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Hot Off The Press! The Latest Television News and Info - Page 158  

post #4711 of 25503
Thread Starter 
I am going to be travelling the rest of the day, so the complete list of last week's prime time ratings will be posted later tonight, Los Angeles time -- about four to six hours later than I usually get them posted.

Sorry for any inconvenience.
post #4712 of 25503
Thread Starter 
The national ratings list for last week is still not available.
I will post it when it is.
post #4713 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Trump Redevelops His Own Series
By BILL CARTER The New York Times August 31, 2005

With all the attention surrounding the public rehabilitation of Martha Stewart and the new edition of "The Apprentice" she will star in for NBC starting Sept. 21, you might think that the star of that other edition of "The Apprentice" had turned into a shrinking violet, fallen off the radar screen, gone into hiding.

Uh, no.

Donald Trump emerged this week from a bit of enforced quietude - to allow Ms. Stewart her hour on the stage - rested and ready to send out a loud Trump-et blast of a message, along the lines of: I'm still here. And by the way, I'm better than ever.

" 'The Apprentice' has been a great success by any standard," he said. "And 'Apprentice' 4 is the best by far, the best show we've done."

This pronouncement is consistent with NBC's positioning of the show this season. Kevin Reilly, the president of entertainment for NBC, described Mr. Trump's show, which begins a new season Sept. 22, as being "right back on its game."

Both NBC and Mr. Trump are eager to get that "back on its game" message out to counter any suspicions that "The Apprentice" is a fading phenomenon, an impression that took some root last spring (aided by NBC's competitors, of course) because the third edition of the business-based reality series had experienced a noticeable ratings falloff. The drop was hardly calamitous, though: "The Apprentice" was still in the top 15 for the season.

Mr. Trump noted ruefully that the series NBC broadcast in the hour preceding his 9 p.m. show - notably the "Friends" spinoff, "Joey" - had experienced a ratings meltdown that surely damaged his own numbers, a point that Mr. Reilly acknowledged even more ruefully was true.

Still, NBC's message does imply that Mr. Trump's show was off its game at least a bit in "Apprentice" 3, and Mr. Trump said he thought he knew why. "The entire series I was angry," he said Monday, sitting behind his desk on the 26th floor of Trump Tower. The anger, he said, related to the selection of the cast for that installment, which the show's creator, Mark Burnett, set up as a competition between those with and without college degrees.

Mr. Burnett said, in a telephone interview: "The casting problem on 3 was completely my fault. Having book smarts versus street smarts seemed like a great idea but it changed the tenor of the show." It affected the reaction among the show's usually wealthy and well-educated audience, he said, adding, "I don't think people wanted to see potty-mouthed competitors."

Mr. Trump said he felt that the show's casting directors had not taken his suggestions. Remembering an open call of candidates last fall, when thousands of applicants turned up to Trump Tower, Mr. Trump said he spied several promising entrants that day.

Mr. Trump said he pointed them out. "I was very nice. I said, 'You see that guy in dreadlocks? I would like him in the show if possible.' There was a girl I wanted. I said, 'I'd like to see if you could have her in the show.' It wasn't typical Trump."

Mr. Trump said that when he arrived to begin shooting the series he was given a cast rundown, and none of his choices had made it. "I went through the roof," he said. "Then I became the real Trump - because I didn't like the cast."

Many of the show's fans, in chat-room comments, seemed to agree. Mr. Trump said: "I recommended these people. If I recommend in my company, it's over. I don't have to be a dictator. I say this is a good idea and people do it, if they're intelligent."

Mr. Burnett acknowledged the need to find suitable candidates for Mr. Trump. But he said casting reality shows was always hard because even if you like someone at first glance they could be eliminated in background checks.

He and his star came up with a plan to rectify the situation. Mr. Trump flew to Los Angeles last spring to conduct personal auditions with the 200 or so finalists for the new season. Mr. Trump said: "It was a great interview process. They were fighting like cats and dogs."

The result, he said, is "a real Trump cast." Of the 18 contestants, 17 were his picks, he said. "If I'm looking for somebody out of 18 people to work for me, how come somebody else is picking the 18 people?" he asked. "Doesn't make sense."

