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Leno dominates Letterman

Leno regains throne

Jay Leno has led David Letterman in total viewers and in the demographic group advertisers target since returning to late-night television last month, NBC said Thursday.

“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” beat Letterman’s “Late Show” in viewers ages 18 to 49 on 18 of 20 nights since the NBC host replaced Conan O’Brien in the 11:35 p.m. chair March 1. He has also led in total viewers, NBC said, citing Nielsen Co. data.

For last week, Leno averaged 4.37 million viewers, compared with Letterman’s 3.55 million, NBC said. Letterman had been on top during most of O’Brien’s tenure.

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-- bloomberg news ‘Dalmatians’ tour to fold

Theater organizers have put poor Pongo out of his misery.

The national tour of the new musical “101 Dalmatians” will come to an end earlier than expected after its coming engagement at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“101 Dalmatians” was scheduled to run at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from June 8 to 20. A spokesman for Broadway/L.A. confirmed Thursday that the engagement is canceled and that the organization is exploring options for a replacement show.

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“101 Dalmatians” is based on the 1957 novel by Dodie Smith and is not connected to the popular Disney film adaptations. The musical, conceived as a touring production, is directed by multiple Tony winner Jerry Zaks.

For the roles of the dogs, the production used child actors in canine costumes as well as real Dalmatians in certain scenes.

-- David Ng ‘SNL’ taps Fey, Sidibe to host

Tina Fey, Ryan Phillippe and Gabourey Sidibe will be taking turns as “Saturday Night Live” hosts this month.

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NBC said Thursday that Fey, former “SNL” cast member and head writer, is hosting the April 10 show and will be joined by pop star Justin Bieber.

Phillippe is set to host the April 17 show with Ke$ha as the musical guest. On April 24, “Precious” star and Oscar nominee Sidibe will take on hosting duties, and the band MGMT is to perform.

-- associated press A day for Web pranksters

The Internet got an April Fools’ Day makeover, as many of the major destinations on the Web continued the annual tradition of lighthearted hoaxes.

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The prank websites were rolled out Thursday in a collective effort to amuse, not confuse. In a way, it’s the Internet’s biggest holiday.

YouTube offered the curious option of watching videos in text -- essentially a stream of code instead of images.

The comedy video site FunnyOrDie.com was revamped as Bieber or Die, its home page riddled with the teenybopper star Justin Bieber.

Bieber was in on the joke: In a video, he claimed he purchased the site and now “anything that’s not Bieber dies.” He also spoofs a number of famous viral videos, including “Dramatic Bieber” and “Bieber After the Dentist.”

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Google renamed itself Topeka, an ironic one-upmanship with the Kansas city, which renamed itself “Google, Kan.” in March to help lure the company’s experimental fiber-optic network.

The site for Ben & Jerry’s offered an enticing fantasy: virtual ice cream. Starbucks poked fun at itself by unveiling new “micra” and “plenta” sizes, one absurdly small, the other as big as a bucket.

-- associated press Newton sings a new tune

Here’s a news flash: Mr. Las Vegas doesn’t wear the pants in his family.

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Wayne Newton’s life is run by his wife and her kin, and soon you’ll be able to watch how it all works on TV. WeTV is developing a reality TV show focused on Newton and the women who operate his business on and off stage in Sin City.

There’s Kat, his wife and attorney. There’s also Trish, Kat’s sister and Wayne’s public relations manager. And there’s Marilyn, his mother-in-law, who handles the performer’s merchandising.

An air date hasn’t been scheduled.

Newton is not the only famous person who will be exposing his family on WeTV. “Mother Knows Best?” features the Melissa Rivers-Joan Rivers duo as we’ve never seen them. Joan moves in with Melissa, her young son and her live-in boyfriend. It is scheduled to air in the fall.

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-- Maria Elena Fernandez


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