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'The View' farewell to Barbara Walters rates big

Barbara Walters’ last day on The View was a ratings bonanza: The star-studded show that featured appearances from Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey averaged 5.2 million viewers — the show’s fourth-ranked broadcast of all time, Nielsen says.

It was also the most-watched telecast in over a year and a half among women 18-49 (818,000) and women 25-54 (1 million).

Thursday’s telecast averaged 4.2 million and featured 11current and former View co-hosts for the first time on stage together.

On Friday, several female TV journalists filled the stage to pay tribute to Walters, including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Jane Pauley, Connie Chung, Joan Lunden, Paula Zahn and Robin Roberts.

 

Billboard Music Awards most watched in 13 years

ABC took the winner’s trophy on Sunday thanks to a decent turnout for the Billboard Music Awards. The two-hour ceremony was the No. 1 show of the night in viewers (10.4 million) and adults 18-49 (3.5 rating), Nielsen says. It was also the most-watched Billboard telecast in 13 years.

CBS just edged out a second place spot in 18-49 (at least according to early estimates) by airing the season finales of The Amazing Race (1.7/5); The Good Wife (1.2/3, down 25% from last season’s finale) and The Mentalist (1.5/4, down 12% from last season’s finale). CBS’ most-watched show of the night was 60 Minutes at 9.8 million.

Fox had the second-highest rated program on the night in 18-49 in Family Guy (2.0). Bob’s Burgers got a .9, American Dad a 1.2; The Simpsons a 1.6, and Cosmos a 1.1. At 3.8 million, Family Guy was the net’s most-watched show.

NBC came in fourth with the special Coldplay: Ghost Stories (.4), American Dream Builders (.4) and the repeat special Women of SNL (.8), which was also the net’s most-watched show for the night at 2.8 million.

 

'River Monsters' renewed by Animal Planet

Jeremy Wade will be back with his scary underwater creatures: Animal Planet has renewed River Monsters for a seventh season.

The unscripted show that sends Wade sleuthing for freshwater mysteries is Animal Planet’s best-performing series ever. It’s sixth season debut was its most-watched-season premiere and also ranked as the most-watched network season premiere among key demos.

The two-hour opener, dubbed “Amazon Apocalypse,” averaged 1.7 million viewers.

The sixth season finale of River Monsters will air Monday, May 26 at 9 ET with “Body Snatcher,” an episode in which Wade investigates rumors of a body-snatching spirit and predatory freshwater mermaid that is said to drag men deep into the river, never to be seen again.

'Vampire Diaries' season finale: EP Julie Plec answers burning questions

Spoiler alert! After a traumatic season 5 finale of The Vampire Diaries, fans were left wondering if they’d seen the last of Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) — and who may have returned from The Other Side as a human. Exec producer Julie Plec provides EW with some answers, and teases where we go from here. READ FULL STORY

'The View' says goodbye to Barbara Walters

Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey joined just about every female anchor currently on network TV to bid farewell today to Barbara Walters, who is retiring this week from The View and ABC News.

After taping a reunion with current and former co-hosts of The View (welcome back, Star Jones, Rosie O’Donnell and Lisa Ling!) that aired earlier today, Walters, 84, rejoined current hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd for one last lovefest behind the desk for a final show that’ll run Friday. Dressed in a white jacket and black skirt, Walters walked on stage for one last time as the crowd chanted “Barbara! Barbara!” Pictures from her long broadcast history (Walters and the Carters; Walters and Hugh Downs) flashed in the background. READ FULL STORY

'The Normal Heart': Ryan Murphy cried at the sight of Matt Bomer's severe weight loss -- LISTEN

No one expects to get through HBO’s adaptation of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s semiautobiographical play about the rise of AIDS in New York in the early 1980s, without sobbing. But just listening to director Ryan Murphy describe Matt Bomer’s severe weight loss to play Felix Turner, a New York Times style writer whose body is decimated by the disease, will likely get you misty. HBO allowed Murphy to shut down production from July to November last year so Bomer could lose 40 pounds. “I literally think I burst into tears when I saw him, I was so worried for his health,” Murphy told Entertainment Weekly Radio. “I was so worried for his health, because he had taken it taken it to such a level. He was in a chair getting a haircut, and he could barely turn to greet me, he was so weak. But he carried the weight of all the ghosts of those people who had died. I remember he had a very big nude scene in the shower scene, where he had to basically collapse. And that was always the height of his thinness. And we’re like, ‘Okay, after this scene, you’re gonna be in clothes, so you can start to bulk up again hopefully….’ So to celebrate, he had a cracker. He threw up the cracker. His body had been so deprived for so long that he couldn’t hold any food.”

