Wins Big

New York—NBC's two-hour Apprentice
finale trumped all competitors from 9 to 11 p.m. on Thursday April 15, winning its time period(s) in adults 18-49 (13.5 rating/34 share) and carrying the network to the top spot for the night in households (14.6/23) and the key 18-49 sales demographic (11.1/29).

According to NBC, the 18-49 performance was a series record, the network's best in any time period in 18 months, and its best non-Olympic rating for the time period in three years. At 27 million, it was also the network's highest viewer average of the season.

Williams Takes Over In December

New York—It's official. Brian Williams takes over the NBC Nightly News
anchor seat on Thursday Dec. 2. Tom Brokaw winds up the night before, the last night of the November sweeps. Brokaw has long said that he will stay through the November elections, but his exact departure date hadn't been set.

WB's Got a Mock Superstar

Los Angeles—If you can't develop your own singing superstar, develop your own singing laughingstock. That's the theory behind The WB's Superstar USA, premiering Monday May 17. Executive-produced by Mike Fleiss, who also does The WB's High School Reunion
and ABC's The Bachelor, says the show has already been shot, though in "complete secrecy."

Fleiss denies, though, that the series is an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of American Idol's loser/winner William Hung. Apparently not. According to Fleiss, it has been in the works since last year.

Still, the timing is at least fortuitous. Superstar USA's secrecy extends to the contestants, who Fleiss says didn't know the huge joke being played on them.