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Top TV earners: 'American Idol,' 'Two and a Half Men,' 'Desperate Housewives' top list

Forbes has tallied its annual list of the biggest TV moneymakers and, no surprise, Fox’s American Idol led the list for 2010.

Idol delivered $7.11 million every half hour last year (wow, even the padded results shows?), which was down 12 percent from 2009.

That was followed by CBS’ Two and a Half Men, with $2.89 million per half hour (which gives you an idea why few think the show is going away despite Charlie Sheen exiting). In fact, showrunner Chuck Lorre has three shows in the Top 10.

In third was another series going through some cast issues, ABC’s Desperate Housewives with $2.74 million, which has some actors in contract negotiations. Here’s the Top 10 from last year: READ FULL STORY

Midseason ratings: The top 50 shows so far!

tv-show-RatingsImage Credit: Michael Becker/Fox; Bob D'Amico/ABC; Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images; Greg Gayne/CBSThe 2010-11 season is more than half over, so it’s time to check in to see what you people are watching (or avoiding like the plague).

The news isn’t that great for the Big Four: From the Sept. 20 start of the season through Feb. 13, every net except the CW is down among adults 18-49, the most important demographic to advertisers. CBS is posting the biggest drop at 12 percent, followed by ABC (11 percent), Fox (8 percent) and NBC (4 percent). The CW, in comparison, is up 11 percent (though that’s not exactly the sand box that the teen-loving network likes to play in). If it’s any consolation, the collective adult 18-49 rating for all of TV — and we mean every last network — is down 2 percent versus a year ago, so its not just the broadcast nets that may be taking a hit.  READ FULL STORY

'Fringe,' 'Castle,' 'Raising Hope,' and 'Grey's Anatomy': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

spoiler-roomImage Credit: Smallz and Raskind/Fox; Adam Larkey/ABC; Matthias Clamer/Fox; Eric McCandless/ABCNo need to charm you with a fancy intro this week. There’s already enough frill as we head into Valentine’s Day, right? And if you happen to find yourself without a Valentine this weekend, here’s my box of Godivas to you: Raising Hope scoop from Greg Garcia, news on two big episodes of Fringe and Castle, a chat with a Grey’s Anatomy cast member about what could be the next heart-wrenching death, and a talk with Gossip Girl‘s new villainess (who may turn out to have a soft spot or two).

Read on! And also remember to email spoiler questions to or send them to me via Twitter (@EWSandraG). READ FULL STORY

Nicollette Sheridan drops abuse charges in 'Desperate Housewives' lawsuit

Former Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan has dropped the most incendiary claims of abuse from the $20 million lawsuit she filed this spring against ABC, the show’s creator Marc Cherry, and Touchstone Television. Sheridan, who played Edie Britt on the series, filed the suit in April after being dropped from the show, alleging that she had been assaulted by Cherry on the set and then fired when she reported the abuse to ABC. In a joint stipulation filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Sheridan agreed not to pursue her claim that she had been subjected to intentional emotional distress or seek any damages for emotional or physical abuse. In exchange, Sheridan will not have to submit to a mental or physical examination.

'Desperate Housewives': Time for raises on Wisteria Lane?

desperate-housewivesImage Credit: Ron Tom/ABCA raise for Lynette, Bree, Susan and Gabrielle may not top your Christmas list this year but for the stars of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, it certainly would help to ring in the new year. Contracts for Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria expire at the end of the season, and EW has learned that renegotiations have already begun.

ABC hasn’t officially said whether the drama will return for an eighth year, but all signs indicate that it’s a sure thing: Creator Marc Cherry is committed to Wisteria Lane through 2013 and the drama remains the most-watched series on Sundays (12.9 million). It’s also the No. 1 non-sports program on the night in adults 18-49 (4.3 rating/10 share) and dominates its time period across all key female demographics. The show also commands a hefty ad rate that’s well north of $200,000 per 30-second spot and ranks among TV’s highest-rated scripted series among adults in homes with an $100,000-plus annual income.

Since the four stars earn the same amount — reports peg their salaries at roughly $400,000 each per episode, which makes them among TV’s highest paid stars — its likely the women will negotiate together. From what EW hears, the women continue to get along well and are dedicated to seeing through Cherry’s vision. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Cherry’s eager to find new hits for the Alphabet network. He has a script in development dubbed Hallelujah that would center on a small town “which finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil,” according to Variety . Things improve, however, when a stranger comes to town “looking to bring justice, peace, and a little bit of faith” to the residents. The project is set up at ABC Studios through Cherry’s huge overall deal.

Marc Cherry developing drama for ABC

Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has a new show in development at ABC: Hallelujah would center on a small town “which finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil,” according to Variety. Things improve, however, when a stranger comes to town “looking to bring justice, peace, and a little bit of faith” to the residents of Hallelujah, Tenn. Don’t necessarily expect to see Hallelujah on your TV set yet, though: This is just a script deal, and the show has yet to be ordered to pilot.

'The Bold and the Beautiful' exclusive: Kathryn Joosten to tell her cancer survival story in soap's 6000th episode

Kathryn-JoostenImage Credit: Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage.comKathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives) will guest star on The Bold and the Beautiful, EW has learned exclusively. The actress will play herself in a story arc involving Nick Marone (Jack Wagner) and Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) that centers on lung cancer. In the episode, Stephanie befriends real-life lung cancer patients and survivors and meets them one-by-one in her home to hear their stories of diagnosis, treatment and hope. Joosten, a two-time cancer survivor, is among the visitors in the drama’s 6000th episode.

