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post #631 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Pressure builds on Disney to renew NFL broadcast deals

By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY
NEW YORK In the mating dance between the NFL and its broadcast partners over new contracts, Disney is now the only wallflower. But it is likely to renew its current $1.15 billion-a-year deal sooner rather than later, says Robert Kraft, owner of NFL champion New England Patriots.
Disney has said for months that it would wait until after the Super Bowl in February for serious talks on its NFL deal for games on its ABC and ESPN networks that expires on Oct. 31, 2005.
But last week, the other NFL networks, Viacom's CBS and News Corp.'s Fox, renewed their Sunday afternoon deals and DirecTV renewed its "Sunday Ticket" satellite package. The heat now is on Disney.
Kraft, a member of the league's TV committee that negotiates contracts, says Disney President Robert Iger has informed NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue that he wants to "move forward" with negotiations.
At stake is ABC's 35-year-old Monday Night Football franchise the network's highest-rated prime-time show the last three seasons as well as ESPN's weekly Sunday night game.
"I've gotten indications from (Disney) that it intends to be a player here and a strong player," Kraft says. "I've gotten those feelings right from the top of the company."
Disney's take-it-slow stance is understandable, says Gene Upshaw, former Oakland Raiders star turned executive director of the NFL players union. The company has been dealing with a lot of issues this year, he says, such as the shareholder revolt against CEO Michael Eisner and a hostile takeover attempt by Comcast.
But Kraft says that the recent resurgence in Disney's earnings and ABC's ratings with shows such as Desperate Housewives could be a "catalyst" for a quick deal. "I would be very surprised if they don't come forward with a strong offer very soon," Kraft says.
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys confirms ESPN boss George Bodenheimer and Iger were in talks with Tagliabue last week but said the talks were part of "ongoing" negotiations. Bodenheimer, president of both ESPN and ABC Sports, said in a statement that his timetable has not changed and, "Our intention remains the same: to renew both packages."
Disney likely will have to boost its offer 30% to $9 billion, or $1.5 billion a year over six seasons, to retain the NFL. For their deals starting in 2006, CBS and Fox agreed to pay a combined $8 billion over six seasons at price increases of 25% and 30%, respectively. News Corp.'s DirecTV will pay $3.5 billion over five years, also a big rise.
Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports, warns Disney could pay more if it waits too long or lose football completely. "If the world perceives that their NFL rights are in play, that's not a comfortable position to be in."
Meanwhile, lurking on the sidelines is rival NBC Universal, which has approached the NFL about games for its NBC and USA networks. It can't make a formal offer until Disney's deal expires.
CEO Robert Wright told CNBC during a TV interview Friday that he's interested in a return to the gridiron: "We just have to determine whether there's room in our world to take on those cost levels."
The NFL is a mixed bag for Disney and for Iger. While the weekly ESPN Sunday broadcast is profitable, MNF loses an estimated $150 million a year. As a sweetener for renewal, NFL will fix a longstanding grievance by giving MNF the chance to swap seven late-season games to get better match-ups.
As Iger campaigns to succeed Eisner as CEO, he doesn't want to be seen as signing a bad deal. But the former protégé of MNF founder Roone Arledge also might not want to be the executive who gave up ABC's pioneering football franchise. Particularly if it goes to NBC Universal.
Rising rights fees led NBC to drop out of the major pro sports six years ago in favor of a so-called small-ball sports mix of the Olympics, NASCAR auto racing and arena football. But now prime-time ratings are an issue. Friends and Frasier are off the air, ERis no longer dominant and Joey is not getting the numbers that many thought it would. Says Kraft: "When a network's prime-time programs start to slip, they start to appreciate NFL programming."
NBC could find a more cost-effective way back in the game by buying half of ESPN's current Sunday night cable package that was previously split between TNT and ESPN. Or it could bid on a new late-season, eight-game Thursday/Saturday night the NFL is planning.
As for football fans, Upshaw predicts that if MNF moves to NBC from ABC, they won't miss a beat. It wasn't long ago that NBC and CBS controlled Sunday afternoon, he says. Now, Fox and CBS do.
"Who's bringing you the game is an afterthought these days. You just want to know where to find it," Upshaw says.
Contributing: David Lieberman
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post #632 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 12:44 PM
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fredfa, remove NBC Movie of The Week "Men in Black" HD Nov 13 8 pm ET. It already aired.
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post #633 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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NBC Holiday Specials
(Released by NBC)
(from thefutoncritic.com) BURBANK, Calif. -- November 15, 2004 -- NBC rings in the holidays and jingle-bell rocks with holiday cheer as it presents a festive assortment of Thanksgiving, Christmas and other seasonal programs, including specials starring the cast of "Seinfeld," Clay Aiken, Tim McGraw, traditional favorites "The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" and "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and the holiday classics "It's a Wonderful Life," as well as new series episodes from "ER," "American Dreams" and "Will & Grace," among others.
Other bright and shiny programming events include a new musical movie musical version of "A Christmas Carol" (starring Kelsey Grammer), theatrical film hits such as "Shrek" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," and NBC's airing of the traditional holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street."
Following are some of the programs, dates and times featured during the 2004 holiday season (all times ET):
WEDNESDAY NOVEMER 17
LAX -- (8-9 p.m.)
"Secret Santa"
SANTA'S STEALING CHRISTMAS -- When a fugitive Santa Claus wanted for armed robbery leads police on a high-speed chase at LAX, Harley (Heather Locklear) and Roger (Blair Underwood) work with the LAPD to track down Kris Kringle among the departing passengers. However, when Santa ditches his red coat and white beard, the airport chiefs have to think fast to stop him form boarding an outbound flight. Meanwhile, Harley faces the frightening proposition of moving in with her boyfriend and Roger attempts to save his marriage after falling off the wagon by placing a large sports bet and losing big. Paul Leyden, Frank John Hughes, Wendy Hoopes and Daivd Paetkau also star.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21
AMERICAN DREAMS -- (8-9 p.m.)
"Tidings of Comfort & Joy" (presented commercial-free by Ford)
KELLY CLARKSON REPRISES ROLE AS BRENDA LEE, AND JOJO GUEST-STARS AS A YOUNG LINDA RONSTADT -- In a commercial-free episode sponsored by Ford, JJ (Will Estes), barely alive in the jungle, finds a Christmas miracle in the form of a fellow American soldier, Joey Tremain (guest star Chris Pine) as they encourage each other to stay alive. Meanwhile, Helen (Gail O'Grady) teaches Beth (Rachel Boston) some important tips on caring for her new baby but Beth becomes infuriated when Helen invites her estranged father over to the house to meet his new grandson. When Meg (Brittany Snow) gets upset that Army recruiters are visiting the campus, she finds herself in a dangerous situation when Chris (guest star Milo Ventimiglia) decides to take matters into his own hands at the recruiting center. Kelly Clarkson ("American Idol") reprises her role as Brenda Lee singing "Rock Around the Christmas Tree," and singer JoJo guest-stars as a young Linda Ronstadt who auditions for "Bandstand." "Extra" co-host Dayna Devon and Nick Warnock ("The Apprentice") also guest-star. Tom Verica, Jonathan Adams, Arlen Escarpeta, Vanessa Lengies, Sarah Ramos and Ethan Dampf also star.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
TIM MCGRAW: HERE AND NOW -- (8-9 p.m.)
TIM MCGRAW: HERE AND NOW -- On the heels of his box office success with "Friday Night Lights" and Billboard chart-topping CD, "Live Like You Were Dying," music superstar Tim McGraw returns to NBC for his second music special, which includes a duet with his wife -- music superstar Faith Hill -- and a special appearance by Green Bay Packers' quarterback Brett Favre. Also included is a duet with Nelly of their #1 single, "Over and Over." Tim McGraw and Anthony Eaton are executive producers of this special from Tall Pony Productions.
THURSDAY (THANKSGIVING), NOVEMBER 25
THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- (9 a.m.-12 p.m.-all time zones)
MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE CONTINUES ANNUAL TRADITION ON NBC -- The 78th anniversary of America's favorite Thanksgiving Day parade features all the spectacular pageantry, fun and surprises that have made this annual New York City extravaganza a perennial favorite. Heralding the start of the Christmas season, this beloved holiday parade features colorful grand floats, lively marching bands, amazing character balloons and special performances by some of today's hottest stars and Broadway performers -- plus an appearance by Santa Claus. Brad Lachman is the executive producer of this live (in some time zones), three-hour special from NBC Entertainment. Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker will host the event
THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA -- (12- 2 p.m.- all time zones)
JOHN O'HURLEY HOSTS ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENT WITH 'THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA' -- Hosted by John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld), "The National Dog Show" takes place as part of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia's annual dog show, one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in North America, and one of only six remaining "benched" dog shows where the public can interact with the show dogs. The show is expected to feature more than 2,000 of the nation's leading canines in a wide variety of more than 150 breeds and varieties, all vying for "Best in Show" honors.
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET -- (2-4 p.m.)
NBC PRESENTS ORIGINAL HOLIDAY 'MIRACLE' -- NBC continues its tradition of bringing home the holiday classics with this Academy Award-winning feature. Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn)--the real Santa Claus--is hired to play himself at Macy's Department Store in New York City. His gentle, joyous spirit and magical powers soon transform those around him including a little girl (Natalie Wood) and her cynical mother Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara). However, Kris' attempts to spread the true meaning of Christmas in a cynical world land him in the psychology ward with only lawyer (John Payne) on his side.
WILL & GRACE -- (8-9 p.m.)
"Everybody Loves Vince"
SECRETS REVEALED FOR THE HOLIDAY-'THE SOPRANOS' JAMIE-LYNN DISCALA AND BOBBY CANNAVALE GUEST-STAR -- When Vince's (guest star Bobby Cannavale) mother injures her leg and is unable to make her traditional Italian Thanksgiving, Will (Eric McCormack) comes to the rescue by offering to make his own special dinner -- but Vince's slap-happy mother refuses to give Will any credit. Meanwhile, Jack (Sean Hayes) gives Vince's sister Ro (guest star Jamie-Lynn DiScala, "The Sopranos") a few pointers on a big secret she is keeping from her family and fiance. Elsewhere, Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) get very cozy with Vince's much younger brother.
THE 'SEINFELD' STORY -- (10-11 p.m.)
CLASSIC 'SEINFELD' CELEBRATED WITH SERIES RETROSPECTIVE -- NBC will celebrate the best memories of one of television's all-time classic comedies with a special retrospective commemorating the mega-hit "Seinfeld." Title star Jerry Seinfeld will host and others who are interviewed will include fellow cast members Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as co-creator and executive producer Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"). During interviews, each cast member will talk about the series' genesis and concentrate on the first four years when "Seinfeld" formed its unique style until it emerged as an acclaimed comedy classic. In addition, notable recurring characters will be seen in vintage clips. The special will be telecast in high definition (HDTV). As a result of new film transfers, this will mark the first time that "Seinfeld" has ever been broadcast in the advanced quality format of HDTV.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27
NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK -- IT'S A WONDEFUL LIFE -- (8-11 p.m.)
