After one entire 30-minute telecast, Showtime has already renewed Edie Falco's black comedy Nurse Jackie for a second season. Not that I'm complaining -- the show is spectacular. Showtime made all 12 of the season's episodes available for advance viewing, and I watched the whole thing in three nights and shrieked for more. By the end of it, I'd forgotten that Falco ever played Carmela Soprano -- that's how indelible Falco's fraying, Percocet-addled nurse character really is.
Elsewhere in the ravenous CBS/Viacom empire, Dave Letterman on Tuesday passed newcomer Conan O'Brien in the ratings. Maybe NBC will do a version of The Christmas Carol later this season in which Conan is visited by the vengeful wraiths of Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson as he ponders whether whether he's really seeing ghosts, or just the effects of the lousy gruel in the NBC cafeteria.