The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on January 23, 2004 · Page 96
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 96

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Friday, January 23, 2004
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ET_E_34_E34_LA_1_01-23-04_fr_1_CMYK 2004:01:22:14:58:53 E34 FRIDAY,JANUARY23,2004 CALENDAR LOSANGELESTIMES TELEVISION & RADIO Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Jan. 12-18) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions. Program Network View- ersProgram Network Viewers 1 “NFC Championship”FOX40.44 2 CSICBS28.74 3 FriendsNBC26.68 4 ERNBC21.65 5 Apprentice (Thu.)NBC20.20 --------------------------------------------6 CSI: MiamiCBS19.73 7 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS19.33 8 “NFC Championship Post-Game” FOX18.84 9 Two and Half MenCBS17.86 10 Without a TraceCBS17.42 --------------------------------------------11 Law & OrderNBC17.23 12 CSI (8 p.m.)CBS16.26 13 Fear FactorNBC16.18 14 Will & GraceNBC14.95 15 Law and Order: SVUNBC14.09 --------------------------------------------16 Navy NCISCBS14.00 17 Las VegasNBC13.95 18 Cold CaseCBS12.80 19 “35 Years and 60 Minutes” CBS12.51 20 King of QueensCBS12.46 --------------------------------------------21 The BacheloretteABC12.36 22 Cold Case (Wed.)CBS12.25 Still StandingCBS12.25 24 JAGCBS12.05 25 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC11.98 --------------------------------------------26 “Double Jeopardy”CBS11.87 27 The West WingNBC11.86 28 Yes, DearCBS11.84 29 Judging AmyCBS11.68 30 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (10 p.m.) NBC11.26 --------------------------------------------The GuardianCBS11.26 32 Joan of ArcadiaCBS11.18 33 BeckerCBS11.04 34 Simple Life (Wed.)FOX10.99 35 Simple LifeFOX10.97 --------------------------------------------36 FrasierNBC10.78 37 8 Simple RulesABC10.61 38 Third WatchNBC10.59 39 48 Hours InvestigatesCBS10.32 40 The DistrictCBS10.11 --------------------------------------------41 According to JimABC10.02 42 Dateline: NBC (Fri.)NBC9.77 43 Primetime ThursdayABC9.41 44 My Wife and KidsABC9.37 45 20/20 (Fri.)ABC9.30 --------------------------------------------46 Happy FamilyNBC9.09 47 Celebrity Mole YucatanABC9.07 48 That ’70s ShowFOX8.99 49 Apprentice (Wed.)NBC8.83 50 24FOX8.67 --------------------------------------------51 O.C.FOX8.57 52 The PracticeABC8.54 53 WhoopiNBC8.33 54 Average Joe: HawaiiNBC8.32 55 HackCBS8.26 --------------------------------------------56 I’m With HerABC8.17 57 Less Than PerfectABC8.15 58 “Enemy of the State”ABC7.80 59 It’s All RelativeABC7.76 60 Cops (8:30 p.m.)FOX7.73 --------------------------------------------61 Star SearchCBS7.71 62 Wonderful World of Disney ABC7.63 63 Hope & FaithABC7.58 AliasABC7.58 65 America’s Most WantedFOX7.53 --------------------------------------------66 American DreamsNBC7.45 67 George LopezABC7.40 68 The HandlerCBS7.09 69 Life With BonnieABC7.02 70 Tracy Morgan ShowNBC6.83 --------------------------------------------71 Dateline: NBC (Sun.)NBC6.81 72 CopsFOX6.79 73 EdNBC6.58 74 America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC6.50 75 Married to the Kellys ABC6.46 --------------------------------------------76 “As Good As It Gets”NBC6.44 77 Extreme MakeoverABC6.20 78 10-8ABC6.13 79 Line of FireABC5.88 80 7th HeavenWB5.87 --------------------------------------------81 World’s Craziest VideosFOX5.85 82 MonkABC5.76 83 Totally Outrageous Behavior FOX5.62 84 SmallvilleWB5.61 85 Threat MatrixABC5.44 --------------------------------------------86 “Happy Gilmore”FOX5.40 87 WWE Smackdown!UPN5.01 88 Boston PublicFOX5.00 89 America’s Next Top Model 2 UPN4.90 90 Tru CallingFOX4.14 --------------------------------------------91 Simple Life (Thu.)FOX4.04 92 EnterpriseUPN3.93 93 CharmedWB3.89 94 GirlfriendsUPN3.84 95 RebaWB3.83 --------------------------------------------96 “Austin Powers: Spy Who Shagged Me” WB3.81 97 AngelWB3.80 98 Half and HalfUPN3.77 99 All of UsUPN3.62 100 EveUPN3.56 --------------------------------------------101 All About the AndersonsWB3.45 102 Surreal LifeWB3.35 103 The ParkersUPN3.34 104 Steve Harvey’s Big TimeWB3.23 105 Jamie KennedyWB3.09 --------------------------------------------106 One On OneUPN3.05 107 Surreal Life (Mon.)WB2.88 108 Grounded For LifeWB2.62 109 What I like About YouWB2.61 110 Like FamilyWB2.38 --------------------------------------------111 America’s Next Top Model (Wed.) UPN2.34 112 Smallville: BeginningsWB2.25 113 Run of the HouseWB1.76 114 “Gossip”UPN1.54 Network averages Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season. Network Last week Season to date FOX13.639.63 -------------------------------------------- CBS13.1613.13 -------------------------------------------- NBC11.6210.71 -------------------------------------------- ABC7.839.68 -------------------------------------------- WB3.603.78 -------------------------------------------- UPN3.493.42 Prime-Time TV Rankings Fox is experiencing Christmas in January. The network had the top-rated program last week with a football playoff game and is likely to dominate the top 10 next week with the three- pronged return of “American Idol,” according to Nielsen Media ratings released this week. Sunday’s NFC championship gamebetween the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles scored more than 40 million viewers, far outdistancing “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” with 