NEWS: French Soaps, P&G, 2009 Pop Culture, George

Top 100 Global Marketers: From No. 1 P&G Co. to No. 100 Abbott
Worldwide measured media spending $9.73 billion.

GREY'S ANATOMY: Jason George Cast as Bailey's Love Interest
George, 37, has been cast as anesthesiologist Ben Warren, a potential flame for Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson). Yes, the Nazi is back on the market, but don't expect her to be completely open to it. George is best known to daytime fans for his run as Michael on SUNSET BEACH. He recently starred on the canceled EASTWICK.

It's not just the American soaps: French soaps a washout
Tough times have seen one major TV casualty in France -- daily soaps. Not that Gallic sudsers have ever been runaway hits, except for France 3's PLUS BELLE LA VIE. This year the number of 26-minute segs -- the stuff of daily soaps -- running in daytime and access primetime plummeted 44% to 476 episodes compared with 2008, according to technical industry trade org Ficam.

Terrestrial giant TF1 produced no half hours at all this year, while its smaller rival M6 turned out just 16.5 hours of the halfhour format. Plunging advertising sales have hurried both broadcasters along a road they would probably have taken anyway -- retrenchment.

2009 Pop goes pathological
Victor Dwyer, Elizabeth Renzetti and Johanna Schneller roast and toast the year that brought major swaths of pop culture to a boil, then to new lows of adolescent dreck that were kind of sick - and not in a good way.

Catheryn J. Brockett discusses her new book
Speaking from the set of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS in Los Angeles, actress Catheryn J. Brockett recited her favorite quote: “If you have a skeleton in your closet, take it out and dance with it.” The quote comes from journalist and writer Carolyn MacKenzie, but the notion frames Brockett's life and, subsequently, her new book, “The Dysfunctional Family Funbook,” released by Running Press.

Paul O’Grady gives emotional farewell on his chat show
Paul O’Grady gave a tearful farewell to his audience on Friday by saying his was “the best job in my life.” Paul ended the Channel 4 chat show after 5 years and 11 series. O’Grady said to the audience “you got me through.” On his show on Friday was CORONATION STREET stars William Roache (Ken) and Beverley Callard (Liz). Roache paid tribute to the ex drag Queen by saying “This is a great show. We all love it.”

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