IN BRIEF5/20/2001 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Wald takes over at Today show
NBC News named Jonathan Wald executive producer of the Today show last week. Wald, who had been producing the network's evening newscast, NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, replaces Jeff Zucker, named president of NBC Entertainment last December. Replacing Wald is Steve Capus, who has been producing The News With Brian Williams, the nightly MSNBC newscast, since 1997.
KHOU-TV news chopper crashes
KHOU-TV Houston reported no serious injuries following the crash of its helicopter onto the roof of its building Friday morning. The station reported that pilot Bob Stolting had almost landed the chopper when a warning light came on and he had to struggle with the aircraft. Stolting, an employee of the company from which the station leases the chopper, was treated and released at a local hospital. The station reported no major structural damage to the building.
Syndication for hit game shows
With ABC scaling back Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to two nights a week next fall, plans to syndicate the show are heating up. Executives at distributor Buena Vista Television declined comment, but sales executives are reportedly approaching stations about interest for fall 2002.
NBC Enterprises plans to launch Weakest Link into syndication. There's word it might push for a half-hour version, which stations would, hopefully, pair up with Millionaire. Insiders say a decision on the host of the syndicated Weakest Link could come in a couple of weeks.
MTV plans animated series
MTV has pushed several animated series into its 2001 development pipeline, including already green-lighted comedies Clone High and Time Boys. Clone High, executive-produced by Spin City co-creator Bill Lawrence, explores what happens when a group of high schoolers are cloned from the DNA of famous people. Time Boys is a new spin on MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head, following a group of twentysomething misfits. Other animated shows in development are Bloid, an interactive cartoon game show; MTV's Heckle and Jeckle, based on the classic 'toon birds; Left of the Dial, from Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist creator Tom Snyder; and Conspiracy 101, about a strange radio show.
Showtime OKs movie on school shootings
Showtime has approved original movie Bang, Bang You're Dead, set to star Ed's Tom Cavanaugh and The West Wing's Janel Moloney. Slated to air in 2002, Bang, Bang is based on the play of the same name, which looks into the thoughts of a student who shoots and kills his parents and classmates. Executive producer William Mastrosimone wrote the play after his son's school was canceled for a day following death threats made by a student.