28.7 million viewers and “Friends” with 26.6 million viewers. The game was also the top- rated show among the desired 18 to 49 demographic, followed by “Friends” and “CSI.” NBC also seems to have a solid hit with “The Apprentice,” the unscripted show in which a group of young business hopefuls compete for a position running a company owned by billionaire Donald Trump. The second episode, which ran in a special broadcast Jan. 15,was the fifth most watched show among total viewers. However, Trump was no match for “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. The third “premiere” episode of “American Idol” on Wednesday clobbered “The Apprentice,” which settled for the first time in its regular 8 p.m. time slot. “American Idol” attracted 29.3 million viewers, versus 12.3 million viewers for “The Apprentice.” This third season premiere for “American Idol” confirms its status as a juggernaut that is hard to beat. The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday episodes each drew more than 29 million viewers. Viewership is likely to drop some during the talent show’s early roundsbut pick up again as it moves toward its May finale. Tuesday’s “Idol” episode also helped Fox’s coverage of President Bush’s State of the Union address beat the other broad- cast networks; the first time it has ever done that for a news event, no doubt because the speech followed “Idol” in the eastern part of the country “This is so far beyond our expectations, that it would keep building like this,” said Mike Darnell, Fox’s executive vice president of alternative programming. He said the series should no longer be compared with other unscripted shows but rather “Seinfeld” and “ER” at their peaks. —Greg Braxton Football, ‘Idol’ make Fox tough to tackle By Frazier Moore Associated Press Its first story on its first day said a lot about what “Sunday Morning” would be like for the next quarter-century: Anchorman Charles Kuralt profiled a California lumberjack who in his off hours played the musical saw. That’s “Sunday Morning” in a nutshell: offbeat, humanistic, timely with affection for the past, and in love with Americana as well as the arts. This Sunday at 7 a.m., CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” airs its 1,295th edition. Its hour and a half will be devoted to looking back on the previous 1,294 broadcasts as this TV institution celebrates its silver anniversary. Presiding, as usual, will be Charles Osgood (himself marking a decade as anchorman in April). But all due tribute will be paid to the Charles who went before —Kuralt — for it was he who, with producer Robert “Shad” Northshield, cooked up “Sunday Morning” as the calm, informative refuge that premiered on Jan. 28, 1979. From its first week, “Sunday Morning” looked different, with those Plexiglas panels neatly inscribed with each story topic, and its sunny trademark: the countless graphic faces of Old Sol. In 1994, Kuralt decided to step down from the broadcast he inspired and, after 37 years, retire from CBS News. (He died in 1997.) His farewell, including some whimsical verse he penned for the occasion, will be among the segments re-aired Sunday. BesidesOsgood, “Sunday Morning” carries on with longtime correspondents Rita Braver, Bill Geist, Russ Mitchell, Martha Teichner and a stable of critics and commentators (including John Leonard, who reviews television — a rare activity indeed on TV). CBS wants you to know that, with this enduring formula, the broadcast’s audience has increased by 400,000 viewers since last season. The mission remains: “to take you places and tell you things you wouldn’t see anywhere else on television,” as Osgood explains. ‘Sunday Morning’ marks 25th year CBS News’ unique show pays tribute to founding father Charles Kuralt. By Lynne Heffley Times Staff Writer Acertain word is about to enter the everyday lexicon of parents whose preschoolers watch public TV. Say it once with a New Age-y, echoey inflection, and then many times, loudly, in rapid succession: “Boohbah.” “Boohbah,” which began airing this weekon PBS stations, is the latest British television import for young children, and the latest from the creators of the massively popular “Teletub- bies.” The show’s rotund-body puppet stars are called Booh- bahsand “boohbah” is what viewers are encouraged to say out loud during the show — many, many times — to give them the feeling that they are controlling what happens in each eccentric, movement-oriented episode. “Yes, the ‘boohbah’ word drives the parents mad, I’m afraid,” said the show’s creator, Anne Wood, speaking from the New York branch of her British production company, Ragdoll Ltd. “But it’s the magic word and children love it.” Some adult observers on both sides of the Atlantic are using such words as “bizarre,” “trippy” and “psychedelic” to describe the show, whose visual elements were inspired by scientific photographs of microscopic life and cellular structures. The colorful, atom-like Booh- bahs — Humbah, Zumbah, Zing Zing Zingbah, Jumbah and Jing- bah — have round pneumatic bodies that spin and form patterns through synchronized movements. Their retractable heads have sweet faces dominated by big baby eyes, and their world is one of surreal, kaleidoscopic images of rainbow swirls and ribbons. At intervals, the Boohbahs inhabit a sparkling ball of light that zooms around the world to “dance” with giggly children in segments taped in 15 countries, and