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post #181 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 12:18 PM
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(Not a fan of the show, but I know some are fans...)

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...9870904.htm?1c

'Last Comic Standing 3' Finale to Air

Associated Press

NEW YORK - The last episode of "Last Comic Standing 3" will, in fact, stand. An NBC spokesman said Friday the season finale of the comedic reality show's third installment is now being shot and will air. When? Well, that's to be announced.

The punchline comes after host Jay Mohr posted a message on his blog Thursday stating the show had been canceled. Mention of the show, which had regularly aired Tuesdays, mysteriously disappeared from the network's schedule for next week, replaced by episodes of the animated comedy "Father of the Pride."

"I woke up on Wednesday morning and received the news," Mohr wrote. "NBC was not happy with the rating of the show and decided to pull the plug."

It's true the ratings have been no laughing matter. The last episode, which crowned the final four comics, ranked 74th, according to Nielsen Media Research.

During the third season, dubbed the "Battle of Best," comics from the show's first two seasons performed in an "American Idol"-like competition, forgoing the previous editions' "The Real World"-like aspect of living in a camera-laden house. Each week, viewers voted for their favorite performers. The bottom vote-getters - one from each season - were sent packing.

First season comics Dave Mordal and Rich Vos and the second season's John Heffron and Alonzo Bodden survived being voted off. During the finale, one of the men will be crowned "Last Comic Standing" and will win a $250,000 prize.

__

On the Net:

http://www.nbc.com/nbc/Last_Comic_Standing_3/

http://www.jaymohr.com/
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post #182 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 12:42 PM
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Renovate My Family will air Fridays @ 9pm starting in the fall, but I don't know if it will be repeats or new.

http://www.fox.com/schedule/schedule_2004_fall.htm
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post #183 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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f44: Are there some facts the AP story on Last Comic Standing has that I didn't post (in #207) today at at 8:18 AM PT from The Washington Post article by Lisa deMoraes?

No problem, just wondering if I missed something.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Late Friday, Oct. 8, TV news and notes:

From Zap2it.com
'West Wing' Consults with Chenoweth
Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth is stepping off the Broadway stage and into "The West Wing."
Chenoweth has signed on to a recurring role in the NBC series, where she'll play a media consultant. The part comes with an option for next season, should the Emmy-winning show return, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Just who her character will be working for isn't clear yet. As "The West Wing" nears the end of Jed Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) presidency, it's introducing two characters this season -- played by Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits -- who are aiming to win the White House.The role also marks a return to NBC for Chenoweth. She starred in the network's short-lived sitcom "Kristin" in 2001.
Chenoweth won a Tony Award in 1999 for her role as Sally in the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and was nominated this year for playing Glinda the Good Witch in "Wicked." Her other credits include ABC's production of "The Music Man" last year and the upcoming feature "Bewitched," based on the 1960s TV series and starring Nicole Kidman.
"The West Wing" begins its sixth season Wednesday, Oct. 20.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Melissa Etheridge Diagnosed With Cancer, Postpones Tour, Continues Series Development
By Christopher Lisotta TVWeek.com October 8, 2004
A publicist for musician Melissa Etheridge announced Friday the rock star is postponing her upcoming tour because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Story continues below...
Ms. Etheridge will use the time to undergo treatment. Her publicist, Marcel Pariseau, said her doctors expect a "full and speedy" recovery.
"I am fortunate to be under a wonderful doctor's care and thankful that this was caught early," Ms. Etheridge said in a statement on her Web site.
Just days ago ABC announced it was developing a sitcom with 20th Century Fox Television and Brad Grey Television for Ms. Etheridge. The show is set to star Ms. Etheridge as a lesbian music teacher who lives with her best male friend and his daughter. ABC and the production companies released a statement Friday saying the development of the project will continue.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Melissa and her family," the statement said. "While we continue development of her ABC project, our primary concern is her fast and full recovery."
Linda Wallem is writing the script and will serve as executive producer along with Ms. Etheridge and Brad Grey.
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post #184 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I meant to post this earlier.
USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco gives StarTrek: Enterpriuse just one star (out of four).

'Trek': Not-so-boldly going down the tubes
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
Oh, for the love of God, sink this ship.
It would be different if the ratings-and-quality-deprived Enterprise had been saved by some sudden, mass outpouring of fan support, as happened with Sci Fi's so-far superior Farscape.
But no.
Enterprise plods on, despite overwhelming national disinterest, simply because Paramount is determined to keep the Star Trek name in front of the public. And never mind how much damage this dull, misbegotten enterprise does to the franchise.
So tonight the show returns with a ludicrous time-travel story, bereft of both creativity and taste. To its usual mix of bland characters and indecipherable plots Enterprise adds alien Nazis, who promise their B-movie German allies a "plague targeting non-Aryans."
"No need for extermination camps," the alien says in one of the most cringe-worthy scenes of the new season.
Get the word to Standards and Practices: If ever a subject should be kept safely out of the hands of incompetent TV writers, it's the Holocaust.
The only hope for mankind is Capt. Archer (Scott Bakula), who is time-warped to Brooklyn circa 1944 after destroying the Xindi superweapon. (If you weren't watching last year, don't worry; that plot no longer matters.)
With America under the thumb of alien-led Nazis, Archer joins a mobster-led resistance movement and yes, that's just as inane as it sounds.
His job: Restore the timeline and save the world.
Saving his show appears to be a lost cause.
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post #185 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 04:15 PM
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Fredfa, I just want to say that I enjoy this thread b/c the ratings stuff is interesting. Let me personally thank you for the work you do in keeping this thread updated.

"I'm going to call them scallywags" - Ollie

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post #186 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 04:46 PM
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fredra, the post#207 article says "NBC was saying only that the finale would not air next week" but my post says they have now decided to air it, now just an announcement of the winner.
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post #187 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 04:55 PM
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Ugh, give me that Trek franchise I'll fix that sucker up. Who has the number for Paramount

My sincere thanks to everyone who makes AVSforum such an awesome resource.
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post #188 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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post #189 of 25503 Old 10-08-2004, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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A sad TV note:

(washingtonpost.com)
Louis Rukeyser Says Farewell to 'Wall Street'

By Lisa de Moraes Saturday, October 9, 2004; Page C07

Nearly one year after Louis Rukeyser last appeared on the Friday night financial show that bears his name, cable network CNBC said yesterday that he has told them he will not return and asked them to shut down the program.

"Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street" will cease production "by December 31," the network said in a statement.

Rukeyser announced in May that doctors had found cancer in his back after performing back surgery; at that time, CNBC said he was on medical leave and guest hosts would fill in until his return.

Yesterday, the 71-year-old Rukeyser said in a statement that he is "still recuperating from serious complications that have taken much longer than seemed reasonable over the past year." He did not elaborate, nor did a CNBC spokeswoman.

"Under the circumstances I have asked my friends at CNBC to suspend production of 'Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street' at the end of its run later this year," he said.

Rukeyser last appeared on the show on Oct. 31, 2003 -- about 18 months after its debut.

"He has been a financial institution," Michael Holland, a New York fund manager who has appeared on Rukeyser's TV shows since 1990, told CBS.MarketWatch.com yesterday.

He said he was relieved that the show would not go on without Rukeyser. "No one can replace him," Holland said. "He brought financial journalism to a new level with his trademarks of honesty, humor and fairness. He always looked at both sides of the issues. His only bias was toward optimism."

Before debuting on CNBC, Rukeyser for 32 years was host of the most popular financial program on television, PBS's "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser."

In March 2002, Maryland Public TV, which produced the show, announced that it would be put out to pasture when Rukeyser's contract was up that June, to be replaced by "Wall Street Week With Fortune," setting the stage for one of the most exciting broadcasts in the history of financial-news television programming.

Rukeyser was offered a gig as commentator on the new show -- an offer he refused. That Friday, Rukeyser opened "Wall Street Week" by telling his millions of loyal fans that he had been "ambushed" by public television and that he was developing a new, rival program. He also revealed, on the air, that "Wall Street Week" was a "major cash cow" for public television, costing a mere $2 million a year to produce while bringing in about $6 million in national underwriting. "And that doesn't include massive local underwriting!" he added for good measure.

"I want you to rise out of your chair," Rukeyser told his viewers, "not to shout, 'I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!' but to . . . write or e-mail your local PBS station saying you heard Louis Rukeyser is still going to have a program and you'd like to see it.

"I promise you that if enough of you do that, it will do the job."

MPT responded by firing him, effective immediately. Early that April, Rukeyser announced his CNBC series, getting the last laugh by arranging for it to be rerun on PBS stations. "Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street" is carried by more than 160 PBS stations.

"He is a true original and we, like his millions of fans, will deeply miss his wit, wisdom and our time together," CNBC President Pamela Thomas-Graham said yesterday in a statement. "We send him all our best wishes for a full recovery."
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post #190 of 25503 Old 10-09-2004, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Friday's fast ratings posted
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post #191 of 25503 Old 10-09-2004, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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POSSIBLE SPOILER MATERIAL IS JUST AHEAD!


I am sure very few of you watched it last night (almost nobody has watched it) but the folks at zap2it.com have filled us in the final episode of The Complex: Malibu.
If you have not watched it yet, and it is resting comfortably on your TiVo or DVR, stop reading!




-----------------------------------------
(from zap2it.com)

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
[b]Chicago Couple Takes 'Complex' Prize[b]

Because we at Zap2it.com like to provide you with as complete a picture of the television scene as possible, and because it's Saturday, we're going to tell you who won "The Complex: Malibu."
Steve and Nicole, a couple from Chicago, walked away with $300,000 in Friday's (Oct. 8) finale of the FOX unscripted series. They won by virtue of generating the highest profit from the sale of a Malibu condominium they renovated in competition with four other couples doing the same thing.
The $300,000 represents the profit from sales of all four units at an auction. The other three couples went home with no money.
At the auction, Steve and Nicole's unit -- an 1,100-square-foot condo with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a view of the Pacific Ocean -- sold for $1.2 million, reflecting the gonzo real estate market in the Los Angeles area.
The other three units in the building went for $900,000 (1,100 square feet), $950,000 (1,100 square feet) and $950,000 (1,450 square feet).
"The Complex" was based on an Australian hit called "The Block," but it never found an audience for FOX. Through last week, it was averaging only about 2.4 million viewers per episode; Friday's finale, which posted a 2.0 rating/4 share in preliminary nationals, won't change those numbers much.
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post #192 of 25503 Old 10-09-2004, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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And more on Ruykeyser from the Wall Street Jorunal:

CNBC Is Canceling Rukeyser's Weekly Show
Host's Lengthy Illness Prompts Cable Network to Drop Program

By JOE FLINT
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

NEW YORK -- Louis Rukeyser, host of CNBC's "Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street," said he is giving up his program while he continues to be treated for cancer.

Mr. Rukeyser, 71 years old, hadn't been able to host his show since October of last year. CNBC said Consuelo Mack will continue to host the weekly program until the end of the year, when it will cease production.

Prior to joining General Electric Co.'s CNBC, Mr. Rukeyser hosted "Wall $treet Week" for 32 years on PBS until the show's producer, Maryland Public Television, forced him off the air two years ago in favor of a pair of younger hosts. Mr. Rukeyser's last show on PBS was notable because he criticized the decision to replace him with Geoffrey Colvin, editorial director of Fortune magazine, and co-anchor Karen Gibbs.

In a statement, Mr. Rukeyser said that he could not predict when he would be able to return to duty. Earlier in the year he was more optimistic, saying "As Gen. Douglas MacArthur famously declared as left the Philippine Islands during World War II, I shall return.''
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post #193 of 25503 Old 10-09-2004, 05:06 PM
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fredfa, I don't watch the show, but put the Zap2It article (with the show's title) on The Complex: Malibu in spoiler tags so it is like this:



Also, can you find news anywhere on the ratings for Pax's new shows? I'm wondering how shows like Cold Turkey did.
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post #194 of 25503 Old 10-09-2004, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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From the futoncritic.com

Released by The WB

THE WB'S HIT REALITY SERIES GRADUATES TO A THIRD SEMESTER
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION: FORT LAUDERDALE

PREMIERES ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7

BURBANK, CA (October 8, 2004) - The third installment of The WB Network's hit reality series, HIGH SCHOOL REUNION: FORT LAUDERDALE, will premiere on Tuesday, December 7 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET).

