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Quick Takes: David Letterman bests Jay Leno

November 05, 2010

Has the balance of power in late-night TV shifted yet again?

CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" has beaten NBC's "Tonight Show" in viewers and the key demographic groups for the first time since Jay Leno returned to the latter program in March.

Last week, Letterman averaged 3.8 million viewers, compared with 3.6 million for Leno, according to figures published Thursday by the Nielsen Co.

In adults ages 18 to 49, the group most sought by the majority of advertisers, Letterman averaged a 1.0 rating/4 share, compared with a 0.9 rating/4 share for Leno.

Letterman trailed Leno during most of the latter's first stint as "Tonight" host but moved ahead after Conan O'Brien took the helm. Leno reclaimed the lead when he returned, but the gap had been narrowing in recent months.

—Scott Collins

New Jackson album due

Get ready for more Michael Jackson music.

Sony Records and Jackson's estate announced Thursday that they'll be releasing "Michael" on Dec. 14. The album is billed as "newly completed recordings" from the pop legend who died last year.

The first single is called "Breaking News" and will be streamed

on http://www.michaeljackson

.com starting Monday for one week. A teaser of the song will appear on the site Friday.

Jackson recorded "Breaking News" in 2007. The statement said it was "recently brought to completion."

Jackson was known for recording dozens of tracks for his albums and had a substantial trove of unreleased music.

—Associated Press

Funds flow to Noise Within

This has been a bountiful autumn for A Noise Within.

In the past six weeks, the Glendale-based classical repertory company has received two grants totaling $700,000 and a commitment from an anonymous donor to match as much as $1 million in contributions — all toward construction of its new home in Pasadena.

Counting the grants (but not the challenge pledge), the company has reached the $11-million mark in its $13.3-million capital campaign for a theater complex scheduled to open in time for the company's 20th-anniversary season in fall 2011.

—Karen Wada

Rikers releases Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne was freed from jail Thursday after serving eight months in a gun case.

"Welcome home, Weezy!" the rap star's Facebook page proclaimed, using one of his nicknames, after his morning release from the Rikers Island jail complex in New York.

His managers said he planned to head for his home in Miami, where they're planning a welcome-home party Sunday.

Lil Wayne, who had the best-selling album of 2008 and won a best rap album Grammy with "Tha Carter III," kept his career in high gear while locked up for having a loaded gun on his tour bus in 2007.

His latest album, "I Am Not a Human Being" — released while he was in solitary confinement in September — hit No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart last month.

Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Carter Jr., pleaded guilty in October 2009 to attempted weapon possession, admitting he'd had a loaded, semiautomatic .40-caliber gun on his bus after a Manhattan concert.

—Associated Press

Franklin is ordered to rest

Aretha Franklin is canceling all concert dates and personal appearances through May on the orders of her doctors, the singer's spokeswoman said Thursday.

The news came two days after the announcement that the 68-year-old singer had been released over the weekend from a Detroit hospital after a brief stay.

Publicist Tracey Jordan wouldn't say whether the events were related, nor did she offer details about Franklin's condition.

—Associated Press

NBC dropping 'Undercovers'

NBC has decided not to pick up the full season of J.J. Abrams' action series "Undercovers."

Three more episodes will air on Nov. 10, 17 and Dec. 1.

The series will be replaced by a "Shrek" holiday special on Nov. 24 and the season premiere of the a cappella contest "The Sing-Off" on Dec. 8.

—Melissa Maerz

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