Fast Track

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Going to NAB? Or RTNDA?

NAB 2003
officially opens its doors today, and the question of the week is just how many attendees will show up. Preregistration is in line with last year's numbers, and NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton
says that 50 international delegations are expected to attend, up from last year's 38. So attendance should be in line with last year's show, which NAB says attracted 92,350.

Also facing the challenge is RTNDA, which piggybacks its conference to the NAB show. Barbara Cochran, RTNDA president, says that preregistration is over 1,000, about 20% over last year's numbers, despite fears that the Iraq war might keep some newsies away.

Reality and Other Shows

NBC
is teaming up with Granada Entertainment USA
on a six-episode summer reality series, American Princess, which will bring 10 American girls to England to live the royal life. …

NBC's latest reality program, Most Talented Kid in America, started well, winning the 8 p.m. hour on Friday, March 28 in adults 18-49, with a 3.5 rating/11 share. …

The WB
has ordered six episodes of Who Wants To Be a Superhero?, with plans to match up real people who have an idea of what kind of superhero they want to be. The show is from comic-book legend Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, and Bruce Nash, producer of such reality shows as Meet My Folks on NBC and the upcoming Mr. Personality on Fox. Quite a résumé! …

UPN
will launch reality series America's Next Top Model on Tuesday, May 20 at 9 p.m., following the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show—featuring supermodel Tyra Banks—faces some stiff competition during its run, including the finale of Fox's American Idol. …

Food Network's 2003-04 menu includes 12 new series, specials and a dash of reality TV. Food says it is upping its programming budget nearly 60% this year. According to Kagan World Media
estimates, Food spent about $65 million on programming last year. Samples: Jamie's Kitchen: The Fifteen, celeb chef Jamie Oliver's search for 15 unemployed street kids to run his new restaurant, and How to Boil Water.

Weekly YES Story

Cablevision
subscribers saw the New York Yankees
win their season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays after the MSO cut another last-minute deal with sports net Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network. The agreement was pretty much the same as Cablevision and YES had agreed to earlier, but YES apparently balked (well, not in the baseball sense) at the last minute. Cablevision will carry the network for a year, after which the two companies agree to abide by terms set by an arbitrator.

People Actually Like Radio

According to a new Zogby
poll, a vast majority of radio listeners are satisfied with the news, information and entertainment they are getting out of their local radio stations. While unsatisfied listeners were the minority in all the demographic groups, the most likely groups to be unsatisfied were independent-voting, single college graduates living in a large Western city.

Zogby said 74% of the respondents said that they were getting at least as much or more variety from their radio stations as they did five years ago. There were no questions on the hot-button issue of consolidation. Pollster John Zogby
said, by excluding "politically charged" issues, the study was able to "get a pure idea of levels of satisfaction: Do they listen? Do they like?"

Thumped by Trump!

Survivor
producer Mark Burnett is making The Apprentice
and The Restaurant
for NBC, while The WB is tapping Burnett for upcoming surfing reality show Boarding House: North Shore
and sitcom Are We There Yet?
The biggest buzz is about The Apprentice,
in which 20 contestants get to master a business-oriented task to Donald Trump's satisfaction; he tosses them off the show if they blow it. But the winner gets a six-figure job working for The Donald (above).

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