its schedule and announced that he will co-anchor election-night coverage next month. Tom Rosenstiel, director of Project for Excellence in Journalism, took a dim view of CNN's decision to elevate Dobbs's profile, telling the Associated Press that Dobbs is "creating a brand for himself and the question is, is that the kind of brand you have anchor on election night? ... Would you have Bill O'Reilly anchor on Fox?
LEGENDARY ANIMATOR ED BENEDICT DEAD AT 94
Ed Benedict, who designed such Hanna-Brbera characters as Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Quick Draw McGraw died last August 28 in Auburn, CA at age 94, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing Benedict's longtime friend and fellow animator David K. Sheldon.