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Hollywood Notes

Mar 5, 2001  •  Post A Comment

NBC takes off with Louis-Dreyfus pilot
NBC has made a pilot commitment to a fall 2001 sitcom starring former “Seinfeld” cast member Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from independent studio Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Co.
The yet-to-be-titled sitcom, to be executive produced by former standup comic Brad Hall-Ms. Louis-Dreyfus’ husband-will feature the actress as a down-and-out lounge singer.
In other midseason scheduling moves, NBC Entertainment President Jeffrey Zucker said British game show import “The Weakest Link” will get an April 16 start in the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. (ET) time period as part of a Monday evening revamping that also includes new drama “First Years” going in the 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. slot starting March 19.
Fox, ABC, The WB making moves
Coming out of the February sweeps, Fox, ABC and The WB began their typical post-sweeps programming chess moves for midseason.
Fox Entertainment Group President Gail Berman announced “The Lone Gunmen” will kick off in the 9 p.m. (ET) Sunday slot (temporarily in place of “The X-Files”) starting March 4 before it relocates to the 8 p.m. Friday slot in April. Reality series “Boot Camp” is set to begin Wednesday, March 28, in the 9 p.m. time slot. But Ms. Berman said no concrete date has been set on “Love Cruise.”
ABC has the new Damon Wayans-led sitcom “My Wife and Kids” set to bow Wednesday, March 28, in the 8 p.m.-to-8:30 p.m. slot. And the Alphabet Network has “What About Joan” (formerly titled “The Joan Cusack Show”) set to go in the 9:30 p.m. Tuesday slot coming out of “Dharma & Greg” starting March 27. Previous 9:30 p.m. occupant “The Geena Davis Show” is temporarily out of the schedule. The WB network is giving its midseason animation comedy “The Oblongs” triple exposures-at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, April 1. “The Oblongs” will then settle into its normal 8:30 p.m. Sunday slot April 8.
“The Oblongs” replaces the ensemble sketch comedy “Hype,” which WB Entertainment co-President Jordan Levin confirmed has been canceled.
CBS loves `Raymond’ even more
In a move to lock up its proven 9 p.m. Monday sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS Television Network President Leslie Moonves announced that the Eye Network closed a two-year renewal deal (through the 2002-03 season). The Monday night tentpole is rumored by sources to be guaranteed $3 million per episode for the next two seasons.
Further down the road, Mr. Moonves also closed a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to license the fall 2003 broadcast rights to current hit film “Hannibal,” starring Anthony Hopkins.
Tribune helps sell NBC syndie shows
NBC’s new syndication division will tap Tribune Entertainment to handle barter sales for NBC’s upcoming talk show, the first for the fledgling distributor. Barter rights for NBC Enterprises’ “The Other Half” and “George Michael’s Sports Machine” have been handed to Tribune. Only last month, Tribune picked up barter rights for Hearst Entertainment’s programs.
“The Other Half” is a new hour-long strip hosted by Dick Clark, Danny Bonaduce, Steve Santagati and Dr. Jon Adams. The talk show is cleared in more than 70 percent of the country and is being sold on a 101/2 national/31/2 local split. “George Michael’s Sports Machine” will enter its 18th season and is being offered on a 31/2 national/ 31/2 local split.
`Attorney’ atop Marcia Clark’s docket
This year’s top first-run rookie strip is adding another legal eagle to the mix. Marcia Clark-the lead prosecutor in O.J. Simpson’s criminal trial-will tape three cases next week for Twentieth Television’s “Power of Attorney,” which features Gloria Allred, Ed Masry and Ms. Clark’s fellow ex-Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden.
If things go well at the tapings, Ms. Clark could be wooed for a full-time gig on the syndicated television docket, according to sources.