"Dancing" waltzes to record with Gosselin, Aldrin

Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:01pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Reality TV mom of eight Kate Gosselin, blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson and astronaut Buzz Aldrin helped "Dancing with the Stars" waltz to its highest ever season premiere, attracting 23.9 million viewers, early ratings showed on Tuesday.

The 10th season opener of the ballroom dancing show was the most-watched television program of Monday night, broadcaster ABC said, fueled by a gossip-worthy cast of celebrities trying their hand at the Viennese waltz and the Cha-cha-cha.

Audiences for the five year-old competition slipped last year. But ABC said Monday's two-hour premiere gave the Walt Disney-owned network its biggest audience in the 8-10 pm timeslot for a regular entertainment show in nearly 10 years.

Gosselin, the now divorced half of TV reality show "Jon & Kate Plus 8," was one of the most anticipated contestants. But her Viennese waltz routine scored an unimpressive 16 with the judges. Bruno Tonioli said it looked like Gosselin's dance partner was "pushing a shopping cart across the floor."

Former "Baywatch" star Anderson fared better with her flirty cha-cha-cha. But Aldrin, 80, the second person on the moon in July 1969 after Neil Armstrong, scored lowest with the judges despite adding a little moonwalking to his Cha-cha-cha.

The celebrity line-up also includes Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek and ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews.

Each pair will get one more dance on next week's show before eliminations begin.

"Dancing with the Stars" is the second-most watched TV show in the United States after "American Idol" on Fox.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

 
<p>Former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin attends a news conference before an exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing at the Space Museum in Hong Kong June 19, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Tam</p>