Plus: David Cross and ''Idol'' finalist Lisa Tucker get pilots, ''Lost'' hits series low ratings again, and more...
Auction house previews Michael Jackson auction
Guernsey’s auction house previewed some of Michael Jackson’s 1,100 personal items set to be auctioned off in Las Vegas on May 30-31. Among them: Jackson’s gold record for Thriller; handwritten lyrics for the Jackson Five hit ”ABC” and a test pressing of their song ”I Want You Back”; Marlon Jackson’s glitter jacket; Randy Jackson’s futuristic 1984 stage boots; a white fedora believed to be from Michael Jackson’s ”Bad” music video; and a Victory Tour program signed by Jackson family members. The items were reportedly owned by a luggage transportation company in Boca Raton, FL, which bought them last year from a New Jersey construction company owner who claimed a warehouse full of Jackson memorabilia after a failed business venture wound up in bankruptcy court. Jackson and sister Janet sued to get back the items, but their case was thrown out of court by a judge last year. Jackson is again considering legal action to block the auction. ”Mr. Jackson was not aware and he is extremely upset that his memorabilia was included amongst the memorabilia that is being auctioned off,” said Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain. (Billboard)
David Cross, Idol finalist Lisa Tucker get pilots
David Cross has been tapped to star alongside Erika Christensen (Six Degrees) in CBS’ comedy pilot I’m in Hell, which also stars Jason Biggs, while former American Idol finalist Lisa Tucker has been cast in the Fox drama pilot Born in the USA. Christensen will play the love interest to Biggs’ character, who dies and is reassigned to hell on earth, while Cross will play Scott — the devil. Tucker, a 17-year-old finalist from last season’s Idol who has appeared on The O.C., will play a smart, quiet girl with a good sense of humor on Born, a half-hour primetime soap about blue collar families in Philadelphia. (Hollywood Reporter)
Idol tops in Wednesday ratings while Lost hits series low
Fox’s half-hour American Idol results show on Wednesday averaged 25.3 million viewers and a 9.5 rating/26 share in adults 18-49, winning Wednesday for the network. ‘Til Death followed with a strong 3.7 million and a 5.5/15 in 18-49, though it was off from a previous string of series highs. Meanwhile, ABC’s Lost hit another series low, averaging 11.5 million and a 4.8/13 in 18-49. (Hollywood Reporter)
NBC adding latenight lineup online
NBC is putting original and exclusive content from Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and Last Call With Carson Daly onto its website with new interactive features. The features will include SNL’s ”Backstage,” which will give fans access to behind-the-scenes footage of the show and enable them to star in the show’s ”Weekend Update” by uploading their own videos; original Tonight Show webisodes and photo galleries; behind-the-scenes Late Night footage as well as a full season of Pale Force, the online series from O’Brien and Jim Gaffigan; and Last Call‘s All Access, a Web series featuring behind-the-scenes footage of music industry notables. (Hollywood Reporter)
Rachael Ray holds prom for tornado ravished school
Rachael Ray held a senior prom for high school students who lost eight classmates and their school in a March 1 tornado in Enterprise, AL. In addition to planning the festivities, Ray also paid for the dance and filmed it for an episode of The Rachael Ray Show to air this month. (AP via Yahoo!)
Girls Gone Wild founder won’t surrender to police
Joe Francis, founder of the adult Girls Gone Wild videos, defied a federal judge Thursday (April 5) and refused to surrender to U.S. marshals on a contempt citation. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak ordered Francis into custody after settlement negotiations fell apart in a lawsuit brought by seven women who were minors when Francis’ company filmed them on Panama City Beach. The 34-year-old Francis, who makes an estimated $29 million a year off the videos, said, ”This judge has gone as far as to call me the devil and an evildoer. It is a case of a judge gone wild.” (AP via Yahoo!)
Performers set for Latin Music Awards
Joan Sebastian, Miguel Bose, David Bisbal, R.K.M. & Ken-Y, Los Creadorez del Pasito Duranguense, Los Horoscopos de Durango, Diana Reyes, and Mariano Barba will perform at the 2007 Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will air live on the Telemundo network on April 26 from the BankUnited Center in Miami. Other performers will be announced in coming weeks. (Billboard)
Webcasts eroding TV rerun ratings
The increasing prevalence of TV programs being available as Webcasts after their first run is eroding the audience for on-air reruns. Shows like CSI and Law & Order: SVU, which used to count on their successful repeatability, now sometimes hold on to less than 60 percent of their audience when aired as repeats. Although networks make money off Webcasts, it is nowhere near the revenue generated by ratings for traditional TV. Other factors attributed to the erosion of the rerun audience include the growing popularity of DVRs, which allow viewers to record shows during their first run and negate a need to watch anything as a rerun; a shrinking time period between the time a show is aired and the time it is available on DVD; and year-round programming, which has fresh, first-run shows airing at any given time, eliminating a rerun season during the year. (Variety)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: The story of how Eric Clapton stole George Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd (the inspiration for Clapton’s song ”Layla”), will be revealed in Boyd’s upcoming autobiography, Wonderful Tonight.
Rush & Molloy: The gay community is not happy about Out magazine anointing CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster as two of America’s 50 most powerful gay people — ostensibly outing them publicly.
People.com: Scarlett Johansson won’t say one way or the other whether she’s dating Justin Timberblake.