Quick Takes: Warhol Coke bottle painting sells for $35.4 millions

An almost 7-foot-tall Andy Warhol painting of a glass Coca-Cola bottle sold for $35.4 million Tuesday at Sotheby's in New York.

Only a day earlier, rival auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. sold a 1962 Warhol, with repeating grainy images of Elizabeth Taylor, for $63 million.

The Coke painting was also created in 1962. The seller, curator and artist Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, acquired the piece for $143,000 at Christie's in 1983.

—Bloomberg News

Group: Profanity increases on TV

The Parents Television Council, a children's advocacy group, reported Tuesday that it had found an almost 70% jump in profanity on the major broadcast TV networks in the last five years. Most disturbing to the PTC was that the time periods showing the biggest gains were the 8 and 9 p.m. hours, which attract younger viewers.

The group blamed the increase on a decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals last year that called into question the Federal Communications Commission's methods and ability to enforce its indecency rules. The court specifically said the FCC's enforcement of its indecency rules was "unconstitutionally vague" and had a "chilling effect."

"A 69% increase in scripted profanity on pre-planned, filmed entertainment is not equivalent to a couple slips of the tongue during live events," the PTC said. "The statistics above demonstrate that use of such language by the networks is both deliberate and pervasive."

—Joe Flint

'Conan' premiere late-night leader

Conan O'Brien's talk-show premiere on TBS Monday night blew away all rivals in the ratings, including Jon Stewart and even the man who took his place at NBC, Jay Leno.

The 11 p.m. "Conan" rounded up 4.2 million viewers, according to early data from the Nielsen Co. That soared straight past NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (3.5 million) and CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" (3.4 million), both of which start at 11:35 p.m.

Perhaps of more interest to late-night connoisseurs, however, was that in head-to-head competition during his hourlong time slot, "Conan" put a serious dent in the "Comedy Central" power block of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (1.3 million) and "The Colbert Report" (1 million). Last Monday, "Daily Show" delivered 1.9 million viewers.

—Scott Collins

NBC newscast widens its lead

Midterm election week increased the audiences for all three network evening newscasts, but none so much as the genre's current dominant force, Brian Williams and NBC's "Nightly News."

The Nielsen Co. said Tuesday that "Nightly News" averaged 8.7 million viewers last week. It opened up the largest weekly gap between NBC and the second-place ABC's "World News" since last winter's Olympics, which NBC aired with Williams on the scene.

Williams' telecast last week was up 12% in viewers from its average this television season. Diane Sawyer's ABC broadcast was up 1% (to 7.2 million) from its season average, with Katie Couric's "CBS Evening News" up by 6% (to 5.7 million), Nielsen said.

"Nightly News" has led in the ratings for 60 straight weeks, and 107 of the last 108, Nielsen said.

—Associated Press

New Pooh film due in July

Winnie the Pooh will be back to his old self again next year.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is returning the honey-loving teddy bear and his pals to their hand-drawn animated roots for a feature film dipping into theaters July 15.

The new "Winnie the Pooh," the first big-screen "Pooh" adventure from Disney animators in more than 30 years, will more closely resemble the classic short films from the 1960s and '70s.

—Associated Press


Awards: The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has selected Robert De Niro as the recipient of its Cecil B. DeMille award, to be presented at the Golden Globes on Jan. 16.

Tribute: Broadway theater marquees were dimmed for one minute Tuesday night in memory of Jill Clayburgh, who appeared in Tony Award-winning musicals and plays in her five-decade career. She died Friday at age 66.

Departing: Gene Shalit is leaving the "Today" show after reviewing movies there for 40 years. The 84-year-old critic, who will be honored on Thursday's telecast, said he'll continue to work on the Internet and in commercials.

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