Thursday July 4, 2013

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The CBS drama "Under the Dome" has the potential to be a game-changer for network television.

The Nielsen company says an estimated 13.5 million people watched the debut last week of the summer series based on a town placed under an invisible dome.

That’s only the beginning. More than 3 million watched on their DVRs or through on-demand services, and CBS reran the premiere Sunday, which drew another 5.1 million viewers.

A second episode that ran Monday was seen by 11.5 million people.

Numbers like that during the summer are sure to compel a response by other networks, which have already been talking about dramas as a new approach to stem the erosion of viewers.

Nielsen’s top programs for June 24-30 (listings include the week’s ranking and viewership, in millions):

1. "Under the Dome" (CBS), 13.5.

2. "America’s Got Talent" (Tuesday) (NBC), 10.2.

3. "NCIS" (CBS), 8.3.

4. NHL Stanley Cup Final, Game 6: Chicago vs. Boston (NBC), 8.16.

5. "The Big Bang Theory" (Thursday, 8 p.m.) (CBS), 8.15.

6. "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday, 9:30 p.m.) (CBS), 7.3.

7. "60 Minutes" (CBS), 7.1.

8. "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday, 9 p.m.) (CBS), 6.6.

9. "The Bachelorette" (ABC), 6.56.

10. "Big Brother 15" (Wednesday) (CBS), 6.5.

11. "Person of Interest" (CBS), 6.4.

12. "Master Chef" (Wednesday, 9 p.m.) (Fox), 6.2.

13. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS), 6.17.

14. "Dateline NBC" (NBC), 6.1.

15. "Ann Curry Reports" (NBC), 6.0.

16. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS), 5.9.

17. "Big Brother 15" (Sunday) (CBS), 5.8.

18. "Criminal Minds" (Wednesday, 10 p.m.) (CBS), 5.6.

19. "Master Chef" (Wednesday, 8 p.m.) (Fox), 5.57.

20. "Hell’s Kitchen" (Fox), 5.54.

TV shows get comic book treatment

PHILADELPHIA -- "Punky Brewster" and the kids from "Saved by the Bell" are returning to the small screen through digital comic books. So, too, are "Knight Rider," "Airwolf" and "Miami Vice."

Lion Forge Comics and NBC Universal said they have partnered to develop, write, illustrate and publish digital comics based on those shows from the 1980s and 1990s, bringing new stories for characters like Crocket and Tubbs as well as Kit and Screech.

The comics are set to be released later this year through iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook store and Kobo.

Pa. man returns Steve Martin wallet

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Steve Martin is known as a wild and crazy guy, but he’s also a lucky one: A stranger found his wallet on a Pennsylvania street and returned it to the entertainer.

Martin apparently lost his wallet while bicycling before performing Tuesday night in Wilkes-Barre. Will Beekman, programming director at the concert hall, says a man working on a city street found the wallet. He knew Martin’s bluegrass show was in town, so he contacted the concert hall to say he’d found it.

Beekman says Martin insisted on thanking the man in person, but he wasn’t sure whether the man got a reward. The wallet had Martin’s driver’s license and credit cards but no cash.

Beekman says he didn’t get the man’s name.