NBC marks a milestone for the nation's visually impaired as the network presents this exclusive and special telecast of Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. Through a process of Descriptive TheatreVision, the special presentation will be described for the blind and visually impaired by former President George Bush. Bush's description will inform the viewer of what is occurring on the screen, filling the blanks where no dialogue or other sounds tell a visually impaired person what is happening during a television presentation. The film follows the life of George Bailey (Stewart) from childhood to maturity in the town of Bedford Falls. On what might be his last Christmas Eve, a discouraged Bailey wants to throw his life away. Fortunately, Clarence (Henry Travers), a second-class angel, is sent to show him the value of life. After Clarence gives Bailey a view of Bedford Falls without him, Bailey realizes how precious his life is and gets a second chance. He comes to learn that Clarence was right when he said, "No man is a failure who has friends." The film, which earned Oscar nominations for best picture, director, actor and film editing, was produced and directed by Capra.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK -- SHREK -- (7-9 p.m.)
NBC PRESENTS SUCCESSFUL ANIMATED TALE OF 'SHREK' WITH FOOTAGE NOT INCLUDED IN THEATRICAL VERSION -- The mega-hit animated film "Shrek" come to NBC featuring a strange and colorful land populated by fairy-tale characters. An ogre named Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) must go on a quest to rescue the fair princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz) from a dark tower guarded by a dragon so that she can live happily ever-after with the allegedly valiant Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow). Along for the adventure is Shrek's "noble steed" Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) who battles alongside the ogre as he fights for the noblest of motives -- to rid his beloved swamp from unwanted storybook creatures in the hopes of living a happy and completely lonely existence. The animated tale will feature extra scenes deleted from the theatrical release as well as the in-store DVD.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- (9-11 p.m.)
MUSICAL VERSION OF 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' STARS KELSEY GRAMMER -- This two-hour movie musical based on the long-running Madison Square Garden stage production, "A Christmas Carol" -- stars Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer (NBC's "Frasier") as Scrooge -- in the timeless classic by Charles Dickens and is executive-produced by Emmy-winning Robert Halmi Sr. ("Gulliver's Travels"). Tony Award winner Jason Alexander ("Jerome Robbins' 'Broadway,'" "Seinfeld") stars as Jacob Marley, while Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order"), Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski ("Nine the Musical," "Ally McBeal"), and three-time Golden Globe nominee Geraldine Chaplin ("Mary, Mother of Jesus," "Mother Teresa") star as the ghosts of Christmas Present, Past and Future, respectively. Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Heartbreakers," the upcoming "Garfield: The Movie") also stars as Emily, Scrooge's lost love. The Madison Square Garden production of "A Christmas Carol" features a creative pedigree that includes music by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Alan Menken ("Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast"), lyrics from Tony winner Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Anastasia"), and a book by the late Mike Ockrent ("Crazy for You") and Ahrens (who also wrote the teleplay). Emmy Award winner Arthur Allan Seidelman ("Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes," "An Enemy Among Us") directs this production from Hallmark Entertainment.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER -- (8-9 p.m.)
NBC CONTINUES A HOLIDAY TRADITION WITH ITS LIVE, SEVENTH-ANNUAL NATIONAL TELECAST OF THE 72ND CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS CHRISTMAS TREE -- "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," hosted by Al Roker (NBC's "Today") and Nancy O'Dell ("Access"), is a star-studded, one-hour special from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The popular musical lineup for the special will include a mix of current hits and favorite holiday music with performances by Hilary Duff, Kenny Chesney, Clay Aiken, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Chris Isaak, Michael Buble, Vanessa Williams and the Radio City Rockettes. "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" is produced for a national audience by WNBC and TWI, the television division of IMG (International Management Group).
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5
NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK -- 'THE FAMILY MAN' -- (8-11 p.m.)
OSCAR WINNER NICOLAS CAGE STARS -- Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage ("Leaving Las Vegas") stars as Jack Campbell, a career-driven workaholic with a seemingly perfect life - until a chance meeting with a would-be robber (Don Cheadle, "Ocean's 11"), on Christmas Eve changes his life. Waking up Christmas morning in a New Jersey suburb, Jack's suddenly living a different life where he's married to his college sweetheart (Tea Leoni, "Hollywood Ending") and is the father of two children. At first he is aghast, but Jack soon warms to his new life even though he knows that it cannot last.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8
A CLAY AIKEN CHRISTMAS -- (8-9 p.m.)
JOIN CLAY AIKEN AND GUEST STAR BARRY MANILOW, GOSPEL SINGER YOLANDA ADAMS AND MEGAN MULLALLY (WILL & GRACE) AS THEY PERFORM TRADITIONAL YULE TIDE CAROLS HAVE YOURSELF A CLAY AIKEN CHRISTMAS -- "A Clay Aiken Christmas" will feature favorite carols performed by Clay Aiken and duets with Special Guest Star Barry Manilow and gospel singer Yolanda Adams as well as a solo by "Will & Grace" star Megan Mullally. The 1-hour special will air at 8pm on NBC, December 8. The intimate performance is set against a traditional Christmas backdrop complete with holly and snow. Four-time Emmy Award winner Louis J. Horvitz is the executive producer and director on this project. Songs featured in the special include "Santa Clause is Coming to Town, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, "Mary, Did You Know?" and "Happy Holidays." The special will come on the heels of Aiken's first book, "Learning to Sing" and his Holiday album "Merry Christmas with Love" album both scheduled to be released on November 16. Aiken will begin his holiday tour "The Joyful Noise" on November 21.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9
"ER" (10-11 p.m. ET)
CHRISTMAS IN THE E.R. IS ALWAYS BITTERSWEET -- On Christmas Eve, the emergency room staff scrambles to leave for the holiday as Abby (Maura Tierney) receives a dialysis patient who is in critical condition -- but she can't reach his physician because he doesn't want to be disturbed during the holidays. After much effort, a distraught Chen (Ming-Na) finally finds someone to cover her shift so she can attend to her ailing father. Concerned for her, Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) stops by her house to find her struggling with her father's worsening health. Carter (Noah Wyle) and Wendall (Madchen Amick) grow closer and share an awkward kiss as they wish each other a Merry Christmas. Also starring Shane West, Linda Cardellini and Sherry Stringfield.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12
NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK -- NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION -- (8-10 p.m.)
CHRISTMAS -- GRISWOLD FAMILY STYLE -- The hit theatrical film returns and it's Christmas time again as the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (Chevy Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.
THE SEINFELD STORY -- (10-11 p.m.)
CLASSIC 'SEINFELD' CELEBRATED WITH SERIES RETROSPECTIVE -- NBC will celebrate the best memories of one of television's all-time classic comedies with a special retrospective commemorating the mega-hit "Seinfeld." Title star Jerry Seinfeld will host and others who are interviewed will include fellow cast members Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as co-creator and executive producer Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"). During interviews, each cast member will talk about the series' genesis and concentrate on the first four years when "Seinfeld" formed its unique style until it emerged as an acclaimed comedy classic.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17
NBC MOVIE OF THE WEEK -- SECRET SANTA -- (9-11 p.m.)
JENNIE GARTH STARS IN ORIGINAL HOLIDAY TV MOVIE -- AND LEARNS TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS -- Jennie Garth ("What I Like About You," "Beverly Hills, 90210") stars in this original movie as Rebecca Chandler, a young journalist whose cynical take on Christmas lands her in a small town on assignment to uncover the identity of a mysterious philanthropist, "Secret Santa." In the process, she learns the true meaning of Christmas. Steven Eckholdt (NBC's "The West Wing") stars as John Carter, the town's generous and handsome millionaire, who quickly becomes Rebecca's prime suspect. Television veterans Barbara Billingsley ("Leave It to Beaver") and Charlie Robinson ("Night Court") also star. Robert Tate Miller is the writer.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION -- (8-10 p.m.)
CHRISTMAS -- GRISWOLD FAMILY STYLE -- The hit theatrical film returns and it's Christmas time again as the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark (Chevy Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24
A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- (9-11 p.m.)
MUSICAL VERSION OF 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' STARS KELSEY GRAMMER -- This two-hour movie musical based on the long-running Madison Square Garden stage production, "A Christmas Carol" -- stars Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer (NBC's "Frasier") as Scrooge -- in the timeless classic by Charles Dickens and is executive-produced by Emmy-winning Robert Halmi Sr. ("Gulliver's Travels"). Tony Award winner Jason Alexander ("Jerome Robbins' 'Broadway,'" "Seinfeld") stars as Jacob Marley, while Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order"), Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski ("Nine the Musical," "Ally McBeal"), and three-time Golden Globe nominee Geraldine Chaplin ("Mary, Mother of Jesus," "Mother Teresa") star as the ghosts of Christmas Present, Past and Future, respectively. Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Heartbreakers," the upcoming "Garfield: The Movie") also stars as Emily, Scrooge's lost love. The Madison Square Garden production of "A Christmas Carol" features a creative pedigree that includes music by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Alan Menken ("Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast"), lyrics from Tony winner Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Anastasia"), and a book by the late Mike Ockrent ("Crazy for You") and Ahrens (who also wrote the teleplay). Emmy Award winner Arthur Allan Seidelman ("Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes," "An Enemy Among Us") directs this production from Hallmark Entertainment.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31
NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH CARSON DALY -- LIVE NEW YEAR'S EVE SPECIAL -- (10-11 p.m.)
CARSON DALY BEGINS NEW TRADITION WITH PRIMETIME NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION -- Carson Daly hosts a primetime New Year's Eve Special live from Rockefeller Plaza that includes a mix of musical performances and guest appearances. In addition, Daly will take the temperature of the country, most specifically Times Square, as we get ready to bring in 2005. The event will feature musical performances by Duran Duran, Avril Lavigne and Maroon 5. Confirmed guests to appear include Brian Williams, Donald Trump, and others to be announced.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 2005
116th TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET)
AL ROKER ("TODAY") AND NANCY O'DELL ("ACCESS HOLLYWOOD") TEAM UP AGAIN TO HOST POPULAR NEW YEAR'S DAY EVENT -- Al Roker, the weatherman and feature reporter for NBC's "Today," and Nancy O'Dell, co-anchor of the daily entertainment news magazine show "Access Hollywood," will reunite for the fifth-consecutive year to co-host NBC's live coverage of the "116th Tournament of Roses Parade" from Pasadena, California. The parade, whose theme this year is "Celebrate Family," will feature lavish floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and lively marching bands, as well as this year's Rose Queen and her court. Arthur Forrest is the executive producer/director, Carol Kahl is the supervising producer, Tom Patino is the line producer and Stephanie Prescott is the coordinating producer for NBC Entertainment.
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post #634 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Nascar to Seek Rights-Fee
Parity with New NFL Packages


