Thursday's MTV awards may have lacked the edge that has made the broadcast such an in-your-face pleasure the past couple of years, but it didn't lack one important thing -- viewers.
Viewership for the annual "Video Music Awards" was up 9 percent over last year, according to Nielsen figures released Friday.
With actor-writer-comedian Ben Stiller as host and a bunch of celebrities on hand, the program averaged an 8.2 rating (percentage of the 68 million TV homes that get the channel), representing about 5.8 million homes tuned in during the period. That made it the highest-rated video awards show since 1990, according to MTV. Even better: Among 12- to 34-year-olds, the show generated its highest rating ever. In homes wired for MTV, about one out of every three 12- to 34-year-olds was tuned in.
Plaudit-wise, the big winner was Madonna, who went home with six awards, including Video of the Year.
'South Park' fund-raiser
Further proof that "South Park" rules...
The first single from "Chef Aid: the South Park Album" will be available for preview over the Internet beginning at 8 a.m. today. A sample from Master P's "Kenny's Dead" (What else would you call a single from "South Park"?) can be heard at the Comedy Central website (http: //www.comedycentral.com). Users with RealAudio, WAV or Shockwave Audio accessibility can play the 30-second clip of the song, which will be released to radio stations nationally on Oct. 6. "Chef Aid: The South Park Album" is slated to hit stores Oct. 20.
The premise behind the album: When Chef (the unmistakable growl of Isaac Hayes) finds himself on the wrong side of the law, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny organize Chef Aide to help him (the details will be explained in the Oct. 7 episode of "South Park).
Chef Aide quickly becomes the music event of the decade, featuring performances from Master P, Primus (providers of the "South Park" theme music), Tim McGraw, Devo and others.
King talks with 'ER' crew
There's no live season premiere this year, but for those who long to see their "ER" as it happens, this could prove the next best thing: Larry King is slated to chat with cast members live from the show's Hollywood soundstage. The 90-minute special is set to air on TNT Saturday at 8 p.m., with an encore at 9: 30.
WBJC's Lambert leaving
Colette Lambert, host of "Morning Classics" on WBJC-FM (91.5), will be leaving the station as of Friday for a job as morning host and announcer on Washington's WETA-FM (90.9).
Lambert, whose real name is Nicole Lacroix (she used the Lambert name to differentiate between her jobs at WBJC and at Washington's WGMS-FM), is set to make her debut on WETA Sept. 23. She'll be on the air from 5: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
"I'm going to really miss the callers I had in Baltimore," says Lacroix, who will be retiring the Lambert name upon relocating to Washington. "They were really nice and really supportive and really welcoming."
Jonathan Palezski, program director at WBJC, says the search is on for Lacroix's replacement. In the meantime, either he or Dyana Neal will serve as host for "Morning Classics," which airs weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
"She is a delightful person," says Palezski, insisting that La- croix, who lives near Washington, is leaving Baltimore with no hard feelings. "We were very glad to have her, but we totally understand why this is happening."
WIYY team on Fox show
Finally, Kirk, Mark & Lopez are hitting the big time.
The morning team on WIYY-FM (97.9) is slated to be featured on tomorrow morning's edition of "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News Channel.
The trio will be a part of the program's "Around the Watercooler" segment, which features prominent celebrities, radio hosts, journalists and other media types offering humorous (and spontaneous) takes on the day's news events.
Kirk, Mark & Lopez's appearance is set for 7: 30 a.m. "Fox and Friends" airs weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The hosts are Louis Aguirre, E.D. Donahey, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.
Pub Date: 9/16/98