RAT RATES Just as ”Survivor”‘s Gretchen predicted, CBS and series executive producer Mark Burnett are the true winners of this summer’s hottest program. According to overnight ratings estimates, some 51 million people tuned in to watch the fat nude gay dude, Rich, get, well, rich. That makes ”Survivor” the second most watched program of the year after the Super Bowl and puts the Eye back on the map among young adults who once spurned the network’s older skewing shows. Last night’s finale brought in a 59 percent share among those aged 18 to 34. Likewise, contestants aren’t the ones profiting on this show. While CBS has not disclosed the cost of ”Survivor,” a source at ABC told the New York Times that when it was in the running to buy the concept, ”Survivor” was priced at $700,000 per episode. Advertisers, meanwhile, were charged some $600,000 per commercial for air time on last night’s two-hour show — double the rates the program started out with. Next stop: Australia, the land of the highest priced product placements in history.
AWARDS UPN has decided to air the Source Hip Hop Music Awards on Aug. 29 as planned, reports SonicNet. The problem is they’ve also decided to edit out all of the interesting parts. They’ll combine footage from the ceremony that was delayed and interrupted by brawls with added portions that were filmed later. ”The show will appear seamless to the audience,” a UPN spokesperson told the music site. We’d expect better from the wrestling network.
MOB SCENE Brad Pitt was mobbed by some 4,000 screaming fans yesterday when he arrived in London for the premiere of his new movie, ”Snatch.” Police had to force the actor to move back as the crowd pushed against the barricades. ”There were kids getting crushed at the front,” an officer told the Associated Press. ”I told Mr. Pitt that ‘You owe it to them not to put them in danger.”’ The ”Fight Club” star conceded and ceased signing autographs. God, you’d think he played guitar or something.
CASTING Surprise! Robin Williams is getting involved in yet another good guy epic. The comedian cum schmaltz master will star in ”Liberace” a biopic that participants say will follow the ”People vs. Larry Flynt” model. Is Courtney Love going to play his husband?
UNIONS TLC‘s T-Boz and rapper Mack 10 were married at a private ceremony this week, reports the Atlanta Constitution. Some 250 guests attended the ”quiet” ceremony including T-Boz’s bandmate Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas and actor cum rapper Ice Cube.
DEATHS Joan Marsh, blond bombshell of early ’30s cinema, died in her home near Ojai, Calif. The actress’ career began in silent films when she was a child and continued with a successful transition to talkies such as ”Road to Zanzibar.” She was 86.