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April 14, 2021 GMT

TV RATINGS CHALLENGED

NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re like most of us, you’ve spent more time in front of the TV in the past year than you have in a while. But the latest numbers from the Nielsen ratings service don’t agree — and that has TV executives fuming. Nielsen reports the percentage of Americans who watched TV at least some time during the week has fallen from 92% in 2019 to 87% so far this year. Nielsen says it stands by its numbers, though the trade group Video Advertising Bureau disagrees. There’s more than just bragging rights at stake; fewer viewers mean fewer ad dollars for those who bring programming to our flat screens.

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CELEBRITIES JOIN IN EFFORT TO GET MEDICAL WORKERS WORLDWIDE VACCINES

NEW YORK (AP) — Some big-name celebrities are trying to get vaccines into as many arms as possible around the world. Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez are pushing the Global Citizen campaign’s goal to get medical workers in less-affluent lands access to COVID vaccinations. Calling attention to the effort is “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.” Its goal is to raise $22 billion for a global vaccine program. The show is set for May 8 — and will air on ABC, CBS and Fox.

SERENA WILLIAMS SIGNS WITH AMAZON STUDIOS

UNDATED (AP) — Serena Williams has signed a deal with Amazon Studios. The tennis star says the arrangement will see her create scripted and non-scripted programming for the video site run by the online shopping giant. One project includes a docuseries that follows her life on and off the court. Williams made the announcement yesterday during a conversation with actor Michael B. Jordan that was part of a charity event organized by Vanity Fair magazine.

PACIFIC THEATER CHAIN TO CLOSE FOR GOOD

UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic struck a severe blow to the movie industry. But for a popular California movie theater chain, the blow is a fatal one. Pacific Theaters is closing. It operated about 300 screens around the state. Among its most popular spots were the ArcLight theaters and the historic Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. A rep for Pacific says while the decision to close is disappointing, the company feels that due to the pandemic, it had no “viable way forward.”

NBC’S MIKE TIRICO TO ANCHOR TOKYO OLUMPICS OUTDOORS

UNDATED (AP) — NBC will take to the streets for its primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics. The network says Mike Tirico will host from an outdoor spot in downtown Tokyo. The set will be on a fifth-floor deck with a view of the skyline, including the famous Rainbow Bridge. NBC has covered 16 Olympics in all. And this will be the first in which the primetime show will be done outdoors, instead of in a studio.