The new group includes an ex-N.F.L. football player, a former professional softball player and a Rhodes scholar with five degrees. Ah, but Mr. Trump's deft touch will be apparent in other selections, too.

"We have an ex-stripper who is tough as nails," he said. And then there is Jennifer Murphy. Mr. Trump, who claims a certain expertise in the area, described her as "one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen."

He said some of the show's producers advised him against selecting her: "They said she was too beautiful. I said, 'Excuse me, there is no such thing as too beautiful.' They said, 'Donald she's so beautiful, she's not credible.' I said, 'No. 1, she happens to be smart. No. 2, she's very beautiful - congratulations, she's going on the show.' There wasn't going to be another 'Apprentice' 3 thing where I end up with a cast where I have to pick people to work for me and I don't believe in them."

Mr. Trump admitted it wouldn't be easy to consider firing a bona fide beauty queen. "I try to be objective," he said. "But beauty is an unfair advantage for certain people. When they came up with the wonderful statement, all men are created equal, never has there been a more false statement. It sounds brilliant; it reads beautifully. But some people are geniuses. Some are beautiful."

The new "Apprentice" will contain the usual complement of giant American companies looking for extra commercial exposure by supplying tasks for Mr. Trump's candidates. George Lucas will ask for ideas for the release of the DVD of his latest "Star Wars" film. Bill Gates will be involved, Mr. Trump said, with a new Microsoft product.

As much as Mr. Trump asserts the return to quality in his contestants on "The Apprentice," he acknowledged the challenge of bumping the ratings up again. First, there is the still problematic lead-in from "Joey" and the fading comedy "Will & Grace." Then there is the competition.

Once again "The Apprentice" will face off against television's most-watched drama, "CSI" on CBS. And ABC is hoping to put a dent in the opening episode with the results show from its "dance-off" special, featuring the two couples who drew big ratings in the summer reality series "Dancing With the Stars."

And there is one other new competitor of sorts as well: Martha Stewart. Mr. Trump is a co-owner of the Martha Stewart edition of "The Apprentice," so as he pointed out, he has every incentive for it to do well. Within reason, of course.

He did tell NBC he had reservations about the network's plan to schedule the Stewart show on Wednesday nights, just one night before his own.

"Both Donald and Mark Burnett expressed concern about having to go on back-to-back nights," Mr. Reilly said. "I think there will be a core audience that watches both, but I also think they'll attract different audiences." He said he was confident that Mr. Trump's show would endure - rather essential for NBC to survive on Thursday nights this season.

"It still feels like a show that can have a long run," Mr. Reilly said.
post #4714 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Nielsen Notes
No place like 'Rome'

By Gary Levin USA TODAY

Built in a day. HBO's lavish historical series Rome got off to a solid start Sunday with 3.8 million viewers. That marked the pay channel's best series premiere since Deadwood (5.8 million) in March 2004, which benefited from a Sopranos lead-in of 10.1 million.

Diddy did it. The MTV Music Video Awards averaged 8 million viewers Sunday, off 22% from last year and marking the lowest-rated telecast of the late-summer ritual since 1997, when one-hit wonder Jamiroquai won video of the year. Still, the VMAs were summer's No. 2 cable program, behind an NBA playoff game.

Legal troubles. In a potentially bad harbinger for fall, ABC's relocated Boston Legal continues to struggle on Tuesdays, where a repeat averaged a series-low 4.8 million viewers. Legal ranked third behind Law & Order: SVU and CBS' Rock Star: INXS, which hit a series-high note for the results show the next night.

Over where? Steven Bochco's Iraq war drama Over There is headed down on Wednesdays, where last week's audience of 2.1 million viewers was half as large as the FX drama's premiere four weeks earlier. In contrast, the network's Tuesday firefighter series Rescue Me is building momentum, climbing to a season-high 3 million.

Bratty finish. After a promising July start, ABC reality series Brat Camp petered out with a third-place 6.4 million viewers for Wednesday's finale. Also wearing out its welcome: Bravo's Being Bobby Brown, which clocked 701,000 viewers for Thursday's finale.

Covering Katrina. Fox News led the news channels with about 4 million viewers for Sunday's prime-time coverage of the approaching hurricane, while The Weather Channel's Evening Edition averaged 3.3 million.

