‘Downton’ Draws Record Audience for Season Debut


“Downton Abbey” drew a record-breaking audience for Sunday’s much-anticipated season premiere.

PBS and WGBH-TV announced Monday that the fourth-season debut of the lush British miniseries attracted 10.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National data.

This audience improves upon the viewership of the third-season premiere by 22%. PBS says it’s the highest-rated drama premiere in network history.

The two-hour episode picks up the action six months after the sudden death of Downton heir Matthew Crawley on last season’s finale.

“Downton Abbey” airs on the “Masterpiece” anthology, which is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Stars include Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith. (AP)


Emerson College to Name School After Ron Burgundy


It’s kind of a big deal that Emerson College is changing the name of its school of communication.

The college in Boston will rename the school — for one day only — the Ron Burgundy School of Communication on Dec. 4 to honor the fictitious television anchorman.

Actor Will Ferrell, in character, is scheduled to share his path to journalism greatness with students. His visit will include a news conference, the renaming ceremony and a screening of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Ferrell, as himself, will introduce the movie.

College President Lee Pelton says Burgundy “understands the power of media, as well as hairspray, firsthand.”

Burgundy, known for telling people he’s “kind of a big deal,” says he hopes to let students know how hard it is to make it to the top, in his words, “especially if you don’t have good hair.” (AP)

Conan O’Brien Talks About Start in Comedy

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien visited Boston to talk about the art of comedy and how he got started in it.

O’Brien was at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on Thursday, where he was interviewed by Boston Globe film critic, Wesley Morris.

O’Brien, a Brookline native, recalled that old movies sparked his interest in show business. But his parents talked him out of it, so he focused on academics and got into Harvard. His future course was set when he became involved with the Harvard Lampoon, the school’s comedy publication.

O’Brien hosts “Conan,” a late-night talk show on TBS.

He’s also a member of the JFK library’s foundation and honorary chair of the foundation’s New Frontier Network, which works with young people to foster public service. (AP)

Sheen: I May Return to ‘Two and a Half Men’

Yes, I believe his 15 minutes of crazy fame is up, but I thought I’d at least follow through on this continuing loco saga.


Charlie Sheen says he may be reunited with “Two and a Half Men.”

In an interview with aBostonradio station Tuesday, Sheen said there have been discussions about bringing him back to the hit CBS sitcom he was fired from last month.

Sheen put the chances of him returning at “85 percent.” He didn’t offer details in the Sports Hub 98.5 WBZ-FM interview, saying he’d been asked not to divulge anything.

CBS declined to comment, and series producer Warner Bros. Television didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

The actor also said his profits from the show’s rich syndication deals are being withheld and that’s part of his $100 million lawsuit against Warner and the show’s executive producer.

Sheen was inBostonfor his nationwide road show that has drawn mixed audience reaction.

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

If Only I Could Sing…

Joe Perry has posted a tweet looking for a new lead singer for Aerosmith.

Perry writes that the band isn’t splitting up, but they just don’t know if Steven Tyler is still their lead singer.

Perry told a radio station in Concord, New Hampsire (WKXL) that he hasn’t heard from Tyler since he hurt himself falling off a stage last August.

Tyler’s been quoted as saying he’s thinking of going solo.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Philly likes blue: Ford color data reveals quirks

In Philadelphia, they’ve got the blues. In Cincinnati, they’ve got — well — the reds.

Cincinnati is the top market for red cars in the U.S., while Philly buyers prefer blue. That is the picture Ford Motor Co. drew Tuesday based on its internal sales data.

Sometimes, color preferences are logical. Ford says buyers in hot cities, like Phoenix and Dallas, like white cars, while buyers in colder cities, like Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, are partial to red.

But sometimes, the preferences are a puzzle. Ford says Boston is the top market for both brown and green cars, for example, while San Franciscans like silver. In Florida, they like gold.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)