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zaterdag 2 juni 2012

Will The Success Of ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Spur A Wave Of Western-Themed Series?

Just two weeks ago, TV networks’ infatuation with period Westerns seemed to have waned. Of the slew of such projects put in development by the broadcast networks last season, only one, NBC’s The Frontier, had been picked up to pilot, and it didn’t make the cut to series. At the same time, TNT passed on its own period Western pilot, Tin Star. Two weeks later, History’s Hatfields & McCoys burst into the scene, drawing huge crowds. Yes, its viewership skewed older, which is understandable given the historic subject matter, but there were plenty of 18-49-year-olds among the 13-14 million who tuned in for each episode to get the broadcast networks’ attention. And the timing is perfect as pitch season is just around the corner.

NBC may be the first to jump in with the Kerry Ehrin Western originally developed this past season. The network has been the most aggressive among the broadcast networks in the arena, ordering period Western drama pilots for two consecutive years: The Crossing in 2011 and The Frontier this year. The network developed a total of three Western scripts and its executives were happy with all of them, eventually narrowing the field to The Frontier and the Kerry Ehrin project and ultimately going with The Frontier. I hear NBC is now revisiting the Kerry Ehrin drama, produced by Universal TV and Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills. Coincidentally, the project’s producers and NBC brass met on Tuesday morning, when the big ratings for the first night of Hatfields & McCoys came out. Set in the 1880s, the Kerry Ehrin project centers on Jacob Morris, a young, eccentric East Coast doctor of mental disorders who moves to a primitive Western town at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. I hear NBC executives are open to ordering the script to pilot if a name actor and/or director are attached. Other high-profile Westerns that were developed at the broadcast networks last season included The Rifleman reboot at CBS with Laeta Kalogridis, Chris Columbus and Carol Mendelsohn; a Wyatt Earp Western at Fox penned by John Hlavin; and Ron Moore’s Hangtown, set in the early 1900s, and David Zabel’s Gunslinger, both at ABC. With TV business being notoriously reactive, look for some of those to be revisited too and new Western concepts to start coming fast and furious once the floodgates at the broadcast networks open.

The only true Western series on the air right now is AMC’s Hell On Wheels on Sunday. CBS has period drama Vegas coming out in the fall but despite its protagonist, played by Dennis Quaid, being a cowboy-type sheriff, the drama deals with the mob’s 1960s takeover of Las Vegas. Ditto for FX’s Justified, despite the lead’s penchant for wearing cowboy hats. Another highly-rated Western miniseries, AMC’s Broken Trail, didn’t have a major impact on series development. But the success of Hatfields & McCoys comes as the Western genre has already built a strong momentum, making a new period Western series order within the next year a strong possibility.




Broadcast Upfront Sales In Full Swing

Broadcast ad sales executives hopefully got some rest during the Memorial Day holiday weekend because this coming weekend is expected to be a busy one for them. I hear that the upfront marketplace is now officially in session, with all five English-language broadcast networks making deals for a large portion of their ad time for next season.

Expectations are that by Monday the first networks will be done selling out its upfront ad inventory, with adults 18-49 leader Fox, which once again kicked off the proceedings, likely to finish first. Analysts have predicted low- to mid-single-digit increases in ad pricing this year.



Barlow has seen 'three potential winners' in London

Gary Barlow has said he’s already seen three potential winners of The X Factor 2012 at this week’s auditions in London.

Try outs were held at the city’s O2 Arena on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a range of guest judges joining the panel.

Former X Factor champ Leona Lewis, up and coming star Rita Ora and axed US X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger all joined Gary, Louis Walsh and Tulisa on the show over the week.

Speaking about the first few try outs of the new series, Gary said: “I reckon I’ve seen three potential winners in the last two days.

“We’ve had a good few days in London actually and we’re feeling really positive about the whole thing.”

The X Factor 2012 auditions continue in Manchester next week, where former Spice Girl Mel B is expected to guest judge.


Big Brother 2012 spoilers: Wild card housemates revealed?

The three potential Big Brother 2012 wild cards have seemingly been leaked, on a new voting website run by Channel 5.

The trio of wannabe housemates – Anthony, Bhavesh and Rebecca – will face a public vote after Tuesday’s live launch show.

