Former president Bill Clinton brought David Letterman his biggest audience since Janet Jackson stopped by to promote her new album and dodge questions about her Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, preliminary stats show.
About 5.4 million people caught Clinton, who appeared Tuesday on Letterman's late-night show to promote his 957-page memoir, "My Life."
Mysteriously, that would be the same number of viewers as watched the debuts of UPN's "Amish in the City" and WB's "Blue Collar TV" last week.
The stats for his appearance on the CBS show are a bit dodgy because Nielsen had numbers only for the 56 largest TV markets.
But, CBS noted, it was the biggest haul for "Late Show With David Letterman" in those 56 markets since Jackson showed up in March to promote her album "Damita Jo." Jackson's appearance did a slightly bigger number than Clinton's in those metered markets, which translated to 5.9 million viewers. She was censored by CBS when she muttered "Oh, Jesus" in response to Letterman's comment that her Super Bowl halftime breast-baring incident looked intentional.
Clinton's appearance was a lot less fun, with him reading the inscription he'd penned in a copy of his book that he was presenting to Letterman's 9-month-old son, Harry: "With luck you will finish this by your 21st birthday. Meanwhile, carry it around and build more muscles than your dad has."
See what we mean?
UPN's skeevy model-babe Dawn did so badly in her reality-series debut this week that the network has turned to the Amish for help.
No doubt sensing what was in store for its new reality series "The Player," UPN announced shortly before the show's Tuesday premiere that starting next week, it would air Wednesday nights, immediately after "Amish in the City," which had opened big a week ago.
Dawn is the star of "The Player," UPN's sexed-up rip-off of "The Bachelorette," in which 13 guys who describe themselves as "players" -- that's Cro-Magnon for "irresistible" -- compete to get her to pick one of them to be her whatever, at least until the happy-couple publicity shots can be published in Us Weekly -- magazine.
Only 2.4 million people fell for the opening of this trying-way-too-hard reality series in which, UPN says, the "players" arrived at the "Player Mansion, a crib in the heart of South Beach. " These guys, UPN confides, "are going to lay their game on Dawn in a bid to win her affections, while Dawn's going to throw her player game right back at them." Dawn herself has been heard to say, "If I can get one of these players to actually fall for me, I'm the player. If I fall for them, I could get played."
One of the "players," a bartender named Federico, rode into the debut on a motorcycle and claimed that to be a player, you have to be yourself. "Anybody can lie to somebody and make them fall in love with the person you wish you were . . . but a real player will make them want you for who you are," he said.
Dawn perhaps did not understand what he was saying -- too many words. Or maybe it was that she couldn't figure out how to pronounce "Federico" and then got mad when he corrected her several times, bitching later, "If you are trying to run game on a girl and she says your name wrong, instead of repeating a million times and telling her 'You're wrong and you're really bad at this,' flip it and say 'You know it's beautiful how you say my name like that. It's not right, but it's beautiful.' That kinda game, it's sexy, it is what a player does." (Good to know.)
Anyway she picked Federico to be the series's first big loser (or big winner depending on your perspective), shouting after him as he rode off into the sunset, "Don't hate the player, hate the game."
Wait a minute, isn't the game called "The Player"?
Meanwhile, "Amish in the City" scored a much larger 5.4 million viewers in its debut one week earlier despite a shocking lack of "players," though there was stimulating conversation about whether cows came from outer space.