Quick Takes: ‘Big Bang’ again tops ‘Idol’

The boys of “The Big Bang Theory” are slowly but stalwartly taking down the Death Star.

The CBS sitcom, now in its fifth season, knocked off Fox’s long-dominant “American Idol” for the second week in a row Thursday night among viewers in the 18-to-49 age range that many advertisers target.

The geek comedy also pulled in more viewers overall, according to early figures from Nielsen, drawing 15.96 million viewers in the 8-8:30 slot compared with “Idol’s” 15.46 million.

“Idol” did better in its second half hour and wound up averaging nearly 17 million viewers for the broadcast — still good, but down markedly from a year ago.


—Yvonne Villarreal

ABBA reissue has new track

Mamma Mia, here they go again.

ABBA fans will soon again be saying “Thank you for the music” with the release of a new track on a special edition of the disbanded 1970s pop group’s “The Visitors” album.

The record, including new track “From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel,” is the first official new release by the Swedish group in 18 years.

Universal Music Group spokeswoman Mia Segolsson said Friday that the special edition of “The Visitors” — originally released in 1981 — will be available April 23.

—Associated Press

Czar’s kin seeks bride in Ukraine

He is a descendant of Russia’s last czar — and has lived in the jungle, starred in Bollywood movies and trained as a stuntman.

Now Scottish photographer Francis Mathew is in a new adventure: finding a bride on a reality TV show in Ukraine.

Mathew, the great-great-nephew of Nicholas II, is the star of the second season of Ukraine’s version of the popular U.S. show “The Bachelor” — in which an unmarried man picks a fiancée through a series of dates and romantic getaways.

As many as 16,000 young women from across Ukraine and beyond auditioned to compete for the heart of “a prince” — as Mathew is billed by the show’s producers, even though he has no royal title. Twenty-five contestants were selected.

—Associated Press

Slim Grammys irk Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson is entering the fray over the Recording Academy’s cuts to its Grammy categories: He’s asking to meet with the president of the organization and has raised the possibility of protests with the awards less than two weeks away.

The civil rights activist sent a letter to Neil Portnow, the president of the academy, and expressed his dismay over the academy’s decision last April to cut its categories from 109 to 78, the biggest overhaul in its then-53-year history.

Portnow said Friday that he was willing to meet with Jackson “to explain how our nomination process works and to show the resulting diverse group of nominees it produced for the 54th Grammys — many in the musical genres he cited in his letter.”

Jackson said he wanted “cooperation, not confrontation” with the academy but raised the possibility of a protest of the Feb. 12 Grammys, to be held in Los Angeles, if his talks did not go well.

—Associated Press


Music Center: Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” is joining the board of directors of the Music Center in downtown L.A.