One of them will be voted into the house on Friday, three days after sixteen fresh new faces enter during the opening night.

The trio include Doctor who fan Anthony, a disorganised goth who models, writes fantasy novels and plays the flute.

Then there’s Bhavesh, an openly gay high maintenance vegetarian receptionist who loves the limelight.

Completing the line up is glam Rebecca, an outrageous food loving drama student who’s always happy and cannot shut up.

The trio will be showcased in a special show hosted by Jamie East on Tuesday night before the live show.

The Big Brother launch night starts from 8PM on Channel 5 on June 5.


Rhod Gilbert interview: stand-up, teaching and work experience

Rhod Gilbert doesn't like dressing as a woman, but he's fallen in love with teaching. We talk to him about his new tour, and his Work Experience show...

Currently, the ever-busy Rhod Gilbert is touring the country with his The Girl With The Battenberg Tattoo live stand-up tour, and also putting the finishing touches to Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience series 3. As series one and two arrive on DVD, he squeezed in some time for a chat...

I caught your tour the other week. You seem to still get a really big kick out of a live audience, and this time, you're meeting people afterwards, too. Can you try and capture just how important that audience has been for you, as it's really grown these past few years.

A few years ago I found it was the same people coming year on year, and maybe bringing one other with them. Now I guess inevitably with TV exposure and stuff, there's an awful lot of new people. As a bit of a gauge when I go out there, I mention my previous shows, and people do this weird thing where they cheer them. So when I say the Mince Pie show, and the Nicholas Lyndhurst thing, on the last tour when I said my last tour was called the Mince Pie, it got a really big cheer. It was mainly fans. Now, it gets a ripple of noise, but from about 2% it feels like.

I think that TV is bringing a lot of new people.

So when you're talking about your shows at the start, you're getting a little audit as to your audience, and who's in?

That's not why I do it. I do it really because I say that this show sort of follows on in context. But I find it useful and interesting, and it does give me a gauge.

I'm just looking through your current tour schedule here, and it looks like 90% of it has been meticulously planned, and the other 10% has been done with a dart.

Well, I tell you what it is. We booked this tour a bit late for one thing. We ummed and ahhhed about it, because we were trying to decide if you book a tour late, you're in a much less strong position to go yeah, we'll do three nights in Manchester there, then three in Liverpool, and then three in Salford. And you have to get what you can get. So you go we can't get three in Manchester, we can get one, and the only one we can get the next night is Aberdeen, so we've got to go there. That's the problem with booking it late.

The reason we booked it late was for six months, we ummmed and ahhed about whether to do an arena tour. And because obviously an arena tour is far more lucrative than doing 115 dates around the country. I think my tour finished on November 28th, which is seven and a half months of touring. If I'd done an arena tour, I'd be finishing next Thursday! It would have been about 15 nights in just over two weeks. Then, obviously, in those seven months that I wasn't touring I could write another show, and then go out again. So this is an enormous workload, and I'm taking time out to tour. But we made the decision, purely 100% based on satisfaction for everyone, the audience and me. Ultimately, it came down to what is important really is the experience. And we took the decision that it's more satisfying in theatres, for punters and for me. I'm not complaining!

How hard is it for you in month five, when you're faced with a crowd of people who, for them it's the first night of the show, but for you, there must come a point where you feel you can't add much more to it?

Well, I guess once you've written the show and worked it in, then it's almost the case the very first tour show. When you get to Edinburgh, you've done the show, you've previewed it, you've worked the material. When you go out on that first night, you've done it to death. It's a combination then of acting, to make it feel fresh for that audience, and I want the gig to go well, so I will sell that material to make it work as well as possible. I'll do that with every gig. Also, you're waiting for the little sparks in the audience, that make things go differently. They don't always happen, but sometimes they do. Loads of memorable fun things come out.

You're without a support act on your current tour. You talk about the seven and a half months of work, and it's entirely on your shoulders this time. How are you finding that?