there are organic- looking “pods” where the Booh- bahs recharge. As they deflate, the Boohbahs sound like whoopee cushions, emitting flatulent blats and bleats. And anyone who doesn’t think that kills hasn’t been around a 4- or 5-year-old lately. Wood isn’t particularly concerned about those who don’t get it. She’s used to mystifying adults with her child-centric, wild flights of fancy. The once- controversial “Teletubbies,” which she created with Andrew Davenport, has not only become astaple of early childhood and made her the immensely wealthy head of a global children’s entertainment empire, it has also overcome much more severe criticism — for its toddler target audience, baby-talking, TV-tum- mied characters and Tinky Winky’s red purse — than has greeted “Boohbah” thus far. Partly, perhaps, because “Boohbah” is directed at chil- dren from 3 to 6, not younger toddlers, and it’s a program for “movers,” as Wood describes them, not passive watchers. “It’s a ‘televisual’ game,” she said, “where children get up and do and respond.” With an emphasis on spatial awareness, motor skill development and puzzle solving, the playful Boohbahs invite audience participation as they bobble and move repetitively about and spin into various patterns of aerobic movement and color. Live action segments with a cast of adult actors called Storypeo- plefeature comic visual puzzles executed with vaudevillian flair, and limited narration that leaves pauses designed for responses from viewers. The Storypeople are “pieces in a game,” Wood said. “They move more or less as directed. So, if their skipping rope is too short, then [viewers] say ‘booh- bah’ and the magic word makes the rope longer. We call it “What If” thinking. We want children to anticipate what an outcome might be. “All of our programs are conversations. We leave gaps for the child to respond. If you don’t plaster the thing with too much talk, then children are encouraged to supply the words themselves.” In the “look what I can do” segment that ends each show, one or more children demonstrate a movement — whether it’s situps or balancing on one foot — offering an unspoken invitation to viewers to join in. Periodically, segments will feature a child in a wheelchair or with other special needs. Repetition throughout is key, Wood said. “To an adult eye, it’s like, ‘Will this never end?’but it is very much directed to children’s sensibilities and children’s perceptions of the world,and some adults will find that perhaps irritating. But then some adults don’t like the Baby Sun [an infant’s face] in ‘Teletubbies’ either, so you can’t please them all.” “Anne is absolutely focused on the child and the child’s developmental stage,” said John Wilson, senior vice president of programming for PBS. “She doesn’t leave a lot of clues for the adults in the room. Her choice is always to go with the mind of a child and what the child needs, and I think that is what can lead to the ‘I don’t get it’ factor. But all you have to do is watch it with your own child a few times and you see that they do get it.” PBS has purchased 40 episodes of the show, with the option of adding more during the second or third year of its four- year-contract with Ragdoll if the show strikes “Teletubbies”-type gold with viewers. The network, which is complementing the show with an interactive web- site, will also receive a portion of the show’s merchandising profits. “It allows us to put the money back into children’s programming,” Wilson said. If it comes close to the marketing juggernaut that has driven the “Teletubbies,” it would be a good thing, indeed, although Wood is pushing licensees for products that get “much closer to the spirit of the Booh- bahs than we did to the spirit of the Teletubbies [at first],” with consideration for the show’s science- and health-related influences, “rather than just depicting [what is] on screen — label slapping, as it were.” “We had a lot of learning to do,” she noted ruefully. “Some of the new Teletubbies products are wonderful, but it took off at such a rate, there was black market stuff and it was horrible. I hate all that. But this time we have our own team here in New York and they’re keeping a close eye on everything.” Wood hopes that parents will see “Boohbah” as a chance for some bonding time with their children. “There are lots of opportunities for the parent to respond to what the child is doing and say, ‘My, look what you can do. You can stand on your left leg for so long, aren’t you great?’” Falling over is OK too. “You don’t want children to feel inhibited in any way because they can’t do [the movements] perfectly,” Wood said. “It’s the doing of it that matters. The Boohbahs are so ridiculous and silly that if you are any way shy of movement you still get up and do like they do, because they’re not perfect by any means. They’re just these funny little round creatures that love to give it a go.” PBS THE BOOHBAHS: The atom-like Humbah, Zumbah, Zing Zing Zingbah, Jumbah and Jingbah. The telly’s new tubbies: Boohbahs British import for kids features colorful, rounded creatures and a word that may drive parents nutty. PBS COME JOIN US: “Boohbah,” which has an adult cast too, is “a ‘televisual’ game, where children get up and do,” says its creator. Where: KCET When: 6-6:30 a.m. weekdays Rating: The program has been rated TV-Y (suitable for children of all ages). ‘Boohbah’

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