The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday night presented the first of its six-minute "Special Editions" preceding NBC's late-night coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympics and delivered an audience of over 10-million viewers from 12:35 to 12:41 a.m. ET, according to national ratings supplied by Nielsen. Tonight averaged a total viewers rating of 4.0, which is 67 percent above the Emmy Award-winning program's season-to-date average for its normal 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. time period. Each total viewer ratings point equals 2.49-million viewers. The Tonight Show Special Editions will continue to air every weeknight on NBC at 12:35 a.m. through Friday, Aug. 2.
The original Comets play Tierra Verde
Bill Haley's Original Comets, under the direction of bassist Al Rappa, will perform Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at Tierre Verde Resort, 200 Madonna Blvd. in Tierra Verde. Haley (who died in 1981) and his band are credited with pioneering the rock 'n' roll sound with such 1950's hits as Rock Around The Clock, Shake, Rattle and Roll and See You Later, Alligator. Tickets for the concert are $20. For information call 867-8710.
Spielberg receives $1-million grant
Two Jewish senators lent the backing of the U.S. government to Steven Spielberg's Holocaust documentation project, presenting the Hollywood director with a $1-million federal grant on Tuesday. Spielberg said the funding will allow him now to approach Germany, Austria and other governments for additional grants to create a living history of the Holocaust through interviews with more than 50,000 survivors. "This single gift will open the floodgates to get all the funding necessary to complete this project," he said. The interviews, as well as family photographs and other artifacts, will be preserved electronically. He said the information eventually will be made available to museums and schools "to teach teachers to teach tolerance." About $40-million has been raised so far, with Spielberg himself the largest donor. Spielberg projects needing $20-million more.
Estefan moves concert;
Surfers cancel show
Miami-based pop diva Gloria Estefan has moved her scheduled ThunderDome show to Sept. 16, two days earlier from her originally-scheduled date. Representatives of the show's promoter, Fantasma Productions, said all tickets purchased for the Sept. 18 show would be honored on the new date. Those who cannot attend the new date must contact TicketMaster for details. The Butthole Surfers/ Toadies/ Rev. Horton Heat show scheduled for Aug. 9 at the University of South Florida Sun Dome has been canceled. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
Time drummer Johnson remembers Melvoin
The July 12 heroin overdose death of Smashing Pumpkins backing keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin has had repercussions beyond the world of modern rock. Melvoin, brother of ex-Prince guitarist Wendy Melvoin, performed with various Minneapolis-based R&B bands during the late '80s heyday of funk. His death has stunned many notable musicians still working there, according to The Time drummer Jellybean Johnson, who played with Melvoin briefly in a funk outfit called The Family. "When he was with us, he was so quiet and unassuming, you figured (drugs) was the last thing on his mind," Johnson said from his Minneapolis home. "We are losing too many great musicians to that stuff."