WB Elects Jack & Bobby
The WB has made its first fall pickup, committing to a full 22 episodes of young-skewing drama Jack & Bobby, which is produced by co-owned Warner Bros. One of the deciding factors was the show's popularity with an upscale audience. According to the network, the show scored with its target 18-34 audience, as well as viewers in households with incomes of over $75,000.
Just Say No to Deregulation
Academics and researchers dueled over the issue of media concentration last week. The venue was a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, where committee Chairman John McCain concluded that the NAB would "probably prevail here again"—meaning, no major rollbacks of current deregulatory FCC policies. It may provide even more deregulation as the FCC works to rewrite a rule remanded to it by a Philadelphia appeals court.
Pauley Demoted in Two Markets
NBC Universal's The Jane Pauley Show has been moved out of key news lead-in time periods in two more markets. Paramount's Judge Judy is switching places with Pauley at 4 p.m. on Hearst's KDSU New Orleans. Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Paramount's The Insider replace it at 4 p.m. on Fisher's KATU Portland, Ore. That makes four moves out of early fringe for Pauley (see Syndication, page 19). "We are working closely with our partner stations to address dynamics in selected markets. In some cases, we are shifting time periods in an effort to continue growth of The Jane Pauley Show," says an NBC Universal rep. "We've already seen some positive results."
DTV Compromise Passes
A compromise spectrum-reclamation amendment passed the Senate last week. It would require broadcasters occupying channels 62-69 to give up their analog spectrum by Dec. 31, 2007, earlier than other broadcasters. One caveat: It allows them to keep the channels longer if giving them up would disrupt viewers—and if no local emergency departments need them. The wording was a compromise between Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), who wanted a hard giveback date for all spectrum and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), who wanted to give broadcasters plenty of waiver wiggle room.
Better Ad Returns
Arbitron, Nielsen parent VNU and ad client giant P&G are testing portable people meters to gauge return on ad dollars. The new national marketing service would pay volunteers to carry Arbitron's portable, pager-like meters. Data would measure exposure to multiple media sources, then correlate it with information on the volunteer's subsequent shopping/purchase behavior. The idea is to give advertisers a better measure of the point-of-purchase bang they get for their marketing buck.
New Script for Bunim-Murray
The creator of Real World is going to start creating imaginary ones, too. Reality producer Bunim-Murray Productions is teaming with Gregory Bonann's Tower 18 to produce Point Dune, a one-hour scripted drama set in Southern California. It's Bunim-Murray's first venture into a scripted-drama series.
TBS Delivers Hot Promo
To plug its first doubleheader since acquiring rights to the Big 12 and PAC-10 college football games in 2002, TBS is teaming up with Mangia Media. They plan to deliver 250,000 TBS football-branded pizza boxes to major-market munchers in L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver and St. Louis. Some of the boxes will include a first-of-its-kind motion-sensor audio chip to drive the TBS message home.