ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Summer Ratings Woes: The nation may have been setting off fireworks over the July 4 weekend, but the major networks fired nothing but duds, with last week's prime-time viewing down even from its dismal showing the same time last year, based on results issued Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. The top-rated show, a Wednesday installment of ABC's newsmagazine "20/20," delivered just 12.6 million viewers, while numbers were also down for reruns of popular sitcoms, including CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" and NBC's "Frasier." (Complete rankings will be published in Friday Calendar.)
Getty Acquisition: Enhancing its position as an important repository of medieval art with the acquisition of a rare French Gothic work, the J. Paul Getty Museum has purchased an early 13th century illuminated manuscript known as the Avranches Psalter. The 344-page work, which contains nine illustrations inspired by the biblical Book of Psalms, was acquired from a private collection at an undisclosed cost. The manuscript--by a seminal medieval painter known as the Master of the Ingeborg Psalter--will go on view at the museum in February.
Olney Named KCET Host: KCET's "Life & Times Tonight" gets a pair of new hosts on Monday: popular KCRW-FM (89.9) radio host Warren Olney and Val Zavala, an 11-year KCET veteran who is the station's vice president of news and public affairs. KCET said the pair will fill a void left by the January departure of news anchor Yolanda Nava. Meanwhile, the role of longtime hosts and interviewers Patt Morrison, Hugh Hewitt and Kerman Maddox is undetermined, but a station spokeswoman said talks are ongoing and "we want them to continue to contribute in commentary or other ways." Olney, meanwhile, will continue to host his twice daily KCRW show, "Which Way, L.A.?"
Limp Bizkit's "Significant Other" is the nation's No. 1 album for the second week, with 335,000 units sold. The rest of the Top 5 also remains unchanged: The Backstreet Boys claim No. 2, followed by Ricky Martin and the soundtracks to "Wild Wild West" and "Tarzan." . . . Blues Traveler frontman John Popper underwent an angioplasty late last week to clear a blocked artery in his heart, the band's record label has announced. Popper, 32, had checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last Thursday after suffering chest pains. The announcement noted that he checked out of the hospital on Saturday but has postponed all public appearances this month. . . . Woodstock 99 has partnered with cable's Independent Film Channel to present the first Woodstock Film Festival as part of this year's 30th anniversary concert event, July 23-25 in Rome, N.Y. More than 40 independent films--including both old and new releases--will be shown in a converted airplane hangar.