Listen to a clip of Murphy’s chat with EW Morning Live host Dalton Ross below. He also explains why Bomer and Mark Ruffalo, who plays Felix’s partner Ned, cried for 20 minutes after filming Bomer’s final scene.  READ FULL STORY

'How I Met Your Mother' spinoff: 'Didn't work out'

One of the most glaring omissions from CBS’ fall schedule is How I Met Your Dad, the much-talked about spinoff of CBS’s long-running comedy. But CBS topper Nina Tassler told reporters Wednesday that “things on the pilot didn’t work out” and the producers can now shop it elsewhere.

The hope was to retool the comedy pilot, but the show’s producers weren’t interested in returning to the drawing table. The comedy pilot starred Greta Gerwig as Sally, who gradually reveals how she met her partner in flashback. It’s from writers/exec producers Emily Spivey and HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel mocks CBS, 'Gotham,' Juan Pablo

Jimmy Kimmel took the stage at ABC’s upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday and — in what has now become a tradition (and the best part of the event) – he lampooned his network, his rivals and anyone who would even think of advertising on his network.

Here are his best jokes (i.e., pretty much his whole standup act):

“Being a president of television network is hard, there’s no question about that. But somehow [ABC topper] Paul Lee makes it look even harder. You heard Paul say it, we’re No. 1. We’re No. 1? Look, I don’t know what this No. 1 brand bullshit is, I don’t know what kind of 17 mile long … collider they spun that one in, but the ABC I work at is not No. 1. In fact, we might need to crash on your couch for a while. READ FULL STORY

ABC defends racy 'Grey's' at 8 p.m.

Two of ABC’s popular — and very steamy — dramas will air an hour earlier on Thursdays this fall, but ABC topper Paul Lee doesn’t seem to be too worried about shaking up the so-called family hour with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

“I think it’s much less relevant than it was than five years ago,” Lee said today in a press conference, after a reporter questioned the idea of airing adult content earlier in the evening. ABC unveiled its fall schedule Tuesday that shifted the sexy medical soap Grey’s to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and the equally racy Scandal from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Another reporter reminded Lee that ABC once had a reputation for keeping the family hour free of racy shows, he said the sales department was “fully supportive” of the decision to move Grey’s to 8 and that it’s a “non-issue.”

Lee also went on to say that ABC has a “strong” standards and practices department and “we will make sure whatever we air is appropriate.”

Sexy scenes have become a mainstay on both dramas — and characters have even been known to do the hibity-dibity outside of the bedroom. (See: Cristina and Owen in the fan shaft: Fitz and Liv in the White House). But Scandal, in particular, also features violent content like torture. Watch some below: READ FULL STORY

ABC fall schedule revealed: 'Scandal' on the move

Scandal will air an hour earlier on Thursdays, while Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will move to 9 on Tuesdays, according to ABC’s new fall schedule released today.

The rest of ABC’s schedule remains intact, especially Dancing with the Stars – which will stay a one-night-a-week franchise (sorry, fringe lovers).  Here’s the full schedule (new shows are in bold): READ FULL STORY

'Glee' final season length could change, Fox says

Fox has an order for 22 episodes of Glee, but Fox Entertainment topper Kevin Reilly says that could change. The dramedy isn’t on the fall schedule, and there was some thought that Fox could cut back the show. Reilly said the musical dramedy will return in midseason for its final run and that the network will work with co-creator Ryan Murphy for how to best shape the closing arc.

“We need to sit down with [creator] Ryan Murphy on how to end it,” Reilly told reporters this morning in anticipation of the network’s upfront presentation later today. “The advantage of  airing it later in the season is that it doesn’t have to feel the pressure of delivering.”

Reilly also explained why he decided to order two more seasons of Glee in April of 2013, when he [obviously] no one would predict the drama would experience ratings lows this year. “It was really a business decision,” he said. “We sat down with Ryan and heard creatively where he it was going. Ryan had a good beat.”

'24: Live Another Day': 'Help, Jack's trying to kill me!'

Remember that sneaky little tart from Fox’s 24: Live Another Day premiere, who stole off with that very important brief case?

In this exclusive clip from Monday’s episode, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is hot on  her trail — until things get a little bloody. READ FULL STORY

'Nashville' renewed by ABC

Good news, Deacon lovers: He and the other country crooners on Nashville will be back for another season.

The drama that stars Connie Britton and Charles Esten was one of the last shows waiting for a pickup from ABC, which already announced renewals for series like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Revenge, Castle and Once Upon a Time.

There’s still no word yet on Last Man Standing or the unscripted show The Taste. ABC’s already yanked Trophy Wife, Super Fun Night and Suburgatory.

ABC will announce its fall lineup Tuesday in New York.

 

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