Jumaat, 7 Februari 2014

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Jay Leno 'Tonight Show' goodbye gets more viewers than first farewell

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 07:30 PM PST

Viewer numbers equal the time he interviewed Barrack Obama.

JAY Leno's send-off as the host of NBC's late-night talk show the Tonight Show drew 14.6 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said on Feb 7, topping the audience that bid adieu to the host when he left the show for the first time in 2009.

Leno's emotional farewell on Feb 6 was the comedian's fourth-largest Tonight Show audience since he took the reins from Johnny Carson in 1992.

The finale attracted the same number of viewers who tuned in to watch Leno interview US President Barack Obama in 2009, in what was the first ever appearance of a sitting president on a late-night talk show.

Carson, who led the show for 30 years, attracted 42 million viewers for his final show in 1992, in an era when broadcast television commanded far greater audiences than today.

Viewership of the Tonight Show, which has been the top-rated late night show under Leno's guidance since 1995, was also helped by NBC's lead-in coverage of the first day of Winter Olympics on the same day.

Leno, 63, was given a star-studded good-bye with comedian-actor Billy Crystal as the featured guest and surprise appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Carol Burnett and Kim Kardashian, among others.

Audiences during Leno's final week rose to nearly five million per episode compared to the season average of 3.9 million.

Guests on the show in the past week included actors Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, comedian Jimmy Fallon, former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley and musical performances from country singers Blake Shelton and Lyle Lovett.

Current Late Night host Fallon, 39, will take over for Leno on Feb 17 as Comcast Corp-owned NBC attempts to transition the show to the younger, under-50 demographic most coveted by advertisers while keeping its grip atop the ratings.

It is not known if Leno will pursue another show in television once his contract with NBC expires in September, but the comedian will tour his stand-up show as he has done in years past.

O'Brien's final jab

Leno's highest-rated show drew 22.4 million viewers in 1993, a year into his tenure, and was tied to the finale of the NBC comedy series Cheers, which was one of the most-watched TV episodes in US history.

Other notable episodes during Leno's reign include his first telecast in 1992, which attracted 16.1 million viewers, and 15 million viewers tuned in to watch the show after the 1998 finale of popular sitcom Seinfeld.

NBC previously attempted to make the passage to a younger audience in 2009 by slotting Leno into primetime and giving its marquee Tonight Show to comedian Conan O'Brien, who had been the host of Late Night.

Some 11.9 million people watched Leno's final show in 2009 before handing off to O'Brien. But the failure of the Leno-O'Brien gambit led NBC to reinstal Leno as Tonight Show host after just eight months and forced O'Brien to end his contract with NBC, resulting in a very public, bitter feud.

Leno's departure aroused congratulations, a wry mention and a jab from his late-night talk show rivals.

O'Brien, who was groomed for Leno's seat only to be pushed out by the network and the host, said on his TBS cable programme that he would allow himself a single joke at Leno's expense.

"The Olympics start airing tonight on NBC ... NBC will finally get to show somebody who is OK with passing the torch," the comedian quipped.

CBS' David Letterman, beaten out by Leno for the Tonight Show chair in 1992, ultimately straining their friendship, noted that Leno's 22 years on the show were "remarkable" and congratulated him on a "wonderful run". ABC's Jimmy Kimmel, who has been highly critical of Leno's brand of middle-brow humour, the treatment of O'Brien and the handling of his departures, tweeted out a congratulatory note on Twitter.

"Issues aside, 20 years at #1 is a remarkable achievement. Congratulations and best wishes to @jayleno on an incredible run," the Jimmy Kimmel Live host wrote. – Reuters

Shawn Pyfrom opens up about addiction

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 08:00 AM PST

Desperate Housewives alum talks about his struggles with alcohol and drugs.

CAPOTE star Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death on Feb 2 of an apparent drug overdose has inspired former Desperate Housewives actor Shawn Pyfrom to open up about his own struggles with addiction.

Pyfrom, who played Bree Van de Kamp's son Andrew on the drama, admits that he's an alcoholic and drug addict in a post on his Tumblr account, saying that he's admitting his addictions "against the advice of others".

The actor, who said that he's now five months sober and "relatively new" to sobriety, writes in the post that he made his admission to encourage others to conquer their addictions.

"I even question whether or not I should publish this, as I type out these words. But if these words can encourage someone to hold on to their life, to keep from ever using, or to find the strength to stop, then it's more important that these words are shared," Pyfrom wrote. "I've considered what's at stake for myself by sharing this – but I find myself without regard for that. I won't allow my selfish needs to get in the way of potentially reaching another human being's life."

The actor, 26, said that he "lived for drugs" for several years.

"I thought more about using, than I thought about any other 'pleasures'," the actor wrote. "I put myself in places I never would have ended up otherwise for the sake of getting high.

"There are countless nights of blacking out, and making poor decisions as a result of my overusing. I wasted the time of valuable people, who worked so hard to pull my career to a higher place, by allowing my addictions to tug me out of their grip. I worried the people that care about me. My friends. My parents. My siblings. All for the sake of something that I believed I had control over. I didn't even realise how low drugs and alcohol had pulled me."

Pyfrom concluded his message by writing that he hopes it gives the reader strength to avoid addiction.

"I hope you can save your life," Pyfrom wrote.

Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his New York City apartment. The actor, who had a history of addiction, entered a detox programme after suffering a relapse last year. – Reuters

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