The week that was

Author:
Publish date:

PROGRAMMABLE

Baby Emma
is good for Friends. Last Thursday's Rachel-gives-birth episode on NBC
scored a whopping 16.2 rating and 42 share in Nielsen fast nationals among adults 18-49, with 33.7 million viewers overall. That's the best performance of a Thursday-night episode of that series ever. ...

NBC Enterprises
has renewed syndicated talk strip The Other Half
for a second season in nine of the top 10 markets, representing 78% of the country. Groups renewing the show are the NBC O&Os, Hearst-Argyle, Gannett, Belo, Emmis, LIN
and Raycom. ...

4Kids Entertainment
has unveiled the name—Fox Box—and lineup for its new Saturday-morning children's block on Fox. The company paid $100 million for a four-year shot for the kids spot, which debuts Sept. 14. The schedule: Stargate Infinity
(8-8:30 a.m.); Ultraman Tiga
(8:30-9); Kirby
(9-9:30); Kinnikuman: Ultimate Muscle
(9:30-10); a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(beginning first quarter 2003, a second Ultraman
until then); more Ultimate Muscle
and Kirby
from 10:30 to 11:30 (they will be different episodes as well), and then a half-hour of Food Feud, touting the "secret art of culinary combat."

The lineup features predominantly Japanese imports. Per 4Kids' contract with Fox, there is one FCC-friendly show, Stargate Infinity
from DIC.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

Boston's Entravision-owned Univision
affiliate WUNI(TV)
became just the second Boston
area station to sign up for Nielsen's Local People Meter(LPM)
service. New Hampshire-based independent WNDS(TV) signed up only a few days before May sweeps.. No other Boston station has bought in. ...

California
could be the first state in the nation to pass safety standards related to ENG-van use, although it looks as though new rules are at least seven months away. Five labor union locals petitioned for the rulemaking to the California OSHA. Among the proposals are a call for level-indication devices in vans as well as constant-pressure mast switches that require constant attendance for raising of masts. KABC-TV
Los Angeles reporter Adrienne Alpert
suffered severe injuries and was hospitalized for months after the mast of an ENG van she was in hit an electrical wire two years ago.

FACES IN THE NEWS

Telling staffers she was tired of the morning grind, Kathy O'Hearn,
executive producer of CNN's
American Morning With Paula Zahn, stepped down Friday. In April, the show averaged a 0.5 rating. ...

Veteran KCAL(TV)
Los Angeles anchor Jerry Dunphy
suffered a heart attack last Wednesday night, new station owner CBS
confirmed. The station said it had no other information. Dunphy is an LA icon, having worked at KCBS
and KABC
prior to KCAL. ... WNYW-TVGood Day New York
anchor Jim Ryan
was slated for a triple bypass Friday after experiencing chest pains on Thursday. Ryan was expected to be in the hospital six days. ...

NBC
may not have professional football or basketball or baseball, but it's still got Bob Costas, who has been wooed by ABC
to do NBA
and Major League Baseball. Instead, he signed a multi-year pact to stay at NBC, where he'll cover golf, horse racing and more. ...

Paxson Chairman Bud Paxson
expects an arbitrator's decision on its complaint against NBC
late this summer. In presenting its case to the American Arbitration Association
in April, Paxson argued that NBC violated the terms of their strategic alliance by acquiring Telemundo. That acquisition created barriers to NBC's buying the two-thirds of Paxson it doesn't own and thus violated the pact, Paxson contends.

WASHINGTON WATCH

Sinclair Broadcasting
on Friday appealed a federal court ruling that forces the FCC to rewrite rules limiting duopolies. As it stands, Sinclair would have to sell stations in four markets. ...

Broadcasters should launch a research arm modeled after CableLabs,
said Maximum Service Television President David Donovan
in a Washington speech last week.

CORRECTION

In "MSOs play hard to get" in the May 6 issue, Millennium Digital Media was incorrectly identified as Millennium Cable.

Related