Hugh Laurie Music Special on PBS Tonight

Hugh Laurie leaves the difficult Dr. House behind tonight.

He lets his own personality, and his music, come out in a “Great Performances” special that airs on most PBS stations tonight.

“Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk, A Celebration of New Orleans Blues” is more than blues, actually. In the special, Laurie toodles aroundNew Orleanson foot, on a bicycle and in a car. He stops at places that have a connection to music. And, he performs in some local spots with localNew Orleansmusicians, including Irma Thomas and Dr. John. Tom Jones also appears in the special.

Hugh Laurie has a new album out called “Let Them Talk.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

World Series Champion Giants End Season With Loss

Each of the San Francisco Giants walked back onto the field after the final out and gathered near the pitching mound to offer their gratitude.

What a drastically different encore than a year ago. No follow-up postseason run for the defending World Series champions to provide an extra month of thrilling baseball for the Bay Area.

Kevin Kouzmanoff had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Colorado Rockies sent the Giants into an early offseason, beating San Francisco 6-3 on Wednesday.

“This series, we weren’t in it and we knew we were at home, but one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in baseball were the fans in this series. We felt this was a playoff type of situation, that’s how much they were into it,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s really overwhelming to see that kind of support.”

Even if the Giants didn’t win on the last day here the way they did last September to capture that elusive division crown in dramatic fashion. Even if most of the regulars were on the bench or nursing injuries.

Drew Pomeranz (2-1) outpitched fellow rookie Eric Surkamp (2-2) in their second matchup in two weeks and Jordan Pacheco added a pair of RBI singles for the Rockies, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Giants.

San Francisco (86-76) wound up in second place in the NL West behind playoff-bound Arizona, becoming the first defending champion not to make the playoffs since the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals.

This year, the remaining castoffs and misfits who grabbed everybody’s hearts last October couldn’t get it done in San Francisco’s quest to repeat.

That didn’t keep the sellout crowd of 41,873 from taking every last chance to cheer the 2010 champs.

Mark DeRosa hit a two-run single in what was likely his last game for the Giants.

“If I can keep playing, I’m going to keep doing that,” DeRosa said. “If I can’t, I’m going to take a break and be a stay-at-home dad for a minute.”

Departing Giants managing partner Bill Neukom received a rousing standing ovation and a “THANK YOU BILL” tribute on the center-field scoreboard before the seventh inning. Newly promoted CEO Larry Baer likely will begin discussions soon with general manager Brian Sabean about a contract extension.

Pat Burrell, contemplating retirement if his troublesome right foot doesn’t fully heal, ran in from left field to a standing ovation before the start of the seventh. An emotional Burrell hugged and high-fived his teammates and came back out of the dugout for a curtain call, waving to the fans while fighting tears.

“The thought that this might be the last day kind of took over,” said Burrell, who won World Series rings in Philadelphia and San Francisco. “If I have certain restraints, I would (try to play). But the reality is, I don’t know if I can. I’m going to take some time and see how it feels.”

This was a drastic difference for San Francisco on the final day a year after the club clinched the NL West and the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2003 by beating the rival San Diego Padres. That led to an improbable postseason run and the first championship for the Giants since moving West from New York in 1958.

On Wednesday, Bochy replaced slugger Carlos Beltran in the fifth inning, calling him in from right field and inserting Andres Torres. Beltran finished with a .300 batting average after he went 0 for 2. He is eligible for free agency after joining the Giants in a July 28 trade with the New York Mets.

“I appreciate that from him,” Beltran said of Bochy’s gesture.

It was a disappointing day for the Rockies (73-89), too. They had plans – and, on paper, all the talent – to make a run at the division title.

These two clubs were considered strong contenders to win the West when the season began back in April, and both have busy winters ahead: Among the Rockies’ top priorities is acquiring a front-line starter, while the Giants again need a big bat.

Bochy and Rockies manager Jim Tracy went with young lineups to evaluate who might make an impact come 2012.

San Francisco’s lineup featured only one starter from opening day in Burrell and only two players who were even on the 25-man roster on March 31 at Dodger Stadium: Burrell and DeRosa.

San Francisco lost reigning NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey to a devastating season-ending leg injury in a home-plate collision with Florida’s Scott Cousins on May 25 and also went without second baseman Freddy Sanchez because of a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Bochy made a late switch to Surkamp in the finale, resting workhorse Matt Cain on the final day.

Many Rockies regulars sat out, too. No injured Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki, the two stars who received hefty new contracts last winter. Todd Helton is hurt, too.

The Rockies completed their seven-game road trip at 3-4, bouncing back from a 7-0 shutout a night earlier to avoid a sweep.

“You always want to get a win to end the season, especially against the Giants,” center fielder Dexter Fowler said. “We ended up on a positive note. These aren’t the expectations we have for ourselves. At the same time, we want to go out and have fun next year and exceed expectations.”

Giants left-handed reliever Dan Runzler left the game in the top of the seventh with a strained lat muscle behind his throwing shoulder. He was scheduled for an MRI exam but Runzler said it wasn’t considered serious and he should be able to heal with just rest.