Season three introduces a small group of classmates from three graduating classes of Cardinal Gibbons High School, a private Catholic school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The classmates are reunited for a two-week stay at a beachfront resort on the island of Oahu. Carefully selected by producers during an extensive interview process that took place before filming began, none of the participants knew that the reunion would take place on Oahu or which of their former classmates would be invited to attend.

High school personas are reawakened when the old group gets back together for a second chance to say and do the things they wish they had said and done the first time around. The surprise appearance of five star athletes from rival Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School adds even more tension to this volatile mix of personalities. Each episode will test the validity of who these people have become over time and what their classmates think of them now.

The first two seasons of the franchise were a success story for The WB. The second season of High School Reunion (3/14/04 - 05/02/04) in the Sunday 9:00pm time period, posted double digit gains over the time period the pervious year. The series was up +29% in persons 12-34, up +47% among females 12-34, up +36% with adults 18-34, up +47% with women 18-34, up +43% among women 18-49, and up +56% with female teens.
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post #195 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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With the emergence of CSI: New York as not just a challenger to Law and Order, but so far at least, a ratings conqueror, it is interesting to hear from the man responsible for the three L&Os now on the air (and the new "L&O: Trial by jury" due from NBC in January.
So here is Dick Wolf on the challenges ahead for his "law and Order" franchise shows, in an article from zap2it.com

'Law & Order' Comfortably Expands Its Universe
By Kate O'Hare zap2it.com

One common theme among TV critics this year is concern over the proliferation of "colon" shows, i.e., "CSI: ..." or "Law & Order: ...," and so on. They ask, how many of these can be on the air? How many should be on the air?

Dick Wolf, the man at the helm of the "Law & Order" juggernaut, has a simple answer, "The audience will decide."

So far, the viewing public seems eager to welcome new members to the "CSI" and "L&O" families, each of which grows by one this year. CBS has already launched "CSI: New York" (making three, with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "CSI: Miami"), and at midseason, NBC adds the courtroom-based drama "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (making four, with "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"). The cast for "Trial by Jury" includes former "Law & Order" (the original, no colon) cast member Jerry Orbach, reprising his role as Detective Lennie Briscoe.

"As Jerry would be the first to tell you," Wolf says, "he has moved beyond the mandatory retirement age of any police force on the planet. Luckily, in New York City, there is the D.A. squad, which is composed of both active-duty and retired detectives. For example, Jerry Giorgio, who is probably the most well-known homicide detective in the history of the NYPD, is in his early 70s and is still on the D.A. squad."

This move left the door open for the hiring of a new partner for Detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) in the ever-rotating cast of the venerable NBC cops-and-lawyers drama, which is filmed, as all the "Law & Order" shows are, in New York.

Beginning with the show's 15th-season premiere on Sept. 22, veteran actor (and former Chicago cop) Dennis Farina joined the cast as slick and stylish Detective Joe Fontana (whose name is suspiciously similar to "Oz" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" writer/producer Tom Fontana, whose New York and Baltimore-based shows have shared many cast members with Wolf's over the years).

"I don't like to think of it as a replacement," Farina says. "I think of it as a reassignment, that Jerry's character is going to one new unit, and I'm coming in from some other unit in a reassignment shuffle.

"I like to say [Fontana's] going to be the type of guy that you wouldn't want to play poker with, and you really never know too much about him. He's a little bit of a mystery. There are some rumors surrounding him: that he's a single guy, and he might dress a little better than some policemen are supposed to and have a little bit more cash than some policemen. There might be some theories about that, but I'm not going to give anything away."

Wolf also assures loyal "Law & Order" fans that, while Lennie Briscoe may be gone, he won't be entirely forgotten.

"There are continuing references, the same way there have been to other characters that have left the show," Wolf says. "We don't go out of our way to explain these cast changes. As I've said for years, 'Law & Order' is a workplace show. It's great when there's something like, 'Oh, remember when Lennie did this ... .' But that's going to be it. There's no real focus on it at all."

Apparently, it wasn't tough getting Farina to agree to come on board.

"Dick and I have been talking about doing something for a while, a couple of years," Farina says. "When Dick said to me, `Jerry is leaving, and he's going to do another show. Would you be interested in coming on?' To me, it was a no-brainer. It's the best writing on television.

"Because, as an actor, when you get up in the morning, and if you look at something that is really not very good, really doesn't make any sense, you just get that in your head, and you say, `I have to go out and try to make some sense out of this and try to make it look good' -- it makes for a very hard day.

"But when you look at an episode or a script of 'Law & Order,' it's like biting into a real good steak or a forkful of really good pasta. You know it immediately."

As to whether he's concerned that "Law & Order" is up against "CSI: New York" (shot, by the way, largely in the Los Angeles area), which just may be its strongest competition yet, Wolf says, "I'd be retarded if I didn't know that. There is no question about it. 'Law & Order' is not going to change. It is hopefully going to be as good or better than it has ever been, and that will come down to the writing.

"The audience is never wrong. The audience will decide. 'Law & Order' has been comfortably winning its time slot for the last seven years. We haven't had real competition. This is real competition. But I think the one thing that has been demonstrated over the past couple of years, is that when there's great programming, more people will come to the set.

"I am a great believer in, the more good shows on, the better it is for all of us."
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post #196 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
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f44: I am trying to find some Pax numbers for you.
(And how do you attach spoiler tags?)
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post #197 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fredfa
how do you attach spoiler tags?

[ spoiler ] and [ /spoiler ] without the spaces.
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post #198 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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post #199 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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post #200 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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An interesting take on the new TV season from the often-thought provoking critic/columnist Kay McFadden of the Seattle Times:

Hot male leads missing from TV fantasy land
Kay McFadden / Seattle Times staff columnist

It's ladies' choice this fall. Shows want our ratings. Advertisers want our money. Adult women are the new No. 1 demographic, belles of the Nielsen ball.

And the networks are prepared to do almost anything to win our favor except give us hot-looking men. Prime time should be prime territory for strapping eye candy. Instead, the night overflows with chubby hubbies, craggy cops and creepy moguls.

Jason Alexander. Dennis Farina. Donald Trump. The male stars of virtually every ABC and CBS comedy. Even the cartoons are fantasy killers: John Goodman's lump of a lion on "Father of the Pride" makes Homer Simpson almost seem erotic.