It was a decision based on... a few years ago, when I used to go on tour, I used to have a support act. And I used to feel that people didn't really know that much about me, they were just coming to see what they thought would be a good comedy night. Like going to a comedy club. So they were happy to see a support act. What I found was, the higher profile you get, the more people are just coming to see you. On the last tour, I found that the support act didn't quite get the sort of reaction you'd hope they get. People wander in and out, standing in the bar... not really being that interested. I didn't like that happening. And secondly, I'm doing two and a quarter hours, with an interval on top. Add a support act, and perhaps another interval, and you're looking at a very late evening for people.

When I saw your Nicholas Lyndhurst gig, what was interesting was you do a half hour, 40 minutes encore that night, and you kept joking that if I don't get off the stage by half ten - it was a Sunday night - they'll hit me with a hefty fine. Is that true?

Yes! The theatre fines you all the costs they incur - the staff, percentage of things. That has happened to me tons of times! I think you're better off giving people a really solid two hours and an interval than stretching it out. I used to stretch it out endlessly, thinking more is more, I used to do three or four hour shows.

By the time you're 80, you should be Ken Dodd.

Yeah, exactly! It was looking that way! It's unsustainable for me really, and I don't necessarily think it's what people want.

You said that you named your Nicholas Lyndhurst show after the man who follows you around and gives you gifts related to the title of your shows. You new show is The Man With The Flaming Battenberg Tattoo. Is that partly to catch him out?

No, nothing to do with it. I haven't heard from Alex on this one! I'm sure I will, but I haven't heard a peep out of him yet. This title has nothing to do with it, although I wouldn't be that surprised if he turned up with a tattoo!

Going onto your Work Experience show, when I first saw that, it was BBC Wales only. That seems to have escalated in the same way as your shows have, that it's worked its way up by merit?

Yeah, well I think BBC Two just went we'll have a bit of that. They showed the first series, then the second, and hopefully they'll do the third. It seems to have caught on, that show. It's only a small show, done largely by three of us. There's the camera guy, the sound guy, and me. We go out and do it all, then edit it, and then I write it all. It's very small. I think that's part of its charm, perhaps.

You don't stretch it, either. You keep it to four at a time.

Yeah. I think the next four coming out I think they're going to be good. I'm editing to day, and have been the last month. I think it's going to be a successful series. I hope so!

Are you the kind of person who can fall asleep straight after a gig, then, or are you editing and writing into the night?

You could not be more wrong! My God! I am not. Absolutely no I am not. It takes me hours to come down.

Is that when you write and edit, or is your head in a different place?

I try not to work after gigs. To be honest, I hoped to film in January, and then edit and write in February and March, So before I went on tour. But things got knocked back and delayed, so we're still working on it. It's not ideal, really. I should now be in an edit suite, in the Welsh valleys, working all day. What's actually happened is they've e-mailed me a file, I'll watch it this afternoon, and e-mail my thoughts back. After then we'll do a Skype thing. Circumstances left us there.

This time I've done a policeman, a drag artist, a schoolteacher...

Which was the toughest?

I hated drag artist mate, I hated it. I felt so out of my comfort zone. Just awful. The whole thing. You'd think on paper it'd be quite close to what I do, but it's a million miles away. And I loved teaching to the point where I may well retrain.

Really?

Yeah. And be a teacher.

Do the comedy for a few more years, then go off and have a third career?

Another change, yeah.

Do you see your comedy has a lifespan to it, then, for how long you want to do it? Or you've just fallen in love with something else?

I think I may just have fallen in love with something else. My last job was in qualitative research, and I loved it. But I did it for eight years and then got up and left, and did this. So maybe I'll go and do this.

So you've done 12 episodes of Work Experience, to find your next career!

Quite possibly, as it works out! I've done alright out of that show. It's given me a live stand-up tour show, and possibly a new career!

The only thing that stops me doing the teaching is that there's so much stress involved. And there shouldn't be. It's the most wonderful, inspirational job on the planet from what I saw. I loved it. Teachers, we should be molly-coddling them. Looking after them. Nurturing them. It's such an important, immeasurable role.

Teachers are downtrodden, pissed upon, stressed, measured in league tables within an inch of their bloody lives. It's so what teaching shouldn't be about. We should have a boxing coach massaging their shoulders on their way to school. Feet rubs between every lesson. Doing everything we can to make sure they're as motivated, fresh and enthusiastic. In three days, I had an impact on kids' lives, I'm convinced of that. You're shaping the future, and we just shit all over teachers.