Season enders. Monk closed its case Friday with 5.3 million viewers, capping the USA series' most-watched summer season.

Less sweet, more filling. MTV's My Super Sweet 16 hit a ratings cavity Monday with 2.7 million viewers. Though still toothsome, that's down 26% from the prior week's season premiere.
post #4715 of 25503
Thread Starter 
August Cable News Numbers Total Day & Prime Vs. 2004

Primetime: FNC almost tripled CNN in August. FNC was up 32% vs. August 2004. CNN was down 19% and MSNBC was down 22% versus a year ago.

Total day: FNC more than doubled CNN. FNC was up 14% vs. August 2004. CNN was down 11% and MSNBC was down 27%.

> Last August was the Democratic National Convention, when CNN's ratings increased 168% and FNC increased 38% in primetime. These numbers will affect the August comparisons...
post #4716 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Nielsen Winners and Losers
The Oculus Network, Ad Nauseam

By Lisa de Moraes The Washington Post Wednesday, August 31, 2005; C07

Retreads rocked in the ratings last week. Of the 10 most watched programs, nine were repeats; only ABC's Monday preseason football game was original. And all of those repeats belonged to CBS, which notched its 13th consecutive weekly ratings win.

Here's a look at the week's wows and yikes:


"Rome." HBO really carped the diem Sunday when it bagged nearly 4 million viewers for the opening episode of its gory hot-men-in-togas drama. The show had to work especially hard to veni, vidi, vici those viewers, given that HBO did not serve up one of those "Sex and the City" or "Sopranos" lead-ins so sine qua non to the successful HBO series launch. (The debut of "Deadwood," for instance, in March '04, scraped together 5.8 million viewers off a "Sopranos" lead-in of more than 10 million; et tu the summer '01 unveiling of "Six Feet Under," which hung on to 5 million of the 6 mil who'd just finished watching the fourth season-opener of "Sex and the City.") "Rome" followed a whither-goest-"Rome" lead-in show so lame-us maximus HBO didn't even give it a name (calling it "interstitial programming"). It averaged just 1.8 million people following a "Sopranos" rerun that pulled in an even punier 1.1 million.

Katrina coverage . One man's natural disaster, another man's ratings bonanza. Coverage of Hurricane Katrina catapulted cable news networks to stellar ratings in prime time on Sunday. Fox News Channel shot up to more than 4 million viewers -- nearly 380 percent better than the same night last year -- while CNN climbed to nearly 2.3 million, which was an improvement of about 360 percent. Even MSNBC broke the 1 million mark and in so doing improved its year-ago numbers by more than 340 percent.


MTV Video Music Awards. You can call Diddy a lot of things -- Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Sean Combs, Sean Puffy Combs, the list goes on and on -- but you can't call him a good trophy-show host. Which explains, but only in part, why the VMAs this year pulled in a Nicole Richie-thin crowd of just 8 million. That's the lousiest number since 1997 for the annual orgy of couture catastrophes. As recently as 2002, 12 million people wouldn't have dreamed of missing it.

"Being Bobby Brown." Maybe ordering those extra episodes wasn't such a good idea. The Bravo reality series following the singer formerly known as interesting flamed out on Thursday with a series low 683,000 viewers.
post #4717 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Nets take rain check on disaster fare
Hurricane Katrina affects broadcast programming


As New Orleans struggles to survive the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, TV execs are combing their programming to make sure nothing gets on the air in the next few days that might trivialize real-life events.

At ABC, that meant temporarily pulling promos for the new fall skein "Invasion." The frosh drama revolves around the strange occurrences in a small Florida town following a devastating hurricane.

According to an Alphabet net rep, the promos will return to the air when execs feel it's appropriate. The creative elements of the promos will also likely be tweaked to avoid anything that might conjure comparisons to what happened in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Meanwhile, CBS said its two-part telepic "Category 7: End of the World" is still on tap for November sweeps. Movie, a sequel to last year's hit "Category 6: Day of Destruction," follows the path of a deadly superstorm as it makes its way to Washington, D.C.

"Category 7" won't air until Nov. 6; by then, life in New Orleans should be getting back to normal, and the aftermath of Katrina likely won't have an effect on its airing.

It's general practice for nets to practice caution in the wake of natural or man-made disasters. Broadcasters made several changes following the events of 9/11.