By John Consoli Mediaweek.com November 15, 2004
In the wake of the National Football League's announcement last week of a new $8 billion, six-year deal with CBS and Fox to televise Sunday afternoon games through 2011, Nascar is itching to get underway with its own TV rights renewals, the first of which comes up following the 2006 season.

Nascar officials privately believe their telecasts are currently undervalued, particularly the second-half of the racing season on NBC and TNT, in which ratings have grown as a result of the new Chase for the Cup driver points system that was initiated this year.

Ratings for the last four races on NBC are up 15 percent cumulatively over last season, and Nascar is expected to seek a hefty increase from NBC if it wants to renew its telecast rights. The NBC/TNT portion is up for renewal following the 2006 season, while the Fox portion of Nascar rights runs through the 2008 season, although Nascar has the option of terminating it after the '06 season.

If the NFL can secure hefty rights-fee increases when the TV ratings over the course of its current contract declined, Nascar officials believe they can do as well, or better, since its ratings have grown. Also bolstering Nascar officials' hopes for big rights hikes is ESPN's open desire to televise the races.

At a recent upfront event, George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN/ABC Sports, stated that the one property he would like to add to the ABC/ESPN schedule is Nascar.

While NBC has an exclusive window to negotiate, Nascar could hold out and allow ESPN to bid. This prospect has fueled speculation that NBC may walk away from Nascar, and concentrate its efforts on a bid for either ABC's Monday Night Football package or the newly created NFL Thursday/Saturday package. NBC may also bid on a new Major League Baseball telecast-rights package.

Fox owns all the national baseball broadcast telecast rights, which expire following the 2006 season.

Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vp business, said, We believe we have a good relationship with our current TV partners. If we can reach a fair price deal with our current partners, that is what we would do. But we also have an obligation to our owners to bring the package that is most valuable to them.

NBC officials had no comment on any potential rights bids. But sources familiar with the situation believe the network is no longer adverse to spending big bucks on sports-rights deals. One source said, NBC would do an NFL deal if it makes business sense.

Dick Glover, Nascar vp of broadcasting and new media, would not comment on the approach Nascar would take in future TV rights negotiations, but does believe adding the Chase for the Cup format provided added value to NBC/TNT by increasing viewership during a cluttered time of year for TV sports. Glover also said an often-overlooked fact about Nascar telecasts is that 40 percent of the audience is female. Our fan base continues to grow and our fans have unusually high product loyalty, a key point for advertisers, he said.

While the other sports posture over future rights deals, the NFL, in the minds of media buyers, is clearly the king of TV sports, and will continue to be. By 2011 [when the next TV rights contract ends], the NFL will be the highest-rated show on television on any night of the week, said Jon Mandel, chairman of MediaCom. That's why CBS and Fox jumped at the chance to renew their deals at increases of 24 percent ($622 million per year) and 29 percent ($712 million per year), respectively.

One renewal sweetener for the networks was the NFL's willingness to reinstate in-game ad enhancements, which are banned under the current rights. The NFL will allow them on a limited basisperhaps one per quarter. The league will also sell them, sharing the revenue with the nets. Another bone thrown to the nets was the right to telecast an additional national pre-season game, an added source of revenue.

Mandel said he is glad the NFLrather than the networksis controlling the enhancements because it is less likely to oversell them and create in-game clutter. I embrace this because it protects us from ourselves, he said. If the networks sell it, and if [media agencies] have our way, we would trash it up. You would have enhancement creep.

Tim Spengler, Initiative's executive vp/director of national broadcast, said, In-game enhancements, if they're limited, will be valuable to advertisers. Every advertiser would love to have a position in the highest rated sports league on TV.

Buyer reaction to the newly-created Thursday-Saturday night NFL package, still up for bid, was mixed. The beauty of the NFL is that it is on a limited number of days right now, Spengler said. If they add two more days, will it dilute its specialness? That may be too much football for people.

Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer at Mediaedge:cia, said a Saturday night game would hold more value. Right now, a few networks are really clicking on Thursdays and adding the NFL could draw viewers, particularly younger ones, away from their scripted shows, he said. On Saturday, no network can get itself arrested, so the NFL might bring viewers back into the tent.

The Sunday night package that ESPN now controls also may be up for grabs. Sources say the NFL would consider splitting the rights into two halves of the season, like it did under the previous contract, when ESPN and TNT shared the rights. And the NFL has reportedly not ruled out having its own NFL Network televise some regular-season games, perhaps half of a Sunday package or the Thursday-Saturday package.

TNT/TBS is also expected to bid on either or both of those packages.
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post #635 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 10:48 PM
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Sci Fi Keeps Stargate Open

(From MultiChannel News---
Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 will both return to Sci Fi Channel, the network announced Monday.
Production on 20-episode seasons of both shows will begin in March, and episodes will debut during the summer.
Stargate SG-1 is returning for a ninth original season, tying Fox's The X-Files as the longest-running science-fiction drama series on American television, Sci Fi said.
Stargate Atlantis debuted in July.

