the world digest


On the rise

LONDON — Ben Whishaw, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Eva Green and Naomie Harris will battle it out for the British public's affection as they vie for this year's Orange Rising Star emerging talent award. The nod, to be presented Feb. 11 at the 2007 British Academy Film Awards ceremony, is voted on by the public and sponsored by cellular operator Orange. Nominees must have appeared in a pic that qualified for this year's upcoming BAFAs. The shortlist was drawn up by a jury of industry professionals.


AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands — Dutch media tycoon John de Mol has acquired a 5.2% stake in Endemol, the entertainment company he sold in 2000 to Spain's Telefonica for €5.5 billion ($7.2 billion). According to figures from the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets released Monday, De Mol's investment company, Cyrte, has built up an interest of more than 5% in Endemol. Last September, De Mol confirmed the possibility of teaming with Italy's Mediaset to buy back the company.

Pretty numbers

LONDON — ABC drama "Ugly Betty" attracted 4.5 million viewers and a 19% audience share for Channel 4 when it aired Friday in the 9:30 p.m. slot, the third-highest launch audience to date for an acquired show on the network after the debuts of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives." "Betty," which features British actress Ashley Jensen alongside star America Ferrera, more than doubled Channel 4's average primetime share and was second in its time slot. The figures do not include viewers who have PVR'd the hourlong entertainment dramedy.