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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Of The Old In And Out

In: David Letterman. David Letterman came out swinging the week after his new competitor Conan O'Brien sucked all the oxygen out of the room with his astonishingly well-covered debut. But now it is time to battle in earnest, and Letterman draws first blood. From TheHollywoodReporter:

"David Letterman has overtaken NBC's 'Tonight Show' in the household ratings.

"The CBS 'Late Show' host earned a higher Tuesday overnight number than 'Tonight,' which swapped hosts from Jay Leno to Conan O'Brien last week.

"On the seventh day of Letterman vs. O'Brien, CBS earned a 3.4 metered-market household rating to NBC's 2.9. 'Late Show' was also up 13% from last week and 17% from last year.

"Letterman had Julia Roberts and Black Eyed Peas as guests; O'Brien had Eddie Murphy, Angela Kinsey and Bonnie Raitt."

Wags are blaming the NHL's Stanley Cup finals -- aired live on the East Coast -- causes west coast stations to air local programming, which is historically a light lead-in to Conan. Letterman's social awkwardness with Julia Roberts on-air trumped the odd choice of Eddie Murphy (On the real? Murphy has been relevant since the 1980s?).

Out: Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe has the money, the big name endorsements, the national name recognition, and a friendship with former President Bill Clinton. None of that helped him win the Democrat Party nomination for Governor of Virginia. Another nail in the coffin of the Clinton legacy vis-vis the Democrat party? From the Los Angeles Times:

"Creigh Deeds defeated Terry McAuliffe in today's Democratic primary and will become the party's candidate for governor of Virgina.

"With about 75% of the vote counted, Deeds has a large enough lead to make him the victor, the Associated Press reports.

"He will face Republican Bob McDonnell, who was unopposed in his party’s primary, in the November gubernatorial election.

"Deeds’ win over McAuliffe and a third candidate, former state legislative leader Brian Moran, is a bit of an upset.

"As the Ticket reported, Deeds' campaign was not nearly as well-funded as Moran’s or McAuliffe's. Nor did it have the star power. McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, had his former confidant Bill Clinton stumping hard on his behalf in Virginia this spring."

Had McAuliffe won he would have been a Kingmaker, sitting on top of one of the most important -- if not THE most important -- bellwether states for 2012.

In: Ari Emmanuel. Has there ever been as accomplished a family as those Emmanuel brothers? From TheWrap:

"Michael Ovitz should officially hand over the keys of the kingdom to a fast-talking, trash-mouthed, steam-rolling successor to his Hollywood dominion.

"It is a rare moment in time and space that allows Ariel Zev Emanuel to hold the kind of power that even Ovitz could only dream about, chronicled today on the front page of the New York Times and concurrently noted by Kim Masters at the Daily Beast.

"Emanuel, 48, 'has emerged in the last six weeks as the pre-eminent power player in Hollywood that has often bemoaned the sunset of powerful moguls,' said the Times.

"Calling Emanuel a 'don,' Masters wrote: 'With the speed of what was lurking in the waters in Jaws, (Emanuel) dispatched top man Jim Wiatt to that nether region where Ovitz now resides.'

Sibling rivalry appears to be pushing Ari to compete with his already almost impossibly powerful brother, Rahm.

Out: Jeff Zucker. The acerbic Nikki Finke -- she quixotically deletes this bloggers comments from her site -- blames the rise of Dave on NBC's Jeff Zucker, who, thus far, has always fallen upwards. From DeadlineHollywoodDaily:

"(H)elping Dave is the fact that, just last week, CBS had every one of the Nielsen Top 10 shows in network primetime in this period known as the summer repeat doldrums. And NBC's primetime schedule is, as usual, tanking. (I told you that NBC even got bitch-slapped by Univision in the 8PM and 9PM hours.) So no help there for Conan. It's the nightmare scenario for GE/NBC Universal that everyone but boss Jeff Zucker thought would happen: the network's cash cow The Tonight Show, once safely No. 1 in the ratings with Jay Leno as host, now can only hope to seesaw in the ratings with Letterman's Late Show. And it's all Zucker's fault."

In: Edie Falco's Nurse Jackie. Critically-acclaimed Nurse Jackie on Showtime is being renewed after its debut. Falco, an accomplished character actor, gets the role of a lifetime in playing the complex nurse who lives a double life -- one at work and one at home. Nurse Jackie, at work, is a mercurial woman in love with co-worker that bends the rules often in high-pressure situations. Jackie, at home, is the mother of two well-adjusted kids and wife to a devoted bartender. The role has Emmy written all over it.

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