News Articles

The week that was

12/02/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern

San Francisco buzz

NBC continued separate conversations last week with Young Broadcasting and Granite Broadcasting about purchasing either of the group's San Francisco station. Young's KRON-TV is currently the NBC affiliate, but the affiliation it set to move to Granite's KNTV in January. One source said talks with Granite are "more serious" and a deal could be struck with one or the other as early as this week.

Nothing but net

Shows are moving and shaking at the networks.

ABC
picked up five episodes—plus four scripts—of new Tuesday drama Philly. Not so lucky was new Friday drama Thieves,
which got the hook and will be replaced with specials for now. Reality show
The Runner,
tabled after Sept. 11, will stay that way for "a year or two," although the net plans to relaunch reality show The Mole II
this spring, as well as scripted sitcom The Job. …
The long-term future of newcomers
Inside Schwartz,
UC: Undercover
and Emeril
at
NBC
will be determined in the next four to six weeks. All are returning over the next two weeks. Weakest Link
will now feature celebrities in most shows and will return next season. …

Fox
is picking up full-season orders of new series Bernie Mac
and 24. That '70s Show
spin-off That '80s Show
debuts Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m. New drama Emma Brody
will move into
Ally McBeal's Monday time slot in March for a test run. …

UPN
will be putting new comedies As If
and Random Years
into its Tuesday 9 p.m. ET/PT slot in either March or April. The two will bump reruns of drama Roswell
. …

At deadline

ABC
outbid rival networks, paying upwards of $140 million for the broadcast rights to the first two Harry Potter
films. The sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
is expected to arrive in theaters next November. The split-window deal allows Disney to run the films on ABC and co-owned cable networks Disney Channel
and newcomer ABC Family. Disney gets the broadcast rights to each film for 10 years. Both Warner Bros. films will air on HBO prior to their broadcast debuts. …

Twentieth Television
is bringing out a new talk show with former Fox News Channel personality Rob Nelson. The Rob Nelson Show
has already been cleared on the co-owned Fox O&Os, covering 46% of the country.

Washington Watch

FCC Chairman Michael Powell
last week joined members of Congress and industry executives in a second meeting on how to jump-start digital TV—or else. "Everyone in that room left with the clear understanding that either the parties come up with a resolution or Congress will do it for them," said Ken Johnson, spokesman for House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.). …

MPAA President Jack Valenti
has assembled a working group of about 40 entertainment executives to develop Hollywood's strategy for helping with the government's antiterrorism effort. The entertainment industry is focusing its efforts in Hollywood, with most committee members based there. …

iBiquity Digital's standard for digital FM
radio has received major endorsements from U.S. and international technology advisory groups. Both the U.S. National Radio Systems Committee and the 189-member-country ITU last week urged adoption of the company's standard for in-band, on-channel technology. IBOC allows analog and digital broadcasts to be transmitted simultaneously on the same frequency.

That Internet just won't go away

According to UCLA's just-released annual study of Internet use, television viewing is the principal victim of the growth of the Internet. Said Jeff Cole, director of the university's Center for Communication Policy, "Without question, Internet users are buying some of their time to go online from the time they used to spend watching television." According to the study, "Internet users watch 4.5 hours per week less television than non-users." The study was based on a sample of 2,006 Internet users and non-users.

New homes

Pax TV, which has been carried in 49 of the top 50 markets, is now in all 50, thanks to a deal with AT&T Broadband in Pittsburgh (market 20). The MSO will distribute Pax programming via a cable channel to its 528,465 subs in the market.

September
October