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post #31 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks to CPanther95 who did all the heavy lifting in retiring the old "Hot Off The Press" and starting up this new spiffy son of "HOTP".
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post #32 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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One more changeover note: I am going to repost this morning's items which ended up as the final post on the original "Hot Off The Press".

(I hope most of you won't mind if you have already read them.)
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post #33 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notebook
'Traveler' gets ticket for May 10 show
By Nellie Andreeva The Hollywood Reporter April 23, 2007

ABC's drama "Traveler" will get on the road earlier than previously announced.

The series, from Warner Bros. TV and the Jinks/Cohen Co., will premiere May 10 after "Grey's Anatomy."

The show's pilot episode will air again May 30 in the series' regular Wednesday 10 p.m. time period.
Previewing the series -- about two college buddies on the run after being framed by their friend for a terrorist act -- behind an original episode of the highest-rated drama series on television assures great sampling for the show before its off-season run.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr...f9117e99089024a
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post #34 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notebook
Cast, Cost Pruning Set for May Sweeps
Character Deaths Fulfill Dramatic, Financial Needs
By James Hibberd Television Week April 23, 2007

Not everybody is going to survive May sweeps.

Producers will nuke a major character on CBS's "Jericho." At least one beachgoer on ABC's "Lost" won't be found next fall. One of NBC's "Heroes," if not more, will have a heroic death.

Increasingly for prime-time series, May sweeps means cleaning house.

Pruning the series-regular ranks can help a show both dramatically and financially.

"At the very same moment networks are under major financial stress and trying desperately to reduce their costs, they've gotten locked into these big-cast, expensive shows," said Tim Brooks, TV historian and executive VP of research at Lifetime. "It's been 'attack of the accountants.'"

The popularity of cinematic ensemble dramas in recent years has crashed into the bottom-line reality of softening prime-time ratings. So showrunners are taking a cue from whack-heavy series like HBO's "The Sopranos" and Fox's "24" and increasingly relying on character deaths to pay off a season of loyal viewership.

Showrunners maintain that character deaths usually are in service to the story. In first-season shows cast with relative unknowns, such as "Heroes" and "Jericho," that's almost certainly the case.

Manny Coto, co-executive producer of "24," said deaths on the veteran drama have never been about the budget.

"Usually the characters being killed off have run their course, storywise," Mr. Coto said. "It's reaching for an emotional response out of the audience, and for better or worse, killing a major character accomplishes that."

The real-time drama embraced killing characters in prime time starting with the shocking death of Jack Bauer's wife in the first season's 2002 sweeps finale. Last season, "24" significantly upped the ante by killing four regular characters.

If online rumors, showrunner hints and network loglines are any indication, May is going to be a very bloody month.

Without revealing specific spoilers, a TV Guide report said "Lost," which is one of the most expensive dramas on television and has experienced a ratings drop this season, soon will chalk up a body count similar to the fabled "24" bloodbath.

"Heroes" showrunner Tim Kring has often stated that at least one cast member won't survive sweeps. Also on NBC, the renewals of several shows, such as the "Law & Order" franchise, reportedly have been tied to cast and crew budget cuts, which eventually could impact on-air storylines as well.

At CBS, a May press release reveals that somebody will die on both "Jericho" and "Close to Home," joining "CSI: NY," "NCIS," "CSI: Miami" and "Ghost Whisperer" as CBS shows that have killed off series regulars. The online rumor mill contends The CW's "Smallville" also is planning a major casualty.

"[Deaths are] partly a function of this new style of show where you have a really big ensemble," said Erin Gough-Wehrenberg, senior VP, current series, NBC Entertainment. "For 'Heroes,' it's definitely to do what's best for creative storytelling. ... [Deaths on other series] were each unique circumstances."

Yet the most anticipated sweeps stunt isn't a character's demise or a catastrophic battle, but the two-hour backdoor pilot for the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off starring Kate Walsh, airing May 3.

For decades, the on-screen death of major characters was practically verboten.

When Jean Hagan left "Make Room for Daddy" in 1956, or when Jean Stapleton left "All in the Family" in 1971, their respective characters were simply written out of the show during the off-season. In such cases, the characters died because the actor left the show, rather than due to a showrunner's creative decision or budget downsizing.

As networks began to program stunts for sweeps, shows would reach for greater narrative twists, the most famous being the "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger on "Dallas" in 1980.

But the regular killing of characters, to the point where audiences expect a corpse every season, is a recent phenomenon -- at least in prime time.

"[For sweeps stunts] we have progressed from the first kiss, to the big wedding, to bodies all over the stage," Mr. Brooks said. "But in daytime, soaps have killed off characters for years. You have a shoot-out in the hospital and -- voila -- some of the highest paid actresses are gone."

http://www.tvweek.com/article.cms?articleId=31855
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post #35 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notebook
Upfront Deals:
How Will Commercial Ratings Play?
by Wayne Friedman, Media Post Monday, Apr 23, 2007

While no one is estimating what the primary thrust in upfront deal-making will be in the coming weeks, many deals will probably have a component that includes some aspect of commercial ratings.

