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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: August 19, 2009

Northeast Ohio's own Patricia Heaton heated up the Internet after an appearance on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" where her math skills proved to be, uh, limited. Here's the clip:

I don't know that this qualifies as a defense of Heaton but, while she has long demonstrated that she was passionate and committed to various causes and a good actress, I don't remember her ever declaring herself a math whiz. Or even all that well educated. Here's a key passage from her memoirs:

"It probably wouldn't have mattered what my [high school] grade-point average was, because I ended up going to Ohio State, where the only requirements for acceptance were that you had to be breathing and carrying a number-two pencil."

Still, that "Millionaire" gig was so stunning, I wouldn't expect her on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" any time soon.

Since I noted the modest ratings for the first two seasons of "Mad Men" in a recent column, let me pass along AMC's breakdown of the numbers for the third-season premiere. Still not as good as many shows, but an improvement. And I hope the episode will get folks to come back.

AMC's "key points":
-- Season three premiere of “Mad Men” scored a 3.1 HH rating with almost 4 million viewers live same day (Nielsen live+same day Fast Nationals gross audience).
-- The 10 pm airing drew a 2.1 HH rating with 2.8 million total viewers, increasing its audience over 34% from over season two’s premiere episode.
-- Versus season two average for 10 pm premieres, the season three 10 pm premiere shot up 84% in total viewers (2.8 million vs. 1.5 million).
-- Last night’s premiere also delivered significant double digit increases across all demos compared to season two, highlights include Adult 25-54 for an increase of 37% (1.4 million vs. 1 million) and Men 25-54 for an increase of 45% (658K verses 352K).
-- Mad Men posted historic gains online, generating more than 1.5 million page views on premiere day, a 273% increase over season two premiere, and 700,000 Mad Men Yourself avatar downloads.
-- As of August 17, Mad Men seasons one, two, and three dominate the top positions on the iTunes chart, with Season 3 premiere episode the top episode for sale, and the entire Season 3 the top season for sale.

Changing topics, as dreary as the landscape was in "Reno 911!" the region's tourism board apparently liked it being mentioned on TV on a regular basis. From the e-mail basket:

On the heels of actor/writer Thomas Lennon’s (aka Officer Jim Dangle’s) twitter post announcing the cancellation of Reno 911! , an unlikely thing occurred.

The city that was simultaneously made famous, and relentlessly shamed, by the tongue-and-cheek, mock-umentary style sitcom launched a veritable fan website,, which went live on Friday, August 14, less than 24 hours after Lennon’s loaded tweet.

The show has a loyal legion of devoted viewers. Since the launch to save Reno 911, more than 400 fans of the show have joined the fight on Twitter, Facebook and the new Save Reno 911 Web site. More than 70 people have visited to sign a petition to save the show. This RSCVA [Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority] site features a community billboard, as well as links to Save Reno 911 pages on Twitter and Facebook.

“One thing Reno has is a sense of humor,” says Ellen Oppenheim, President and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA). “We hope the petition results in the show getting picked up by another network, and that they film the show here instead of the non-descript valleys of southern California. ... We’ve taken more than a few punches from the show, and we think it’s time for the producers to visit the real, offbeat Reno to see what fun they’ve been missing out on."

TNT has extended the summer run of "Leverage" by two episodes, adding telecasts on Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The series had more episodes than were planned for telecast this summer, with the extras tentatively set to air later in the year. (TNT does something similar with "The Closer.") But the Sept. 9 episode may tantalize viewers for future telecasts, since it will introduce a new, recurring character -- "Tara, a grifter who helps the team out" -- played by Jeri Ryan.

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