What were you teaching?

Primary, four to eleven year olds. One day observing, one day on a school trip, and one day in a classroom. Even then, I thought my God, this is a job and a half. At one point, they were singing the school song, and I was very cynical and grumpy when I arrived. But by the end I was belting it out, punching the air!

If you were in full-on rant mode, of course, you'd walk a job as a PE teacher...

[Laughs] My on-stage thing is only a mild comic exaggeration of what I am!

Rhod Gilbert, thank you very much!

The first two series of Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience are on DVD now.


Charlize Theron shopping updated 'Hatfields & McCoys' TV series

Charlize Theron is shopping a modern-day take on the Hatfields & McCoys TV series.

The History Channel recently set a record with its three-part series on two feuding families in the 19th century.

Today (June 1), it was reported that Theron's Denver and Delilah Productions is selling an updated take on the true story.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Theron and her fellow producers Dawn Olmstead and Beau Flynn have a meeting with ABC next week.

John Glenn is writing the project. For the moment, Theron is solely attached as a producer.

The Prometheus actress recently expressed interest in appearing on Game of Thrones, a series she has said she is "obsessed" with.




Big Brother 2012 twist: Wild card housemate to enter on Friday!

A wildcard housemate will join Big brother 2012 next Friday night, it has been confirmed.

BB hosts Brian Dowling and Emma Willis revealed how the first twist of the series would work.

Speaking on Loose Women today, Emma revealed: “There is a pre-show before Brian’s show, which is an auditions show, which we haven’t done for a very very long time.

“Then there are three housemates and the audience get to vote for one of them to go in to the house, so from Tuesday they’ll be voting a new housemate to go in on Friday.”

Brian added: “The public choose, so when they meet the original 16, they can decide what the house is missing.”

Big Brother will launch on June 5 on Channel 5.


'Long Lost Family' sees off 'Crimewatch' to win 9pm slot for ITV

Long Lost Family's second series ended with 4.5m viewers last night (June 1), the latest overnight data has shown.

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell's reunion show grabbed 4.22m (19.7%) in the 9pm hour, adding 229k on ITV1 +1.

With Crimewatch only able to muster 3.41m (15.9%) for BBC One, Long Lost Family has now won its slot on all seven Thursdays it aired, never once dipping below 4m.

Meanwhile, new Griff Rhys Jones factual vehicle Britain's Lost Routes drew 2.74m (12.6%) for BBC One in the 8pm hour, predictably losing out to ITV's soap zone.

Springwatch interested 2.04m (9.3%) on BBC Two at 8pm, then 1.45m (6.8%) stayed around for Springwatch Unsprung, and The Meat Market: Inside Smithfield had 1.43m (7.1%) from 9.30pm.

Married to the Moonies made its Channel 4 debut with 1.3m (6.1%) at 9pm (+1: 288k), prior to which Phil Spencer: Secret Agent logged 1.18m (5.4%) at 8pm (+1: 152k), and 24 Hours in A&E managed 1.06m (6.2%) at 10pm (+1: 252k).

World's Scariest Animal Attacks (780k/3.6%) and Cowboy Builders (719k/3.4%) were screened on Channel 5 to fairly modest audiences.

Overall, ITV1 led primetime with 21.9% (+1: 0.8%), beating BBC One's 18.4%. BBC Two claimed third place with 7.1%, ahead of Channel 4's 5.3% (+1: 1%), and Channel 5's 3.5% (+1: 0.3%).

The Big Bang Theory continued to dominate the multichannels with 1.02m (4.9%) at 8pm and 383k (1.8%) on E4 +1, while Russell Howard's Good News entertained 793k (3.7%) at 9pm, and was the most-watched programme on TV at 1am with 415k (13.1%) for a repeat of the clip show.


Brian Dowling: 'I still get super nervous on Big Brother'

Brian Dowling has revealed that he still gets "super nervous" hosting Big Brother, joking that he feels like he is in a dream when working on the Channel 5 reality show.

Former Big Brother winner Dowling took over from Davina McCall as the host of the series last year when the show moved from Channel 4 to Channel 5, but the Irishman said that he still does not feel entirely comfortable in the role.

