news digest


'Idol' down but hardly out

NEW YORK — This season's sophomore episode of "American Idol," like Tuesday, blew away Wednesday night's competition. But also like Tuesday, the two-hour episode was down in all key measures from last year. "Idol" averaged 30.4 million viewers and a 12.6 rating/30 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, Nielsen Media Research said. The declines were steeper this time around, down 18% in viewership (37 million) and 19% in adults 18-49 (15.5/36).

Eidos sets 'Highlander' video game

SAN DIEGO — Game publisher Eidos said that it will bow a game this year based on the movie and TV series "Highlander." The game will be written by series writer David Abramowitz and is being developed by Widescreen Games for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and PC. Eidos, which made its mark with Lara Croft and the "Tomb Raider" games, inked a deal for the "Highlander" license in 2005. There's no formal word on the launch date, though Eidos is hoping it will reach store shelves in the spring.

Pair named co-presidents of Regent unit

Regent Worldwide Sales, the sales affiliate of Regent Entertainment, has named company veteran Meggan Kimberley and new hire Adam Wright as co-presidents of RWS. The duo will share all management and distribution initiatives, furthering the expansion of the 10-year-old company. Regent produces and distributes motion pictures internationally with a library of 3,500 titles. Kimberley has been with Regent since 1997, while Wright most recently held a senior management position at PorchLight Entertainment.

One down, two lawsuits to go

WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the Bush administration has settled one of three lawsuits against China that it brought to the World Trade Organization and expects a ruling on the others soon. The unfair-trade suits against China include one that accuses Beijing of failing to protect copyrighted works.

'Savages' tops AARP awards

"The Savages," in which Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney play siblings dealing with their aging father, has been named the best movie for grown-ups by AARP the Magazine. Among the other winners of the AARP's seventh annual awards, which will be presented Feb. 4 at a dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, are best actor Chris Cooper ("Breach"), best actress Julie Christie ("Away From Her") and best director Tony Gilroy ("Michael Clayton").

Dages emerges in Warners division

Warner Bros. executive Chuck Dages was named executive vp emerging technology at the studio's home entertainment group. Dages retains his executive vp title but moves from Warner Bros. Technical Operations to the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. The move follows Wednesday's news that Darcy Antonellis was upped to president of the studio's technical operations unit, following the recent departure of the studio's CTO Chris Cookson.