What happened? When did the classic handsome leading man disappear from broadcast television? (George Clooney, we hardly knew ye.)

Tracey Cartwright is group broadcast director of OMD, which buys TV and radio spots for advertising agencies like DDB Seattle. She may be the only woman in town who watches more TV than me.

I test my outrage on her, fearing it won't resonate in the practical Northwest.

"Oh God, yes," says Cartwright. "What a lot of women go to TV for is escape. And even though we may hide it under our fleece, there's a sensibility here that does make good looks matter."

Cartwright at first suggests watching The WB network. It's made a cottage industry of pubescent, soul-tortured pretty boys ever since "Dawson's Creek."

On the other hand, she concedes, "There's not a lot there in terms of grown-up men. Legal men."

Exactly. It's as if the networks determined somewhere along the line that once women attain maturity, we're only supposed to care about personality.

Ha! Even if that weren't patently false in real life, TV is supposed to be fantasy and not the fantasy of male writers imagining a world where fat, balding guys get all the babes.

History proves male stars weren't always so dowdy. Just as dinosaurs once roamed the Earth, so did the dashing private eye, the matinee-idol MD and the lusty cowboy.

Even domesticated dads were lookers: John Forsythe, Bill Bixby, Michael Landon. Sitcoms have never featured studs, but it's worth citing (even to our embarrassment) the days of wine and roses with Alan Alda, Ted Danson and 2004 exception-to-the-rule Matt LeBlanc.

Cartwright says the rise of reality TV contributed to the downfall of fantasy and a small-screen infatuation with "ordinary" people. She dryly notes that even when male contestants are attractive, "The production values don't make them George Clooney."

There's that name again. In any conversation about hubba-hubba he-men, Clooney is inevitably invoked. He's like a talismanic representative from the lost world of TV hunks.

In fact, one friend has the Unified Theory of Clooney. After he left and "ER" remained a hit, she insists, "That just showed everybody we could do without."

An entirely unscientific survey of female co-workers supplies some other ideas about the curious demise of the gorgeous guy.

On a hastily assembled list of Times TV hotties, most of the candidates that repeatedly pop up former "Sex and the City" star Chris Noth, Peter Krause of "Six Feet Under," Julian McMahon of "Nip/Tuck," Clive Owen of BBC fame are from cable.

Danger is a key component of sex appeal. Maybe cable took the edgy, alluring men along with the edgy, alluring shows.

Then again, the networks have churned out an endless stream of dark, gritty police procedurals in recent years. Surely these provide a proper vehicle for the dark, virile detective who drives dames to distraction.

Lots of luck. "CSI" and "Law & Order" both suffer from acute Sipowiczitis: a form of realism that insists officers of the law are world weary, emotionally oppressed and entirely too absorbed in their jobs and AA meetings to flirt.

I know fans will defend their heroes by insisting the characters played by David Caruso, William Petersen, Jerry Orbach and Vincent D'Onofrio have hidden, smoldering depths.

But Mount St. Helens has to erupt once in awhile, or it's just a pile of congealed rock. The modern TV flatfoot is a poor stand-in for his wolf-whistling ancestors, and we are the orphaned rhesus monkeys clinging to wire-and-cloth substitutes.

Network TV isn't entirely devoid of dashing manhood. Times nominees included Josh Duhamel of "Vegas," Blair Underwood of "LAX" and Rob Lowe of "dr. vega$." (James Spader of "Boston Legal" was withdrawn because of his "Pillsbury doughboy-ish face.")

Unfortunately, don't bet on them being around next year. They're all struggling with mediocre ratings.

Maybe the weak quality and poor time slots of these shows are proof that male network executives and producers hired for brains, not beauty are on a subliminal course to destroy their macho TV competition. Then they'll have the chicks to themselves.

Endurance is an important quality because we are, after all, women. Inveterate cuddlers, we're not really interested in a show that's out the door before we ever got to know it.

That only leaves a few new hopefuls on which to pin our girlish hopes and pillowed dreams: Taye Diggs in UPN's "Kevin Hill," Gary Sinise in CBS' "CSI: New York" and James Denton in ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

Diggs, the supremely charming former supermodel, requires little explanation unless you are dead from the neck up and down. Sinise's character is poised to be the first "CSI" chief that combines an enticing appearance with seductive vulnerability.

"Desperate Housewives," however, may be the series that delivers the goods. At the center of a bevy of lovely women is mystery plumber and object of desire Mike Delfino, played by Denton.

Last week, "Desperate Housewives" was the No. 1 series on TV. As OMD's Cartwright notes, it's shrewdly scheduled in the 9 p.m. spot once occupied by "Sex and the City."

No accident, that. We've gone too long without a show that offered the fringe benefit of making us quiver in our stilettos.
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post #201 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Some network HD choices for tonight mostly from TVNow.com. This list is shows I might find personally interesting and is NOT intended to be all encompassing:

A subjective collection of HD TV Picks for Sunday Night, October 10

"Cold Case" CBS, 8:00pm - 9:00pm ET.
(info from TVTome.com)

Lilly and the team reopen a case from 1943 involving the suspicious death of a World War II factory worker, Alice (Chad Morgan), who was found dead after an apparent accidental fall. A 60 year reunion of World War II female factory workers stirs up memories of the mysterious death. A friend of the deceased confides in Lilly that the death is not what it appears to be and begs her to dig deeper into the case. After several interviews, Lilly soon discovers that the women were not as innocent in 1943 as they now appear to be and the investigation points to murder and reveals that the shy, married victim had secrets that may have lead to her death. Lily must comb through a web of lies to try to track the real motive and killer.

(Note: This was scheduled to be the 2nd season premiere, but the episode "The Badlands" opened the second season instead.)

"American Dreams" on NBC, 8:00pm - 9:00pm ET.

Roxanne (Vanessa Lengies) moves in with the Pryor family. Meg (Brittany Snow) is asked to commit a small crime by Chris (guest star Milo Ventimiglia) in exhange for his help with her play. Jack (Tom Verica) aims at alternative voting groups.

"While I Was Gone" on CBS, 9:00pm - 11:00pm ET.