Although the official Nielsen Media Research rating will not be ready for this upfront, big media agencies are moving to doing deals based on their own commercial-ratings data. Average commercial ratings are an average of all commercial minutes in a program. Group M's agencies--MindShare and Mediaedge, for example--are pushing for deals based on average commercial ratings.

Many networks have said publicly they are ready to do deals on average commercial ratings. "We'd have no problem in doing deals that way," says one veteran network advertising sales executive.

Other media agencies, such as Publicis Groupe's Starcom and MediaVest, are focused on the more exacting minute-by-minute ratings, not an average--something that could be more difficult for networks to process. Adds one veteran network sales executive: "We have told media agencies there are some things we can do, and some we can't."

Aaron Cohen, executive vice president and director of national broadcast for Horizon Media, prefers to strike agreements using "live" program audience data for this upfront--just like deals were done a year ago. He notes that doing deals on live commercial ratings is tricky. "The negotiation will take on a different direction," he says.

In theory, media agencies could save some money in going to commercial ratings, since those numbers are anywhere from 3% to 10% under their respective program ratings. That depends, of course, on the program and whether it is on a broadcast network, cable network or in syndication.

Reality, however, is something else.

"They are not going to get 3% to 10% less," says Horizon's Cohen. "The networks need the money. Nobody will gain an advantage on cost by using commercial ratings."

And then there's the DVR issue. The networks may still want to add DVR viewership back in, with anywhere from one day to seven days of viewer playback data. All that would essentially bring back overall ratings to square one, say media executives--similar to current program ratings. "So then there is no gain or loss," says one network advertising sales executive.

Some agencies even appear to offer concessions. Group M is all for average commercials, and some say it even hinted to the networks that it would add back in DVR viewership after three days from its original airing, the "live-plus three days" metric. Ideally, networks want as much as seven days of DVR playback. Group M executives did not return phone calls by press time.

However, media agency executives don't expect the networks--in any combination of buying metrics, program or commercial ratings, with or without DVR playback--to ask for less money this year.

http://publications.mediapost.com/i...e&art_aid=59093
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post #36 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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The original Hot Off The Press Notebook
Milestone Posts
Post numbers, time (Pacific) and posters
(First post: August 27, 2004. 7:24 PM Pacific time by fredfa)
1,000 Dec. 9, 2004, 717p fredfa
2,000 March 16, 2005, 330p keenan
3,000 May 18, 2005, 753a Paul Bigelow
4,000 July 23, 2005, 517p fredfa
5,000 Sept. 15, 2005, 1029a fredfa
6,000 Oct. 25, 2005, 734a fredfa
7,000 Nov. 28, 2005, 649p fredfa
8,000 Dec. 24, 2005, 220p fredfa
9,000 Jan. 26, 2006, 618p fredfa
10,000 March 27, 2006, 253p keenan
11,000 May 17, 2006, 1108a fredfa
12,000 June 10, 2006, 643p fredfa
13,000 July 10, 2006, 300p VisionOn
14,000 July 28, 2006, 122p 123HDTV
15,000 Aug. 28, 2006, 702p fredfa
16,000 Sept. 25, 2006, 609a Jediphish
17,000 Oct. 19, 2006, 1046p fredfa
18,000 Nov. 15, 2006, 1119p fredfa
19,000 Dec. 11, 2006, 1142a harley1
20,000 Jan 6, 2007, 916a dad1153
21,000 Jan 23, 2007, 829p PJO1966
22,000 Feb 8, 2007, 620p RussTC3
23,000 Feb 28, 2007, 107p Iteki
24,000 Mar 21, 2007, 822a fredfa
25,000 Apr 11, 2007, 1103p RussB

Last post with content: April 23, 2007, 6:37 AM Pacific time by dad1153
Last post (#25,503) April 23, 2007, 6:49 AM Pacific time by CPanther95
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post #37 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:47 AM
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^^ I don't know what month it is where you are, but it's April 23, 2007 here

Last post with content: February 23, 2007, 6:37 AM Pacific time by dad1153
Last post (#25,503) February 23, 207, 6:49 AM Pacific time by CPanther95
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post #38 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:52 AM
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Hey Fred,

I just wanted to thank you for all of the awesome work you do for this thread. I have learned so much from the Hot Off the Press thread over the years and look forward to learning much more in future years. I just hope you get as much enjoyment out of working on this thread as myself and the other readers get from reading it.

Matt
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post #39 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timick1 View Post

^^ I don't know what month it is where you are, but it's April 23, 2007 here

Last post with content: February 23, 2007, 6:37 AM Pacific time by dad1153
Last post (#25,503) February 23, 207, 6:49 AM Pacific time by CPanther95


Well, the west coast is a bit off, sometimes, timick1.

Thanks for noting the first "oops!' of the son of HOTP!
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post #40 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, Matt.

