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TV Note: Lennon tribute concert rallies for disaster relief

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Organizers of a John Lennon tribute concert had two immediate thoughts after the attack that crumbled the World Trade Center: Cancel the event, or move it out of New York. Ultimately, they decided both ideas dishonored Lennon's memory.

The concert, to be telecast live tonight at 8 from Radio City Music Hall on The WB and TNT networks, was postponed for a week and will benefit attack relief organizations.

Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, Lou Reed, Shelby Lynne, Moby, Stone Temple Pilots and the late Beatle's youngest son, Sean, are scheduled to perform.

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, said the terrorist attack rekindled what she felt on Dec. 8, 1980, the night her husband was murdered.

"There's all this talk about numbers, of the thousands of people who died," Ono said. "They're not numbers. Each person has a family and friends who miss the person and love the person. It's an enormous situation. I hope that singing John's songs, songs that were written by someone who was also a victim of violence, will somehow help people."

Ono placed a full-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday simply quoting Lennon's lyrics: "Imagine all the people living life in peace."

"John's music always inspired people and gave power to people, and this is what we need in New York at this point," Ono said.

Despite the changed atmosphere, Ono doesn't want a somber show.

"This is a time when we need a sense of humor as well, not just mourning," she said.

The rescheduled date forced one act, the Isley Brothers, to drop out because of a conflict. Rufus Wainwright and Craig David are among the last-minute acts added to the bill.

The American Red Cross, the September 11th Fund, the International Association of Fire Fighters and the New York Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund are among the beneficiaries. Originally, the concert was supposed to be a benefit for causes that preach nonviolence. Some of those charities -- the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center -- also will benefit.

(David Bauder, Associated Press)

Series premiere ratings

Ratings for Friday night and weekend series premieres were mixed, with Friday generally being a dud for all new shows.

CBS's "The Ellen Show" and "Danny" managed to best ABC's "Mole II: The Next Betrayal," which swamped in the ratings, but "Danny" lost a good bit of the audience from "The Ellen Show," and both paled behind NBC's "Providence" and Fox's "Dark Angel."

"Dateline NBC" took the 9 p.m. Friday slot, followed by ABC's "Thieves." "That's Life" had a lackluster second-season premiere, and Fox's "Pasadena" was DOA. At 10 p.m., NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" captured first place, followed by CBS's "48 Hours" and perpetual ratings also-ran "Once and Again" on ABC.

On Saturday, CBS, the only network that bothers to program scripted series for the night, won the night. Newcomer "Citizen Baines" held onto most of the audience from its "Touched By an Angel" lead-in, and ratings rose when "The District" came on at 10.

Sunday night, CBS's "The Education of Max Bickford" won the 8 p.m. hour, ABC's "Alias" won at 9 p.m., but NBC's new "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" ranked a competitive second. At 10 p.m., NBC's "UC: Undercover" ranked second behind "The Practice" on ABC.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)'

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