Hollywood Notes

Feb 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

CBS takes bite of `Big Apple’
CBS is looking to make the Thursday battle with NBC even more interesting by adding the midseason David Milch-created cop drama “Big Apple” to run in the 10 p.m.-to-11 p.m. (ET) slot opposite NBC’s “ER” starting March 1.
“Big Apple” stars Ed O’Neill (formerly of “Married … With Children”), Michael Madsen (“Reservoir Dogs”) and David Strathairn (“L.A. Confidential”).
CBS hopes to take advantage of the ratings springboard from “Survivor: The Australian Outback” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” at 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. by putting “Big Apple” in the slot now held by newsmagazine “48 Hours.” “Big Apple” will also be getting special airings at 9 p.m. on two Wednesdays, March 14 and March 21, to accommodate CBS’s coverage of the NCAA men’s college basketball championship tournament during those two weeks. “Survivor” will also air at 8 p.m. and “48 Hours” at 10 p.m. on those two Wednesdays to accomodate the hoops schedule.
Downey to do eight more `Ally’ episodes
Actor Robert Downey Jr., who is awaiting trial on drug-possession charges, has signed on to guest-star in eight additional episodes of Fox’s 9 p.m. (ET) Monday drama “Ally McBeal.” Mr. Downey appeared in 10 episodes as lawyer Larry Paul at the start of this season, and an on-screen romantic fling with “Ally” star Calista Flockhart helped spike ratings for the show and earned him a Golden Globe Award last month. He has also been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a TV Guide Award.
gets new name
Carsey-Werner Co., the prolific independent series producer of shows such as “Roseanne,” “The Cosby Show” and “That ’70s Show,” is changing the company’s name to Carsey-Werner-Mandabach. The name change, the company said, is, “recognizing the contributions” of longtime partner Caryn Mandabach, who began her collaboration with company principals Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner as a producer on “The Cosby Show” in 1984.
Kissinger promoted at Studios USA
David Kissinger, president of programming for Barry Diller’s Studios USA Television since April 1999, has been promoted to president of the newly bannered USA Television Production Group, a division of USA Networks. Mr. Kissinger, who replaces Robert Fleming, will add oversight of TV series production, business affairs, administration and human resources to his responsibilities.
Mr. Fleming, a five-year veteran of the network production division, is stepping down to pursue unspecified outside opportunities.
Ripa reaps ratings rewards for `Regis’
Although Regis Philbin boosted his audience as a solo act, it became apparent last week that adding new blood can help it even more. The addition of Kelly Ripa as co-host of Buena Vista’s “Live! With Regis and Kelly” gave the program its top numbers since Kathie Lee Gifford’s farewell in July. Her debut show earned a 5.1/18 in metered markets, up a full ratings point and three share points from January’s average and up 0.8/2 from a year ago.
`Bravest,’ `Talk’ chalk up clearances
“The Bravest” and “Talk or Walk” solidified their positions for next season with key clearances. Tribune Entertainment has now boosted clearances of upcoming strip “Talk or Walk” to 90 markets, representing 74 percent of the country. The relationship-oriented talk show was sold to six Clear Channel stations, including WFTC-TV in Minneapolis, WPTY-TV in Memphis and WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, Fla. Other stations picking up the series include Gannett’s KPNX-TV in Phoenix and Landmark’s WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tenn. Hearst Entertainment has secured the country’s top market for upcoming weekly reality series “The Bravest.” With New York station WCBS-TV now on board, the company has cleared eight of the top 10 markets, including KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and WBBM-TV in Chicago.