(And you don't have to wait six months between posts!)


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Originally Posted by Rico6288 View Post

Hey Fred,

I just wanted to thank you for all of the awesome work you do for this thread. I have learned so much from the Hot Off the Press thread over the years and look forward to learning much more in future years. I just hope you get as much enjoyment out of working on this thread as myself and the other readers get from reading it.

Matt

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post #41 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:05 AM
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Yay, I got the last post on the old thread. Fitting that it was THE FINAL WORD in the ongoing Blu-ray/HD-DVD battle!
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post #42 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports
NBC Names Michael Weisman to Head Football Night In America
Multiple Emmy Award Winner Named Executive in Charge of Production
(NBC Sports News Release)

NEW YORK - April 23, 2007 - Emmy Award-winning producer Michael Weisman has been named Executive in Charge of Production for "Football Night in America," it was announced today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.

NBC Sports will hold a media conference call TODAY at 1:30 p.m. ET with Ebersol and Weisman; dial 913/981-4910 to participate.

"Michael is one of the most talented sports producers of this era," said Ebersol. "He has an uncanny sense of how to get the best out of people and he will bring the same joy, passion and, most importantly, fun to 'Football Night in America' that he's brought to his past production of the biggest events in sports television. I'm enormously happy to welcome Michael back to NBC Sports in this very important role."

"I'm delighted to be reunited with NBC Sports and the extremely talented roster of sports broadcasters that Dick has assembled," said Weisman. "The NFL and NBC have a rich history and we hope to enhance viewers' enjoyment with a lively, informative and entertaining show."

"Michael is the consummate showman and his enormous creative talent will be the perfect addition to 'Football Night in America,'" said David Neal, Executive Producer, NBC Sports.

Weisman is reunited with "Football Night in America" host Bob Costas, who Weisman appointed host of "NFL on NBC" in 1984, Costas' first-ever studio work.

Weisman, winner of 22 Emmy Awards, was most recently Executive Producer, NBC Universal Television Group, working closely with NBC News and other news and information programming. Last year he served as executive producer for "Olympic Ice," USA Network's Emmy Award-nominated daily figure skating show during the Torino Winter Olympics.

Weisman is recognized for his groundbreaking production of sporting events ranging from the World Series to the Super Bowl to the Olympics. He began his career as an NBC page in 1971; he joined NBC Sports in 1972 and was appointed Executive Producer, NBC Sports in 1982, a position he held until 1989.

Responsible for significant advances in live-television production, Weisman is best known as a producer-executive producer of high-profile sporting events, including the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, Wimbledon and the NCAA basketball championships.

Weisman also introduced the first-ever, female play-by-play NFL commentator as well as the first female network sports host. He was the innovator behind the "Silent Minute" and the "Ten-Minute Ticker" for updating NFL scores, as well as the producer for the "Announcer-less Game" in the early 1980s.

Weisman's experience extends well beyond the world of sports broadcasting to include entertainment shows, network and cable specials, talk shows, reality programs, documentaries, and even music videos.

Weisman attended the University of North Carolina on a baseball scholarship. He graduated from Queens College in New York with a bachelor of arts in radio/television.
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post #43 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:07 AM
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How long will it take this time to catch up to the LOST thread for total views?
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post #44 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:13 AM
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With the "Lost" season ending in May (maybe even for all of 2007 if the show is brought back in 2008, "24" style) this thread is going to shoot way ahead of the "Lost" thread by June and never look back.
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post #45 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Considering Hot Off The Press was once more than 220,000 behind, I don't know.

But clearly the momentum has switched. The "Lost" viewers are a very, very dedicated bunch. But the daily page views on that thread have slowly been diminishing -- roughly mirrioring, I believe, the rastings erosion the show has sen this year.

At any rate, I don't see it as any kind of race. The two threads serve -- and well, I hope -- audiences with different needs, although their interests sometimes overlap.

I probably post far fewer "lost" items here simply because that thread exists and has been so popular for such an extended period of time.
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post #46 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Sunday's fast national over night prime-time ratings - and Media Week Analyst Marc Berman's view of what they mean -- have been posted at the top of Ratings News the second post in this thread.
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post #47 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Overnights in the 18-49 Demo
A modest bump for 'Apprentice' finale
Donald Trump reality show averages 3.2 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 23, 2007

With a seventh season of one-time NBC hit The Apprentice still in question, the show finished season six with its best performance since January, though it still may not be enough to return.

Apprentice averaged a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights, scoring a rare win in its 10 p.m. timeslot, albeit against weak competition. ABC's Brothers & Sisters was a repeat, and CBS aired a movie in place of usual timeslot occupant Without a Trace.

The show had its best 18-49 rating since its Jan. 7 premiere, which averaged a 4.1, and its biggest audience in total viewers, 7.9 million, since Jan. 28.