Bah-hahaha! This show just won't die! First the fifth season was going to be the last, then the seventh, then the eighth now are they even claiming the ninth will be the last? Good on them, the show's still doing great, better than it ever did on Showtime, why bother quitting while you're on top? Though it's interesting, Atlantis is only getting a 20-episode order as well seems a tad short for a young show. Not that I mind squeeze some more quality into fewer shows, not a bad policy works wonders for HBO.
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post #636 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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(Season Six, sadly not in HD, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET)

An Audience Finally Catches Up to 'The Amazing Race'

By JOE RHODES The New York Times November 16, 2004
In the relatively short history of reality television there seems to have been one inescapable pattern: a show is either successful right out of the gate or it sputters and quickly dies. Slow starts are rarely allowed.
That makes CBS's late-blooming "Amazing Race" a notable survivor: it flirted with cancellation for four seasons before ratings suddenly escalated last summer, making it the most-watched reality series on television. After years of bouncing around in low-priority time slots, "The Amazing Race," in which 11 2-person teams race around the world in pursuit of a million-dollar prize, will have its sixth-season premiere with a two-hour special tonight, in the high-profile heart of the prime-time November sweeps.
"Sometimes you just get a perfect storm of elements, and that's clearly what happened in Season 5," said Kelly Kahl, executive vice president of programming at CBS. His theory? The cumulative effect of a hard-core fan base, years of effusive reviews (a number of which called "The Amazing Race" the best reality show on television in its first season), back-to-back Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004 for best reality program, and a particularly appealing cast of competitors all came together to bolster the show's ratings, particularly among the younger viewers prized by the networks.
The late-September season finale drew nearly 13 million viewers and the summer episodes averaged 10.7 million, high numbers for that time of year. More important from CBS's perspective, the show nearly doubled its ratings among its 18-to-34 viewers and won its time period every week.
The ratings resurrection has been especially gratifying for Bertram van Munster, the show's Dutch-born co-creator and executive producer. For Mr. van Munster, the show is the culmination of his lengthy career as a globe-trotting documentarian, a rough-and-tumble life that included several seasons in harm's way as the chief cameraman on "Cops." The "Amazing Race" had such a shaky start, though, that he was convinced it would not survive.
The series had its premiere on Sept. 5, 2001, six days before the terrorist attacks. The opening sequence, which had seemed so exhilarating when it was first broadcast - a computer-generated close-up of a passenger jet racing through clouds - suddenly seemed ominous.
"Once we saw our billboards covered in dust from the 9/11 tragedy, we knew we had a problem," Mr. van Munster said. "The world had changed from one second to another, and we were doing a show about traveling overseas, about airplanes. At that point, I thought the show was over. I didn't think we had a chance."
There were other problems. In the wake of the enormous success of "Survivor," the first big wave of reality programming was flooding the networks and, programming analysts say, "The Amazing Race" got lost in the crowd.
"I think they had a hard time differentiating themselves from some of those other shows," said Stacey Lynn Koerner, a broadcast ratings analyst and executive vice president of Initiative Media Worldwide. "The ratings performances were never bad, but they didn't compare to the blockbuster numbers that 'Survivor' was getting."
The ratings might have been mediocre, but audience reaction to "The Amazing Race" was intense from the start. Reviewers gushed and Internet devotees sang its praises. Andy Dehnart, the creator and editor of realityblurred.com, a Web site devoted to reality television, said viewers were quickly hooked on the show's deceptively simple premise: teams of people with existing relationships - married couples, best friends, siblings - race from one designated location to another, performing tasks and picking up clues to their next destination, experiencing local customs and frequently getting lost along the way. The last team to arrive at each pit stop is eliminated from the race.
"I think one of the biggest reasons people love this show is that you get to live vicariously through the people on the screen," Mr. Dehnart said. "It's not like other shows where people are made to suffer or humiliate themselves. Most of the time, these people are doing things you'd like to do yourself."
"I think the cast is very important, that's half the battle," Mr. van Munster said, acknowledging that the quirky assortment of contestants in Season 5 - including a maniacally intense man named Colin, born-again Christian fashion models and an easygoing middle-aged couple who eventually won the race - had a lot to do with the increased audience interest. "We want people between 21 and 70 from all walks of life," he said.
The first season saw competitors travel from New York to Johannesburg, Paris to Tunis, Rome to New Delhi, and then to Bangkok, Beijing, Anchorage, San Francisco and back to New York. Scheming, bickering and exhausted, participants in the first five seasons have found themselves bungee jumping in New Zealand, searching archaeological digs in Egypt, stuffing themselves with cheese in Switzerland and with caviar in Russia. They have raced sampans and ox carts, crawled through temples filled with rats, ridden elephants and camels, climbed mountains, kayaked over waterfalls and hang glided from cliffs.
Through it all, the ratings remained good but not great. "There were times when it was close to being canceled," Mr. Kahl of CBS said. "It's a show that was always on the bubble. But it had a lot of things going for it. It was always one of the youngest-skewing shows on our air, if not the youngest. And the response we got from fans - letters, e-mails, phone calls - was almost unprecedented."
For his part, Mr. van Muster said: "They never told us it was in trouble or that it wasn't coming back. But sometimes the phone would be awfully quiet for a couple of months. That always made me nervous."
Last summer, though, perhaps because word of mouth had finally spread far enough or perhaps because other shows had failed to find an audience, "The Amazing Race" finally took off. "I think it just took a while for the audience to find it," said the show's executive producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, whose heavyweight presence (he also produces the immensely profitable "CSI" franchise for CBS) might have helped the series survive the rough spots.
Now Mr. van Munster must deal with the perils of success. For the first few seasons, he and his crew (including the show's host, Phil Keoghan) could move from place to place in relative anonymity. Not anymore. "Now, wherever we go, in southern India or running through the Jakarta airport," Mr. van Munster said, "people know who we are. They come up and yell, 'You're "The Amazing Race"!' But I don't mind, I think of it as free-flow advertising."
With so many people on the lookout for him and his racers, you would expect Mr. van Munster to be worried about Internet spoilers ruining the fun, tipping off destinations and tasks long before they hit the air. "We use decoy teams," he said, obviously enjoying the prospect of outsmarting the cyber spies. "They never really know where we're going. If I take you to Paris," he said, "I'm not taking you to the Eiffel Tower. I take you to the sewer pipes."
The only downside he sees to success is that his international production crews assume his budget has gone up accordingly. "When you start getting Emmys, then everybody all of a sudden thinks you're rich," he said. "They think CBS is doubling the budget. You can be assured that is not the case."
In the meantime, Mr. van Munster continues to scout locations for the seventh season, more than ever convinced that the world is a far less dangerous place than it sometimes seems. "Everybody everywhere has been helpful to us from the beginning," he said, "because I tell them: 'I'm not here to criticize your country or your culture. I'm here to bring Americans to learn from you and to have a good time.' Right now, the only places I wouldn't consider going are Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything else is on the board."
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post #637 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
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NBC, affils plan for weather Digi-weather net on horizon

By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK Variety.com Posted: Mon., Nov. 15, 2004, 8:02pm PT

NEW YORK -- Peacock affiliates and NBC Universal launched their jointly owned tiny weather net on Monday, saying they want to catch the country by digital storm.

[b]NBC Weather Plus[/u], bowing on the 78th anniversary of NBC's debut as the country's first radio net, is among a new breed of networks made possible by the transition to digital.

In addition to broadcasting their main signal, TV stations suddenly find themselves with room left over to carry ancillary channels, however tiny.

The problem: how to get the digital signal into the living room.

So far, only one cable operator --Time Warner -- has agreed to carry Weather Plus. That's in Gotham, where Time Warner digital cable customers can find the 24/7 weather and alert net on channel 731. Digital signal is being broadcast by WNBC-TV.

NBC and its affils are initially rolling out Weather Plus in 15 markets over the next 90 days, including in Sacramento. KNBC-TV in Los Angeles is skedded to begin broadcasting Weather Plus early next year.

Without cable carriage, the ancillary weather channel will only be available terrestrially to households with digital TV sets, greatly restricting its reach.

Hearst-Argyle Television exec VP and NBC Affiliate board chair Terry Mackin said the joint venture is in discussions with multiple cable operators and that he's cautiously optimistic that deals will be cut. Talks also are under way with satcasters.

"They see us as a way of promoting their digital services," Mackin said. "I assure you that there will be many more that will follow Time Warner's example."

NBC U and the large TV stations groups also are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to require that cable operators carry all ancillary digital channels, just as they are required to carry the primary broadcast signals in any given market.

The debut of Weather Plus, which will be a blend of national and local info, marks the first time in the history of broadcast TV that a network and its affiliates co-own a channel.

NBC U exec VP Brandon Burgess declined to reveal the pricetag for the weather channel, noting programming costs are minimized since content is being provided by the existing weather staff at NBC News and the weather desks at local stations.

"If anything, the local television stations have been built out to do a lot more than they do in terms of weather. The infrastructure is already in place," Burgess said.

The Weather Channel prexy Patrick Scott said he isn't worried about the bow of NBC Weather Net, noting his channel reaches 89 million Nielsen households.

"This is a big market and they are late coming in," Scott said. "But we won't ignore it. We will track it and see how it goes."

