Entertainment behind the scenes
UPDATE – Farrah Fawcett cancer special a ratings hit for NBC
Farrah Fawcett’s farewell message to the American public drew 8.9 million TV viewers on Friday, according to NBC, and a flood of comments on this site, many of them from well-wishers asking where they could send messages of support to the actress.
For all those who asked and any others, we came up with an email address where such messages can be sent and hopefully passed onto Fawcett.
The address is firstname.lastname@example.org and if there’s enough response maybe someone will set up a more public site where fans of Fawcett and those touched by her story can post their thoughts.
“Farrah’s Story,” in which the former “Charlie’s Angels” actress shares the grim details of her losing battle with anal cancer, ranked as the night’s second most-watched program. Over at CBS, “Numbers” drew 9.6 million viewers.
The two-hour special was NBC’s top entry in the time period, excluding Olympics, in more than a year, the network said, citing data from Nielsen Media Research. A week ago, a “Dateline” installment averaged 5.2 million viewers in the same 9-11 p.m. slot.
Final data for the week ended May 17 will be released on Tuesday. If the previous week’s data are any guide, “Farrah’s Story” will rank somewhere in the 40s. Still, the show aired on a Friday, which trails only Saturday as the least-watched night on TV, according to Nielsen data for summer 2008.
The show drew mixed critical reactions. The New York Times described it as “awful” and “exploitative.” Entertainment Weekly said it was “sometimes almost unbearable, sometimes fascinating.”
Fawcett, 62, narrates much of the film herself. It chronicles the highs and the lows of her numerous medical treatments since her 2006 cancer diagnosis, and the recent weeks when she has been bedridden, heavily medicated and barely able to recognize her son.
It triggered a breach-of-contract lawsuit last week when Craig Nevius, a producer who has worked closely with Fawcett since 2004, claimed Fawcett’s companion Ryan O’Neal recut the film “from top to bottom” without his or Fawcett’s authorization. A spokesman for O’Neal and Fawcett countered that the pair were “shocked at this unconscionable act.”