NOTES: Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances as Colorado won the final game of the season for the first time since 2007. … Both teams’ hitting coaches are going under the knife soon. Colorado’s Carney Lansford needs a full right hip replacement, while Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens of the Giants will undergo surgery on his right knee. … The Giants’ franchise-record attendance at 12-year-old AT&T Park was 3,387,303. The team sold out all 81 home games for the second time in franchise history, also done in 2000 for the first year of the waterfront ballpark. … DeRosa – along with Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden – will serve as guest studio analyst for MLB Network during the postseason.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Jett, GNR, Heart, The Cure Nominated for Rock Hall

Women who rock are among first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Heart and Rufus with Chaka Khan are on the ballot for the hall’s 2012 class.

Also on the ballot are Guns `N Roses, Eric B. & Rakim, The Cure and The Small Faces/The Faces, which includes Rod Stewart.

The list of nominees was released Tuesday. Other new entries include The Spinners and bluesman Freddie King. Previous nominees up for induction again include The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donna Summer, Laura Nyro, Donovan and War.

An act must have released its first single or album 25 years ago to qualify for induction.

New members will be inducted at the hall of fame inClevelandon April 14.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

INXS Hire New Irish Singer

INXS now have an Irish accent.

Irish singer Ciaran Gribbin is their new lead singer.

The band has posted a song called “Tiny Summer” featuring Gribbin on vocals on their web site. Gribbin brings an impressive resume. He co-wrote Madonna’s song “Celebration” that was on her third greatest-hits album, he’s worked with Paul McCartney and Snow Patrol and he has written for film.

Their previous singer, J.D. Fortune, says he was not fired and he did not quit. He says his contract with INXS ended after this summer’sU.S.tour and they part as friends.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

CBS Claims Victory in Round 1 of New TV Season

The Nielsen Co. says CBS averaged 12 million viewers last week, some 2 million more than runner-up ABC.

The season premiere of “Two and a Half Men” didn’t hurt CBS’ cause. Nearly 29 million viewers tuned in to see Ashton Kutcher arrive as Charlie Sheen’s replacement on the veteran sitcom. It was the most-watched show of the week.    

But CBS logged another 10 shows in the Top 20. These include the premiere of “2 Broke Girls,” and also the most-watched new dramas — “Unforgettable” and “Person of Interest.”

Fox’s much-anticipated singing competition, “The X Factor,” ranked 19th and 20th.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.97 million viewers (5.4 rating, 11 share). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.27 million (5.0 rating, 10 share) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.82 million viewers (4.0 rating, 8 share).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1% of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 19-25. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

   1. “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 28.74 million.

   2. NFL Football:PittsburghatIndianapolis, NBC, 20.36 million.

   3. “NCIS,” CBS, 19.96 million.

   4. “2 Broke Girls,” CBS, 19.37 million.

   5. “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC, 19.03 million.

   6. “NCIS:Los Angeles,” CBS, 16.71 million.

   7. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 15.98 million.

   8. “The Big Bang Theory”-Special, CBS, 14.94 million.

   9. “Dancing with the Stars”-Results, ABC, 14.79 million.

   10. “Modern Family,” ABC, 14.54 million.

   11. “Modern Family”-Special, ABC, 14.52 million.

   12. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 14.30 million.

   13. “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 14.14 million.

   14. “Unforgettable,” CBS, 14.09 million.

   15. “The Mentalist,” CBS, 13.56 million.

   16. “Person of Interest,” CBS, 13.33 million.

   17. “Castle,” ABC, 13.28 million.

   18. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 12.74 million.

   19. “The X Factor” (Thursday), Fox, 12.52 million.

   20. “The X Factor” (Wednesday), Fox, 12.49 million.

   ——

 ABC is owned by The Walt DisneyCo.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is a unit of News Corp.; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.

Nielsen permits use of only the top 20 on websites.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

Gucci Opens Museum to Celebrate Turning 90

Gucci is celebrating its 90th birthday by inaugurating a museum in its Florentine birthplace.

Gucci treasures have been collected in a Medieval palazzo in centralFlorence, which will be open to the public from Wednesday.

Among the items on display are the iconic bamboo handle bag and horse bit loafers that helped the brand become an international must among the 1950s jet set. Gucci’s more recent red carpet gowns also can be admired.

Guccio Gucci founded the brand in 1921 with leather goods inspired by his years working as a porter inLondon’s posh Savoy Hotel.

Gucci creative director Frida Gianni said before Monday night’s gala inauguration that it is the first time such hidden treasures are open to the public.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

‘All My Children’ Ends After 41 Years

“All My Children” ended with Erica Kane being jilted one last time followed by a gunshot. Who lives, who dies?

You’ll have to wait to see if the soap continues online. The final episode aired today, nearly 42 years after the show premiered.

Erica tried to persuade Jack to marry her again and follow her toLos Angeles. He refused and paraphrased Rhett Butler by saying “Frankly, Erica, I don’t give a damn what you do.”

A minute later, a drunk J.R. fired into the party, where much of the cast was.

One longtime relationship did end with a proposal. Adam asked Brooke to marry him and she said yes.

A media company hopes to continue the soap online. Some cast members have signed up, but Lucci hasn’t said what she’ll be doing. (AP)