But whether that's enough for the Donald Trump show to return next year remains to be seen. Apprentice finished stronger than several other on-the-fence shows have done recently, such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent or any of the network's recent Monday 10 p.m. dramas. And it's still very upscale, which makes it desirable for advertisers.

Yet its season-to-date average rating of 3.0 was still below NBC's season-to-date average rating of 3.2. And it was the show's lowest-rated season by far, drawing fewer than half the viewers it had during its seasons one and two peak.

The show suffered from the usual loss of interest in a hot reality show, and was moved around the schedule several times in the last two years. It may have also been hurt by Trump's ubiquitousness in the media, between his feud with Rosie O'Donnell, Miss USA troubles and other public dramas.

Producer Mark Burnett recently told The New York Post that if NBC does not want the show for a seventh year, he hopes to shop it to other networks. Trump said last year that NBC ordered a seventh season, but that hasn't been confirmed by the network.

"I have no idea what NBC is going to do [with 'The Apprentice'] and I haven't heard a peep about it. They're still within their option time," Burnett told The Post.

ABC finished first among viewers 18-49 Sunday night, averaging a 3.8 average rating and a 10 share. Fox was second at 2.5/7, CBS third at 2.3/6, NBC fourth at 2.2/6, Univision fifth at 1.3/4 and CW sixth at 0.7/2.

ABC led the first three hours of the night, starting with a 2.5 rating at 7 p.m. for America's Funniest Home Videos. CBS was second with a 1.8 for 60 Minutes, Fox third with a 1.4 average for the unpromising season finale of The War at Home (1.2) and King of the Hill (1.5) and NBC fourth with a 1.1 for Dateline. Univision was fifth that hour with a 1.0 for Hora Pico and CW sixth with a 0.5 for a repeat of 7th Heaven.

At 8 p.m. ABC led with a 3.9 for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, with Fox second with a 3.0 for an hour of The Simpsons. CBS was third with a 2.7 for The Amazing Race, NBC fourth with a 1.7 for Dateline, Univision fifth with a 1.1 for its first hour of Bailando por la Boda de Mis Suenos and CW sixth with a 0.9 for an original 7th Heaven.

At 9 p.m. ABC led once more, this time with a 6.0 for Desperate Housewives. Fox followed with a 3.2 for an hour of Family Guy repeats, with NBC third with a 2.6 for Deal or No Deal, CBS fourth with a 2.0 for the first hour of the movie Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness, Univision fifth with a 1.6 for the second hour of Bailando and CW sixth with a 0.7 for a repeat of America's Next Top Model.

NBC took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 3.2 for Apprentice, with ABC and CBS tied for second at 2.6, ABC for a repeat of Brothers & Sisters and CBS for the second half of its movie. That left Univision fourth with a 1.7 for the last hour of Bailando.

Among households, ABC led the night with a 6.6 average rating and an 11 share, edging CBS's 6.5/11. NBC was third at 4.7/8, Fox fourth at 3.4/6, Univision fifth at 1.6/3 and CW sixth at 1.3/2.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...icle_11610.asp
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post #48 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Sports
NBC Names Michael Weisman to Head Football Night In America
Multiple Emmy Award Winner Named Executive in Charge of Production
(NBC Sports News Release)

This is going to be the most interesting pre game football show that we are going to see this fall.

The most interesting part is how Keith Olbermann(liberal) and Tiki Barker(conservative) are going to interact. Its almost a given that they are going to get political at a point during this season. I think NBC wants it to happen
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post #49 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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The Business of Television
Verizon FiOS TV Adds Three HD Networks
HGTV HD, Food Network HD, LMN HD Join Telco's Video Lineup
Multichannel News,4/23/2007

Home & Garden Television HD, Food Network HD and Lifetime Movie Network HD joined Verizon Communications' FiOS TV lineup.

The telco said its total number of HD channels is now at least 27 in most markets, depending on the number of local channels that broadcast in HD.

FiOS TV subscribers with HD-capable TVs and HD set-top boxes will receive the three new channels at no additional cost, Verizon added.

Verizon also announced FiOS TV launches in portions of Ashton, Damascus, Germantown, Olney and Sandy Springs in Maryland's Montgomery County; Newport News, Va.; and parts of Chesterfield County, Va., in the Richmond area.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6435711
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post #50 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree entirely, kizzo.

The pre-game ratings lasi year were not what NBC had hoped.

And now, with Weisman, it has a guy in charge who is of the stature of Fox's Scott Ackerson. It should be fun.

(And thankfully Weisman and Ackerson will not be competing, so NFL fans can see both of their work.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzo View Post

This is going to be the most interesting pre game football show that we are going to see this fall.

The most interesting part is how Keith Olbermann(liberal) and Tiki Barker(conservative) are going to interact. Its almost a given that they are going to get political at a point during this season. I think NBC wants it to happen

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post #51 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports
CBS Doubles HD Coverage Of NFL
The network says it will show five or six games each week in high-def.
By Phillip Swann TV Predictions.com April 23, 2007

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2007) -- CBS says it will air five or six National Football League games each week during the 2007 season.

