News Briefs: How Long Will Once Upon a Time's Ratings Stay Awesome?

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... ABC's fairytale spectacular Once Upon a Time debuted Sunday night and kicked all sorts of ass in the ratings, even though it was up against Sunday Night Football and the World Series. More than 12.79 million people tuned in, which earned the show a 3.9 rating and the highest numbers of anything that wasn't sports. High-concept shows tend to fall off the cliff in Week 2, so we'll be keeping a close eye on the ratings next week. [TV By the Numbers]

... In other ratings news, the viewing public's love affair with Jersey Shore might be fading. MTV's reality smash had its first finale drop-off, with Thursday's Season 4 closer pulling in 6.6 million viewers—that's down 1 million from last year's Season 3 finale. It's the first time Jersey Shore has seen a year-to-year ratings drop for a finale. I blame Italy. This season was booooooooooring. Put these guys on the moon or something. [EW]


... Don't be surprised if one of the Pan Am planes crashes later this season. Steven Maeda, a former producer on Lost, is joining ABC's Pan Am as a showrunner while the freshman drama awaits word of its fate (rumor has it that ABC will renew the show despite slumping ratings). Maeda also served as showrunner on Lie to Me and Miami Medical. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The co-showrunners of Starz's Boss, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene, are leaving the new series, which debuted on Friday to positive ratings and has already been renewed for a second season. Not sure this makes sense, but the only thing I can think of is that they served as mentors for creator Farhad Safinia, who is new to television, and are leaving so Safinia can take over. Either that, or Starz found out that they are crab people... from outer spaaaace! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Soon the cable dial will hold 10,000 channels' worth of original programming and we'll have to start outsourcing TV recaps to Korea. The latest addition: Nick at Nite is getting into original comedy with the comedy pilot Daddy's Home, which stars Scott Baio (Happy Days) as a former actor who got famous for playing a TV dad who becomes a stay-at-home dad himself. It's nice to see Nick at Nite and TV Land feed so many actors whose careers are withering away. [Deadline Hollywood]

... NBC has bought a project called 1600 Penn, about a dysfunctional First Family who lives in the White House. Is this REALLY the first time someone has thought of this? [Deadline Hollywood]


... Alan Ball is working with HBO again on Wichita, a drama about real-life abortion doctor Dr. George Tiller, who was killed by a pro-life advocate. Come on, Mr. Ball! Couldn't you have chosen a project with more potential for controversy? [THR]

... Tom Hanks is also working with HBO, where he's putting together a half-hour project called Players about college athletes. [THR]


... Perfect-in-every-way actress Aisha Tyler (Archer's Lana Kane) has joined CBS's The Talk as a co-host, making the show 1 percent tolerable. She's smart, hot, funny, hot, funny, and hot, and one day she and I will make babies together on a tropical island full of monkey butlers who will help us care for our home. [TV Line]

... DirecTV exclusive Damages will add Jenna Elfman to its cast next season, in a move I'm not sure what to make of. She'll play an employee at an investment bank that's engaging in shady activities. Jenna Elfman on one of TV's most hardcore dramas? Glenn Close will eat her face off! [Deadline Hollywood]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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