One afternoon, a man brings his dog into Jo Beckett's (Kirstie Alley) veterinary practice to be treated. Jo recognizes him as Eli (Peter Horton), a former housemate from her bohemian days more than 20 years ago who is now married and has moved to her small town. Though they were never involved in the past, Eli is still attractive to Jo and when he invites her to lunch at a fancy hotel in Boston, she goes with the intention of sleeping with him. Instead, Eli reveals a secret to Jo that returns her to the darkest moments of her past and threatens to destroy life for her and her preacher husband (Bill Smitrovich) as they know it. Overview help from CBS.

"Desperate Housewives" on ABC, 9:00pm - 10:00pm ET.

Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) tries hard to hide her affair. Susan (Teri Hatcher) decides it's safe to invite Mike (James Denton) to dinner. The gals find a disturbing note from their late friend. Doug Savant guest stars as Tom Scavo.

"Jack & Bobby" on The WB, 9:00pm - 10:00pm ET.

What if you could watch the next great American president grow up? That compelling question is the idea behind this powerful, hit drama series. It may be set in the fictional town of Hart, Missouri, but we know who the young men represent. In tonight' episode, the future reveals a dark secret about the first lady. Back in the present, Jack (Matt Long) offers to escort a depressed Courtney (Jessica Paré) to her father's (John Slattery) work fundraiser leading to an unexpected confession and kiss. Meanwhile, much to the consternation of her sons, Grace (Christine Lahti, photo) offers to let a homeless man stay at their house for a few days until she can find him a better place to live.

"Boston Legal" on ABC, 10:00pm - 11:00pm ET.

Alan Shore (James Spader) represents an ex-lover who was institutionalized after attempting to murder him. Meanwhile, the partners are concerned by Denny Crane's (William Shatner) increasingly erratic behavior. With series regulars Monica Potter, Mark Valley, Rhona Mitra and Lake Bell. Overview help from ABC.

"Crossing Jordan" on NBC, 10:00pm - 11:00pm ET.

Jordan (Jill Hennessy, photo) begins to act strangely after a night of dancing with Woody (Jerry O'Connell). Suppressing information that she had an encounter with an intruder in her apartment that night, her behavior causes concern among her co-workers, which leads her to believe that Macy (Miguel Ferrer, photo) and Lily (Kathryn Hahn) asked the resident shrink, Dr. Howard Stiles (guest star Wallace Shawn), to talk to her. Convinced the intrusion is connected to her mother's murder, Jordan finally has a breakdown and Dr. Stiles helps her reach a breakthrough with her troubled past. Meanwhile, a fire in a storage unit turns up a dead body that re- opens a case that was closed ten years ago.
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post #202 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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From Monday's Wall Street Journal:

Fox TV Seeks Gridiron Paydirt With Pricey Super Bowl Ads
Increase of as Much as 8.7% Sought for 30-Second Spot;
Late Buys May Pare Rates

By BRIAN STEINBERG Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 11, 2004; Page B5

The kickoff of Super Bowl XXXIX is months away -- we don't even know whose wardrobe might malfunction at halftime -- but News Corp.'s Fox already is running hard in its efforts to boost the price of ad time on the big telecast over last year's lofty levels.

With nearly 17 weeks left until the Big Game takes place Feb. 6, Fox has sold about 65% of its ad time, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The television network, which last aired the couch-potato perennial in 2002, is seeking $2.4 million to $2.5 million for a 30-second spot, this person says, and already has secured commitments from the usual suspects, namely PepsiCo Inc. and Anheuser-Busch Cos. Anheuser has purchased five minutes of ad time.

Last season's game, broadcast on Viacom Inc.'s CBS, reached about 89.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. A 30-second ad during that game sold for about $2.3 million on average, meaning Fox expects an increase of 4.4% to 8.7%.

Whether Fox gets the money it wants remains to be seen. Several media buyers say the network's desired price sounds high, and they believe Fox will negotiate lower as the Super Bowl broadcast nears and space is left unfilled. Another buyer, Sam Sussman, who handles sports-buying for Publicis Groupe SA's Starcom USA, is not impressed by the amount sold so far. Getting as much as 80% of Super Bowl ad time sold is "quite easy," he says. "It's the last 20% that's hard."

Waiting until the last minute to purchase is no walk in the park either. Marketers might get a better price but have their ads run in the fourth quarter. If the game is a blowout, chances are the ad will have less impact and generate less word of mouth.

Other participants this season include Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista Pictures. While news of advertiser commitments so far in advance of anyone's first game-day buffalo wing sounds exciting, Pepsi, Anheuser and movie studios typically get in early to secure prime positioning for what are usually among the best-remembered spots on Madison Avenue's biggest night of the year.
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post #203 of 25503 Old 10-10-2004, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sad news indeed:



'Superman' Star Christopher Reeve, Dead at 52
* Wheelchair-bound actor was also an advocate for spinal cord research.
10:25 PM PDT, October 10, 2004

From The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK Christopher Reeve, the star of the "Superman" movies whose near-fatal riding accident nine years ago turned him into a worldwide advocate for spinal cord research, died Sunday of heart failure, his publicist said. He was 52.

Reeve fell into a coma Saturday after going into cardiac arrest while at his New York home, his publicist, Wesley Combs told The Associated Press by phone from Washington, D.C., on Sunday night.

Reeve was being treated at Northern Westchester Hospital for a pressure wound, a common complication for people living with paralysis. In the past week, the wound had become severely infected, resulting in a serious systemic infection.

"On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank Northern Westchester Hospital for the excellent care they provided to my husband," Dana Reeve, Christopher's wife, said in a statement. "I also want to thank his personal staff of nurses and aides, as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."

Reeve broke his neck in May 1995 when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Va.
------------------

A more complete story from The Associated Press:
10:40 p.m. PT October 10, 2004

BEDFORD, N.Y. - Christopher Reeve, the star of the "Superman" movies whose near-fatal riding accident nine years ago turned him into a worldwide advocate for spinal cord research, died Sunday of heart failure, his publicist said. He was 52.

Reeve fell into a coma Saturday after going into cardiac arrest while at his New York home, his publicist, Wesley Combs told The Associated Press by phone from Washington, D.C., on Sunday night.

Reeve was being treated at Northern Westchester Hospital for a pressure wound, a common complication for people living with paralysis. In the past week, the wound had become severely infected, resulting in a serious systemic infection.