"I still get super nervous. I bless myself and I never expected any of this to happen," said Dowling.

"I never expected this 11 years ago. If they said I'd host the show I'd be like, 'Please, hell?'"

He continued: "It's almost like, 'Is this a joke? A dream?'

"I always have this dream that I'll wake up in the house back in Big Brother 2? I'll wake up in bed in Bow with my yellow duvet cover."

Speaking about his struggle with nerves, he said: "I always get very nervous on live television. I love live television, but I do get nervy.

"Last year, when I first started, the nerves would cripple me to the point where I'd physically be sick and I couldn't eat for the whole day because I'd be so nervous."

Dowling also revealed that he has been given endorsements by former host Davina McCall and Britain's Got Talent duo Ant & Dec.

"When we started Davina contacted me and when Celebrity Big Brother was on, she said that it was still the exact great show that she worked on," he said.

"She doesn't have to say that. She's not at Channel 5, she's not involved with Big Brother, so for me that's quite cool.

"And even Ant & Dec. I was on Britain's Got More Talent and Ant & Dec said, 'Hey, good work on the show'. I was like, 'Yay! Thanks, thanks Ant, thanks Dec, see you later bye!' And for them to say that - television royalty - is amazing... Even if they were lying."


'American Idol' could last for six more seasons

A NewsCorp executive has said that American Idol could last for up to 17 seasons.

The show has had a significant decline in popularity over recent years, with the ratings for this season's finale down 32% on last year.

Despite this, president of the Fox Networks Group David Haslingden claimed at a recent media summit he is optimistic the show can "continue on for 15, 16, 17 seasons".

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Haslingden also said the network is "absolutely committed" to American Idol, and would "throw all resources" at making it a ratings champion once again.

Season 11 of American Idol has just concluded, averaging 19 million viewers across its 40 episodes.

Haslingden is the second Fox executive to comment on the future of the show in recent weeks: Kevin Reilly claimed that the series may have to undergo some "creative tweaking" to arrest its ratings decline, much to the dismay of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.


TV Tonight 2nd of June 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    24/7 S17E02: "Pacquiao/Bradley (2)"
    America's Test Kitchen S12E22: "Time to Grill"
    Area no Kishi S01E22: "Episode 22"
    Beyblade: Metal Fusion S02E43: "Last Battle of the Spirit"
    Bleach (US) S13E27
    Casualty S26E37: "All In A Day’s Nightmare - Part 1"
    Conspiracy 365 S01E06: "June"
    Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team S07E00: "Brides"
    Dan vs. S02E15: "Dan Vs. Parents"
    Dog the Bounty Hunter S08E25: "Luck Be a Lady, Part 2"
    Dog the Bounty Hunter S08E24: "Luck Be a Lady, Part 1"
    Fairy Tail S03E38: "Traveling Companions"
    Fate/Zero S02E09: "All Evil in This World"
    Flipped Off S01E05: "Nightmare on Deal Street"
    How To Be a Gentleman S01E06: "How to Dip Your Pen in the Company Ink"
    Iron Chef America S09E37: "Military Grill Battle"
    Jongens tegen de Meisjes, De S02E07: "Season 2, Episode 7"
    Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters S01E01: "The Natural - Part 1"
    Kuroko no Basuke S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Pointless Celebrities S02E07: "Series 2, Episode 7"
    Pok√©mon S15E16: "Explorers of the Hero's Ruin!"
    Saint Seiya Omega S01E10: "Suicidal rescue! The other Gold Saint!"
    Saturday Kitchen S10E49: "June 2, 2012"
    Southern Nights S01E08: "A Tattoo On The Town"
    Tanked S02E07: "Most Challenging Tanks"
    Texas Women S02E08: "Sin City Sweethearts"
    The Apprentice (UK) S08E13: "Why I Fired Them"
    The Aquabats Super Show S01E12: "Cobraman!"
    The Cube S05E06: "Series 5, Episode 6"
    The Culture Show S16E08: "How to Paint a Queen"
    The Glee Project S02E00: "The Final 14"
    The Legend of Korra S01E08: "When Extremes Meet"
    The Voice (UK) S01E17: "Live Final"
    Thundercats (2011) S01E24: "The Soul Sever"
    Upotte!! S01E09: "Burn Up! Get Mad!"
    Young Justice S02E06: "Bloodlines"


Kevin Williamson on 'The Following': 'I've planned two seasons'

Kevin Williamson has revealed that he has planned two seasons of his new show The Following.

