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QUICK TAKES

Tonys splash but still sink

June 08, 2004|Scott Collins

Hugh Jackman earned high marks for his hosting duties, but Sunday's Tony Awards telecast bombed with viewers.

Jackman, star of "The Boy From Oz" (oh, and "Van Helsing"), enlivened the Tonys by dragging Sean "P. Diddy" Combs onstage for an impromptu duet but couldn't rescue the Broadway awards ceremony from record low ratings.

The CBS broadcast, which gave top honors to the relatively obscure musical "Avenue Q," averaged just 6.6 million viewers, skidding 16% compared with last year's telecast, according to early figures from Nielsen Media Research.

ABC's strong numbers for the Lakers-Pistons basketball game (11.3 million viewers) were no surprise, but the Tonys also had to contend with wall-to-wall cable news coverage of former President Ronald Reagan's death and the season finale of HBO's "The Sopranos."

The total-viewer numbers for "Sopranos" will be available today.

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