People: Conan O'Brien; Robert De Niro; Gene Shalit; Rachel Weisz; Darren Aronofsky; Neil Young; John Nettles


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TBS says Conan O'Brien was welcomed back to television by more than 4.1 million viewers.

The former host of "The Tonight Show," who left NBC eight months ago, returned to late night Monday with a new talk show, "Conan," which premiered on basic-cable network TBS, the Associated Press reports.

In the 11 p.m. EST hour, O'Brien's opening night throttled his direct rivals on Comedy Central. "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" was seen by 1.3 million viewers, followed by "The Colbert Report" with 1 million.

Conan even beat Jay Leno, the host who reclaimed the "Tonight Show" chair from him. "Tonight" attracted 3.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Co. figures released on Tuesday.


In more Conan news, Eonline reports that among young people, which in the now-geriatric late-night world usually means anyone under the age of death, Conan was an unusual draw. TBS said the median age of Monday night's Conan audience was a spry 30.

Movieline called the premiere "disappointing," and asked why the show couldn't be "the first Conan, instead of the 10th incarnation of The Tonight Show?" NPR's Monkey See blog made a similar point: "Nobody is watching Conan on TBS hoping to see a Leno/Letterman imitator," it chided. And count Entertainment Weekly among the vaguely unimpressed, too: "All in all, pleasant, if a bit underwhelming," it decided.

USA Today urged O'Brien to get on with it, and get over his breakup with NBC: "He's made millions. He'll make millions. Stop crying on the national shoulder."


Robert De Niro will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at next year's Golden Globe Awards, the Associated Press reports.

The award will be presented to De Niro at the 68th annual Golden Globes on Jan. 16.

De Niro has been nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards in both the comedy and drama categories, winning once for "Raging Bull." He's also won two Academy Awards and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Previous winners include Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg and this past year's recipient, Martin Scorsese.


The man, the hair, the hyperbole ... is saying goodbye to TV.

Gene Shalit, the pun-loving film critic and author with the famous handlebar mustache, is calling it quits after nearly four decades on NBC's "Today" show, effective Nov. 11, Eonline.com reports.

Shalit, 85, confirmed his retirement in a pithy statement released by his publicist, saying "it's enough already," adding that after years of offering up advertising-friendly sound bites for movie trailers, he's moving on to "pursue other activities" in publishing, radio, commercials and the Internet.

"The Mustache" joined Today in 1973. During his tenure, he critiqued movies and conducted scores of celebrity interviews while working alongside a slew of news legends, among them Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley.

"Today" will air a 40-year retrospective salute to Shalit on Thursday.


Rachel Weisz and her director fiance Darren Aronofsky have ended their five-year engagement.

"Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky have been separated for some months," reps for the two say in a joint statement. "They remain close friends and are committed to raising their son together in NYC."

"The Mummy" leading lady and the director of "The Wrestler" had been together for nine years, and they became engaged in 2005. The couple have a 4-year-old son Henry, born in May 2006.

The Cambridge-educated Weisz, 39, and the 41-year-old Brooklyn native also collaborated professionally when he directed her in 2006's "The Fountain," People reports.

TMZ.com, which first reported the split, said the couple will seek joint custody of their son.

Sources also tell TMZ Weisz has been linked to "James Bond" star Daniel Craig for months. They worked together on the upcoming flick, "Dream House," in February and March of 2010.


Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a three-alarm blaze early Tuesday morning in a warehouse full of rock legend Neil Young's music equipment, vintage cars and memorabilia.

Workers and friends of Young are packing up some of the items that had been in the warehouse on Quarry Road in San Carlos, Calif., when a fire broke out.

Damage is estimated at $1 million. No one was injured in the fire.


Actor John Nettles, who catches killers on the British TV series "Midsomer Murders," has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama, the Associated Press reports. Nettles plays Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby in the long-running mystery show, set in the fictional rural county of Midsomer.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, in a ceremony Tuesday at Buckingham Palace. The 67-year-old also played a policeman in the 1980s show "Bergerac."



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