Bow of NBC Weather Plusfollows the launch of ABC News' secondary digital cable net, ABC News Now. The tiny 24/7 net was initially slated to go off the air after the Nov. 2 election, but hasn't been yanked so far.
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post #638 of 25503 Old 11-15-2004, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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ABC Orders more episodes of "Complete Strangers" and "Rodney"

By MICHAEL SCHNEIDER Variety.com Posted: Mon., Nov. 15, 2004, 10:00pm PT
ABC has given a vote of confidence to both of its frosh laffers, picking up a full season of newcomers "Complete Savages" and "Rodney."
Net has greenlit nine more episodes of each sitcom, in addition to the 13 segs previously ordered.
Neither show has exploded out of the gate, compared with the instant success of Alphabet dramas "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." But in an age where all six nets are having a difficult time launching comedies, ABC execs have decided to show a little patience in nurturing both shows.
"Rodney," from Touchstone TV, has averaged 9.3 million viewers, as well as a 3.8 rating and 9 share among adults 18-49; NBC Universal TV-produced "Complete Savages" has posted a 2.1/7 with adults 18-49, and has averaged 5.93 million viewers.
"Rodney" regularly wins its timeslot (against regular programming) in the demo, while "Savages" has held all of its "8 Simple Rules" lead-in.
"Rodney" stars standup comedian Rodney Carrington as a family man living in America's heartland. "Complete Savages" revolves around a single man (Keith Carradine) raising five teenage boys.
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Originally posted by fredfa
NBC, affils plan for weather Digi-weather net on horizon


The beginning of the end of high bitrate HD digital broadcasts....

If the FCC mandates this crap and other sub-channels to be a must-carry like NBC and others will probably want they should all be shot and fed to Mr. Wu's hogs.
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post #640 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thankfully, the FCC has shown no inclination (yet) to mandate such carriage.
On the other hand, there are so many political donations yet to be made........
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post #641 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by fredfa
Thankfully, the FCC has shown no inclination (yet) to mandate such carriage.
On the other hand, there are so many political donations yet to be made........

Yep, that's the scary part...
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post #642 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 05:57 AM
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Networks have no faith in their product anymore. It wasn't until the 3rd season that "All In The Family" shot to number 1 in the ratings. Talk about patience with a program! Now it's 12 weeks or less and out. Or shuffle around for a better time slot. Meanwhile there are many good time slots just wasted. Why would anyone want to put a show opposite "NYPD Blue" or "Law & Order" proven entities? Only the Network Executive's shrink knows. Merril MIllier's book "Only You Dick Daring" has come true.

Former VOOMER.....now former DISH-er
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post #643 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Monday's ratings have been posted.
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post #644 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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While some stations were refusing to air "Saving Private Ryan", others were going in the opposite direction.
Well, it IS sweeps month, after all.

Nude Broadcast Breaks Record

By John Eggerton - Broadcasting & Cable 11/16/2004 10:42 AM ET
Looks like WOIO Cleveland's shot at full disclosure worked.
According to early returns, its decision not to blur the nudity in a story on performance artist Spencer Tunick that featured one of its own anchors in the buff was a big hit with viewers.
News Director Steve Doerr, who asked anchor Sharon Reed to bare it all for the sake of news, art and ratings, said that viewer reaction to the Monday night piece had been 2-1 in support of the station. Doerr and GM Bill Applegate had already vetted the piece with their lawyers, who said it was OK given the post-10 p.m. timing, the start of the FCC's safe harbor for so-called indecent material.
The ratings returns were even more stunning. The 11 p.m. newscast did the best late news number in the station's history at a 17.1/30 share, blowing away the previous record of a 13.6/23, which came on the strength of the best lead-in in the business, last year's Super Bowl, which featured a little partial nudity of its own.
In fact, one of the reasons Doerr and Reed said the station didn't blur the piece was as a reaction to the post-Janet Jackson reveal climate that saw ABC stations refuse to run Saving Private Ryan for fear of FCC retribution. The other reason: that 17.1/30 during sweeps, of course.
Reed participated in a group photo with over a thousand other women, all naked, one of three photos of naked Clevelanders taken by Tunick last summer. He has created similar images around the world after fighting all the way to the Supreme Court for the privilege.
Any plans to re-run the piece? Doerr says no, but he does see room for follow-ups and will run reaction to Monday night's newscast in his Tuesday 4 p.m. news.
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post #645 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, you just never, never know.
All the experts on the FCC and political matters told us that once Sen. Tom Daschle lost, his former aide, Jonathan Adelstein would NEVER get reappointed to a new term on the FCC.
And even if Daschle had won, they said, Adelstein had upset so many Republicans he would be toast.
Yet:

Bush Nominates Adelstein for New Term

medialifemagazine.com--President George W. Bush said yesterday he will nominate FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein for the remainder of his tenure in office.
Adelstein has been a commissioner since December 2002 and if approved, his term would be extended through June 2008.
Before joining the FCC, Adelstein spent 15 years as a staff member in the Senate.
From 1995-2002, he was a senior legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
Adelstein spent his early career in academia, as a teaching fellow in the history department at Harvard University and a teaching assistant in the history department at Stanford University.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Ted Hearn Multichannel.com
President Bush late Monday announced his intention to nominate Jonathan Adelstein to a new five-year term at the Federal Communications Commission.
Adelstein -- a Democrat who was just days away from leaving the agency -- is expected to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday. He will require Senate confirmation.
Adelstein was written off by many as the first commissioner to exit the FCC, especially after his mentor and former boss, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), lost his re-election bid Nov. 2 to John Thune. But Adelstein had the support of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and several Senate Democrats.
A Senate source said last week that Senate leaders and the White House reached an agreement before the election on a batch of nominees. Bush announced the nominations of 18 people in the same statement Monday.
Republican FCC commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, whose term expired earlier this year, was not included in the White House list.
Adelstein joined the FCC in 2002 to fill an unexpired term, which ended in June 2003. However, he was permitted to stay at the commission until Congress adjourned this year if no one else was confirmed to take his place.
If confirmed, Adelstein's new term would run until June 30, 2008.
Adelstein, along with fellow FCC Democrat Michael Copps, strongly opposed efforts by FCC chairman Michael Powell on broadcast deregulation. He also opposed new policies designed to remove legacy phone regulations from Baby Bell broadband networks.
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post #646 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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and from mediaweek.com:

Bush Reappoints Adelstein to FCC Post

By Todd Shields mediaweek.com November 16, 2004
President Bush has appointed Democrat Jonathan Adelstein to another term on the Federal Communications Commission.

Adelstein's term had expired last year, and without presidential action he would have been forced to resign when Congress ends its session in coming days. His new appointment, announced by the White House late Monday, is for a term that expires in June 2008.

The appointment needs Senate confirmation. Adelstein enjoys bipartisan support from members of the Senate Commerce Committee, which will recommend to the full Senate whether it should confirm him.

Adelstein and fellow Democrat Michael Copps have been persistent and vigorous critics of the Republican-dominated FCC's moves toward permitting more media consolidation. Adelstein's was one of 18 executive appointments announced on Monday, suggesting it emerged as part of a package deal struck between the White House and the Senate.
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post #647 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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(From Marc Berman's Programming Insider column at Mediaweek.com)
Primetime Monday Ratings: Monday 11/15/04
Night 12 of the November Sweeps


Household Rating/Share
CBS: 11.8/17
ABC: 11.1/16
NBC: 6.8/10
Fox: 5.4/ 8,
WB: 5.4/ 8
UPN: 3.0/ 4

Percent Change From Comparable Year-Ago Night (Nov. 17, 2003):
Fox: +20
ABC: +14
CBS: + 3
NBC: -14
WB: -16
ABC: -19

Fast Affiliate Ratings

Total Viewers:
CBS: 17.07 million
ABC: 13.61
NBC: 9.56
Fox: 7.39
WB: 5.63
UPN: 3.60

Adults 18-49:
CBS: 6.0/15
ABC: 5.5/13
NBC: 3.8/ 9
Fox: 3.3/ 8
WB: 2.0/ 5
UPN: 1.6/ 4

Yesterday's Winners:
Monday Night Football (ABC)
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
CSI: Miami (CBS)

9 Isn't Enough: We Need a 10th Season:
7th Heaven (WB)

Honorable Mention:
Fear Factor (NBC)
Still Standing (CBS)
Listen Up (CBS)

Yesterday's Losers:
Life Of Luxury (ABC)
The $25 Million Hoax (NBC)

Ratings Breakdown:
CBS scored another Monday victory, ranking first in the overnights, total viewers and adults 18-49 despite facing Monday Night Football on ABC. At 8 p.m., although CBS sitcoms Still Standing (#1, 7.3/11; A18-49: #2, 3.6/10) and Listen Up (#2: 6.9/10; A18-49: #2, 3.6/ 9) inched past NBC's Fear Factor (#2: 6.7/10; A18-49: #1, 4.3/11) by an average of 5 percent in the overnights, Fear Factor's advantage among adults 18-49 was a still solid 19 percent. Year-to-year, however, both networks remain down in the time period by double-digit percentages.

Also down, but certainly not out, is the WB's 7th Heaven, which was third overall in the overnights (6.1/ 9) and fifth among adults 18-49 (2.3/ 6), beating declining UPN comedies One On One (#6, 2.9/ 4; A18-49: #6, 1.4/ 4) and Half and Half (#6: 3.1/ 4; A18-49: #6, 1.6/ 5) by an average of 103 percent in the overnights and 53 percent among adults 18-49. To-date, veteran 7th Heaven remains the frog net's most-watched series.

Although competing Fox reality hour Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy got some mileage, finishing fourth in the overnights (5.4/ 8) and third among adults 18-49 (3.2/ 9), ABC's Life of Luxury was in ratings poverty with a mere fifth-place 4.7/ 7 in the overnights. Stop smiling, Robin Leach! Note: Due to potential football averages being included in the 8 p.m. hour, we do not include fast affiliate ratings for Life of Luxury.

