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Opening Ceremonies

ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Scott Collins
NBC started the London Olympics with ratings gold. Friday's opening ceremony -- beamed to Americans mostly in prime time, hours after the marathon spectacle of parades, speeches and performances had wrapped up across the pond -- was the most-watched for any Summer Olympics, with an average of 40.7 million viewers tuning in, according to Nielsen. The previous record-holder, the 1996 Atlanta games, drew 39.7 million. The Beijing ceremony delivered 34.9 million four years ago. This year's outing featured the customary parade of athletes and fireworks, capped by a live performance from Paul McCartney.
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SPORTS
July 28, 2012
Frankly, they looked like they were ready for a star turn on "Glee. " USA Swimming attempted to go where many teams have gone before, offering up a video clip, lip-syncing and dancing to the song "Call Me Maybe. " Even Michael Phelps was pulled into the fray, briefly bobbing his head in rhythm on an airplane. The video was a collaborative effort between Kathleen Hersey and her Olympic teammates Caitlin Leverenz and Alyssa Anderson . Hersey posted a link to the clip on her Twitter account Thursday and by late in the afternoon on Friday, the video had more than 300,000 views.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
NBC posted the highest numbers ever for an Olympics opening ceremony held outside the U.S., garnering a 23.0 rating and 40 share for the primetime telecast, according to preliminary results released Saturday morning by Nielsen. The figures are 28% higher than NBC generated at the 2004 Athens Games and 7% higher than its Beijing festivities four years ago, which saw a splashy ceremony staged by the director Zhang Yimou. Friday's events were overseen by the filmmaker Danny Boyle and featured appearances by personalities including David Beckham to Queen Elizabeth, as well as a splashy presentation stocked with filmic, musical and political references.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Losa Angeles Times Theater Critic
Olympic opening ceremonies tend to be orgies of nationalistic sentiment, choreographed with the propagandizing artistry of a Las Vegas-styled Leni Riefenstahl.    “Marvel at our unparalleled history,” said the Greeks at the 2004 games in Athens. “Stand in awe of our multitudinous might,” said the Chinese at the 2008 competition in Beijing.   The British pageant had to tread more carefully given the country's imperial history and modern self-consciousness. Too much muscle-flexing in this post-colonial era wouldn't have advanced Britain's 21st century image as a deluxe global marketplace, welcoming to all who have the financial wherewithal to get past security.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | Marcia Adair
LONDON - Britain was alive with the sound of bells at 8:12 this morning to signify the first day of the 2012 Olympic Games. Church bells, cow bells, hand bells, Big Ben, bicycle bells, doorbells; bells on Morris Dancers, Bangladeshi girls and ships -- all rang as quickly and loudly as possible for three minutes as part of Martin Creed's artwork for the Olympics: "Work No 1197, All the Bells in a Country Rung as Quickly and Loudly as Possible for...
SPORTS
July 27, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
LONDON - The U.S. women's soccer team was in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday, more than 400 miles from Olympic Park and the opening ceremonies of the London Games. But they were there in spirit. The team planned to dress in the blue blazers, white skirts and blue berets the rest of Team USA wore during the parade of nations in London, then take over a ballroom at the Glasgow Hilton to watch the event on TV. “We're going to feel the spirit,” goalkeeper Hope Solo said. “As long as I'm with my teammates, we're going to be fine.” Shortly after Friday's ceremony ends team members will turn their focus back to soccer, Solo said, packing up their Ralph Lauren uniforms and shipping them home before taking on Colombia in their second match of group play Saturday.
NATIONAL
July 27, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Coverage of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics begins at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific time zones) Friday on NBC before an audience that will include not just the queen herself but athletic royalty, political royalty and even showbiz royalty. Among the 60,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium will be Queen Elizabeth II, who'll officially open the games, Prince William and his wife, Catherine, and London's most eligible bachelor, Prince Harry. More than 80 heads of state and government from around the globe will also attend.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2012 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Although unquestionably a sporting event, the Olympic Games, whose 30th summer edition officially got underway with a remarkable opening ceremony in London on Friday night, is also a kind of theater -- an unscripted performance on the theme of athletics as much as it is an athletic contest. It draws viewers who otherwise might spend no time thinking about such things and weaves them in with narratives of individual excellence, hardship overcome and global unity (within a framework of global competition)
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