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Quick Takes

August 30, 2011

VMAs set MTV marks

Bigger than "Jersey Shore" — that's how big Sunday's record-breaking Video Music Awards on MTV were.

The 2011 VMAs — featuring performances by Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Lil Wayne, not to mention a strange cross-dressing act kept up all night from Lady Gaga — delivered 12.4 million viewers, making them MTV's most-watched telecast ever, according to the Nielsen Co. The audience was up 9% compared with last year's VMAs.

In MTV's core demographic of viewers ages 12 to 34, the show averaged 8.5 million, also a record for the network.

—Scott Collins

Irene's toll on Broadway sales

Broadway saw a huge dip in box-office revenue last week thanks to Hurricane Irene. Total ticket sales reported by the Broadway League were down by more than 40% from the previous week.

The storm, which hit the New York area over the weekend, caused the closure of the city's mass-transit system, which in turn prompted all 23 Broadway productions to cancel weekend performances.

The Broadway League reported Monday that total ticket sales for the week ending Sunday reached $11.6 million, down from $20.1 million a week ago. Total attendance was 130,853, down from 217,661 last week.

—David Ng

Janet Jackson

to miss tribute

Janet Jackson said Monday she won't attend a planned tribute concert for her older brother Michael in Wales because the show coincides with the trial of a doctor charged in the King of Pop's death.

The singer's one-sentence statement did not criticize the show, as her brothers Jermaine and Randy have done, but cites the court case as her reason for not attending.

"Because of the trial, the timing of this tribute to our brother would be too difficult for me," her statement said.

Organizers of "Michael Forever — The Tribute Concert" have struggled to line up top-name acts and have been criticized by fans and the late singer's estate for multiple reasons, including its costly tickets, timing and remote location.

The show is scheduled for Oct. 8 in Cardiff, Wales, and the singer's mother, Katherine, and some of her children are scheduled to attend.

—Associated Press

Bravo to address Armstrong death

Bravo will air a special addressing the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, sources close to the production said Monday.

The women of the show — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards and Adrienne Maloof — shot the program Monday; Taylor Armstrong was not present. It's unclear if it will air before or after the premiere of the show's second season, which is scheduled for next Monday.

An individual close to one of the "Housewives" said the women were not given specifics as to how things would unfold during their sit-down and that it was intended as a way to get their reactions to the death of Armstrong, who hanged himself two weeks ago.

—Yvonne Villarreal

and Amy Kaufman


Radio host: After 10 years at KBIG-FM (104.3), midday DJ Kari Steele will move to Clear Channel Radio sister station KOST-FM (103.5) next week to co-host the morning show with Mark Wallengren while Kristin Cruz is on maternity leave. When Cruz returns, Steele will remain at KOST in the weekday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. slot.

"Ab Fab": The irreverent British comedy "Absolutely Fabulous," with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, will return with three new installments celebrating the show's 20th anniversary, the BBC said Monday. They'll air in the U.S. on BBC America and cable channel Logo in 2012.

All that jazz: With its 6,138th performance Monday, "Chicago" became the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history.

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