At 9 p.m., the Philadelphia/Dallas match-up on ABC's Monday Night Football was above average, with a 12.3/20 in the overnights from 9 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 16.08 million viewers and a 6.7/16 among adults 18-49 in primetime.

Although 9-10 p.m. CBS comedies Everybody Loves Raymond (12.2/17; A18-49: 6.1/14) and Two and a Half Men (11.9/16; A18-49: 6.5/15) ranked a very close second (while finishing first in total viewers), red-hot CSI: Miami perked up to a first-place 16.3/24 in the overnights, 22.19 million viewers and an 8.3/20 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Worth noting last night was Two and a Half Men, which seems to get better every week.

Also in the 9 p.m. hour were NBC's consistent Las Vegas (#3: 9.0/13; A18-49: #3, 4.3/10), followed by Fox's goofy The Swan (#4: 5.3/ 8; A18-49: #4, 3.4/ 8), the WB's Everwood (#5: 4.7/ 7; A18-49: #5, `.8/ 4), and UPN comedies Girlfriends (#6: 3.3/ 5; A18-49: #5t, 1.8/ 4) and Second Time Around (#6: 2.8/ 4; A18-49: #6, 1.5/ 3).

At 10 p.m., and opposite CSI: Miami and Monday Night Football, was NBC reality dud The $25 Million Hoax, with a paltry 4.7/ 7 in the overnights, 6.02 million viewers and a 2.7/ 7 among adults 18-49. Calling Average Joe -- NBC needs you back in the time period pronto!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box: What's Hot/What's Not

A New Ratings Record for Court TV:
As the verdict in the Scott Peterson case was announced last Friday, Nov. 12, Court TV reached a new ratings zenith, with a record 2.7 household rating, 2.66 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 during the quarter-hour ending at 4:15 p.m. Comparatively, just 1.6 million viewers on Court TV saw the verdict announced in O.J. Simpson's case in 1995. Court TV's daytime news and trial coverage of the case averaged a 0.8 household rating (tied for No. 5 among all ad-supported cable networks), with 730,000 total viewers during Verdict Watch. That was an increase of 300 and 254 percent, respectively, compared to the cable net's 4th quarter 2003 daytime news and trial averages.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Primetime PremieresTuesday 11/16/04 Night 13 of the Nov. 2004 Sweep

CBS:
The Amazing Race 6 (season premiere, two hours)

Fox:
House HD (premiere)

The Scoop on House:
In a sea of reality on Fox comes House, a welcome scripted drama about a brilliant but cantankerous doctor (Hugh Laurie) and his handpicked team of experts. Although House could benefit if Fox leaves the drama in the time period long enough for American Idol to return in January as its lead-in, minimal support from last week's dead-on-arrival The Billionaire Rebel: Branson's Quest for the Best coupled with an unlikable lead character and Fox's quick trigger finger makes House a long-shot.
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post #648 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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ABC Teams 'Alias' with 'Lost' for Midseason

(zap2it.com)--"Desperate Housewives" has become a runaway hit for ABC this season in the Sunday timeslot formerly occupied by "Alias." That's created a bit of a dilemma -- albeit one any network would like to have -- when it came to finding a new home for the spy series.
ABC will solve that problem by pairing "Alias" with its other freshman smash, "Lost," on Wednesday nights beginning Jan. 5. Both shows are executive produced by J.J. Abrams, and ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson is hoping that link will help "Alias" break beyond its cult-show status in the ratings.
"When we made the strategic decision this fall on 'Alias,' we only hoped to be in the situation we find ourselves in today," McPherson says. "'Lost' provides a terrific platform for 'Alias'' new season. Not only do both shows have similar audience profiles ... but they also share J.J.'s unique sensibility. This is a great two-hour block of programming."
"Alias" will open its fourth season with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 5. ABC is sticking to its plan to air the show without repeats through the rest of the season, which would put its season finale near the end of May sweeps.
As a result of "Alias" moving to Wednesday, the "Bachelor" franchise is being shipped to Monday nights, where ABC will replace "Monday Night Football" with an all-unscripted night of programming.
Beginning Jan. 10, Mondays will lead off with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How'd They Do That?," a behind-the-scenes look at the hit home-makeover series that ABC tried out as a special on Nov. 1, to promising results. Each episode will break down the previous night's "EM: Home Edition" to explain how host Ty Pennington and his team of contractors and designers accomplished their build.
"The Bachelorette," featuring ex-rose recipient Jen Schefft, will air at 9 p.m. Mondays. Schefft is returning to the TV-romance game after her engagement and subsequent breakup with "Bachelor" No. 3 Andrew Firestone. A new series, "Supernanny," debuts Jan. 17 and will air at 10 p.m. Mondays.
"What to do with Monday night after football has always been one of the network's biggest challenges," McPherson says. "But we think that we've come up with a strategy for success."
The schedule shuffle leaves the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," which ABC previously announced for Monday nights post-football, without a home for the time being. It and another drama, "Eyes," will be used to plug holes as needed.
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post #649 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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CBS Weathers Storm for Weekly Win n

(zap2it.com)--CBS won a commanding victory for the first full week of the November sweeps period. The network used a mixture of typically strong original programming and some standard sweeps events and stunts to win the week ending Sunday, Nov. 14.

Overall Prime Time Ratings/Share/Viewers
CBS 9.7/15/15.04 million viewers
NBC 7.4/12/11.26 million viewers
ABC 6.7/11/10.41 million viewers
Fox 4.7/7/7.35 million viewers
WB 2.5/4/3.77 million viewers
UPN 2.5/4/3.71 million viewers


Adults 18-49:
CBS 4.8
NBC 4.2
ABC 3.9
Fox 3.2
WB 1.6
UPN 1.5

The week's most watched show, as per usual, was CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," which did an 18.2/27 and drew 29.64 million viewers, right in line with its season average. "CSI: Miami" was No. 2 with a 14.4/22 and "Without a Trace" was No. 3 with a 13.1/21, filling the top of the Nielsen charts with Jerry Bruckheimer-produced procedural dramas.
The first part of CBS' sweeps spectacular "Category 6: Day of Destruction" scored a 12.3/19 for No. 5, joining fellow Sunday entries "Cold Case" (11.7/17, 7th) and "60 Minutes" (10.0/16, 14th) in the Top 20. The network's telecast of the CMA Awards drew a robust 11.5/18 for No. 9.
Also making the Top 20 for CBS were "Survivor: Vanuatu" (12.0/18, 6th), "Two and a Half Men" (10.7/16, 11th) and "CSI: NY" (9.7/16).
Over on NBC, guest star Ray Liotta helped "ER" put up a 12.8/20, for a respectable No. 4 on the week, though the only other Thursday show to make the list for NBC was "The Apprentice 2," which was No. 12 with a 10.4/15.
The full compliment of "Law & Order" offerings made the Top 20 for the week, led by the Wednesday original at No. 13 with a 10.1/16. Tuesday's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10.0/16, 14th) and Sunday's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (9.6/14, 18th) followed. Also performing well for NBC were "West Wing" (9.7/15, 16th) and "Las Vegas" (9.5/14, 19th).
ABC's "Monday Night Football" game between the Vikings and Colts did an 11.6/19 for No. 8 to rank as the network's best (the seven-minute "MNF" pregame was No. 20 with a 9.0/13). ABC's only other Top 20 entry was "Lost" (11.2/17, 10th) as "Desperate Housewives" was benched for the American Music Awards, which did a 7.9/12 for No. 25.
FOX's best for the week was Sunday's NFL runover, which did an 8.8/15 for No. 22, though Sunday's season premiere of "The Simpsons" was No. 37 with a 6.7/10. The new season of "American Idol" can't make it to the air soon enough.
"Gilmore Girls" posted The WB's highest ratings for the week, grabbing No. 72 with a 4.2/6, while UPN was paced by "America's Next Top Model" at No. 75 with a 3.7/6.
The lowest rating show on any of the six major networks was The WB's "The Mountain." Although the primetime soap was dubbed a "word-of-mouth-hit" by the New York Post, it could only muster a 1.2/2 and 1.638 million viewers, fewer than watched PAX's "Doc."
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post #650 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 03:21 PM
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fredfa,

The Next Great Champ has ended.

