Fast Track


U.S. Senators Program TMC

Four high-profile politicos have turned programmers for
Turner Classic Movies. The network asked four senators—two
Democrats and two Republicans—to select and introduce politically oriented
films. They'll be the marquee movies in a Thursday night theme lineup beginning
October 7 and leading up to the election. Vice-presidential candidate Sen.
John Edwards (D-N.C.) chose Stanley
's black comedy, Dr.
, in which a rogue military threatens the
peace and security of the world. Next in the rotation on Oct. 14 will be Sen.
John McCain (R-Ariz.), who picked Kubrick's
Paths Of Glory, about a
glory-seeking general. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.)
picked Dead Poets Society
to run Oct. 21; Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) picked
To Kill A Mockingbird to
run Oct. 28.

Feds Protect Digital-Sharing Software

In a decision that makes it harder for content producers to crack down
on illegal copying of their works, federal judges held that
Grokster and StreamCast Networks are not
liable for copyright infringement when individuals use their file-sharing
software to illegally swap copyrighted video, movies and music.

MLB to Pitch Baseball Net

Major League Baseball team owners have agreed to a
league plan to launch a baseball cable network by fall 2005. It is unclear if
the MLB-owned channel would program live games, but programming ideas include
spring training games, news conferences, classic games, minor league games,
softball and extensive highlights.

Court TV Taps Juris' Spark

Court TV CEO Henry
says, "I thought if you armed this guy with a network
with fuller distribution, strong ratings and deeper pockets, you'd be putting a
race-car driver behind a Ferrari." This guy is Fuse
President Marc Juris, who has been brought in as
general manager to add a youthful spark to the network and ratchet up
marketing. The network is trying to court a younger audience with more reality
and contemporary fare. Juris will lead that effort. With Court TV's crime and
investigation hooks, he envisions programming "everything from inventive
reality shows to compelling scripted series." Juris programmed Fuse, the thinly
distributed music channel on a shoestring and still managed to grab significant

Mandabach Exits Carsey-Werner

Caryn Mandabach, who has spent 20 years with
high-profile TV programmer Carsey-Werner Mandabach, first as
producer and eventually name-in-the-title partner, is exiting to hang out her
own shingle. Mandabach's resume includes The
Cosby Show
, Roseanne, That '70s Show,
3rd Rock From The Sun,
Grace Under Fire,
A Different World,
Cybill and
Grounded For Life.
Mandabach already has support—moral and possibly more—from Fox. "We've
always enjoyed working with her, and we hope to continue doing so in the
future," says Fox Broadcasting Entertainment President
Gail Berman.

NBC HD's Olympic Snafu

Some NBC HD viewers who tuned in at 8
p.m. for the Athens Summer Olympic Games opening ceremonies were surprised to
see the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City two years
ago. While the regular analog coverage of the ceremonies did begin at 8 on NBC,
the HD coverage that went to the 124 HD-capable affiliates wasn't scheduled to
begin until 9, due to a pre-planned hour delay. Instead, between 8 and 9, NBC
put together some bonus coverage in the form of an HDTV highlight reel of the
Salt Lake City opening. But with no crawl to explain the old footage, some
viewers were left collectively scratching their heads.