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Quick Takes

February 15, 2013

'Sesame' a YouTube hit

Nearing 1 billion views on YouTube, "Sesame Street" is headed for Justin Bieber territory.

The children's program is closing in on the kind of rarified digital milestone usually reserved for the likes of pop stars and cat videos.

For "Sesame Street," the milestone — a first on YouTube for a nonprofit or U.S. children's media outlet — reflects the increasingly multimedia nature of kids' entertainment. Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are now about as likely to be watched on an iPad, phone or laptop as they are on PBS, where the show has been a mainstay since 1970.

"We have this theory that if we get content on multiple platforms and devices, it gives kids and families a chance to reinforce and experience the curriculum multiple times," says Terry Fitzpatrick, executive vice president of content and distribution for Sesame Workshop, who emphasizes videos are best co-viewed by child and parent. "It blows me away to think about how popular and strong a platform [YouTube] has become for us."

—Associated Press

Grammys turn into sales figures

Though the full Grammy effect won't be evident until the Feb. 20 Billboard charts, acts that graced the stage and walked away winners Sunday are already enjoying a surge in sales.

Fun., Mumford & Sons, the Black Keys, Rihanna, Miguel and Frank Ocean are among those who have seen boosts, which are expected to continue.

Mumford & Sons' "Babel" had scored a 50% bump in sales over the previous week, moving more than 54,000 copies and landing at No.4 on the Billboard 200 chart, by the time the English folk band was celebrating its album of the year win.

Fun.'s "Some Nights," Ocean's "Channel Orange," the Black Keys' "El Camino," Gotye's "Making Mirrors" and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" have scored sales gains of 50% or more compared with the previous week.

Ocean had the biggest jump, with his critically acclaimed "Channel Orange" having a 140% uptick in sales after it won for urban contemporary album.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy and Todd Martens

Lady Gaga's hip injury ends tour

Lady Gaga has canceled the rest of her tour dates because of a hip injury.

A news release from Live Nation Global Touring says Lady Gaga has a tear in her right hip that will require surgery, followed by a recovery period.

The pop star had 21 dates through March 20 remaining on her Born This Way Ball tour schedule. Fans who had already bought tickets will receive a refund.

She postponed four dates Tuesday after telling fans on Twitter that she'd hurt herself some time ago but hid the injury from her staff. Over the last month, the injury became worse and she was unable to walk after Monday's show in Montreal, she said.

—Associated Press

Countess prefers not to watch

Here's some "Downton Abbey" news that's almost as shocking as what happened to Lady Sybil a few weeks back: The Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith, has never seen a single episode of the hugely popular PBS costume drama in which she stars.

The 78-year-old actress, who's twice won an Emmy for her performance on the series, made the stunning confession in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes."

Smith predicted that she'll probably give in once the series is all over (funny, we never would have pegged her for a binge-viewer) but said that, for now, it's too frustrating to watch her own work.

"I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, 'Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?'"

So why do it at all? "It's the delight of acting," she said.

—Meredith Blake

Jeff Probst show is not a survivor

A week after Twentieth Television said it wouldn't renew "The Ricki Lake Show" for a second season, CBS Television Distribution has come to the same decision about "The Jeff Probst Show."

Both freshman series had struggled to gain a footing in the crowded daytime talk arena.

"I'm super bummed but extremely proud," said Probst, better known as the host of "Survivor" in prime time. "The truth is all shows come to an end. Ours just ended a decade sooner than we had hoped."

Production and broadcast will continue for now, with the show wrapping its run by summer.

—Yvonne Villarreal


Honors: Monty Hall, the first host of the game show "Let's Make a Deal," and the late Bob Stewart, creator of "To Tell the Truth," "Password" and "The $10,000 Pyramid," will be given lifetime achievement awards at the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

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