I never watched the show, but for those who care, the winner (and presumably The Next Great Champ) is:

His WBO fight will be on FSN in early December (either the 3rd of the 8th, I forgot).
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post #651 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Week Ending Nov. 14 Top 20 Primetime Programs:

1---CSI HD CBS 18.2/27 (29.64 million viewers)
2---CSI:Miami HD CBS 14.4/22
3---Without A Trace HD CBS 13.1/21
4---ER HD NBC 12.8/20
5Sunday Movie: Category 6: Day of Destruction HD CBS 12.3/19
6---Survivor:Vanuatu CBS 12.0/18
7---Cold Case HD CBS 11.7/17
8---Monday Night Football (Vikings-Colts) HD ABC 11.6/19
9---CMA Awards CBS 11.5/18
10Lost ABC HD 11.2/17
11Two And A Half Men HD CBS 10.7/16
12Apprentice 2 NBC 10.4/15
13Law & Order HD NBC 10.1/16
14Law & Order: SVU HD NBC 10.0/16
15CSI:NY HD CBS 9.7/16
16The West Wing HD NBC 9.7/15
18Law & Order: Criminal Intent HD NBC 9.6/14
19Las Vegas HD NBC 9.5/14
20MNF Pregame HD ABC 9.0/13

(from zap2it.com and Nielsen Research.)
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post #652 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Murdoch Eyeing Thursday, Saturday NFL

By Mike Farrell Multichannel.com11/16/2004 5:09:00 PM ET
New York -- After landing a deal for National Football League rights for its Fox broadcasting network last week, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said the media giant would be interested in pursuing a new package of Thursday- and Saturday-night NFL games, possibly to kick off a new national sports network to rival ESPN.
News Corp. last week agreed to a new six-year NFL-rights agreement under which it will pay about $712 million annually for rights to Sunday-afternoon National Football Conference games.
In addition, its DirecTV Group Inc. unit agreed to pay $3.5 billion over five seasons for the league's exclusive out-of-market NFL Sunday Ticket package, which allows it to broadcast up to 14 pro-football games each week.
Still on the negotiating table are the rights to NFL Sunday-night and Monday-night games, as well as a new eight-game package of late-season Thursday-night and Saturday-night contests, which will likely spread over the last five weeks of the season.
At Fox Entertainment Group's annual meeting here Tuesday, Murdoch said it is unlikely that News Corp. would pursue the Sunday- and Monday-night package, which, he added, would likely remain with the incumbents -- The Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and ABC networks.
We're unlikely to want Monday Night Football in its present form. It's been going down in the ratings, Murdoch said. If they did [offer a Thursday/Saturday package], it would almost certainly be [on a cable network], either a new one or an existing one. There will be quite a lot of interest in it from various people, and we would be interested, too.
Murdoch added that if Fox was able to capture the Thursday/Saturday games, it would go a long way toward making his desire to create a national sports network to rival ESPN a reality.
Yes, Murdoch said in response to a question on if the NFL rights would allow him to launch a national sports network. But then again, it would be difficult to do that, he added.
The negotiations for the additional packages could technically last through October, when the Disney-owned networks' negotiating window closes.
As far as new cable networks, Murdoch said the first out of the blocks would be a reality channel, which should launch in the spring. A business channel could come as early as the end of the summer.
Murdoch said the premium-cable business channel continues to be CNBC, but he added that existing business shows on Fox News Channel could give the new network a leg up.
We already have three of the most popular business shows on cable on Fox, he said. I think we're well-placed.
Asked what type of programming would show up on the new business channel, Murdoch said it would be more positive programming.
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post #653 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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ABC gets dose of reality

'Makeover' spinoff, 'Bachlerotte' on tap for revamped sked
By JOSEF ADALIAN [Variety.com[/b]
ABC will start the new year with an all-reality Monday night lineup and a two-hour Wednesday block of J.J. Abrams.
Net today will announce a post-"Monday Night Football" January sked that avoids launching any new dramas or comedies and feature only one entirely new series concept.
New Monday sked will feature "Extreme Makeover" spinoff "EM: How'd they Do That" Mondays at 8, with "The Bachlerotte" migrating from Wednesdays to 9 p.m. Monday on January 10. A week later, at 10 p.m., ABC will launch its U.S. adaptation of Brit hit "Supernanny."
Replacing "The Bachelor" franchise Wednesdays at 9 p.m. will be the Abrams-produced "Alias," which starts its fourth season January 5 with a 2-hour premiere. ABC execs hope "Alias" will benefit from its new lead-in, the Abrams- produced "Lost."
Moves mean ABC is holding back launching midseason dramas such as "Blind Justice" and "Eyes," along with its John Stamos laffer, until late February or March.
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post #654 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS

(From Michael Ausiello's Entertainment News at TVGuide.com
With "Law & Order's" Elisabeth Rohm leaving early next year to pursue a film career (buh-bye), exec producer Dick Wolf has narrowed down the search for a new assistant D.A. to five actresses. As reported in the current issue of TV Guide magazine, the finalists will be flown to New York later this week to shoot a full screen test with costar Sam Waterston and play hide-and-seek with S. Epatha Merkerson.
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post #655 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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News Corp. Mulling Channel to Rival CNBC


By Jay Sherman TVWeek.com November 16, 2004

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday said his company may launch a business-news channel by summer and noted that the field is wide enough for some competition from the media giant.

Speaking at Fox Entertainment Group's annual meeting in New York, Mr. Murdoch said the company's new cable-channel launch initiative is first focusing on rolling out a reality-television-based channel by spring but could perhaps launch a rival to NBC Universal's CNBC by summer.

Saying that CNBC has done a "poor job," Mr. Murdoch said the marketplace is "wide open to competition," and that News Corp. has a leg up, given it has some of the most popular business-themed shows on cable.

Mr. Murdoch for months has indicated an interest in launching a business channel to take on CNBC, whose ratings have suffered amid the recession and a volatile stock market. Time Warner's CNN announced recently it is shutting down its business channel CNNfn amid poor ratings and carriage performance.

Mr. Murdoch also said he plans to meet with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone in the next month or two to discuss Liberty's recent move to increase its stake in News Corp. to 17 percent from 9 percent.

Liberty two weeks ago said in a filing that it is seizing an opportunity to increase its stake in News Corp., which spurred News Corp. to adopt a poison-pill strategy designed to prevent Liberty or any other shareholder from amassing a controlling stake in News Corp.

Mr. Murdoch acknowledged Tuesday that he was taken aback by Mr. Malone's move and said the two men have had "very friendly conversations" about Mr. Malone's signing a standstill agreement that would prevent Mr. Malone from launching a takeover of News Corp., though Mr. Murdoch said the talks "were too vague to report" at this time.

Mr. Malone's chance to raise his stake in News Corp. came when a number of Australian shareholders were forced to sell their holdings in News Corp. after the company announced plans to reincorporate in the United States.

Standard & Poor's, which runs stock indexes in the United States and Australia, ruled that News Corp. could not maintain a presence in both indexes if it planned to become a U.S. company, causing the Australian investors to unload their shares. Liberty snapped up the shares, effectively doubling its stake in News Corp.
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post #656 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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NBC's News Show Widens Its Lead In Ratings Battle


By BROOKS BARNES Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
November 17, 2004
During the last major "sweeps" period in May, when local stations in many markets set ad prices, ABC News's Peter Jennings narrowly beat Tom Brokaw's nightly newscast on NBC for the first time in a decade.
ABC considered the win so striking it took out newspaper and television ads and celebrated with champagne.
But now, in November sweeps, as Mr. Brokaw heads into his final days in the anchor chair, he is getting his revenge.
To date in this TV season, which began Sept. 20, the NBC news broadcast has opened a substantial lead over its nearest competitor, ABC's "World News Tonight." Among total viewers, General Electric Co.'s NBC is beating Walt Disney Co.'s ABC by 1.2 million viewers, or 13%, compared with a lead of 535,000, or 6%, for the year-earlier period. NBC leads Viacom Inc.'s "CBS Evening News" by a 44% margin, according to VNU SA's Nielsen Media Research. About 10 million people view NBC's news broadcast.
It is a similar story in the key news demographic of adults 25 to 54 years old. NBC to date is leading ABC by 9%.
Some of the recent NBC gain is no doubt fueled by a blitz of attention to Mr. Brokaw's exit. Mr. Brokaw, 64 years old, is scheduled to pass the "Nightly News" baton to Brian Williams on Dec. 1.
But NBC says its election coverage also made a difference. "We've got the momentum and the others are dead in the water," said Steve Capus, "Nightly News" executive producer. As for speculation that ratings will slip when Mr. Williams takes over -- as even some senior NBC executives predict -- Mr. Capus says he isn't worried. He points to Nov. 12, when Mr. Williams beat Mr. Jennings by 6% in total viewers; it is a tighter race among viewers 25 to 54.
ABC is confident its ratings will improve as the season wears on. "We're very happy with our broadcast and with the gains we made on NBC last season," said Jon Banner, executive producer of "World News Tonight." Mr. Banner notes that "Monday Night Football" pre-empts his newscast in parts of the U.S., and that viewers seem to be responding to tweaks to the news program.
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post #657 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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CBS' sweep success

Variety.com Online Staff Tue Nov 16
(Variety) A fictional natural disaster wreaking havoc on the Midwest combined last week with some forensic sleuths and country crooners to lift CBS to its most convincing ratings victory of the season.