"On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank Northern Westchester Hospital for the excellent care they provided to my husband," Dana Reeve, Christopher's wife, said in a statement. "I also want to thank his personal staff of nurses and aides, as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."

Reeve broke his neck in May 1995 when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Va.

Enduring months of therapy to allow him to breathe for longer and longer periods without a respirator, Reeve emerged to lobby Congress for better insurance protection against catastrophic injury and to move an Academy Award audience to tears with a call for more films about social issues.

He returned to directing, and even returned to acting in a 1998 production of "Rear Window," a modern update of the Hitchcock thriller about a man in a wheelchair who becomes convinced a neighbor has been murdered. Reeve won a Screen Actors Guild award for best actor in a television movie or miniseries.

"I was worried that only acting with my voice and my face, I might not be able to communicate effectively enough to tell the story," Reeve said. "But I was surprised to find that if I really concentrated, and just let the thoughts happen, that they would read on my face. With so many close-ups, I knew that my every thought would count."

In his public appearances, he was as handsome as ever, his blue eyes bright and his voice clear.

"Hollywood needs to do more," he said in the March 1996 Oscar awards appearance. "Let's continue to take risks. Let's tackle the issues. In many ways our film community can do it better than anyone else. There is no challenge, artistic or otherwise, that we can't meet."

In 2000, Reeve was able to move his index finger, and a specialized workout regimen made his legs and arms stronger. He also regained sensation in other parts of his body.

Reeve's support of stem cell research helped it emerge as a major campaign issue between President Bush and John Kerry. His name was even mentioned by Kerry earlier this month during the second presidential debate.

As for the strain of traveling to Hollywood, Reeve said: "I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I live my life. I don't mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful toward recovery."

His athletic, 6-foot-4-inch frame and love of adventure made him a natural, if largely unknown, choice for the title role in the first "Superman" movie in 1978. He insisted on performing his own stunts.

Although he reprised the role three times, Reeve often worried about being typecast as an action hero.

"Look, I've flown, I've become evil, loved, stopped and turned the world backward, I've faced my peers, I've befriended children and small animals and I've rescued cats from trees," Reeve told the Los Angeles Times in 1983, just before the release of the third "Superman" movie. "What else is there left for Superman to do that hasn't been done?"

Though he owed his fame to it, Reeve made a concerted effort to, as he often put it, "escape the cape." He played an embittered, crippled Vietnam veteran in the 1980 Broadway play "Fifth of July," a lovestruck time-traveler in the 1980 movie "Somewhere in Time," and an aspiring playwright in the 1982 suspense thriller "Deathtrap."

"After the first 'Superman,' I had the compulsion to do parts that were really weird," Reeve told The Associated Press in 1987. "That freaked people out. I've passed that."

More recent films included John Carpenter's "Village of the Damned," and the HBO movies "Above Suspicion" and "In the Gloaming," which he directed. Among his other film credits are "The Remains of the Day," "The Aviator," and "Morning Glory."

Yet Reeve always will be known to movie fans as the strapping, boyishly handsome stage veteran whose charm and humor brought a new dimension to the characters of Superman and his alter-ego, Clark Kent. The film co-starred Margot Kidder as Lois Lane.

Reeve said in public appearances promoting the "Superman" films, he tried to get children to better themselves.

"They should be looking for Superman's qualities - courage, determination, modesty, humor - in themselves rather than passively sitting back, gaping slack-jawed at this terrific guy in boots," Reeve said.

Reeve was born Sept. 25, 1952, in New York City, son of a novelist and a newspaper reporter. He in around 10 when he made his first stage appearance - in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Yeoman of the Guard" at McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J.

He starred in virtually all of the theatrical productions at the exclusive Princeton Day School. By age 16, he had joined the actors' union.

After graduating from Cornell University in 1974, he landed a part as coldhearted bigamist Ben Harper on the television soap opera "Love of Life." He also performed frequently on stage, winning his first Broadway role as the grandson of a character played by Katharine Hepburn in "A Matter of Gravity."

Reeve's first movie role was a minor one in the submarine disaster movie "Gray Lady Down," released in 1978. "Superman" soon followed. Reeve was selected for the title role from among about 200 aspirants.

Active in many sports, Reeve owned several horses and competed in equestrian events regularly. Witnesses to the May 1995 accident said Reeve's horse had cleared two of 15 fences during the jumping event and stopped abruptly at the third, flinging the actor headlong to the ground.

Doctors said he fractured the top two vertebrae in his neck and damaged his spinal cord. When he finally was released from a rehabilitation institute in December 1995, he thanked staffed members "who have set the stage for my continued journey." He underwent further rehabilitation at his home in upstate New York.

While filming "Superman" in London, Reeve met modeling agency co-founder Gae Exton, and the two began a relationship that lasted several years. The couple had two sons, but were never wed.

Reeve later married Dana Morosini; they had one son, Will, 11. His wife became his frequent spokeswoman after the accident.

Reeve also is survived by his mother, Barbara Johnson; his father, Franklin Reeve; his brother, Benjamin Reeve; and his two children from his relationship with Exton, Matthew, 25, and Alexandra, 21.

No plans for a funeral were immediately announced.

A few months after the accident, he told interviewer Barbara Walters that he considered suicide in the first dark days after he was injured. But he quickly overcame such thoughts when he saw his children.

"I could see how much they needed me and wanted me ... and how lucky we all are and that my brain is on straight."
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He was a hero and beloved actor to many. I will miss his recurring role on "Smallville". I hope that people will continue to support his causes, such as stem cell research, even though he won't live to realize his dream of walking again someday. But maybe others will.

My sincere thanks to everyone who makes AVSforum such an awesome resource.
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post #205 of 25503 Old 10-11-2004, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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An overview at the very early TV ratings news from TV Week's Chris Lisotta:

ABC, CBS Take Early Leads
'CSI: NY,' 'Desperate Housewives' Spark Year-to-Year Gains
By Christopher Lisotta, TV Week
October 11, 2004
With only two weeks under their belts, ABC and CBS have a long way to go before they declare their new programming and the 2004-05 season a success. But early results for the season indicate the two networks have made programming choices that are resonating with viewers.

For the first two weeks of the 2004-05 season, CBS was up 8 percent over the first two weeks of last season in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, averaging a 4.0 rating in prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research.