That's an increase from the network's 2006 offering of just three games a week in high-def.

Leslie Anne Wade, a network spokeswoman, told TVPredictions.com today that the network has decided to upgrade its high-def coverage.

"It will be up to six games a week," she said.

http://www.tvpredictions.com/cbshd042307.htm
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post #52 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Sports
CBS Doubles HD Coverage Of NFL
The network says it will show five or six games each week in high-def.
By Phillip Swann TV Predictions.com April 23, 2007

This is the best news I've heard in a while. This should mean that every game that my Colts play this year should be in glorious high-def (exceptions might be the 2 Colts-Texans games).
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post #53 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 10:23 AM
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Thank the lord! CBS and Fox will now have about the same number of HD games. Nice.
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post #54 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 10:24 AM
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TV Sports
CBS Doubles HD Coverage Of NFL
The network says it will show five or six games each week in high-def.
By Phillip Swann TV Predictions.com April 23, 2007

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2007) -- CBS says it will air five or six National Football League games each week during the 2007 season.

That's an increase from the network's 2006 offering of just three games a week in high-def.

Leslie Anne Wade, a network spokeswoman, told TVPredictions.com today that the network has decided to upgrade its high-def coverage.

"It will be up to six games a week," she said.

http://www.tvpredictions.com/cbshd042307.htm

First Fred I must say that I love the new diggs. It's less cluttered and more open and spacious. This news about CBS carrying 5 to 6 HD NFL games a week is awesome. Finally.

Now if ABC could give us more regional HD college football on Saturdays.
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First Fred I must say that I love the new diggs. It's less cluttered and more open and spacious. This news about CBS carrying 5 to 6 HD NFL games a week is awesome. Finally.

Now if ABC could give us more regional HD college football on Saturdays.



Even better if the GamePlan package was delivered in HD!
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Yay, I got the last post on the old thread. Fitting that it was THE FINAL WORD in the ongoing Blu-ray/HD-DVD battle!



I doubt it was the final word, dad!
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post #57 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
Scrubs WILL be back
But on NBC or ABC?
By Michael Ausiello TV Guide

In August (work will) begin on Scrubs' seventh (and final) season. The only question is which network it'll air on. (Scrubs bossman Bill) Lawrence confirms that ABC, which owns the show, still plans on picking it up should NBC cancel it.

"I would've written a series finale [this season] if there was any chance the show was going to be canceled," he says. "I was going to end the show, and the good people at ABC basically said, 'The show's on ABC next year if it's not on NBC. Do not end it.' And as if to prove their intentions, they went and signed Zach up for a contract next year, which is ridiculously foolish if they weren't planning to pick it up. So I have every reason to trust and believe them.

"Right now, I would almost bet it'll end up on ABC for its last season," Lawrence adds. "But two weeks from now, when NBC gets [a look at] their pilots, it could shift."

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-en...raff/800013456
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post #58 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 11:29 AM
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The 2007-2008 Season
Scrubs WILL be back
But on NBC or ABC?
By Michael Ausiello TV Guide

What great news. This has quickly become one of my favorite shows now that it has entered syndication and a new season coming up is very nice to hear.

Now if they would only announce that Scrubs will be in HD for next season.
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post #59 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
Dr. Who Returns to Sci Fi in July
Joined by New Companion
(Sci Fi Channel News Release) April 23, 2007

NEW YORK - April 23, 2007 - SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas today announced a major acquisition deal for the U.S. premiere of the third season of Doctor Who. The series will debut on SCI FI in July 2007, kicking off with the Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Runaway Bride, guest-starring award-winning comedy actress Catherine Tate.

In season three, David Tennant returns to his role as the mysterious, time-traveling Doctor. American audiences will meet the Doctor's brand-new sidekick, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), in the first official episode of the season, "Smith and Jones."

Chris Regina, Vice President of Programming, SCI FI Channel, said 'Doctor Who' has become a favorite among SCI FI audiences. We are happy to bring the show back for its third season and look forward to following the Doctor's continuing adventures with his newest companion."

Executive Producer and Lead Writer Russell T Davies says, "We were delighted and honored by the second series' success, and we can promise new thrills, new laughs and some terrifying new aliens. The Doctor and Martha are destined to meet William Shakespeare, blood-sucking alien Plasmavores, The Judoon - a clan of galactic stormtroopers - and a sinister Dalek plot in 1930s New York."

The deal, brokered by Lisa Hofer, Vice President of Co-Production & Sales, BBC Worldwide Americas, with the SCI FI Channel grants SCI FI the exclusive first-run rights for Season Three. The second season of the new Doctor Who earned impressive ratings during its airing on SCI FI, delivering an average of over one million viewers each week.

Candace Carlisle, COO, BBC Sales Company, commented, "SCI FI Channel has been a fantastic platform for the Doctor Who Series in the US. We're excited for the Season Three launch and think American audiences will simply love the Doctor's hip new companion."