The Fox thriller stars Kevin Bacon as FBI agent Ryan Hardy and James Purefoy as his serial killer nemesis Joe Carroll.

"I have this [first] season pretty much worked out and next season, because I know how big we're gonna get," Williamson told IGN.

"Once you see the pilot, you'll actually understand... that it actually kind of writes itself in terms of the framework of the first season. The serial killer lays it all out.

"And so the first season will be watching that happen, and then we'll watch how our FBI team and Kevin Bacon's character has to constantly stay one step ahead of him."

Williamson went on to compare The Following to Kiefer Sutherland drama 24, as Fox president Kevin Reilly did last month.

"The fun of 24 was Kiefer Sutherland always had a problem to solve, and that's the same here," he explained. "They just have to stop it before one more person dies. And unfortunately... a lot of people are going to die."

The writer also discussed hiring Apollo 13 star Bacon to play the lead role, admitting that The Following was "right up his alley".

"I think he was drawn to this kind of material," explained Williamson. "He likes this type of TV. He likes the thrillers, he likes the roller coaster ride."

The Following will air on Mondays at midseason, replacing fall drama The Mob Doctor.



Bam Margera Hospitalized After Kayak Stunt

Bam Margera's latest bit of daredevilry has landed him in the hospital.

Margera was hospitalized and underwent a hernia operation after participating in a 100-foot kayak drop Wednesday, the "Jackass" star tweeted.

Margera, 32, published a picture of himself in his hospital bed with the note, "Hernia operation after 100ft kayak drop."

Earlier, the pro skater wrote, "Just did a 100ft tandem kayak jump with pro kayaker Steve Fisher in Oregon!" He also posted a photo of the jump.

Margera was scheduled to appear at an art show in his native West Chester, Penn. on Friday night, featuring work by himself and local artist John Hannafin. However, the hospitalization forced him to cancel the appearance.

Margera recently signed on for MTV2's "Hip Hop Squares," which premiered last week.


'Matt Lucas Awards' handed second series by BBC One

The Matt Lucas Awards has been recommissioned for a second run.

The BBC One comedy talkshow will recommence recording in the autumn, the corporation announced this afternoon.

Based on Lucas's Radio 2 show And The Winner Is..., the format features celebrity guests providing nominations for artists or objects in a number of unorthodox categories.

Lucas wrote on Twitter at midday: "Delighted to announce that THE MATT LUCAS AWARDS will be returning to BBC ONE for a second series in 2013."

Following a pilot in June last year, a first run of six episodes aired on Monday nights in the late post-news slot of 10.35pm, starting in April and finishing late last month.

The Little Britain comic's mother and musician David Arnold have appeared in every edition of the programme so far.

Guests have included Louis Walsh, Johnny Vegas, Richard Madeley, Julian Clary and David Baddiel.








Michael McIntyre mocks 'The Voice': 'Nobody cares anymore'

Michael McIntyre has claimed that his jokes about The Voice UK no longer raise a laugh with his audiences.

Mocking the BBC singing contest's recent loss of popularity, the Live at the Apollo comic said that "people aren't interested" in this year's competition.

Speaking on tonight's (June 1) Alan Carr: Chatty Man, he said: "I had a load of jokes about The Voice when it started. I was quite excited about those jokes, but nobody cares about them now.

"I say to my audiences, 'Are you watching The Voice?' They are like, 'No'. They don't laugh at the jokes.

"My Voice jokes were about the beginning when they had the twisting chairs - that was fun. They had their backs to them and if they liked them they would press their button and turn round.

"Once in a while you could sense that the person was so unattractive they were never going to have a career, which is why I thought there should be an emergency button so they can turn back round.

"But that joke stopped working because people aren't interested."

