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‘Hairspray’ co-writer Mark O’Donnell dies

NEW YORK

Tony Award-winning writer Mark O’Donnell, behind such quirky and clever Broadway shows as “Hairspray and “Cry- Baby,” has died. He was 58.

O’Donnell’s agent at the Paradigm agency, Jack Tantleff, says the writer collapsed Monday in the lobby of his apartment complex on Manhattan’s Upper West side.

O’Donnell won the 2003 Tony for best book of a musical for writing “Hairspray” with Thomas Meehan. The pair earned Tony nominations in 2008 for doing the same for “Cry-Baby.”

Olympics huge boost to NBC’s ‘Today’ show

NEW YORK

The London Olympics are a huge boon to NBC’s struggling “Today” show.

The Nielsen ratings company says the NBC morning show eclipsed ABC’s “Good Morning America” by more than 1.6 million viewers last week. “Today” broadcast from London all last week, taking advantage of NBC’s status as holder of the rights to the very popular Olympics.

“Good Morning America” had beaten “Today” in the ratings for five weeks prior to the London trip.

NBC has sought to use the trip to get morning viewers used to its new co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie.

Associated Press

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