BBC Video will continue to work with SCI FI Channel on joint marketing promotions to support the Doctor Who brand in the US.

Burton Cromer, Senior Vice President, Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide Americas said: "Our promotional partnership with the SCI FI Channel, both on-air and online, was a significant factor in the fantastic success we've had with the new Doctor Who. It's also helped drive awareness and sales of our 40 plus line of classic Doctor Who titles."
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post #60 of 96335 Old 04-23-2007, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Q&A
Ask Matt (from the Ask Matt column at TVGuide.com)
Brothers & Sisters, The Office, Crossing Jordan and More
By Matt Roush: TVGuide.com TV Critic Monday, April 23, 2007

Question: I have to admit, I find no sibling more boring on Brothers & Sisters than Tommy Walker. And I'm beginning to think the writers think so, too. In the "Three Parties" episode (April 8), there was neither hide nor hair of Tommy, and (sadly) I didn't really care. Margot Kidder managed to get scenes in, so I find it hard to believe they couldn't find a way to wedge in Tommy. He and the wife never have good plots. Even ones with inherent drama the babies, the winery with Holly have no spark. Why do you think the show is having issues integrating Tommy in as well as they have the other siblings, and do you think it's a major concern? Anna

Matt Roush: Ouch. But essentially, you're right. When Brothers & Sisters premiered, my initial reaction was that all the brothers were being upstaged by the sisters and the mother. But as the season progressed, Justin became much more interesting and sympathetic, and Kevin broke new dramatic ground as one of the most frankly portrayed gay characters on TV. By comparison with Justin's recovery and military-service story lines, and Kevin's sexual misadventures, Tommy's impotence and workplace intrigues pale.

And unfortunately, Balthazar Getty is no more able to bring interesting shadings to an underwritten role here than he was on Alias in its final season. This isn't an issue big enough to dampen my enjoyment of the show, which has grown steadily throughout the season, but I hope the writers see it as a challenge.

Question: Is it just me, or does it seem like the days are behind us when a show creator/writer with a pretty good quality track record like David E. Kelley or Aaron Sorkin could snap their fingers and get a network to commit to a new show?

Will the ratings troubles for The Wedding Bells and Studio 60 make it more difficult for talented people like Kelley and Sorkin to get show commitments in the future? And when new fall shows are announced next month, do you think the networks will focus more on the pedigree of the producers, the name recognition of the actors involved or the show concepts that can be described succinctly to the audience? Paul L.

Matt Roush: As I often say, if it's more about the deal than about the show, that's a recipe for disaster. Every successful TV producer is well acquainted with failure. (I'm surprised you didn't mention J.J. Abrams, whose name was associated with recent duds like Six Degrees and What About Brian.)

So I doubt it will be any more difficult for talents like Sorkin and Kelley to get their pitches heard just because of a few high-profile misfires. Who wouldn't want to be in business with the brains behind shows like The West Wing and The Practice? Who knows when the magic will happen again?

Looking ahead to the fall, I have to hope that the networks will focus less on who's behind the show or who's in the show, or even if the show can be sold in a punchy promo, than whether the show is any good. I know it's a pipe dream, but unless the business changes drastically, it's still going to be easier for established producers to get their shows on the air. And if there's a recognizable face in the cast to help launch the show, even better.

Question: I was wondering if there was any word yet on whether Jericho has been renewed. I think this show deserves a chance to flourish. I know you are not a huge fan of the show, but I value your opinion and would like to know what you think. Bridget

Matt Roush: The final word on Jericho probably won't be known until CBS holds its upfront presentation in mid-May. I will tell you that my opinion of the show improved after its return in February, when it became less about SuperJake saving the day and has evolved into a darker, potentially more disturbing post-apocalyptic series about an isolated town making tough choices to allocate limited resources (sort of a Lifeboat-style situation when refugees came to Jericho seeking shelter and supplies).

Typically, this creative surge coincided with the show's fall in ratings. Jericho never really recovered from its long hiatus, and coming back in a winter dominated by reality hits probably didn't help. I admit I was surprised that it didn't continue to grow. Jericho's biggest problem is that it airs on such a successful network, one not known for giving marginal performers a long rope, especially when the series is so "off-brand" (in other words, not a procedural crime drama). On the "plus" side, Jericho plays well into CBS' new online initiatives, and you'd think the network would like having at least one cult-type show on the schedule. I hated the show when it premiered, but now I find myself almost rooting for it.

Question: What is your opinion on the dramatic drop in ratings of NBC's Thursday-night comedies, more specifically of The Office? As a huge fan, I find its ratings decrease to be a bit mind-boggling. I understand a new Survivor has arrived, but I felt the show had picked up some serious steam and viewers in the wake of the Emmys last year and the SAG awards this year not to mention that the quality has yet to falter.