Carr also poked fun at The Voice's fall from grace, jesting: "This weekend is the series final and if they want to get those viewers back, they'll have to think outside the box and persuade Holly Willoughby's breasts to sing a duet. Now that would be worth tuning in for.

The Voice has even been beaten by Planet Earth Live. So perhaps for series two the BBC should combine the two and just film badgers having sex in revolving chairs. I'd watch. I've heard of singers miming to protect their voices but not their whole bloody career, for God's sake."

The 2012 Voice UK final airs on Saturday at 7.20pm on BBC One.


Hilary Devey quits 'Dragons' Den' after two series

Hilary Devey has left Dragons' Den, it has been announced.

The 55-year-old entrepreneur, who joined the BBC business series in February 2011 following the departure of James Caan, has chosen to instead sign an exclusive two-year deal with Channel 4.

According to the BBC's Ariel blog, Devey will be fronting a new factual entertainment series called The Intern for the channel, where hopefuls will compete to win an internship with a prestigious British business.

However, she will be appearing in the forthcoming series of Dragons' Den, which is currently being filmed in Salford to air in the autumn.

A spokesperson for the BBC said of Devey's departure: "Hilary has been a formidable Dragon in the Den and we're sorry to see her go.

"She will be breathing fire throughout the new series of Dragons' Den in the autumn on BBC Two but this upcoming series will be her last."

Devey made her approximately £50 million fortune by launching Pall-Ex, a palletised freight network, in 1996.

It was also reported earlier this month that she was raped at the age of 12, after Devey revealed the secret in her new autobiography Bold As Brass.


Ratings: 'Touch' Hits Low With Finale; CBS Wins Nights With Repeats

Without "American Idol" as its lead-in, Fox's freshman drama "Touch" ended the season on a low note Thursday night, while ABC's "Duets" slipped further from last week's weak premiere and CBS won the night overall despite a lack of original programming, according to preliminary numbers.

CBS took first place in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic with a 1.6 rating/5 share and in total viewers with 7.4 million. A "Big Bang Theory" repeat at 8 p.m. was the night's highest-rated and most-watched program with a 2.3/8 in the demo and 8.7 million total viewers.

ABC came in second in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.5/5 and 5.9 million. The network's new singing competition "Duets" at 8 dipped 12 percent in the demo from last week's premiere for a 1.5/5, and received 5.9 million total viewers. "Rookie Blue" at 10 ran even with last week's season premiere, posting a 1.4/4 and 5.8 million total viewers.

Fox took third place in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.3/4 and 4.7 million. The network ran back-to-back episodes of the Kiefer Sutherland drama "Touch," which suffered without an "American Idol" lead-in. Both episodes dropped 24 percent in the demo with a 1.3/5 and 1.3/4, and drew 4.6 million and 4.7 million total viewers.

NBC tied for fourth with Univision in the ratings, taking an average 1.2/4, and came in fourth in total viewers with an average 3.7 million. The network ran repeats throughout the night.

Univision averaged 2.8 million viewers throughout the night.


Fox News Producer Staying Put After Obama Video Flap

It looks like Chis White is keeping his job at Fox News Channel. White was the associate producer at Fox & Friends credited with creating a four-minute video critical of President Obama that aired on the morning show Wednesday (see it here). “Chris White will remain employed with Fox News,” network EVP Bill Shine said today.

“We’ve addressed the video with the producers and are not going to discuss the internal workings of our programming any further.” White was allegedly offered a job at CNN, but the rival news network said yesterday it would not hire him after all.


Kate Walsh Leaving 'Private Practice'

Kate Walsh, whose Dr. Addison Montgomery is the "Grey's Anatomy" character who sparked the "Grey's" spin-off "Private Practice," will be leaving "PP" next season.

"Private Practice" was picked up for 13 episodes for its sixth season in the fall, and Walsh is committed to only those 13 episodes, Deadline.com reports. An ABC rep did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment, while a rep for Walsh declined to comment.

News of Walsh's upcoming departure comes on the heels of co-star Tim Daly's announcement earlier this week that his contract had not been renewed for the show's sixth season.

"Private Practice" was considered to be on the bubble at the end of season five, so with two major cast members out and only a 13-episode commitment from the network, the show's sixth season could be its last.

