Poor showing for 'Gilda'
Though ABC hoped it would be Gilda Radner's night, NBC scored a resounding win last night with a special "ER" crossover on "Third Watch." NBC posted a 6.1 adult 18-49 rating, CBS had a 4.3, ABC a 3.7 and Fox a 3.5, based on preliminary Nielsen ratings. At 8 p.m. NBC's "Fear Factor" proved dominant, its 5.4 in adults 18-49 well above a 3.6 from Fox's "Boston Public." ABC's "Gilda's Greatest" clip show came in last with a 3.5. A special "Third Watch" from NBC, featuring Sherry Stringfield's Dr. Susan Lewis from "ER," collected a huge 7.0 among adults 18-49 the next hour, dwarfing a 5.3 from CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Becker." The audience on NBC stuck around for "Crossing Jordan," giving that freshman drama a solid 6.0 adult 18-49 rating. ABC's "It's Always Something: The Gilda Radner Story" averaged a so-so 3.9 for its two hours. The average household rating and share for Monday night were: NBC 10.0/15, CBS 8.7/14, ABC 6.5/10 and Fox 5.4/8. On Sunday night, while the 1999 blockbuster "The Sixth Sense" seemed like a sure thing for ABC, it was the first part of CBS's own "I see dead people" original movie "Living with the Dead" that drew audiences. CBS tied Fox with a 4.7 adult 18-49 rating, NBC had a 4.0 and ABC a 3.7, based on preliminary Nielsen ratings. Fox took the first half of the night, a 3.7 adult 18-49 rating from a repeat of "The Simpsons" and a new "King of the Hill" topping a 3.3 from NBA playoff coverage on NBC. At 8 p.m. Fox's "Simpsons" and "Malcolm in the Middle" had an easy time with CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond: The First Six Years," besting the special by a full rating point and a half. At 9 p.m. CBS's original movie, starring Ted Danson, posted a solid 5.5 among adults 18-49, well above a 4.5 from Fox's "The X-Files" and a 4.4 from the second hour of ABC's "Sixth Sense." CBS's "Living with the Dead" finished strong with a 6.0 adult 18-49 rating in its second hour, while runner-up "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" on NBC edged past the last hour of ABC's Bruce Willis supernatural drama by just a tenth of a rating point. The average household rating and share for Sunday night were: CBS 10.5/17, NBC 7.3/12, Fox 5.9/10 and ABC 5.7/9.

Golin being eyed for Rolling Stone job?
It's time to play this week's hottest guessing game: Who’s on deck at Rolling Stone? The heaviest speculation currently centers on Mark Golin, the celebrated Maxim editor who ran out of luck when Condé Nast hired him to revamp Details. Despite reports that his name tops the list of candidates, Golin says Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner has yet to contact him. Indeed, announcing his decision to replace current managing editor Bob Love, Wenner said he was looking for someone with serious newspaper or weekly magazine experience, which can't be said about Golin, now creative director for AOL. Other magazine types reported to be in contention for the job include TV Guide's Steve Reddicliffe, Details editor Dan Peres, and, of course, Maer Roshan, the former editorial director of Talk. Perhaps the most plausible suggestion of all comes from a Media Life reader who speculates that the job will go to New York Times Magazine editor Adam Moss. In addition to having the type of experience Wenner says he's looking for, Moss has worked for the man himself as editor of the Rolling Stone College Papers.

At long last, Deep Throat revealed on Salon
Thirty years after Watergate we at last might find out the identity of Deep Throat, the source that led Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward from what began as a break-in to what turned out to be a conspiracy in the highest  reaches of the White House. John Dean, a former Nixon aide, will tell all in "The Deep Throat Brief." The e-book will be published online by Salon.com on June 17, on the 30th anniversary of the break-in, which is also two days before the day on which Deep Throat first spoke to the Post. Time Magazine will also publish an excerpt from the book. Dean says the "Brief" was the fulfillment of a longtime dream-- to meet the person who the disgraced Nixon once described as a worse traitor than Dean, who testified before Congress on aspects of the Watergate cover-up. He did not receive an advance from Salon for the 35,000-word book. Speculation has raged for three decades as to the identify of Deep Throat, but Woodward has steadfastly refused to reveal his identity.

Coming: Reality TV, Puffy-style
Somewhere along the line, reality TV, which early on showed promise as a genre that would focus on regular people, has been hijacked into becoming another venue for celebrity fixation. Following the hugely successful "Osbournes," MTV is close to finalizing a deal that will bring rap mogul and part-time actor P. Diddy, otherwise known as Puff Daddy or Sean Combs, to the forefront of reality TV. "The Diddies" (or whatever they'll call it) will look at "how I conduct business, how I make recording artists," the rapper told Access Hollywood. "There's only one Ozzy." Diddy does, however, promise that the show will be "raw and uncensored" with "a lot of bleeps," according to the Associated Press. The second season of "Osbournes" is still up in the air, with the heavy metal family looking for more money and a location away from prying crowds that have taken to trampling the yard around their suburban Los Angeles home.

Fox's special-ops expert exposed as a fraud
Fair, balanced and gullible? It turns out that Joseph Cafasso, who spent four months working for Fox News Channel as an expert on military matters and special operations, is not who he claimed to be -- not by a long shot. Cafasso, who left his job at Fox News on March 11 after wearing out the patience of co-workers, described himself as a retired Army lieutenant colonel who saw action in a special forces unit and participated in the failed mission to rescue hostages held in Iran in 1980. But according to The New York Times, Cafasso's entire military service consisted of 44 days of basic training in 1976. Fox has said that Cafasso's contributions never resulted in the network airing any false information, and it even appears that his counsel, if heeded could have prevented at least one erroneous report. According to the Times, a private security firm hired to verify Cafasso's background told Fox News as far back as November that his story didn't check out.

April 30, 2002 © 2002 Media Life

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