ABC also saw a gain, growing 3 percent in adults 18 to 49 from a 3.9 in the first two weeks of last season to a 4.0 for the first two weeks of 2004-05, driven largely by the surprise early success of a couple of new shows.

ABC did what it was unable to do last season-it captured the No. 1 spot in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers with one of its scripted series for the week ending Oct. 3. Sunday night's campy soaplike drama "Desperate Housewives" led the pack with an 8.9 rating, while mystery plane crash series "Lost" came in seventh in the demo for the week with a 6.5 rating.

The last time ABC had two dramas rank in the top 10 among total viewers and adults 18 to 49 was more than four years ago, when "NYPD Blue" and "The Practice" were benefiting from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire's" halo effect.

For ABC executives, the initial payoff has been satisfying.

"We all felt really confident about the shows creatively, but as far as those who were watching it, and the volume to which they were going to come in, we were all very pleased," said Francie Calfo, executive VP of development, ABC prime time.

Ms. Calfo said it would be too easy to explain the success of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" as just a change of pace from the many franchise procedural dramas that have dominated the ratings over the past few years. Unlike some other serialized programs, the new ABC shows are using elements like flashbacks that will allow for closed-ended episodes and story lines.

"It's not just one thing," Ms. Calfo said. "As serialized as they might be, there are elements in it for people that are dropping in."

Ms. Calfo said the fact that the shows are well made helped both series' initial ratings performance.

"It's all about execution," she said. "`Desperate Housewives' has nearly perfectly drawn characters with specific points of view. At the heart it is about something."

At CBS, the franchise business is alive and well, with "CSI: Miami" and the premiering "CSI: NY" both making the top 10 shows among adults 18 to 49 for the weeks ended Sept. 26 and Oct. 3. The original "CSI" was the No. 1 show in the demo with an 11.4 for the week ended Sept. 26.

Nina Tassler, CBS entertainment president, said the numbers show the audience is still very much engaged in procedural mysteries, and the success of shows like "Lost" and "Housewives" does not mean the beginning of the end of the genre. "It just means there is an appetite out there for different kinds of shows," she said.

Among the other networks, only one, The WB, broke even year to year in adults 18 to 49. NBC, Fox and UPN are down so far this season. It's still early, but below is a network-by-network breakdown of the first two weeks of 2004-05 in terms of good ratings news, bad ratings news and unanswered questions.

A B C

The Good News: Thanks to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and the out-of-the-gate success of "Desperate Housewives," ABC is up 64 percent on Sundays in adults 18 to 49 year to year (5.4 versus 3.3). On Wednesdays "Lost" is bringing in audiences at 8 p.m. that the network could only dream of last year. Even with "The Benefactor" struggling on Mondays, a resurgent "Monday Night Football" helped drive up the night's year-to-year adults 18 to 49 number by 7 percent.

The Bad News: Tuesday's comedy block and the final season of "NYPD Blue" are down 24 percent from last year in the demo, with newcomer "Rodney" at 9:30 p.m. down an average 14 percent in adults 18 to 49 from its "According to Jim" lead-in for the first two weeks of the season. A ratings drop for "The Bachelor" has ABC down 6 percent on Wednesdays, despite "Lost." Friday night's revamped TGIF comedy block and newsmagazine "20/20" are down 21 percent in the demo year to year, with a 36 percent drop in male teens (0.9 versus 1.4) despite the male-skewing "Complete Savages."

Unanswered Questions: If the serialized "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" lose their early momentum, it could mean big trouble for ABC. "The Bachelor" has been running against "CSI" and "Law & Order" repeats and "The Apprentice," so a more traditional schedule of CBS comedies and "The West Wing" could mean a bump in its numbers. Once football and "NYPD Blue" finish, ABC tries out "Grey's Anatomy" and "Blind Justice."

C B S

The Good News: "CSI: NY" is beating "Law & Order" on Wednesdays, driving CBS to a 68 percent increase for the night year to year in adults 18 to 49. On Thursdays the latest installment of "Survivor" and the original "CSI" have given the network an edge over NBC and upped its adults 18 to 49 performance by 5 percent. The sophomore season of "Navy NCIS" has been a nice surprise for CBS, helping to increase Tuesday's demo average by 44 percent (2.7 versus 3.9).

The Bad News: Friday night's lineup of "Joan of Arcadia," "JAG" and the new series "dr. vegas" is down 34 percent year to year. Tuesday baseball series "Clubhouse" was ranked third at 9 p.m. in its Sept. 28 time period debut, down 22 percent from its "Navy NCIS" lead-in. The Sunday night movie has been a third-place finisher both weeks, while "Cold Case" was 37 percent behind ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in the demo (3.7/9 versus 5.9/15).

Unanswered Questions: On Wednesdays the 9 p.m. comedy block "King of Queens" and "Center of the Universe" has yet to debut. With three network series, a cable run on Spike TV and a weekend syndication airing, there's always a chance audiences will tire of "CSI." On Mondays "Listen Up" grew on its lead-in "Still Standing" in adults 18 to 49, but lags its lead-out "Everybody Loves Raymond." Whether "Listen Up" will rise to the Monday night occasion and get "Raymond"-like ratings is an open question.

N B C

The Good News: On Fridays "Third Watch" and "Medical Investigation" have won their time periods in adults 18 to 49, helping NBC increase its performance in the demo 12 percent for the night from last year. "Fear Factor" won its time period in adults 18 to 49 both weeks. Despite a weak preseason opening, "The Apprentice" remains competitive at 9 p.m. Thursday, and "ER" won the night of Sept. 23 in adults 18 to 49 with a 9.8/25.

The Bad News: On Thursdays a "Friends"-free NBC is down 25 percent in the demo from last year, and the network is down 20 percent on Mondays, thanks in part to "LAX," which has a two-week average of 3.2/8. On Wednesdays at 8 p.m. "Hawaii" has averaged a 2.4/7, coming in either fourth or fifth in the time period. The network announced last week it was removing "Last Comic Standing" from Tuesday's schedule, where NBC was down 9 percent from last year.

