Remember when Howard Stern promised that his new TV show would crush "Saturday Night Live" in the ratings? Well, to the delight of Stern-haters everywhere, it's the self-professed king of all media who's getting crushed.
On Saturday, the season premiere of "SNL" smashed "The Howard Stern Radio Show" (which doesn't air locally), garnering a 7.9 rating to Stern's 2.7. Stern actually finished a weak third - Fox's "Mad TV" pulled a 3.7 rating.Stern's ratings are down a whopping 45 percent since he debuted in late August.
It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
- Here's some good news - the Lifetime channel has renewed all three of its Tuesday-night series - the drama "Any Day Now" and the sitcoms "Maggie" and "Oh Baby."
- If you can't get enough of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" between the weekly sitcom and the made-for-TV movie that airs on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday, just wait until this fall. UPN will begin airing an animated version (featuring the voice of sitcom star Melissa Joan Hart) weekday afternoons.
- American Movie Classics has canceled its half-hour comedy series "Remember WENN," but reruns of the show - which pro-duced 56 episode over four seasons - will begin in January.
The cable channel also announced plans for a new half-hour comedy series titled "The Lot," which is set at a small Hollywood movie studio in 1937. It's scheduled to debut in December.
- The producers of "The Simpsons" have decided to retire the characters voiced by the late Phil Hartman. Hartman did the voice for Troy McClure on this past Sunday's episode before he was murdered. (And the episode featured a brief tribute to the actor.)
Hartman also was heard as the voice of Lionel Hutz in the series.
QUOTABLE: Conan O'Brien, on the prime-time special celebrating his fifth anniversary as the host of "Late Night":
"In 1993, the year we went on the air, Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett, Prince changed his name to a weird symbol and Michael Jordan quit the Bulls to play baseball. So, as you can see, we were hardly the year's biggest mistake."