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CBS picks up years of 'Men' and 'Big Bang'

Bigbang CBS is close to giving a major commitment to the highest-rated comedy on television, "Two and a Half Men," and this season's half-hour ratings surprise, "The Big Bang Theory."

"Men" is being eyed for three seasons.

"Bang" is near a deal for two seasons -- a terrific show of faith to a comedy considered a slow starter just last year.

At a time when most broadcast shows are struggling, such a heavy commitment is unusual but, in the case of these two hits, not exactly a surprise.

Both are produced by Warner Bros. and co-created by Chuck Lorre. "Bang" currently airs at 8 p.m. Mondays and has kept setting new series-high numbers in the ratings this season, with dominant "Men" in the catbird seat of 9 p.m. There's been some discussion about whether the lineup might change next fall given that a recent pairing of the two resulted in "Bang" retaining an extremely large amount of "Men" viewers.

PREVIOUS: Could "Big Bang" get bigger next fall?

ABC cancels 'Life on Mars'

Life_mars Nellie Andreeva reports:

ABC's "Life on Mars" won't return for a second season.

The network has decided not to renew the series starring Jason O'Mara as 2008 Detective Sam Tyler working as a cop in 1973 New York.

The series, from 20th TV and ABC Studios, will complete its 17-episode freshman series order with the season finale written as a series finale that will wrap the loose story ends, explain how Tyler got transported back in time and (maybe) bring him back to his own time.

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Study: TV doesn't help infants

Babytv A new study showed that viewing TV as an infant doesn't improve a child's language and visual motor skills, disputing claims made by products such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby.

The research, conducted at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, reaffirms current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending no television under the age of 2, and suggests that a child's parents and household are more influential in cognitive development.

"Contrary to marketing claims and some parents’ perception that television viewing is beneficial to children's brain development, no evidence of such benefit was found," said study author Marie Evans Schmidt.

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DVRs give 'Dollhouse' nearly a third more viewers

Dh-104_sc38-40_0128Fox's "Dollhouse" premiered modest.

Then went lower.

And lower.

But what about all those Joss Whedon fans who actually have lives and aren't staying home to watch TV on Friday nights?

Yes, there are some. Lots, in fact.

According to just-released Live+7 DVR data, the "Dollhouse" premiere episode's rating increased 30% once time-shifted viewing from later in the week was added in. "Dollhouse" went from a 2.0 adult demo number to a 2.6. 

"Dollhouse" lead-in "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" gained even more -- 36%.

By comparison, Friday's most-popular show "Ghost Whisperer" gained 21%, "Flashpoint" climbed 11% and "Numbers" was up 14%.

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'Celebrity Apprentice' debuts solid; 'Brothers' rises

Celebrity guys
                 Tools cannot repair themselves

NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" had a solid launch Sunday night, coming in second place to ABC's two-hour "Brothers & Sisters" special and giving NBC one of its best time-period ratings in a year.

"Apprentice" (8.9 million viewers, 3.8 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and 9 share) was down 16% from 2008's Thursday debut, and down 7% from the show's previous Sunday night opener two years ago. 

This is one of those "lowest-rated ever" premieres, but that was wholly expected. NBC moved "Apprentice" back to its traction-free Sunday night and stretched the show to a fast-forward-tempting two hours. Given all the factors, including the performance of other NBC fare this season, "Apprentice's" year-over-year drops are mild and NBC is likely relieved with these numbers. A Will Ferrell best-of "Saturday Night Live" special (2.2/5) served as lead-in. 

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Homer Simpson's worst injuries

"The Simpsons" writers seem to intentionally look for opportunities to create viral video moments nowadays, montages or stand-alone scenes that you watch during the show and think, "Oh yeah, that's going everywhere tomorrow morning."

Like this clip from Sunday night's episode, below, a collection of roughly 35 of Homer Simpson's worst injuries from two decades of episodes. One suspects this scene wouldn't have been quite this extensive if produced a few years ago, and it's almost intrusive when watching an episode and it seems like a scene has been included for Hulu rather than you-you. Or maybe is it that we're so accustomed to seeing online clips, you can't watch a scene like this anymore without thinking of its viral video potential? Eh, it's funny stuff either way. 

Oh, and last night's "Simpsons" and "Celebrity Apprentice" premiere ratings have been delayed by Nielsen due to "processing issues." In the meantime, here's the clip:

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