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Quick Takes: Precocious holiday TV

September 27, 2012

Get ready for some Honey Boo Boo holidays.

The TLC network said Wednesday that it has ordered Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials focusing on its 7-year-old breakout star, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson. The series aired its 10th and final episode of its debut season on Wednesday.

The show centers around Thompson, her mother, June Shannon, and their rural Georgia family and has been a breakout hit for the cable network.

TLC has also ordered additional episodes of the series to air next spring.

—Associated Press

Rowling plans more for kids

J.K. Rowling plans to return to writing for young people — and the author says she doesn't rule out another book set in Harry Potter's magical world.

Rowling became the world's most successful living writer with her seven novels about a boy who discovers that he is a wizard and is pitched into battle against the forces of evil.

Her first book for adults, "The Casual Vacancy," is being published Thursday, five years after the release of the last volume in the Potter saga.

The 47-year-old author told the BBC that her next book would be "for slightly younger children than the Potter books."

And she said that even though "where Harry's story is concerned, I'm done," she was considering a new story set in the same universe.

—Associated Press

'Today' producer defends Lauer

The "Today" show's top producer on Wednesday defended Matt Lauer against stories that have portrayed the anchor as difficult to deal with during the show's slide in the ratings.

The longtime morning champ has slipped behind ABC's "Good Morning America" in the ratings over recent months, after more than 15 years of being the unquestioned leader in the morning. The new ratings order has solidified since Ann Curry's tearful exit as Lauer's co-host in June.

"Matt has been the heart and soul of the show for a long, long time, and any of the stuff out that has portrayed him in an unflattering light as being difficult to work with is patently false and it's been tough to deal with," said Jim Bell, "Today" executive producer.

He said viewers are still getting used to Curry's replacement, Savannah Guthrie.

"That's OK," Bell said. "We understand. We get it. We love our team and we really feel positive about the show we are doing and we are taking the long view here."

—Associated Press

Pink's latest starts at the top

Pink has had numerous top 10 albums, but none has opened at the top of the chart. Until now.

Pink's latest for RCA, "The Truth About Love," bowed at No. 1 on this week's Billboard chart Wednesday, having sold about 280,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

So far this year, only Justin Bieber's "Believe" (374,000) and Madonna's "MDNA" (359,000) have had stronger debut weeks.

—Todd Martens

Al Gore will cover debates

Who's more qualified to analyze a presidential debate than someone who's actually participated in one?

This appears to be the thinking at Current TV. On Wednesday, the fledgling cable news network announced that former Vice President Al Gore would lead coverage and analysis of the upcoming presidential debates, the first of which is scheduled for Oct. 3.

In recent months, Gore has been playing a more prominent role at Current TV, the network he co-founded with Joel Hyatt in 2005, leading coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions.

—Meredith Blake

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