-- Britney Spears was perfectly OK on "How I Met Your Mother." If we had not been watching BRITNEY SPEARS, then we'd probably have looked at her and thought, "that actress is kind of funny." The episode overall was so-so -- good plotting, few big laughs -- but not hurt by Spearsmania. In fact, it may help save the show, since it boasted some all-time high ratings in young demographics and a season high in viewers. The stats from CBS:
... first in adults 18-34 (3.6/10, the night's top program in this demo), second in households (6.3/10), viewers (10.62m), adults 25-54 (5.3/12) and adults 18-49 (4.5/12). Compared to the program's first-run return last Monday, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was up +9% in households (from 5.8/09), +6% in adults 25-54 (from 5.0/12), +5% in adults 18-49 (from 4.3/11) and added +1.01m viewers (from 9.61m, +11%).
-- Watched "Dancing With the Stars" last night and it's clear they want to keep this from being a Kristi Yamaguchi runaway. To be sure, Jason Taylor is good and Mario impressive and Shannon Elizabeth was capable, especially considering I'm not really a fan of her otherwise. But when Bruno told Yamaguchi that he could not find any mistakes but still gave her a 9 instead of a 10, then someone is trying to keep the field close.
As for some of the rest, I feel terrible for the likely-to-go-tonight Monica Seles; here's someone who mastered tennis but can't quite figure out her latest task. Must be very difficult for someone so competitive. I know Penn Jillette won't win but I find him very likable on the dance floor; he needs to watch the talking back to judges. I think Priscilla Presley is getting some very gentle treatment from the judges. I could happily wave buh-bye to Adam Carolla tonight -- and suspect Carrie Ann would do likewise.
-- Also tuned to "The Bachelor" to keep tabs on former local gal Holly Durst, who survived another rose ceremony. But the show overall is dispiriting, especially when you look at how desperately Shayne wants not only love but attention. (And it's now very clear how easy it is to make this Bachelor uncomfortable.) She doesn't seem alone in that respect but it does say something about the romantic perspective some women bring to the show: As long as a handsome man is paying attention to them, they think it's a first step toward love. No wonder, then, that the romances often dissolve once the show is over; no man is going to be as attentive in the real world as he can be in the "Bachelor" pressure cooker.
-- During my semi-day off yesterday, I spent a little time finally watching "Hot Fuzz," thanks to OnDemand TV. Funny funny movie, with a fabulous shootout at the end (although its fabulousness diminishes as it goes on too long). Also gives me a reason to revisit "Bad Boys II," which was not something I had considered doing. And now, my younger son tells me, I need to see "Shaun of the Dead," which he considers much better.