Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice by Dan Littlejohn/USA Network Photo
Thursday's commercial-free premiere of Burn Notice dealt USA Network four million viewers, and was basic cable's top-rated show of the night in key demos. That said, it fell shy of such USA series debuts as The 4400 (6.2 mil) and Dead Zone (4.2 mil). Burn Notice's lead-in, the final installment of The Starter Wife, drew 3.1 mil, a 25 percent drop from the mini's average. Not too many folks cared to say Hey Paula. The reality series' back-to-back episodes premiered to 607,000 viewers, well shy of, say, Bravo's Top Design (1.76 mil) or even Being Bobby Brown (1.1 mil). Last Tuesday's BET Awards (6.4 mil) gave the 7-year-old kudoscast its third-largest audience to date.
Out on DVD today are High School Musical: The Concert and Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile, while an Aug. 28 release has been set for Bob Saget: That Ain't Right.... Directors Mark Waters (Mean Girls) and Eli Roth (Hostel) guest-judge On the Lot tonight and next Tuesday, respectively.... The June 28 premiere of the USA Network spy drama Burn Notice will air commercial-free, marking the first time anything on the cabler has run sans ads. DIRECTV is the ghost sponsor.... TBS will launch a hi-def channel in September. Tuesday's Today's News was written by Ben Katner.
I'm beginning to think the fall season will come as a relief, a break from the congestion of summer's TV glut. Everyone's in the game these days, with a seemingly endless supply of new and returning shows on cable, while the networks keep launching reality concepts in hopes of finding the next breakthrough. (Sorry, CBS, but that Survivor rip-off Pirate Master isn't it.) Each week brings a fresh crop of contenders, so here's a sampling of the latest wave of the summer season, an eclectic mix of drama, reality and documentary. The good news? There's something for nearly everyone.
Hey Paula Thursdays, 10 pm/ET, Bravo The hook: Getting a peek into the celebrity fishbowl of Paula Abdul's hectic life.Was I hooked? Hardly. Celebreality is the emptiest form of guilty pleasure, and this pathetic time-waster is no different. As perky Paula pouts and pr