Walsh's next project is playing the mom, with Dylan McDermott as the dad, in the movie adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." The trailer for the September movie debuts during the pre-show of the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Walsh commented on Twitter this week about Daly's departure, but of questions surrounding her own future with "Private Practice," she tweeted this: "Tw'eeps, I'd like you to address all of your questions to this guy," with a link to a photo of ... her cat.


DC's Gay Green Lantern Is a Super Cop-Out

DC Comics is very proud of itself over the decision to make the original Green Lantern gay. It shouldn't be.

After promising a "major, iconic" character would come out, DC went about it in the weakest possible way. The home of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman is well behind rival Marvel -- and oh-so-middle-of-the-road network television.

Let's just say it: Green Lantern is one of the lamest comic book characters. And this isn't even the Green Lantern anyone cares about -- Hal Jordan, the one Ryan Reynolds played in the movie. This is Alan Scott, a Green Lantern unknown to anyone but serious comics nerds, who debuted in the 1940s.

DC is loving the free publicity over its not-so-bold move. James Robinson, who writes "Earth 2," the comic you've never heard of that features the gay Green Lantern, told USA Today: "He's going to be the leader of the team, this dynamic hero, he'll do anything to save people, the bravest man on the planet. Why not just make him gay as well?"

That sounds like DC patting itself on the back. Robinson, for all his good intentions, sounds kind of like that white guy who says, "I don't see you as a black dude, I just see you as a dude." As if that makes him worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Truth be told, comics -- especially DC comics -- are far behind television and other media in offering positive portrayals of gay characters. Which is ridiclous. Comics, which are basically soap operas with super heroes, can afford to take risks because of their very niche-oriented audience. DC should have done this years and years ago with a much more prominent character.

Before anyone says, "But the children," go to a comic book store and see if you see any children there. And no one's arguing that comics should feature graphic sex between Batman and Robin. Or any kind of sex.

Mainstream comics' timidity about sexuality isn't entirely their fault. For decades, the Comics Code, which existed partly to prevent kids from being indoctrinated into homosexuality (as if such a thing were possible) kept Marvel and DC from letting characters be openly gay.

But Marvel found a way around the Comics Code. Chris Claremont's run on "The Uncanny X-Men" treated mutants as stand-ins for a wide range of historically oppressed groups. The excellent "New Mutants" issue number 45 featured a character who is taunted by bullies and accused of being a mutant. He kills himself because he actually is. Can't figure out the symbolism here? The X-Men's Kitty Pryde spells it out in a eulogy at the end of the issue:

"Who was he, then, that we gather to mourn him? Who am I? A four-eyed, flat-chested, brat, chick, brain, hebe, stuck-up Xavier's snob freak! Don't like the words? I could use nicer.

I've heard worse. Who here hasn't? So often, so casually, that maybe we've forgotten the power they have to hurt. Nigger, spic, wop, slope, faggot, mutie--the list is so long. And so cruel. They're labels. Put downs. And they hurt."

As AfterElton put it, "Kitty's inclusion of a gay slur in her list of hateful words was a quiet acknowledgment that the X-Men's angst was meant for them, too."

I read that Comics Code-approved comic book when it came out in 1986. I was 11. It didn't turn me gay, but it made me a little less stupid. Thanks, Kitty Pryde.

In 1992, another mutant, Alpha Flight's Northstar, came out. He's the Marvel character who just married another man. Marvel is way ahead of DC, but still behind "Modern Family," one of the most popular shows on TV. (Northstar is also fairly lame, as superheroes go -- he's never been a key player in the Marvel Universe. But still, it was a pretty big move for 1992.)

The dozen or so moms at One Million Moms -- who object, basically, to gay people existing -- are making DC look braver than it is by again raising the spectre of "indoctrination." But this isn't authentic trangulation, where there are two extremes and DC is finding itself in the moderate middle.

Rather, it's a case of millions of Americans accepting the existence of gay people (and realizing it isn't up to them, or anything but genetics), and one very small, very irrelevant group making a lot of noise with help from news organizations trying to present "both sides" of the issue.

But this shouldn't be an issue, and it doesn't have two equal sides.

DC, you should have gone with Superman. It might have finally made him interesting.