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16.4 million see ‘Oprah’ finale, Neilsen reports

Oprah Winfrey acknowledges fans during May’s star-studded double-taping of “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular,” in Chicago. (Associated Press)
Oprah Winfrey acknowledges fans during May’s star-studded double-taping of “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular,” in Chicago. (Associated Press)

When Oprah Winfrey told her daytime viewers farewell last month, more than 16 million were watching.

The Nielsen Co. reported this week that the May 25 finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” drew 16.4 million viewers.

That was the most-watched episode in more than 18 years, since the February 1993 airing of the “Why I Love Older Women” episode, which was seen by 17.3 million viewers.

‘Skins’ off their back

MTV says it won’t be bringing back its racy teen drama “Skins” for a second season.

The show “didn’t connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped,” a network spokesman said Thursday.

A hit on British television, “Skins” premiered on MTV in January in an Americanized version. But an initial audience of 3.3 million viewers shrank to 1.2 million viewers for the season finale.

Meanwhile, a TV watchdog group blasted the show’s content. Criticism was further inflamed when a newspaper story suggested that scenes with underage actors might violate federal child pornography laws.

A number of advertisers pulled their commercials from the series, which depicted teens engaging in sexual activity as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

Fishburne cuts bait

Laurence Fishburne is closing the file on his “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” career.

The actor won’t be back on the CBS crime drama this fall, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Fishburne joined the “CSI” cast as Dr. Raymond Langston midway through the 2008-’09 season, replacing departing star William Petersen.

“CSI” returns for its 12th season this fall, moving from Thursday to Wednesday, and continues to rank among the 20 top-rated shows.

Fishburne’s movie credits include “The Matrix” films, and he’s in the upcoming “Contagion” with Matt Damon.

Sawyer snags Dugard

California kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard has agreed to give her first interview to veteran broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor plans to tape a conversation that will air next month, just before publication of Dugard’s memoir, “A Stolen Life,” on July 12.

Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 and sexually abused and held captive for 18 years by Phillip and Nancy Garrido. The couple pleaded guilty and received lengthy prison sentences last week.

ABC says Sawyer will ask Dugard about her years in captivity, her reunion with her family and her book.

First lady to ‘iCarly’

Michelle Obama is going to be on one of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows.

The first lady is set to appear on an upcoming episode of the comedy “iCarly” to promote Joining Forces, an initiative aimed at increasing awareness and support for military families.

The show’s main character, Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove), is the daughter of a colonel serving overseas in the military.

When Carly’s two best friends break some rules to set up a Web chat so Carly can speak to her dad on his birthday, “the first lady discovers it and comes to have a chat with them in the most positive way possible,” said network president Cyma Zarghami, adding that Obama’s daughters are fans of the show.

The episode is likely to air in January.

Ooh la ‘Late Show’

Craig Ferguson is taking “The Late Late Show” to the City of Lights.

The CBS talk show will tape in Paris next week for episodes to air the week of Aug. 1.

Kristen Bell will be among the guests joining Ferguson for the episodes dubbed “Le Late Late Show avec Craig Ferguson.”

He jokes that “this is the first time in the history of this show that we’ve been allowed outside.”


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