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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

President Obama’s appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” attracted the largest audience to the NBC program in more than four years. The first late-night talk-show appearance by a sitting U.S. president posted an 11.2 rating. Advertisers “got more than they expected.” (Iwantmedia 3/20, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aE4s6jqewwQs 3/20)

leno-obama

HBO on March 29 will premiere “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” a family-friendly series that will mark the pay-cable network’s first entrant into the 8 p.m. programming hour. According to this report, the upbeat series, which is set in Africa and stars R&B singer Jill Scott, is part of an identity makeover that will bring some less edgy shows to HBO. The Wall Street Journal (3/19)

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HBO opens season two of In Treatment April 5 at 9p, with new episodes airing on Sunday and Monday nights. Gabriel Byrne returns as Dr. Paul Weston, now newly divorced and operating his therapy practice out of his new Brooklyn brownstone. Dianne Wiest also is back as Dr. Gina Toll, Paul’s therapist. New cast members include Hope Davis, Russell Hornsby, John Mahoney, Alison Pill, Sherri Saum and Aaron Shaw while Glynn Turman will also make a guest appearance this season. To clarify the schedule, two new 30m episodes of IN TREATMENT air consecutively on Sundays at 9p and three new episodes air back-to-back on Mondays starting at 9p. The Emmy Award-winning drama series is produced by HBO Entertainment. (Cynopsis 3/20)

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Despite the recession … or maybe because of it … pay-TV subscriptions increased 836,000 homes in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a study by SNL Kagan. Showtime showed one of the biggest gains, according to the report, adding 330,000 subscribers in the last three months of 2008. Variety (3/19) , TVWeek.com (3/19)

Apollo Group, the private-equity firm that has bought the debt of Charter Communications, is expected to take a major ownership position in the cable provider through its upcoming bankruptcy filing, according to these reports. Charter is expected to file for bankruptcy April 1. The Wall Street Journal (3/20) , Reuters (3/19)

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