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Quick Takes: Kentucky Derby tops with women

May 09, 2012

What annual televised sporting event is more popular with female viewers than males? The Kentucky Derby.

NBC's coverage of last Saturday's race — won by the dark horse I'll Have Another — gathered 14.8 million viewers, up 2% from last year, according to Nielsen. It was the third-most-watched Derby in 23 years.

Even more noteworthy: 51% of viewers age 18 or older were women, making the Derby the only annual sporting event that draws more female than male viewers.

The most-watched Derby in recent years was the 2010 race won by Super Saver, which was watched by 16.5 million viewers.

—Scott Collins

Layoffs ahead for orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra says it's laying off 13% of its permanent staff to save money.

The orchestra announced Tuesday that it was eliminating nine full-time and seven part-time positions. No musicians will be affected.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported that the move is aimed at reducing the $2.9-million deficit the orchestra announced last November. The staff reductions will save the orchestra about $450,000 a year.

—Associated Press

Two comedies join NBC lineup

NBC is adding more comedy to its roster for next season, giving pickups to "1600 Penn" and "Animal Practice."

"1600 Penn" is a White House family comedy, with Bill Pullman as the president. It received a 13-episode order.

Also getting a 13-episode order is the office comedy "Animal Practice." The series centers on a veterinarian, played by Justin Kirk, who loves animals but loathes their owners.

—Yvonne Villarreal

Quitting time for 'Succeed'

Nick Jonas tried hard but couldn't keep Broadway's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in business.

Producers of the musical said Tuesday that they were reluctantly handing it a pink slip after several months of lackluster box-office revenue. Its final performance will be May 20.

When it closes, the revival will have played just over 500 performances since it opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York in February 2011. It quickly recouped its $9-million initial investment that December, thanks to its then-star Daniel Radcliffe.

Jonas, best known as part of the Jonas Brothers boy band, took over the lead this January and had committed to staying until at least July 1, but ticket sales took a noticeable hit. Last week, the box office took in just $368,000 out of a potential gross of $1,394,000.

The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards last year, and John Larroquette, in his Broadway debut, won the award for actor in a featured role in a musical. Radcliffe was not nominated, even though the "Harry Potter" star packed the theater and earned new respect for his energy and enthusiasm.

—Associated Press

Simon, Ma win Sweden prize

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon and cellist Yo-Yo Ma have won the 2012 Polar Music Prize, Sweden's most prestigious award for musicians.

Simon and Ma will receive $166,000 each and an invitation to the prize ceremony in Stockholm Aug. 28.

The award was founded by the late Stig Anderson, the manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, and has been handed out since 1992. It is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician.

—Associated Press

Finally

Cable drama: Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina will star in "Monday Mornings," a medical drama that TNT has ordered from producers David E. Kelley ("Ally McBeal," "Boston Legal") and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, on whose novel the series is based. It will premiere in summer 2013.

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