NEW YORK — The revamped “American Idol” had a strong debut on ABC, reaching more than 10 million viewers and shrugging off Fox’s attempt to blunt the premiere’s impact with its special on O.J. Simpson.
The Nielsen company said that the 10.34 million who watched the return of “American Idol” represented ABC’s biggest Sunday night audience with regular series programming since 2012.
Fox’s presentation of a 2006 Simpson interview in which he speculated about how he might have killed his former wife was watched by 4.4 million people — an echo of the sensational interest the Simpson case drew two decades ago.
There was bad blood when Fox ended “American Idol” two years ago, and the Simpson interview was seen as Fox’s attempt to prevent a fast start for ABC.
McGraw collapses on stage in Ireland
DUBLIN — Country music star Tim McGraw collapsed on stage during a performance in Ireland.
Rolling Stone magazine reports McGraw collapsed while performing Sunday night in Dublin.
McGraw’s wife, singer Faith Hill, can be seen in a video on a fan’s Instagram page saying, “He’s been super dehydrated. I apologize, but I made the decision that he cannot come back out on stage.”
A representative for McGraw issued a statement saying McGraw was attended to by local medical staff on-site and will be fine.
McGraw, who was performing as part of the Country to Country festival in the U.K., had performed Friday night in London and Saturday night in Glasgow as part of C2C, a three-day, three-city country-music festival.
The duo is scheduled to begin their 29-city Soul2Soul tour in the U.S. on May 31 in Richmond, Virginia.
Attorney dismissed from Suge Knight case
LOS ANGELES — An attorney who was indicted on witness-tampering charges was dismissed Monday from the murder case of rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.
Knight previously gave up his right to having a lawyer without potential conflicts of interest so he could keep Thaddeus Culpepper on his defense team.
That decision came last month when Culpepper was under investigation but had not yet been indicted.
Los Angeles County Judge Ronald S. Coen overrode Knight’s decision and removed Culpepper.
Knight, 52, the co-founder of Death Row Records, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder after he ran over two men outside a Compton burger stand in January 2015.
The move could mean more delays in a trial tentatively set to start April 9.
Judge won’t drop drug charge vs. McGowan
LEESBURG, Va. — A judge on Monday refused to dismiss a drug-possession charge against actress Rose McGowan after prosecutors said they have additional evidence to bring forward.
McGowan’s lawyers have suggested the drugs may have been planted by agents hired by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to discredit her for making sex assault accusations against him. She was charged with felony drug possession after authorities said cocaine was found in a wallet she left behind on a flight to Dulles International Airport in January 2017.
McGowan’s lawyer said in court papers that the drugs could have been planted before the wallet was found by a cleaning crew. More than five hours passed between the time McGowan left the plane and the time the wallet was found.
At a hearing Monday in Loudoun County General District Court, McGowan’s lawyers argued for dismissal of the charges, saying that even if what prosecutors have alleged thus far is true, it is insufficient to sustain a conviction. In addition to the question of whether the drugs could have been planted during the time the wallet was unaccounted for, they have also argued that jurisdiction for a crime occurring on an airplane is only appropriate in federal court.
Prosecutor Rebecca Thatcher, though, said prosecutors have evidence beyond what has been cited so far in the charging documents.