And last month, for example, ABC shelved a screening of "Reign of Fire" after the London subway bombings.

The 2002 movie, which takes place in post-apocalyptic London, was scheduled for July 7, the day of the London attacks. ABC aired "Big Fat Liar" instead.
post #4718 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Marc Berman's analysis of last week's network prime-time ratings have been posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
post #4719 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Tuesday's network prime-time ratings have posted at the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
post #4720 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Fox News draws hurricane crowd
Matea Gold Los Angeles TimesAugust 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina helped Fox News earn its largest audience of the year Monday, as an average of 2.8 million viewers throughout the day tuned in to the top-rated cable news network, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News' viewership was larger than the combined audiences of rival CNN, which averaged 1.8 million viewers, and MSNBC, which attracted 679,000.

The bump for Fox comes as its average prime-time audience swelled to more than 2 million in August, 32% over the same period last year. CNN drew an average prime-time audience of 748,000, down 19% from August 2004, when the network enjoyed huge gains with its coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

However, sister network CNN Headline News won an average prime-time viewership of 449,000 this month, a boost of 117% over last year, beating MSNBC, which fell 22% in prime time to 349,000 viewers.
post #4721 of 25503
Thread Starter 
The fading appeal of 'Boston Legal'
Reruns of ABC drama have slumped on Tuesdays

medialifemagazine.com--Absence has not made viewers any fonder of Boston Legal. Ever since the ABC show, booted from the schedule last spring after Grey's Anatomy took off on Sunday nights, returned earlier this month on a new night, it's been struggling.

Last night's episode averaged a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights. That's down 17 percent from a 1.8 during the week it returned to the schedule, Aug. 9, and not even half the 4.9 the show averaged during the regular season.

No one expected Legal, the first-year spinoff of ABC's long-running The Practice, to come anywhere near its regular-season numbers upon its Tuesday debut considering it led out of Desperate Housewives last year.

But a 1.65 average rating for four outings is pretty dismal.

Legal has finished third in its 10 p.m. timeslot the past four outings, behind CBS's reality show Rock Star and NBC repeats of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Legal went off the air with four original episodes still in the can in late March for what was supposed to be a limited engagement for Anatomy. Legal was supposed to return for May sweeps. But Anatomy did so well that ABC kept it in the slot through the May sweeps and pushed the remaining Legal episodes into season two.

It must have ABC wondering whether the show can rebound when the regular season begins next month. The network hoped Legal could help bring eyeballs to lead-in Commander-in-Chief, the much-hyped new show starring Geena Davis that will air at 9 p.m.

Based on summer reruns, that may not happen. Both shows premiere Sept. 27.
post #4722 of 25503
Thread Starter 
NBC U Slates Katrina Benefit

By Jim Benson Broadcasting & Cable

The NBC Universal Television Group, which has been active in raising money during previous national disasters, has scheduled a live benefit special, A Concert For Hurricane Relief, in high-definition on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC at 8 PM ET/PT on Friday.

The hour music- and celebrity-driven broadcast will air live on the East Coast, tape delayed on the West.
The telethon, hosted by NBC's Matt Lauer, will be broadcast entirely from 30 Rock.

The special will feature performances by artists with ties to the affected areas, including Tim McGraw, Harry Connick, Jr., and Wynton Marsalis, and feature an appearance by Leonardo DiCaprio, among others.

All viewers will be encouraged to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in support of hurricane relief through its website and donation hotline at either www.redcross.org or 1-800-HELP NOW.
post #4723 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Happy Birthday to "Hot Off The Press"

How could I have missed it? (How could you all have missed it?)

Yesterday was the first birthday of this thread (although Ken H didn't rename it for a couple of months).

Anyhow, the birthday candle was (easily) blown out!

post #4724 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Last week's network prime-time ratings have been posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
post #4725 of 25503
Happy Birthday...
post #4726 of 25503
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Happy Birthday to "Hot Off The Press"

How could I have missed it? (How could you all have missed it?)

Yesterday was the first birthday of this thread (although Ken H didn't rename it for a couple of months).

Anyhow, the birthday candle was (easily) blown out!

You mean to tell me it has been a year? Man, time goes by quickly. Congrats!
post #4727 of 25503
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

The fading appeal of 'Boston Legal'
Reruns of ABC drama have slumped on Tuesdays.