While each of the other five broadcasters was flat or down slightly year-to-year among young adults, CBS was up a nifty 20%.
Eight weeks into the season and nearly halfway through the November sweep, the Eye net is the clear leader in the demo most prized by advertisers -- adults 18-49 -- as well as its strongest-charted categories of adults 25-54 and total viewers.
Last week, all three editions of the "CSI" franchise dominated their time periods, joining Thursday's "Without a Trace" and "Survivor: Vanuatu" and Sunday movie "Category 6: Day of Destruction" among the week's top 10 in adults 18-49.
Also, Tuesday's "Country Music Assn. Awards" and Monday laffer "Two and a Half Men" cracked the top 15 as CBS enjoyed success on every night but Saturday.
Overall, according to Nielsen estimates, CBS captured the Nov. 8-14 frame in adults 18-49 (4.8/13), adults 25-54 (6.0/14) and total viewers (15 million) -- with its 14% advantage over runner-up NBC in adults 18-49 (4.2/11) the net's largest advantage on record for a November sweep week.
ABC ran third in 18-49 (3.9/10), with Fox well behind in fourth (3.2/8).
Through Monday of the current week, which saw "CSI: Miami" and "Two and a Half Men" shine (see below), CBS is the leader of the November sweep in adults 18-49 with a 4.7 rating/12 share (up 9% in rating vs. a year ago), followed by NBC (4.1/11, down 9%), ABC (4.0/11, up 18%), Fox (3.0/8, up 3%), the WB (1.6/4, even) and UPN (1.5/4, down 6%).
In adults 25-54, the CBS advantage is a healthy 23% over second-place NBC (5.8/14 vs. 4.7/11), and in total viewers it's a runaway (14.9 million vs. 10.8 million for second-place Peacock).
By comparison, the Eye's 4.8 rating in adults 18-49 (roughly 6.3 million viewers) topped the six highest-rated cable networks combined. Coincidentally, one of those six, Spike, is on the rise thanks primarily to repeats of CBS' No. 1 program, "CSI."
Leading the way as usual for CBS was Thursday heavyweight "CSI" (10.8/25 in adults 18-49, 29.64 million viewers overall), the week's -- and the season's -- top-rated program in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.
Also, a special 90-minute "CSI: Miami" rocked on Monday (8.1/20 in 18-49, 22.09m), Tuesday's 38th annual "CMAs" (5.9/15, 18.46m) gave the net its strongest Tuesday demos in three years and Sunday's opener of two-part disaster pic "Category 6" (6.3/14 in 18-49, 19.35m) came through with CBS' strongest demos for a scripted movie since "Jesus" in May 2000.
Sunday soph drama "Cold Case" warmed up to its best scores to date (4.8/11 in 18-49, 18.43m).
NBC ran second in most categories for the week, getting nice contributions from Thursday's "ER" (9.4/23 in 18-49, 19.83m) and "The West Wing" (4.5/11 in 18-49, 15.26m), while a handful of other shows, including "American Dreams," "Fear Factor" and "Las Vegas," hit season highs in 18-49.
Also, Friday's "Medical Investigation" (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.94m) notched another 18-49 victory despite increased competish, and Tuesday's weight-loss skein "The Biggest Loser" was again solid (4.1/10 in 18-49, 10.00m).
ABC remained competitive -- and won the week in viewers 12-34 -- even with megahit "Desperate Housewives" making way Sunday for the "American Music Awards" (5.7/13, 12.91m), which topped the ratings of its previous three telecasts and helped the Alphabet tie for the night's 18-49 lead.
"NYPD Blue" hit season highs (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.76m), as did the net's Friday laffers, led by "Hope & Faith" (2.9/8, 8.20m). And although the fear of Federal Communications Commission fines took it off the air in about 30% of the country, a Veterans Day repeat of "Saving Private Ryan" gave the net its best Thursday of the season (2.6/6, 7.71m).
Fox didn't have much to get excited about, although Thursday's "The OC" (3.6/9 in 18-49, 8.08m) retained most of its premiere-week aud and Wednesday's "Nanny 911" (4.1/10 in 18-49, 8.73m) remains perky. Not faring well was Tuesday's two-hour preem of Richard Branson's "Rebel Billionaire" (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.09m).
The WB topped UPN in 18-34 for the week (1.8/5 vs. 1.5/4), with both nets down about 10% year-to-year.
Frog's Tuesday ("One Tree Hill" and the resurgent "Gilmore Girls") is up sharply year-to-year, making up for the net's struggles with first-year dramas "Jack & Bobby" and "The Mountain." Sunday's "Mountain" crumbled to a 10th-place finish for its hour in adults 18-34 (0.7/2).
For UPN, new dramas "Veronica Mars" and "Kevin Hill" and the relocated "Enterprise" are providing timeslot improvements, but Thursday's "WWE Smackdown" and the net's Monday comedies are down.
ESPN led the ad-supported cable nets for the week (1.06 rating in 18-49), paced by Sunday's National Football League game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills (3.4/8 in 18-49, 7.78m).
Court TV achieved a milestone Friday, as its coverage of the Scott Peterson verdict (4-5 p.m. ET) averaged a net-best 2.66 million viewers.
* * *
On Monday of the current week, CBS received season-high results from both "CSI: Miami" (8.4/20 in 18-49, 22.48m) and "Two and a Half Men" (6.4/15, 17.47m) following the 200th episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" (6.0/14, 17.80m).
Eye success translated to latenight, too, as "The Late Show With David Letterman" edged out NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" in metered-market overnights (5.0/12 vs. 4.8/11). And "The Late Late Show," with guest host D.L. Hughley, delivered a season-high 2.2/8 in the overnights.
Elsewhere, NBC's "Fear Factor" led at 8 in demos (4.3/11 in 18-49, 10.85m), but is looking a bit tired. Fox's "The Swan 2" picked up slightly (3.4/8, 7.26m) even as lead-in "Trading Spouses" dipped (3.2/8, 7.50m).
ABC's "Monday Night Football" (7.1/19 in 18-49, 17.11m) was on the high end with its Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles contest. NBC's "$25 Million Dollar Hoax" (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.05m) was down in its second week.
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post #658 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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'L&O' on hold as star faints again


D'Onofrio re-admitted for further testing

By ARMY ARCHERD Variety.com Posted: Tue., Nov. 16, 2004, 8:48pm PT

Production has been halted again on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" after star Vincent D'Onofrio fainted during production Monday in New York.
D'Onofrio, who was released from the hospital on Friday after two days of observation, was re-admitted for further testing. He had returned to work on Monday after several fainting incidents early last week that halted production for one day (Daily Variety, Nov. 16).
"It's day to day," said "L&O" exec producer Dick Wolf. "His health is of primary consideration."
Producers said D'Onofrio was in good spirits.
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post #659 of 25503 Old 11-16-2004, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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ABC Puts N.F.L. in 'Desperate' Situation
By JUDY BATTISTA The New York Times November 17, 2004

The National Football League, still chastened by the "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed Janet Jackson's right breast during the Super Bowl halftime show on CBS in February, was stunned Monday night by another incident, this one on ABC.
In the scripted introduction to "Monday Night Football," Nicollette Sheridan, who portrays the serial divorcée Edie Britt on the popular ABC series "Desperate Housewives," wore only a towel as she flirted with Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens in an otherwise empty locker room. After asking Owens to miss the game, Sheridan dropped the towel; the camera showed her upper body from behind. Owens, smiling broadly, said the Eagles would have to win without him, and Sheridan leapt into his arms.
Yesterday, a league spokesman called the sketch "inappropriate and unsuitable for our 'Monday Night Football' audience," and the league office expressed its displeasure to ABC executives. ABC Sports apologized, saying in a statement, "We agree that the placement was inappropriate."
The N.F.L. said it had received dozens of calls and hundreds of e-mail messages in complaint. ABC said it also received complaints.
ABC Sports tapes an introduction to "Monday Night Football" each week, but the N.F.L. does not see it before the broadcast and does not have approval privileges. The introductions occasionally feature stars of ABC's prime-time shows, but the network's entertainment division did not request any cross-promotion for "Desperate Housewives."
The decision by ABC Sports to produce a racy introduction is curious for several reasons. The network is clearly aware of the N.F.L.'s sensitivities in the wake of the Jackson incident. It announced before the season that it would use a five-second delay in its football broadcasts to avoid any embarrassments.
"Desperate Housewives" needs no promotion; it is one of the top-rated shows on television. But ABC may have been looking for ways to increase the "Monday Night Football" ratings. It is the only broadcast network still negotiating for rights to N.F.L. games, and some executives speculate that ABC loses $170 million a year on Monday night games. CBS and Fox completed their long-term television deals with the league last week, but the prime-time and cable packages currently held by the Walt Disney Company for ABC and ESPN were left unresolved.
The Philadelphia Eagles released a statement that said: "We appreciate that ABC has taken responsibility and has apologized for the opening to 'Monday Night Football.' It is normal for teams to cooperate with ABC in the development of an opening for its broadcast. After seeing the final piece, we wish it hadn't aired."
The Eagles declined to say whether they knew about the content of the introduction before it was shown and whether it was taped in their locker room. Philadelphia won the game against Dallas, 49-21; Owens caught three touchdown passes.
As a result of the incident at the Super Bowl, in which Justin Timberlake tore away part of Jackson's costume and exposed her breast, the Federal Communications Commission fined the CBS division of Viacom $550,000, or $27,500 against each of the 20 stations CBS owns and operates. It was the largest fine ever levied against a television company.
Paul Tagliabue, the N.F.L. commissioner, told the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet in February that he had been "deeply embarrassed" by the halftime show, adding, "It happened under our operation and we take responsibility for it.''
Bill Carter contributed reporting for this article.
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post #660 of 25503 Old 11-17-2004, 06:14 AM
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I'd love to see what all the hubub (Desperate Housewives + Monday Night Football) is about. Is the intro available on line?

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