Big night for Oscar on television
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NEW YORK — An estimated 41.3 million people saw "The Hurt Locker" top the popular "Avatar" for best picture in the most-watched Academy Awards telecast since 2005.
Oscar viewership was up 14 percent over last year, the Nielsen Co. said yesterday, keeping with a trend of bigger audiences for major events on broadcast television a month after the Super Bowl set the mark for most-watched telecast ever.
In true film fashion, the Oscars built to a big climax when the Iraqi war thriller "The Hurt Locker" and its director, Kathryn Bigelow, topped "Avatar," directed by her ex-husband James Cameron. Bigelow was the first woman to win the Oscar for best director.
The audience was up from the 36.3 million who saw "Slumdog Millionaire" win best picture last year, Nielsen said.
RAPPER LIL WAYNE BEGINS YEAR IN JAIL
NEW YORK — After saying goodbye on concert stages and online video streams, Lil Wayne had nothing to add as he was sentenced yesterday to a year in jail for having a loaded gun on his tour bus.
The Grammy Award-winning rapper delivered only a brief bow to fans and supporters as he was led out of a courtroom in handcuffs to start serving his sentence.
With that, Lil Wayne headed off to face his punishment in a case that had shadowed him as he became one of music's most prolific and profitable figures in recent years. Arrested in July 2007, he pleaded guilty in October to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He admitted he had the loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun on his bus.
DOMINGO'S PROGNOSIS GOOD AFTER SURGERY
NEW YORK — Placido Domingo underwent surgery last week to remove a cancerous polyp from his colon but is expected to make a full recovery, his spokeswoman said yesterday.
The 69-year-old tenor had surgery last week at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and was released Sunday, spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer said.
The malignancy was localized, and the operation was laparoscopic, a minimally invasive procedure in which a small incision is made in the abdomen, Seltzer said.
Doctors have ordered Domingo to rest for six weeks, Seltzer said in a statement. It's anticipated that he'll return April 16 with a performance of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" at Milan's Teatro alla Scala, she said.
RAPPER ACCUSED OF SOLICITING N.Y. COP
NEW YORK — Authorities say D'Angelo was caught in New York City trying to pay $40 for sex with an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute.
Police said yesterday that the 36-year-old R&B singer was arrested early Saturday while behind the wheel of his Range Rover.
D'Angelo's real name is Michael Archer. He said in a statement that he pleaded not guilty and plans to fight the charge.