I think the operative word here is "reruns." Personally, I've been avoiding nearly all reruns this summer - except for any episodes that I may have missed the first time (which are extremely few thanks to TiVo and UTV)
post #4728 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Networks Plan Katrina Benefits

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com)NBC, MTV and its sister networks and BET are working on televised specials to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"A Concert for Hurricane Relief," the first of the specials, will air at 8 p.m. ET Friday (Sept. 2) on NBC and two of its sister cable channels, CNBC and MSNBC, the network announced Wednesday (Aug. 31). "Today" anchor Matt Lauer will host the hour-long telethon, which will air live on the East Coast and tape-delayed to viewers out West.

Money raised from the show will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Country music star Tim McGraw, along with New Orleans natives Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., are among the artists scheduled to perform.

BET, meanwhile, has joined with the Red Cross, the National Urban League and others to organize a 2 1/2-hour telethon on Friday, Sept. 9. The Viacom-owned network will kick off the telethon with a special episode of its music show "106 & Park" at 6 p.m. ET, with the telethon set for 7:30 p.m. The talent lineup for the BET show isn't confirmed yet.

MTV, along with sister nets VH1 and CMT, will air a live special Saturday, Sept. 10 as the cornerstone of what MTV calls an ongoing campaign for relief. The special will feature performances from Green Day, Gretchen Wilson, Ludacris, Rob Thomas and Alicia Keys, among others. The three channels will also launch an awareness campaign to tell viewers how they can donate or volunteer their time.

Additionally, the CBS soap opera "Guiding Light" will begin airing public-service announcements Friday, featuring cast members Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer about how viewers can help. Louisiana native Trent Dawson of "As the World Turns" will also tape PSAs.

After plowing across South Florida last week, Katrina regained steam and hit Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as a massive Category 4 storm on Monday (Aug. 29). Much of the city of New Orleans is under water, and the majority of its residents have evacuated the city. Estimates of the death toll range from a few hundred to thousands, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.
post #4729 of 25503

I think the operative word here is "reruns." Personally, I've been avoiding nearly all reruns this summer - except for any episodes that I may have missed the first time (which are extremely few thanks to TiVo and UTV)

That is an interesting point that seems to be often overlooked about the PVR effect. It used to be that if I was interested in a show then even during rerun season I might tune in or at least check the TV guide to see whether I had already seen it. But now I just assume that if it's a rerun then it is of no interest, since my PVR would have already shown it to me.

I don't believe I have watched a rerun of anything all summer.

- Tom
post #4730 of 25503
Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

That is an interesting point that seems to be often overlooked about the PVR effect. It used to be that if I was interested in a show then even during rerun season I might tune in or at least check the TV guide to see whether I had already seen it. But now I just assume that if it's a rerun then it is of no interest, since my PVR would have already shown it to me.

I don't believe I have watched a rerun of anything all summer.

- Tom

Neither I have. Last night I looked at House for awhile because people were complaining about PQ, but other than that I haven't seen 5 mins of any show being re-run.
post #4731 of 25503
Ironically enough, the only rerun I have watched all summer is Boston Legal :-) My wife and I think the serious is hilarious. Really hope it makes it through this season.
post #4732 of 25503
Thread Starter 
I agree with the previous few posts.
The summer rerun season seems so much longer these days when your DVR has made sure you catch all episodes of your favorite programs during the season.
post #4733 of 25503
Well ... I did make an exception for Veronica Mars on CBS ... since those might be the only episodes I'll ever see in HD.
post #4734 of 25503
Thread Starter 
More viewers wired to cable

By Dusty Saunders Rocky Mountain News August 31, 2005

It's been a long, cold summer for the broadcast networks.

Cold from the perspective of Nielsen audience ratings that showed viewers switched to cable in prime time in greater numbers than ever before.

According to Nielsen data, released last week by the Turner Broadcasting Co., basic cable channels had a best-ever 61 household share between May 30 and Aug. 21. That figure was up 7 percent over last summer's 57 percent cable share.

The broadcast networks were down 12 percent in audience shares compared to the summer of 2004.

Such figures represent the largest single summer-season drop for the networks since 1997.

