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PEOPLE & ENTERTAINMENT

The Baltimore Sun

Hudson, Hill lip-synch Super Bowl performances

After Jennifer Hudson's stirring performance of the national anthem before Sunday's Super Bowl - her first public appearance since the slayings of her mother, brother and nephew in October - the pre-show's producer told the Associated Press that the singing had been lip-synched.

Rickey Minor, also the music director for American Idol, made no apologies.

"There's too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance," he said.

Faith Hill's singing of "America the Beautiful" was also lip-synched. Both singers, Minor said, used the tracks the NFL requires them to submit a week before the game.

Oh, Danica!

The Go Daddy Web site's "enhancement" ad with Danica Patrick was the most-watched commercial in the Super Bowl.

TiVo Inc. determined that by combining the number of people who watched the ad live and went back to see it again on their digital video recorder.

Placing the ad in the game's final few minutes was a huge gamble that paid off for Go Daddy Group. If it had been a lousy game, much of the audience would have drifted away, but the gripping finish between Pittsburgh and Arizona kept fans watching.

Early numbers

Preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings show the Super Bowl's audience was likely down from last year's peak, but on par with the 2007 and 2006 games.

The Pittsburgh-Arizona game on NBC recorded a 42.1 rating and 65 share in Nielsen's overnight measurement of the top cities. The same measurement for last year's New York Giants-New England Patriots game, the most-watched Super Bowl, was 44.7.

The 2007 preliminary rating was identical to this year's, and the 2006 game was 42.2, Nielsen said. Each rating point represents 1,145,000 households. The share means 65 percent of the televisions turned on during the game were tuned to the game.

A viewership estimate was not immediately available, but will likely be about 90 million.

'Slumdog' wins again

Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle, won the top honor Saturday from the Directors Guild of America.

In TV comedy, Paul Feig won for an episode of The Office; the drama series award went to Dan Attias for Baltimore-based The Wire; and Jay Roach was the TV movie recipient for Recount.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Comedian Shelley Berman, 83.

Actress Blythe Danner, 66.

Actress Morgan Fairchild, 59.

Actor Nathan Lane, 53.

Actress Maura Tierney, 44.

Actor Warwick Davis, 39.

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