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Quick Takes: NFL draft draws record crowd

Draft blows ‘em away

Football season is months away, but television viewers can’t seem to wait.

The Nielsen Co. said Tuesday that ESPN’s coverage of the NFL draft’s first round drew a record audience of 7.3 million people last Thursday, a 23% increase over 2009.

It was so popular that it appeared to carve into the audience for some of broadcast TV’s biggest shows: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” had the third-smallest audience in the show’s history, and NBC’s “The Office” saw its smallest audience since moving to Thursdays in 2006.

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Fox won the weekly prime-time ratings race.

—Associated Press

Michaels hit with side effect

An already ailing Bret Michaels has been diagnosed with another medical malady.

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After suffering a brain hemorrhage last week, the audacious 47-year-old glam-rock reality TV star has developed a side effect that causes seizures, according to a statement posted Tuesday on the former Poison frontman’s website.

The condition, called hyponatremia, stems from a lack of sodium. The statement did not indicate if Michaels had actually suffered any seizures.

Michaels was conscious and in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit of an undisclosed hospital.

“With further testing and rehabilitation, [doctors] are hopeful that Bret will gradually improve as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months,” the statement said.

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—Associated Press

Egyptian work sets record

A painting by Mahmoud Said set a record for a work of modern Egyptian art at auction, securing a price of $2.43 million in Dubai Tuesday.

“Les Chadoufs,” an oil landscape produced in 1934, was inspired by Egypt’s Pharaonic and Islamic history. It was among 25 pieces sold in Dubai by Christie’s International, part of a collection of several hundred works owned by a Saudi patron who amassed the largest grouping of modern Egyptian art.

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An artist from Iran, Parviz Tanavoli, set a modern Middle Eastern record in April 2008 for Middle East art prices when he sold a sculpture, “The Wall (Oh, Persepolis),” for $2.84 million at a Christie’s auction in Dubai.

—Bloomberg News

Met appoints guest maestro

Fabio Luisi has been appointed principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera starting next season, a move that some will see as making him a candidate to eventually succeed James Levine as music director.

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Luisi, a 51-year-old Italian, already has conducted four operas at the Met in New York City this season and will lead Berg’s “Lulu” next month in place of Levine, who is recovering from back surgery. The 66-year-old Levine has been the primary musical force at the Met as chief conductor (1973-76), music director (1976-86 and 2004-present) and artistic director (1986-2004).

“Jimmy will be the music director at the Met for as long as he wants and for as long as he is able,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said of Levine. He said Levine would continue to conduct five-to-six productions per season and that Luisi would conduct an average of one new production and one revival each season.

Luisi is chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony and artistic director of Japan’s Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo.

—Associated Press

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Carrie’s 17 in ‘Sex’ prequel

Before she grew up and became a Manhattan icon, Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town Connecticut girl who dreamed of becoming a writer, made interesting fashion choices and had a crush on a boy named Sebastian Kydd who always kept her guessing.

“The Carrie Diaries,” which came out Tuesday, is a prequel to “Sex and the City,” focusing on Carrie’s life as a 17-year-old. Readers will learn what brought Carrie to New York City, where she meets Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.

“Sebastian Kydd … I guess he’s the kid version of Mr. Big,” author Candace Bushnell said with a laugh.

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—Associated Press

Harmonic convergence

Britain’s Prince Charles will be featured on NBC in November in a film about his environmental work.

The network said Tuesday it will show “Harmony,” a movie about the prince and his view that people have lost the understanding of how to live in harmony with the natural world.

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— Associated Press


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