Unanswered Questions: "The West Wing" won't premiere until Oct. 20, leaving open the question of how the network will perform on Wednesdays. Next week also marks the debut of weight-loss reality show "The Biggest Loser," which has a 90-minute premiere on Oct. 19. "Joey" has been second to "Survivor" in the demo on Thursdays at 8 p.m., but it is still unclear whether the show will build an audience as "Friends" watchers warm to it, or whether it will continue to drop. "Joey" was down 16 percent from Sept. 23 to Sept. 30. "Crossing Jordan," which is up 24 percent on Sundays at 10 p.m. from last year's time slot occupant, "The Lyon's Den," could be a time period winner if ABC's "Boston Legal" falters.

Fox

The Good News: Reality series "Trading Spouses" has worked, winning its time period Sept. 28 in adults 18 to 49. Fox's "North Shore" and "Renovate My Family" have helped Fox raise its ratings among women 18 to 34 by 12 percent (2.9/8 versus 2.6/7) on Mondays and increase its adults 18 to 34 ratings by 4 percent. On Wednesdays Fox's comedy block is up 68 percent among male teens, 3.2/11 to last year's 1.9/7.

The Bad News: "Method & Red" is already gone. Fox is down every day of the week in adults 18 to 49 from last year except for Monday, where the network is flat. The network has shuttled the remainder of "The Next Great Champ" off to cable, while "The Complex: Malibu" has contributed to a 48 percent decline in the network's Thursday number.

Unanswered Questions: Because of baseball, Fox isn't premiering performers such as "The O.C.," "The Simpsons" and the Emmy-enhanced "Arrested Development" until November. Monday reality show "Renovate My Family" shows promise and could build with a better lead-in than "North Shore." Until all the repeats are gone and replaced by original 2004-05 fare, it will be hard to compare the network against original programming on competing networks.

The WB

The Good News: Tuesday's "Gilmore Girls" has shaken off the slump of last year, while "One Tree Hill" is a second-season hit; on Tuesday the network is up 64 percent in adults 18 to 49 year to year (2.3/6 versus 1.4/4), and up 65 percent in adults 18 to 34 (2.8 versus 1.7). "Reba" has been the Friday night performer with a 1.8/6 in adults 18 to 49.

The Bad News: Game show "Studio 7" was canceled. Wednesday's "The Mountain" is down an average of 48 percent from its "Smallville" lead-in, while on Sundays "Steve Harvey's Big Time," "Charmed" and "Jack & Bobby" have combined for a 25 percent drop in the demo from last year. Monday's "7th Heaven" and "Everwood" are down a combined 12 percent year to year in adults 18 to 49, and down 15 percent in adults 18 to 34 (2.2/6 versus 2.6/7).

Unanswered Questions: The WB has already picked up drama "Jack & Bobby" for the season. The recast and health-delayed "Commando Nanny" is still a question mark. "Blue Collar TV" started off strong and has leveled off. But will "Drew Carey's Green Screen Show" help raise the sketch comedy bar?

UPN

The Good News: The third installment of "America's Next Top Model" on Wednesdays has driven up UPN's 18 to 49 number by 13 percent from last year, with a 67 percent jump in adults 18 to 34 (2.0 versus 1.2) and an 1,100 percent rise among teen girls (2.4 versus 0.2). "Top Model" reruns and airings of "Kevin Hill" and "Veronica Mars" on Fridays have increased the network's adults 18 to 49 rating 17 percent (0.7 versus 0.6).

The Bad News: Monday's comedy block is down 26 percent in adults 18 to 49 (1.4/4 versus 1.9/5) and down 36 percent in adults 18 to 34 (1.4/4 versus 2.2/6). "WWE SmackDown!" is down 12 percent in the demo (1.5/4 versus 1.7/5) and down 17 percent in men 18 to 34 (1.9/6 versus 2.3/8).

Unanswered Questions: Will the critically acclaimed "Kevin Hill" benefit from its "Top Model" lead-in? On Tuesdays another critics' favorite, "Veronica Mars," is considered a breakout possibility as the season progresses.
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From Denver's Rocky Mountain News columnist Dusty Saunders, some thoughts from an ABC affiliate leader about Monday Night Football possibly leaving the network:

URL: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...245542,00.html

Saunders: ABC is considering not carrying 'MNF'
October 11, 2004

Can you envision a fall season without ABC's Monday Night Football?

Millions of viewers can't, including Darrell Brown, vice president and general manager of 7News, the local ABC affiliate.

Such a drastic scheduling change is being discussed regarding the long-running (35th season) sports staple that is up for renewal following the 2005 season.

And this discussion has nothing to do with viewer disenchantment.

While not as dominant as it was 20 years ago, MNF remains a major drawing card, depending, of course, on the games.

Keep in mind there are many more viewing alternatives in today's cable universe than existed 20 years ago.

Predictably, the discussion - and controversy - centers around money because the Disney-owned network has been losing around $150 million annually by airing MNF. ABC currently pays the NFL $550 million annually for broadcast rights. And advertising revenue doesn't come close to covering the expense of producing this weekly extravaganza.

Enter the ABC affiliated stations that have chipped in nearly $35 million in recent years to help the network pay the NFL. Such an arrangement has not won praise from station bean counters around the country.

While initial discussions about the future of MNF on ABC have been ongoing, the bare-knuckled talks will begin after Jan. 1, when the league also begins negotiations with CBS, Fox and possibly NBC, which dropped out six years ago.

A possible alternative for Disney:

A shift of MNF to ESPN, also owned by the company.

ESPN pays the NFL roughly the same amount as does ABC. But football on the cable channel doesn't lose money. ESPN makes a profit on its Sunday night games, collecting subscriber fees from local cable outlets in addition to advertising revenue.

So what would happen to ESPN's Sunday night package? That's also up for discussion.

Meanwhile, Brown, who represents the four McGraw Hill Broadcasting outlets on the ABC affiliate board, believes the loss of MNF would be a major blow to network stations.

"Obviously, I'm aware of the financial problems," he said. "But if Disney is serious about fixing the network, such a fix doesn't equate to losing Monday Night Football."
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post #207 of 25503 Old 10-11-2004, 08:31 AM
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My HD-Tivo says the Oct 20th West Wing is a rerun.

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post #208 of 25503 Old 10-11-2004, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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post #209 of 25503 Old 10-11-2004, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for this thread and keeping it up to date fredfa! Always an interesting read.
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post #210 of 25503 Old 10-11-2004, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliment Paul.
I work pretty hard to keep the thread up to date and interesting -- and it is nice to get positive feedback.
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