Do you believe the ratings decrease has to do with the audience's impatience with the tired Jim/Pam/Karen triangle and the more dramatic and angst-y approach taken this season to one of the most adorable and lovable non-relationship relationships in TV history? To be honest, even I, a fervent and loyal fan, feel the sadness deters my enjoyment of an otherwise brilliant episode and thus have to re-watch to truly laugh at its greatness. Does NBC expect the casual viewer to hang in there week after week watching Jim continue to date a girl he's not that into while Pam cries and looks on with sad puppy-dog eyes in the background? Monique

Matt Roush: There are many circumstances at play with NBC's downturn on Thursday: a confusing cycle of new and repeat episodes through the spring, the early onset of Daylight Savings, the increased competition on Fox (of all networks) with Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and the exodus of viewers during spring-break weeks. I'm not the expert at ratings number-crunching, so I'll tackle the creative angle to argue that NBC's devotion to the single-camera comedy format may also be hurting it in the long run.

Individually, I enjoy each of NBC's Thursday comedies, but with the exception of the broadly played My Name Is Earl, they all have a cult feel about them. Which is OK by me, but I can't help thinking someone at NBC wishes there were a Friends-like mass-appeal breakout in the mix to make the lineup more competitive.

Question: I don't understand why everyone seems so certain that Crossing Jordan will be canceled. Granted the show does not draw the same numbers it once did, but of the 21 prime-time shows that aired the week before last on NBC, only three had higher overall viewership numbers (7.6 million viewers). The ratings have been much higher than some of NBC's already-renewed shows, including 30 Rock, and Jordan has performed solidly up against American Idol, which surely says something of its ability to draw an audience. Viewers have followed the show through short seasons, delayed starts and schedule changes, and there is a strong indication that many fans would tune in next season. Why would NBC cancel such a solid performer when much of the rest of their schedule has been so rocky? Claire

Matt Roush: All valid points, I'm sure, but the bottom line here is probably the bottom line. A show ending its sixth season tends to get more expensive to produce, and the situation is likely the same as the one CBS faced when it cut loose Judging Amy after six seasons. I would think Jordan skews a bit younger than Amy did, but the way NBC has treated Jordan like a utility player (delaying its premiere until January, burying it on Wednesdays), I figure its utility to the network has worn out. If NBC still believed in the show, don't you think it would have found its way back into one of the 10 pm/ET time periods where it once flourished, on Sunday or Monday (now occupied by reality time-wasters like the fading Apprentice and, starting tonight, the execrable The Real Wedding Crashers)? NBC is in rebuilding mode, clearly, which is why it's continuing to take a gamble on newer shows like 30 Rock and, potentially, Friday Night Lights. It already has plenty of aging franchises (Law & Order, ER) on the schedule. Jordan may be one too many.

Question: After reading all the speculations regarding the current CBS Monday night sitcoms, I just had to write. First, why would a network pull the plug on a good show just to fill it in with a new sitcom in the fall? Ever heard of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? I was shocked to hear that How I Met Your Mother could even be remotely considered to be taken off the air. It's bad enough that The Class was sent packing too soon and will likely not return because Rules of Engagement had a following. How does eliminating a really great sitcom (Mother) for a more mediocre one (Rules) benefit the network? It surely would not benefit us viewers.

Second, since CBS seems to have more sitcoms than time slots, did the powers-that-be ever stop to consider rotating the shows? I would vote yes to more new episodes (not just during sweeps months) of any sitcom they have than to suffer the loss of any of them. Why not alternate The Class with Rules instead of bumping one for the other? I am quite sure it all boils down to money and not what the consumer really wants. I may not be the coveted 18-35 (or whatever the demographics are), but I am the one watching, waiting and contemplating whether to keep giving you my time, CBS! Amy

Matt Roush: It's all pretty much as you already surmised: "It all boils down to money and not what the consumer really wants." What I'd like to see is for Rules to be asked to pull its weight in the 8-9 pm hour, the way Mother in particular has had to do from the start. The fact is that Rules held on to the Two and a Half Men lead-in more consistently than The New Adventures of Old Christine (a show I love, tonight's episode is a gas), and that's what ultimately matters.

The idea of rotating shows in the same time period, thus avoiding repeats, is an interesting one. But again, financially speaking, it's doubtful. Among the sorts of shows that tend to repeat well (besides CBS-style procedurals) are sitcoms, especially the more traditional-looking ones like those CBS prefers to air. I'm afraid that unless CBS opens up a significant new comedy night (doubtful), we're going to have to say goodbye to at least one sitcom (possibly more) currently on the schedule to make room for the return of the regrettable Rules.