And the decline marked the fifth consecutive summer that cable has had more viewers than network television.

The network decline also was evident in demographics with the six networks down 14 percent in the key 18-to-49 age group compared to last summer.

Hardest hit in the audience decline were NBC and the WB, with the former down 42 percent in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Is hemorrhaging viewers an apt phrase?

Another positive figure for cable: Nielsen says overall summer cable viewing continues to rise, with the average number of hours this summer growing to 15.8, compared to 11.2 five summers ago.

NBC in particular and the networks in general will attribute part of the decline to a lack of Summer Olympics coverage that NBC aired from Athens in 2004.

But other major factors exist, including the airing of a batch of tacky, short-lived reality series that never caught on. Also, the cable networks aggressively programmed new series, while the networks continued to offer repeats of their popular offerings.

First-run cable drama series scoring with audiences include Monk and The 4400 (USA); The Shield and Rescue Me (FX); Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi); and The Closer and Wanted (TNT).

What would you choose - one of the above series or network reality junk like Meet Mister Mom, Princes of Malibu or Tommy Hilfiger's rip-off of The Apprentice?

The only noteworthy summer reality series was ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which produced strong audience ratings and lots of controversy because of its disputed championship finale.

Evidently the networks' old saw, "It's not a repeat if you haven't see it," didn't really apply this summer even though the repeat schedule was higher than normal.

Also adding to cable's growth was the rising popularity of NASCAR telecasts and the expanded coverage of the NBA playoffs.

Meanwhile, the networks seem content to sit by and watch as cable picks up summer viewers.

And cable viewing can be habit-forming.

The days when network television would experiment with quality programming seemingly are gone forever.

Recall CBS' entertaining Northern Exposure, which premiered in midsummer and went on to be a favorite both with critics and viewers?

That was July 1990 - almost ancient history.
post #4735 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Hey, Aren't You ?
Not Anymore As Familiar TV Faces Find New Roles

By Walt Belcher Tampa Tribune

It's time to play "where have I seen that face before?"

In a few weeks, we'll be up to our eyeballs in new and returning series. And we will see familiar faces in new places.

For example, that new blond lawyer on "Boston Legal" is Julie Bowen, who used to be the object of desire on NBC's "Ed."

A new casino owner on "Las Vegas" is Lara Flynn Boyle, who used to be a lawyer on "The Practice."

Chris Noth, who was Mike Logan on "Law & Order" before he was Mr. Big on "Sex and the City" is back as Mike Logan on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Kaley Cuoco ("8 Simple Rules") will be a young witch who joins the family of witches on The WB's "Charmed."

Lauren Holly, of "Picket Fences" and "Chicago Hope," joins CBS' "NCIS" as director Jenny Shepard, a woman who has a romantic history with Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

NBC's "ER" adds a nurse: Kristen Johnston, best known as a tall, goofy alien on "3rd Rock From the Sun."

On Fox's "House," Sela Ward, introduced in a two-episode arc last year, joins the cast as a hospital lawyer.

Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on both "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel," joins UPN's "Veronica Mars" as a trophy wife.

Another former "Law & Order" cop, Benjamin Bratt, is now a Pentagon hotshot on NBC's new "E-Ring."

Don Johnson, sleek and cool in "Miami Vice," is chunky and slobbish as a lawyer on The WB's "Just Legal."

Mathew St. Patrick, once the gay policeman on "Six Feet Under," plays a detective investigating a murder on Fox's new "Reunion."

David Boreanaz, formerly a reformed vampire on "Angel" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is a dashing FBI agent on Fox's forensic drama "Bones."

Jared Padelecki, who was Rory Gilmore's first love, Dean, on "Gilmore Girls" is a ghost buster on The WB's new "Supernatural."

Alyson Hannigan, the lovable lesbian witch from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is a ditzy newlywed on the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," along with Neil Patrick "Doogie Howser" Harris.

On the CBS comedy "Out of Practice," Stockard Channing, former first lady on "The West Wing," is a bickering doctor and estranged wife to Henry Winkler, Fonzie on "Happy Days."

Nicholas Brendon, a goofy sidekick on "Buffy," is a goofy cook on Fox's comedy "Kitchen Confidential."

Gail O'Grady, a nice Catholic mom on "American Dreams," is a sexy real estate agent on ABC's comedy "Hot Properties."

