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All eyes won't be on Tony Awards

June 14, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Last year, it was a gangster. This year, it might be the NBA.

Broadway's 62nd Annual Tony Awards goes up against Kobe Bryant and Game 5 of the National Basketball Assn. finals on Sunday -- and the award program may be the poorer for it.

In much of the country, the two programs will go head-to-head and in the West will overlap for a short time. So far, the Celtics-Lakers series has been attracting big crowds -- its first two games drew more than 13 million viewers each.

Last year, the award program hit a record low with 5.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Co., down 26% from the year before. But then again it did face the series finale of HBO's "The Sopranos."

But the producers of the Tonys, broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall, hope that their first host in three years, Whoopi Goldberg, can deliver -- or least keep the program above last year's result.

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