The episode tapes Dec. 17 and will air on Feb. 7. Joosten reportedly gave up her 45-year smoking habit in 2001 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Eight years later, she was diagnosed again but underwent surgery. She was declared cancer-free earlier this year.

Ironically, the daytime sudser has long been tied to Desperate Housewives and the character of Karen, though that’s not how it secured Joosten for the role. The Bold and the Beautiful’s Alley Mills (Pam Douglas) is married to Orson Bean, who plays Karen’s husband on Housewives.

Fall winners and losers: 'NCIS' reigns supreme; 'Dancing with the Stars' is most-watched reality show

2010-Fall-TV-StandingsImage Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC; Justin Lubin/Fox; Richard Cartwright/CBS; Eric McCandless/ABCWe’ve already seen the death of six new shows (Lone Star, My Generation, The Whole Truth, Undercovers, Outlaw and Running Wilde, though Fox hasn’t officially canceled the latter) as well as the departure of some old ones (So long, Medium! Looks like you’re out the door, too, Life Unexpected!) So it probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that HUT levels among CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC (that’s “homes using television”) are down 3 percent this year (from 39.7 million to 38.5 million).

Does that mean there weren’t enough good shows to watch on the Big Four this fall? Glee, Modern Family and The Good Wife fans would probably disagree, but it’s never good when so many freshman series tank before the holidays. Here’s how all the shows ranked in total viewers from Sept. 20 to Nov. 28:

1. NCIS (CBS) 21.3 million
2. Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 21.2 million
3. NFL Sunday (NBC) 20.2 million
4. Dancing with the Stars results (ABC) 18.5 million
5. NCIS: LA (CBS) 17.4 million
6. The Mentalist (CBS) 17.3 million
7. Criminal Minds (CBS) 16.2 million
8. CSI (CBS) 15.9 million
9. Two and A Half Men (CBS) 15.5 million
10. NFL Sunday pre-kickoff (NBC) 15.2 million
11. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 15 million
12. Modern Family (ABC) 14.7 million
13. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 14.6 million
14. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) 14 million
15. 60 Minutes (CBS) 13.9 million
16. The Good Wife (CBS) 13.7 million
17. Survivor: Nicaragua (CBS) 13.3 million
18. Blue Bloods (CBS) 13.25 million
19. Desperate Housewives (ABC) 13.22 million
20. Castle (ABC) 13 million READ FULL STORY

Valerie Harper heading to 'Desperate Housewives'

Valerie Harper will guest star on a 2011 episode of Desperate Housewives as Susan’s boozy Aunt Claire, according to TV Guide. Harper last appeared on television in a 2009 episode of ‘Til Death.

Read more:
‘Desperate Housewives’ Central
‘Desperate Housewives’ recap: Thanks(giving) but no thanks

Eva Longoria producing three new shows

Eva Longoria’s production company, Unbelievable Entertainment, is set to produce three new shows in the coming months, according to Deadline. Sendera, which also includes Cold Case‘s Kathryn Morris as an executive producer, is set in a Texas border town and follows the “modern day Shakespearean drama” between two powerful families. Longoria is also producing Parenting by Committee, which is a single-camera comedy about four single women who decide to raise a child collaboratively, and Aztec, a miniseries based on Gary Jennings’ popular 1980 book. Grant Turck and Alfonso Arau are also executive producers on Aztec.

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'Glee,' 'Fringe,' 'One Tree Hill,' 'Desperate Housewives,' '30 Rock, and more!

ask-ausielloImage Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC; Ron Tom/ABC; Adam Taylor/ABC; Adam Rose/FoxGot a scoop request? An anonymous tip you’re dying to share? Just want to say hi? You can send any/all of the above to

Question: Rumor around the Glee circuit is that Quinn and Rachel lock lips in episode 6. Any truth to that? —Joan
Ausiello: Sorry, no. If it’s any consolation, it looks like the frenemies get fairly close to first base in the new GQ. Speaking of Glee, I can now confirm that the show is planning a Christmas episode. I don’t have any other details at the moment. I do, however, have a suggestion for Ryan Murphy: Please give us (read: me) an It’s a Wonderful Life homage with Sue at the center. I, er, we don’t ask for much.

Question: Glee scoop, please! —Jeffrey
Ausiello: Someone’s about to get expelled!

Question: One Tree Hill. You’re a stingy Smurf when it comes to scoop on this gem of a show. —La-roo
Ausiello: Sources close to the National Weather Center confirm that Mother Nature is doing me a solid and sending a major hurricane Hill‘s way before season’s end. READ FULL STORY

'Smallville' Exclusive: Teri Hatcher to play Lois' mom!

louis-laneImage Credit: Danny Feld/ABC; Jack Rowand/The CWCongrats, Smallville—you have outdone yourself! For the show’s 10th and final season, producers have scored perhaps their biggest (maybe even the biggest possible) casting coup: They’ve snagged erstwhile Lois Lane Teri Hatcher to play mom to Erica Durance’s Lois Lane!

I know what you’re thinking: But Lois’ mom, Ella, is dead! Follow along now… READ FULL STORY

'Desperate Housewives' Exclusive: Nancy Travis is B.A.G.'s mom!

nancy-travisImage Credit: Kristen Noseda/Retna Ltd.; Ron Tom/ABCThis just in: Desperate Housewives has found Brian Austin Green’s mother.

A day after John Schneider was tapped to recur as Green’s DH dad, the ABC soap has cast Nancy Travis to play his mom in multiple episodes, sources confirm to me exclusively. READ FULL STORY


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