A dedicated high school principal on "Boston Public," Chi McBride is a chief of a San Francisco police unit on Fox's "Killer Instinct."

Another "Boston Public" alumnus, Michael Rapaport, is a nutty father on Fox's "The War at Home."

A third "Boston Public" player, Jeri Ryan, also of "Star Trek: Voyager" fame, is joining Fox's "The O.C." as a recovering alcoholic who becomes friends with Kirsten (Kelly Rowan).

Thomas Gibson, the uptight hubby on "Dharma and Greg," is an FBI profiler on "Criminal Minds" with Mandy Patinkin, formerly of "Chicago Hope" and "Dead Like Me."

Fighting alien invaders on the CBS thriller "Threshold" are Charles S. Dutton, who starred on "Roc"; Carla Gugino, who starred on "Karen Sisco"; and Brent Spiner, of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Sara Gilbert, a teenage daughter on "Roseanne," is a grown daughter on The WB comedy "Twins," and Mark Linn-Baker ("Perfect Strangers") is her father.

Angie Harmon, a district attorney on "Law & Order," is a fertility doctor on NBC's "Inconceivable."
post #4736 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Those Washington folks sure know how to have a good time!
NAB Skewers Cable

WASHINGTON, DC---Broadcasters lampooned their cable competition Wednesday in a lunch for journalists at NAB's D.C. headquarters.

"The better the lunch, the better the turnout," said NAB President Eddie Fritts to a tableful of scribes scarfing salmon and "heirloom tomato mosiac," which was high-falutin menu-speak for tomato salad.

The point of the lunch was to impress on everybody in earshot that broadcasters are lobbying out the wing-wang for a law to require cable to carry multicast digital signals, which they say will spur cable competition and local programming.

NAB execs were armed with studies and talking points and vowed that there would be multicasting when the smoke cleared and the Senate and House Commerce Committees had finished with their respective bills, likely by something next month.

But the lunch was also an opportunity to poke some serious fun at the cable competition.

While the NAB menu featured the "heirloom" salad--it tasted fresh to me--and "chicken piccata and lemon-crusted salmon," the "Cable Bill of Fare" menu served up crackers for $63, "light, flaky and served with the condiment of your choice," with "an additional charge of $8 for each condiment": Water, $16.95, "Customers are subject to an additional $25 new customer fee for the first serving and a charge of $13 for each additional refill"; and dessert, with the note: "Please contact your server for available desserts in your area."

The menu, which had a length of cable stuck inside it, ended with the caveat: "Service fees not included in new customer charge. Prices do not include applicable taxes, service or franchise fees. Pricing, menu, and specials may change and may vary by customer."

No jokes about "a la carte" or that servers "would not carry" the food to your table, however. Missed opportunity there, I think.

According to Fritts, some of the salmon that was served--on skewers--had been caught by Legislative Affairs guru John Orlando during a fishing trip in Alaska with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

He was "multicasting" said Fritts to accompanying groans from the tables, or was that just the overstuffed journalists regretting that last bite of giant "Multicasting=More Local Choice" cookie.
post #4737 of 25503
Thread Starter 
A battle for good hearts
Net competish brewing over Katrina goodwill

By JOSEF ADALIAN variety.com

Multiple telethons to help raise coin for victims of Hurricane Katrina began taking shape Wednesday -- but at least one such effort is sparking some behind-the-scenes controversy.

Execs at ABC, CBS and Fox are putting together the most ambitious project, a one-hour live broadcast similar to the post-9/11 Joel Gallen-produced "A Tribute to Heroes" telethon.

New Orleans-born Ellen DeGeneres has expressed an interest in hosting the commercial-free special. It's believed Gallen has been approached to produce, perhaps in conjunction with Ken Erlich. Former William Morris worldwide TV topper Sam Haskell -- a Mississippi native who maintains deep ties to the region -- has also been involved in organizing relief efforts.

Nothing was final late Wednesday, including producers or talent, but broadcasters were looking at airing the special Tuesday at 8 p.m. Wednesday may also be an option.

Feed of the special will be made available to all broadcasters, and by late Wednesday, NBC, UPN and the WB had all committed to joining ABC, CBS and Fox in airing next week's telethon.

