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Saving the Blast for Last

May 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Despite a few jabs here and there, the network upfront presentations remained pretty clean. Until the last day of presentations. On-air talent from both The CW and Fox used the F-word during their appearances at their network homes' upfront events Thursday. Chris Rock, whose sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" is scheduled to air Sundays on The CW, told advertisers during a brief stand-up bit: "You better spend some motherf***ing money." Former "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Brad Garrett, whose new show "'Til Death" is set for Thursdays on Fox, also did a stand-up bit, during which he skewered Fox personalities and properties and their competition alike. "Is Ryan Seacrest gay?" Mr. Garrett asked. "It doesn't matter, I'm f***ing him anyway." We liked Mr. Rock's use better.

-Christopher Lisotta and Melissa Grego

'Everwood' Fans Deprived Of Closure

Fans of the WB drama "Everwood," which did not make it onto The CW's schedule, will have to live without story line resolutions beyond this season's finale. The show wrapped production months ago, well before the creative team knew the season finale would be the series finale, The CW President Dawn Ostroff said at a press conference following the first upfront for The CW. The scheduling decisions for The CW, which is being created by combining UPN and The WB, were nailed down just a few days ago. Asked if there is a possibility of an "Everwood" movie, Ms. Ostroff said she hasn't even had a chance to discuss it.

-Melissa Grego

Moonves: You Know Who I Am?

When a reporter misspoke during a CBS press breakfast Wednesday morning in New York, referring to the CBS schedule as "NBC's," CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves said, "Don't feel bad." Mr. Moonves then told reporters that an executive from a CBS affiliate recently called him and said, "Please renew '[My Name Is] Earl,'" the NBC breakout comedy. Mr. Moonves declined, with a laugh, to identify the confused station executive.-Melissa Grego

Sixth Sense

Maybe the folks at CBS and The CW don't have enough fingers to count networks, because during their presentations they repeatedly said that the number of networks had declined due to The CW's replacing The WB and UPN. That suggested that, somehow, Fox's MyNetworkTV is not quite a network. CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves and Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyers asserted there were now five major networks, but declined to elaborate. The CW President Dawn Ostroff, in response to a question, said that MyNetworkTV, with its stripped, short dramatic series, was "not doing what the other networks are doing." The CW's head of sales added that the ad community was looking at MyNetworkTV as a syndication play. But Nielsen Media Research is calling MyNetworkTV a limited network, just like UPN. Bob Cook, president of Fox's Twentieth Television, said MyNetworkTV indeed is a network. "We are going to have more in-pattern clearances than The CW. When you weigh our group of stations and what they have been averaging in prime time, we're tied or a little bit ahead of them," he said, adding, "We're taking a higher ground."

-Jon Lafayette