The "Jersey Shore" gang took its act to Italy on Thursday night and delivered ratings that MTV was describing Friday as stupendo and fantastico.
The fourth season premiere of the reality show about housemates Ronnie, Sammi, Snooki & Co. attracted
8.8 million viewers, the network said, describing it as the largest audience ever for an MTV season premiere and the third-highest MTV series telecast ever (bested only by two other "Jersey Shore" episodes last season).
The audience was 4% higher than for the show's first episode last season, MTV said.
pops her top
Nicki Minaj took the stage early Friday in New York's Central Park for "Good Morning America's" summer concert series and grabbed attention not only for her punchy mini-concert but also for a wardrobe malfunction.
Looking as animated as ever in a blond wig, plastic tutu, pink jacket and colorful leggings, the rapper popped out of her bright green top during "Where Them Girls At."
Minaj reacted quickly, but not quickly enough for the East Coast not to get a glimpse before it was digitally blocked and for photo-
graphers to snap a ton of pics.
The performance continued without incident, but ABC later issued an apology.
"Although we had a five-second delay in place for the Nicki Minaj concert on 'GMA,' the live East Coast feed of the concert regrettably included certain fleeting images of the performer that were taken out of later feeds of the broadcast in other time zones," a network statement said. "We are sorry that this occurred."
—Gerrick D. Kennedy
John Ford stamp for 2012 unveiled
During his long film career, John Ford won four Oscars for director — for 1935's "The Informer," 1940's "The Grapes of Wrath," 1941's "How Green Was My Valley" and 1952's "The Quiet Man." He made John Wayne a star in his influential 1939 western "Stagecoach" and directed the Duke in such transcendent western classics as 1948's "Fort Apache," 1949's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," 1950's "Rio Grande" and 1956's "The Searchers."
On Friday, the United States Postal Service announced that Ford, who died in 1973, will be immortalized on a "forever" stamp next year. The stamp features Ford and an image from "The Searchers."
The postal service also will honor other movie directors on stamps next year.
Spider-Man sequel due in '14
Confident about the popularity of its superhero franchise, Sony Pictures on Friday said that a sequel to "The Amazing Spider-Man" will kick off the 2014 summer movie season.
Andrew Garfield portrays the crime-fighting webslinger in "The Amazing Spider-Man," which is scheduled to hit theaters in July 2012, and he will be back wearing the spider suit for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," now set for release on May 2, 2014.
It's rare that a studio announces a release date on a sequel so far in advance of the first movie's debut. Executives typically prefer to wait and judge the success of the movie.
Lollapalooza goes Brazilian
Lollapalooza, the gigantic rock festival celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend in Chicago, is set to expand to its second South American event next year in Sao Paulo.
"If we can rub elbows with the Brazilians, who knows what Lollapalooza will be like? They have a long, storied history of partying," said Perry Farrell, who founded the festival in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band, Jane's Addiction.
Farrell's band broke up after the first Lollapalooza, before reuniting at least three times, while the festival lived on as a cross-country U.S. tour until being canceled in 1998.
Six years ago, it was reborn as a weekend-long concert at Grant Park in Chicago featuring hundreds of bands, and last year it expanded to Santiago, Chile.
The festival will be held next year March 31 to April 1 at O'Higgins Park in Santiago and then April 7 and 8 at the Jockey Club in Sao Paulo before the summertime concert moves back to the northern hemisphere Aug. 3-5, 2012, in Chicago.
Renewed: "Rizzoli & Isles" has been renewed by TNT for a third season, with 15 episodes ordered for the summer of 2012.
Hosts named: Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth will join country singer Trace Adkins to host the second American County Awards, which will air Dec. 5 on Fox from Las Vegas.