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‘Jon & Kate’ no longer rate with viewers

Not only have Jon and Kate Gosselin lost their marriage, they’ve lost about 7 million viewers since the reality show couple announced their split.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Not only have Jon and Kate Gosselin lost their marriage, they’ve lost about 7 million viewers since the reality show couple announced their split.

Their most recent episode of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," which aired Monday, Aug. 10, on TLC, drew about 3.5 million viewers. The series’ most watched episode, which aired June 22 and announced their plans to split, drew 10.8 million viewers.

A drop in ratings was expected. Not only was the 10.8 million a record, but the split raised a question: would people want to watch a show about a divorced couple raising their eight kids?

An argument could be made that yes, people do want to watch that kind of show. And further, eight cute kids should be a bigger part of the draw than any two “normal” parents.

So what went wrong? The show worked when Jon and Kate were ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. You could add a standard divorce to the mix and they would have been fine.

But Jon spent several days gallivanting between St. Tropez and the Hamptons, with the resulting photos splashed across the covers of celebrity magazines — that strips you of your ordinary status pretty quickly.

Kate: if you’re reading, keep doing what you’re doing. There’s no playbook for this sort of thing, but if there were, you’d be following along well.

Jon: stop taking trips, stop showing up in public with your girlfriend. If you want to save your show and the best source of income for you and your family, you’ll go back to being an ordinary dad.

Hugh Laurie's not about to publish a book

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“House” star Hugh Laurie is not spending all his free time writing another book, although Amazon would have you think differently.

Look up Laurie in the books section of Amazon and you’ll find not only his 1996 novel, “The Gun Seller,” but a chance to pre-order his next book, “The Paper Soldier,” which Amazon says is due out Sept. 27.

Laurie’s rep says it’s not true: “It hasn’t been written yet. The book was on the slate years ago and misinformation keeps getting recycled.”

Weekend box office: Time for ‘District 9’ August, historically, isn’t a great time for great movies. July tended to be when the big tentpoles were released, and what came after was what was left over.

Not so much the case this year. “District 9” has some great early ticket sales traction, it’s a wide release, and has good buzz following Comic-Con. I think it will be number one this weekend.

That leaves “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which sounds like it should co-star “To Catch a Predator” host Chris Hanson, since the film version doesn’t work the “adult man falls in love with his future wife when she’s still a child” angle very deftly, and “Ponyo,” from Disney.

Although “Ponyo” is animated, which will appeal to the kid crowd, and is voiced by the likes of Tina Fey, I don’t think it will be the runaway hit Disney would like it to be.

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