Lost World isn't
New Line action hour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World
is not at the end of its rope after all.
With production partner Canada-based Telescene out of business, Lost World
was thought to be history, even though cleared for the 2001-02 season in 95% of the country. Enter Australia-based production company Over the Hill Gang (James Woods film Race to Space), which will help bankroll the third season. David Spiegelman, New Line's executive VP of distribution, says the company "fought the whole summer long to keep the show on." New Line has also just sold the off-syndication rights to the first two seasons to TNT, which will strip the series at 4 p.m.—S.A.
The Television Bureau of Advertising has decided not to continue holding an annual marketing conference at the NAB spring convention, a TVB spokesman confirmed. It instead plans to stage the conference at the New York Auto Show next March. The idea is to get the attention of car makers and dealers, stations' largest ad category. The Auto Show is also looking for a greater presence from the TV and ad communities. Separately, TVB officials continue to talk to NATPE about some sort of presence at its convention.—S.M.
USA Network's celebritycam caught CBS news icons Mike Wallace (below) and Morley Safer in the stands at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York last Wednesday night for the match between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. But across town at the Marquis Hotel it was black tie, not tennis whites, and 60 Minutes
was winning four Emmys—six, counting the two brought in by 60 Minutes II—in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' news and documentary awards. A 60 Minutes
representative said Emmy-nominee Wallace decided to let producers Peter Klein and Tricia Sorrells, who worked with him on a piece about small pox, accept the award. Wallace, a tennis fanatic, is a regular at the Open and the Emmys. The Emmy he won last week was his 20th.—D.T.
Show me the money
Paramount has reportedly been outbid for Universal dating strips Blind Date
and The Fifth Wheel. Startup Studio M is said to have offered $20 million for the two shows. Studio M, in business less than two years, is headed by Max Keller, former producer of syndicated Acapulco H.E.A.T.
The studio has been distributing blocks of music programming. Because of its youth, insiders say, Universal parent Vivendi is making sure it has the money. Universal reportedly has been asking $25 million to $30 million for the shows. No one at Studio M, Paramount or Universal would comment.—S.A.
Mass Media Bureau Chief Roy Stewart will be back, but in a different role in the reorganized FCC of Chairman Michael Powell. FCC sources say the FCC plans to combine the Mass Media and Cable Services Bureaus and the satellite-TV section of the International Bureau into one superbureau under current Cable Services Bureau Chief Ken Ferree. Industry sources said Stewart had conducted a behind-the-scenes campaign to head the superbureau. But that campaign apparently fell short.
Stewart told B&C Friday he would accept a job as a top deputy in the superbureau, where he would play a "significant role" in TV and radio licensing and have "some input on satellite TV and cable." Earlier, at the NAB Radio convention, Stewart allayed broadcasters' concerns that their interests would not get sufficient attention in the FCC's new order, saying Powell's plan is not "anti-broadcaster" but rather an effort to push broadcasters into the digital age.—B.M.