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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2010 | Times staff and wire reports
Jack Horkheimer, an amateur astronomer who created and hosted the long-running weekly public television segment "Star Gazer," died Friday in Miami. He was 72. Horkheimer had battled respiratory problems for many years, according to Tony Lima, a spokesman for the Miami Science Museum and Space Transit Planetarium. Horkheimer directed the planetarium for 35 years until his retirement three years ago. A flamboyant showman, Horkheimer was not taken seriously by professional astronomers, but his exuberant promotion of naked-eye astronomy — stargazing without a telescope — made him a celebrity among amateurs and gave his five-minute weekly television segments a campy appeal.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Lorene Yarnell, a dancer who became half of the Shields and Yarnell comedy mime team that came to fame in the 1970s and briefly starred in their own TV variety series, has died. She was 66. Yarnell died of a brain aneurysm July 29 while watching television with her husband, Bjorn Jansson, at their home in Sandefjord, Norway, said Robert Shields, her former husband and show business partner. "I'm devastated by her death," Shields told The Times on Thursday. "Lorene was an incredibly gifted and magical person."
WORLD
March 25, 2010 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
Reporting from Bogota, Colombia, and Caracas, Venezuela -- A Venezuelan judge on Wednesday ordered a former state governor and critic of President Hugo Chavez to remain in custody without bail while facing charges of conspiracy, incitement and spreading false information. The incorrect information, government prosecutors said, was an assertion by former Zulia state Gov. Oswaldo Alvarez Paz in a March 8 television program that Venezuela has become a drug-trafficking hub. "Venezuela has converted into a center of operations that facilitates the business of drug trafficking," Alvarez Paz said without directly accusing Chavez of being involved in illicit activity.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2010 | By city news service
Viewership for the second and final week of NBC's prime-time Winter Olympics coverage was down 14% from the first, but nearly double that of runner-up Fox Broadcasting, despite finishing behind "American Idol" two of the three times it aired last week. NBC averaged 21.32 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Feb. 22 and Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co. Friday night's Olympics coverage was the week's most-watched program, averaging 24.52 million viewers, more than double the 11 million combined viewership of ABC, CBS and Fox. Sunday's closing ceremony averaged 21.4 million viewers -- 45% more than for the 2006 closing ceremony.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2010 | By city news service
The first full week of Winter Olympics coverage gave NBC its most-watched week since the 2008 Summer Olympics and its widest margin of victory in the prime-time ratings race during the official television season since the 2002 Winter Olympics. With the Winter Olympics accounting for seven of the week's 10 most-watched programs, NBC averaged 24.75 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Feb. 15 and Sunday. Fox Broadcasting was second, averaging 8.68 million viewers, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co. NBC averaged 26 million viewers for the first 10 nights of Vancouver, Canada, Olympics coverage through Sunday, 27% more than the 20.4 million average for the 2006 Winter Games, which were held in Turin, Italy.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2010 | By Joe Flint
Like father, like daughter. Elisabeth Murdoch, chief executive of British TV program producer Shine Group, delivered tough talk in a keynote address to a gathering of television executives Wednesday in Las Vegas, sounding a lot like her father, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, when it comes to leveling charges of intransigence and myopia at the TV industry. Although she acknowledged that the economy has been hard on the media industry, Murdoch said she was worried that "we all act more like a victim support group than a gathering of dynamic industry leaders."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2010 | By city news service
The most-watched NFL conference championship game since 1982 and two "American Idol" episodes helped Fox draw the largest weekly average for any television network in the last two broadcast seasons. With the National Football Conference Championship Game averaging 57.93 million viewers, and the two "Idol" episodes finishing second and third, Fox averaged 24.4 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Jan. 18 and Sunday, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co. Viewership for the New Orleans Saints' 31-28 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday was the second largest for an NFL conference championship game, trailing only the 1982 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, which averaged 68.7 million viewers.
WORLD
January 19, 2010 | By Batsheva Sobelman
Angry over a Turkish TV show that portrayed Israelis as ruthless killers, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon summoned Turkey's ambassador to his office this month for a dressing-down. "Pay attention that he is sitting in a lower chair . . . that there is only an Israeli flag on the table and that we are not smiling," Ayalon told the media, which he had invited to the meeting. But Ayalon's attempt at tougher diplomacy backfired, causing outrage in Turkey, which threatened to recall its ambassador unless Israel apologized.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2010 | By Meg James
Conan O'Brien, caught in NBC's late-night shuffle, found encouragement Monday from rival network Fox. NBC confirmed Sunday that it was pulling the plug on the prime-time "Jay Leno Show" after just four months, and would shift Leno back to his longtime 11:35 p.m. slot in March. Although Leno has signed off on the time-period switch, O'Brien, the other person involved in the matter, hasn't agreed yet. O'Brien took over the storied "Tonight Show" in June when Leno stepped down to prepare for his prime-time show.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2009 | By from times wire reports
For one week at least, Donny Osmond was a big-time television star again. Osmond's victorious turn on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" was Thanksgiving week's most popular prime-time TV program, narrowly beating CBS' "NCIS." The "Dancing" results show came in third, the Nielsen Co. said Wednesday. Osmond is familiar with the prime-time television world, having hosted a variety show with his sister, Marie, three decades ago. Still, with an audience of 19.29 million viewers, it was the lowest fall finale for the dancing competition, down 7% from a year ago. The 2006 fall finale averaged 27.52 million viewers.
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