Question: On 24, we have Chloe, Karen, Jack's occasional romantic interests and CTU staffers who come and go, but I have not seen one female CTU field agent. Michelle doesn't really count because it was just one time. Nina was a traitor and actually only left to pretend to die in the first season. But how about a female Curtis or Tony who can back Jack up without it getting lovey-dovey? I would think that there are female agents who routinely do this sort of thing. I thought for a minute that the girlfriend earlier in the show this year might turn out to be an agent working undercover, until she went stupid and killed her boyfriend and turned in Morris. Carla Gugino would be a great agent for 24. I just realized that this show is a little sexist (stop laughing) and that most of us would not mind seeing the women kick a little butt, too! Besides, a female agent probably wouldn't get killed as quickly as all of the male CTU agents sitting in their Ford Expeditions. S. Dixon

Matt Roush: Show of hands: Who would object to Carla Gugino becoming Jack's new partner in the field? Nobody I know, that's for sure. With Alias off the air, and Painkiller Jane such a painful dud, and given the history of Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran (among others) with La Femme Nikita, it is curious that, with the exception of Chloe's Rambo moment a while back, we haven't seen Jack's distaff action-figure equal. That would certainly be one way to shake the show out of its torpor.

Question: When I watched the first season of 24, I recall thinking, "This is fantastic, I hope they don't try to continue it as is." Halfway through the second season I saw it falling into the trap I knew it would by keeping the same cast and concept each season. What I wish they had done was come up with a clean cast and situation each season. They might have gotten 20 years out of the franchise that way. Season 2 could have been a massive viral outbreak. Season 3 could have been a hostage situation. The possibilities are endless, really. By Season 5 or 6 they could have gone back to stopping terrorists while still making it seem fresh. Don't you think A-list actors would be lining up for such a show, knowing they had to commit for only one season? Seems like an opportunity wasted. On a brighter note, wasn't the April 9 "Bachelor Party" episode of How I Met Your Mother amazing? I don't believe I have laughed harder at anything than the bridal shower scene. I hope they get a renewal soon. I would hate to see such a show fall through the cracks just as it's hitting its stride. Brian K.

Matt Roush: On 24: What you're describing is, more or less, an anthology miniseries, which would certainly be an interesting hybrid, and you make some intriguing suggestions. But for better or worse, what has helped keep 24 so popular for so long is the continuity of Jack Bauer, his loyalty to David Palmer (and lately to his legacy), certain CTU personalities, and so forth. This season does appear to be the tipping point where comfort level has atrophied into boredom (especially in the CTU and White House arenas), and much needs to change next season. But not Jack Bauer as the hero, at least not yet. Let's see how the show reinvents itself (one hopes) next season before throwing in the towel altogether. As for How I Met Your Mother: Yes, Robin's naughty gift at Lily's bridal shower (not so much the antics of the bachelor party) was one of the funniest bits I've seen in a long time. The gag built and built, and managed to be both raunchy and clever (reminding me a bit of Seinfeld's "Contest" that way) and made me laugh out loud every time I watched or showed it to others. Definitely a high point of the show's season to date, and a good argument for keeping Mother around.

Question: Why are TV shows compelled to preach (not so subtly) on certain topics that require public awareness? ER recently had not one, but two examples: First, the "9/11 cough" the paramedic had, and then how ovarian cancer research does not have same the funding as breast cancer. Don't get me wrong, these are legitimate issues. Unfortunately, they are inserted into the script in a very disjointed way. There was another ER episode several months ago that involved Hurricane Katrina victims, and it felt like a news report on the issue rather than a scripted TV show. In a stark contrast, Friday Night Lights incorporated the Katrina victim/football player from New Orleans earlier in the season, and that story fit seamlessly into the story line. I feel as if shows like ER are patronizing us in the way they broadcast these Public Service Announcements. Is it me, or have you noticed this as well? Lori

Matt Roush: I haven't yet seen the episode you're discussing, but I'm not exactly surprised. It's even worse when a sitcom does a "very special episode." At least in a hospital drama, topical issues of health care come with the territory. The problem with ER in its dotage is that so few of the characters have actual personality, the preachiness is more noticeable and the case of the week begins to look more like a soapbox. Grey's Anatomy is often knocked for its patient-as-metaphor approach, but we're often so caught up in the personalities, it rarely gets in the way of our fun.

Question: Please ask your readers to write to Gilmore Girls and tell the producers we don't care if the "girls" leave. Tell them we want the show continued under the hat of Luke's Diner. We want Sally Struthers, Curt, Richard, Emily and all the other characters to continue in America's favorite little town. Wouldn't it be cool to have Luke dating someone like Jennifer Aniston or Courteney Cox, or anyone who can be sweet but act nuts? Alli

Matt Roush: You lost me at the end. But why not just call it Stars Hollow and let us revel in the bliss that is Mrs. Kim, Miss Patty, Sookie and Jackson, et al? And much as I love the elder Gilmores, what would compel them to hang at Luke's without (I'm guessing) their daughter or granddaughter? And this, of course, presumes that Luke and Lorelai don't end up together. I'm not going to open that can of worms. My mail has been relatively (and blissfully) Gilmore-free lately. I'm just trying not to get upset by the thought of the show possibly returning for even a shortened season. I was so looking forward to the farewell.

http://tvguide.com/News-Views/Column...efault.aspx#02
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