Plans for the multiweb telethon were proceeding even after NBC Universal surprised its broadcast peers by unilaterally announcing its own one-hour telethon, which will air Friday night on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC.

Soon after NBC U unveiled its fund-raiser, MTV Networks announced plans for a Sept. 10 fund-raiser across all of its outlets. Peacock-owned Telemundo is also planning a fund-raiser for this Friday night, while Jerry Lewis said he'll donate $1 million from this week's MDA telethon to disaster relief.

But it was the Peacock project that raised eyebrows -- and ire -- across town. The reason: It came together so quickly, and despite the fact that the multinetwork telethon was already in the very early planning stages, according to multiple industry insiders.

What's more, execs at other nets worried that NBC's effort would dilute the talent pool and audience potential for a single pan-network broadcast.

Peacock said it was simply trying to begin raising funds as quickly as possible. New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. called NBC U TV topper Jeff Zucker to suggest the quickie broadcast, according to one network insider.

That insider suggested Connick begged Zucker to air a fund-raiser as soon as possible and said Connick's schedule played a key role in the decision to air the special this Friday.

Skeptics at rival nets noted that Friday is one of the least-watched nights on television, and that NBC U was not airing its telethon on Peacock-owned USA or Sci Fi -- two nets that have strong Friday lineups.

An NBC U spokeswoman scoffed at the notion that the Peacock's plans were anything but virtuous.

"This is not about competition. This is about raising money for those in need," she said. "We're interested in helping out the victims of the hurricane. We can't raise enough money."

Rep said NBC's telethon will be made available to other networks and said the Peacock is "interested in joining any other efforts."

Execs at other nets said it was understandable that NBC would want to begin the fund-raising effort as soon as possible. Numerous local stations, including many network affils, were already in the process of mounting localized fund-raisers.

What peeved the Peacock's peers was the net's decision to announce its telethon without checking with other broadcasters, particularly since 9/11 seemed to set a precedent for the Big Six abandoning competition in times of national crisis.

Though they never went public with their feelings, several network execs were also puzzled by the Peacock's decision to mount a tsunami relief telethon last January without trying to enlist the support of non-NBC U outlets.

NBC insiders said the hurricane telethon was announced quickly because of the need to attract top talent in a short timeframe. Late Wednesday, Connick, Tim McGraw and Wynton Marsalis were the only scheduled performers; Matt Lauer will host from Peacock's studios in Rockefeller Plaza and Leonardo DiCaprio will appear.

Despite the behind-the-scenes brouhaha, in the end, all of the Big Six decided to put aside deep rivalries in order to "do what's best for the people impacted by this," as one exec put it.

Top execs from several networks were said to be in communication with one another throughout the day Wednesday, trading ideas and ironing out details.

Reps for ABC, CBS and Fox declined comment.

Meanwhile, the aftermath of Katrina continues to dominate cable news, while ABC, CBS and NBC all preempted an hour of repeats for primetime news specials devoted to the hurricane devastation.
post #4738 of 25503
Thread Starter 
ABC Delays 'Invasion' Promos

By Scott Collins Los Angeles Times

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is forcing ABC to delay the marketing for its new disaster-themed thriller "Invasion."

The drama from Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Shaun Cassidy concerns a park ranger and his family whose lives take bizarre turns after a hurricane devastates their hometown.

"Invasion" is among the most highly anticipated fall premieres. But as the overwhelming destruction of Hurricane Katrina dominated newscasts and headlines Wednesday, ABC yanked on-air promotions for the series. The promotions will probably return later, albeit with references to the show's fictional hurricane downplayed or removed.

At the moment, ABC said, it does not plan to move the Sept. 21 premiere. "As with anything as serious as this, we are taking great efforts to assess sensitivities with regard to our series," the network said in a statement.

"They're in a tough spot," said Shari Anne Brill, vice president of ad firm Carat USA in New York. "Maybe if they delayed [the launch] for a couple of weeks, it might be all right."
post #4739 of 25503
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

Well ... I did make an exception for Veronica Mars on CBS ... since those might be the only episodes I'll ever see in HD.

What, your local UPN affiliate not in HD?

post #4740 of 25503
Thread Starter 
Wednesday's network prime-time ratings have posted at the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
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