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Image: The Gosselin family
Laura Pedrick  /  Discovery Channel
Jon and Kate Gosselin have earned fame and cash from the reality show about their life with their eight children. Will this season include the drama about Jon's alleged cheating?
By The Scoop
msnbc.com
updated 5/11/2009 10:19:38 PM ET 2009-05-12T02:19:38

TLC’s reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8” premieres its fifth season in two weeks, but the producers haven’t yet completed the first episode.

“The challenge for producers is how to incorporate Jon Gosselin’s extracurricular activities and the fallout that has ensued into the show,” reports Joe Flint in his L.A. Times blog.

Those “extracurricular activities” are a reference to allegations that Gosselin strayed from his marriage. Gosselin last week issued a statement to Scoop saying in part, “These allegations are false and just plain hurtful … I did not cheat on Kate … I am working through this difficult time with my family. My family is my top priority.”

A rep for the show had no comment on the season premiere, but if magazine sales are a good predictor for ratings, TLC would be wise to spend time hunting for scenes that would inject some tension into the episode. In other words, scandal sells.

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Last week’s issue of Us Weekly, which was the second consecutive cover dedicated to the couple, sold more than a million copies on the newsstand. A source familiar with the sales figures confirmed that this was the second-straight week of million-plus newsstand sales, which is above average for the weekly.

‘Idol’ results show now more popular
When “American Idol” producers announced they would be making changes in this, the eighth season of the show, I was hoping that seriously shortening the results show would be among them. Good thing no one listened to me. According to TV By the Numbers, the results show is now more popular than the performance show. The most recent results show drew 23.57 million viewers, while actual contestants singing songs for the first time drew 22.64 million.

Historically, the results show was the lesser-watched of the two, and the theory behind the switch is that the audience is now skewing older. The average viewer at the start of the season was 40.3, but more recent numbers put the average age at 42.9. The L.A. Times says that this “increasingly middle-aged” audience likes the Wednesday oldies acts who often perform then, and that the younger crowd is growing less interested in the competition itself.

Slideshow: It’s down to 2 on ‘Idol’ And as for the rumors about whether or not Simon Cowell will stick around? I ran into one of his publicists who said, “that show is such a commercial success, of course he’s going to want to stay.”

The New York Times backs up the former part of that claim, pointing out that even though “American Idol” is losing viewers, its profits and revenues are up. “Revenues grew to $96 million last year from $67 million two years earlier, with gross profit margins expanding to 77 percent from 69 percent in that span,” according the Times.

Ginnifer Goodwin goes bad for W mag
Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings The “let the rumors fly” strategy is an unorthodox celebrity PR strategy, but Ginnifer Goodwin, “Big Love’s” Margene, thinks it makes her feel “safe.”

“I perpetuate rumors that I’ve dated people that I’ve never actually dated," she told W magazine. “Dorothy Parker once said something along the lines of, ‘I don’t care what’s written about me so long as it isn’t true.’ It’s safe making.” W's June issue features a racy photo spread of Goodwin.

Goodwin also had some insight into her profession. She feels that what she does for a living is “bananas and so insecure,” and that’s why she is more inspired when she’s in a relationship that, by contrast, feels safe and solid. And speaking of relationships, don’t ask her for advice.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to ask an actor for dating advice. We are not the poster children for healthy relationships,” she told W.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.

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