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Hollywood Notes

Mar 12, 2001  •  Post A Comment

King World hires three execs
A trio of executives has been charged with taking King World/CBS Enterprises to the next level.
King World Productions has tapped two executives for its programming department following the departure of Andy Friendly last week. Steven Nalevansky has been appointed senior vice president of programming and development, and Vanessa Coffey is the new vice president of development.
Mr. Nalevansky will oversee all development for King World, with a mandate to continue to build on its existing first-run slate as well as develop for all dayparts and mediums. Ms. Coffey will collaborate with Mr. Nalevansky to identify new material and nurture projects through the various stages of development.
Mr. Nalevansky was a founding partner of Montecito Valley Productions, where he spearheaded development on the talk-show pilots “The Real Deal” and “Live and Learn.”
Ms. Coffey recently served as executive producer with Film Garden Productions for two reality show pilots, “Intervention” for USA Network and “Women in Blue” for TLC.
Arthur Sando has been tapped as senior vice president for communications at CBS Enterprises, where he will oversee all publicity activities for CBS Enterprises’ subsidiaries. Most recently, Mr. Sando served as senior vice president of corporate communications at Winstar Communications.
NBC renews `Frasier’ for three years
NBC secured a three-year renewal last week for its 9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday comedy staple, “Frasier,” from Paramount Network Television. It has been reported that “Frasier” has been earning $5 million per episode this season. NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa declined to confirm that figure, but did reveal that the per-episode increase was in the 10 percent range.
If “Frasier” falls within the range of $5.5 million to $6 million per episode, it would be close to par with what 8 p.m. Thursday staple “Friends” is earning.
Jeffrey Zucker, president of NBC Entertainment, said “Frasier” is a “solid bet” to stay in the 9 p.m. Tuesday time slot where it has become a tentpole and lead-in springboard for freshman sitcom “Three Sisters.”
CBS cements Monday by renewing trio
CBS has given full-season renewal orders to its Monday comedies “The King of Queens,” “Yes, Dear” and “Becker.” With its recent two-year renewal of tentpole “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the Eye Network has made pickups of all four of its top-ranked Monday sitcoms for the 2001-02 season. CBS’s 8 p.m.-to-10 p.m. (ET) comedy rotation has ranked atop household and other key demo ratings for the last two seasons.
Eye sees May 3 as `Survivor’ finale
CBS has set Thursday, May 3, as the series finale for “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” but is playing it mum on whether an hour-long reunion special will follow the closer. CBS also announced the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, March 21, scheduling of “The First 24 Days: A Closer Look-Survivor: The Australian Outback,” which promises never-before-seen footage of the 16 contestants’ 24 days in the Outback. Because of CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA college basketball tournament March 22, the “Survivor” special is taking the Wednesday slot so CBS can extend “Survivor’s” Thursday episodes into the first two weeks of the May sweeps.
Bye, bye `Bette’: Midler gets the boot
After a much-ballyhooed launch in October, CBS decided to cancel its struggling Bette Midler sitcom last week. The last episode of “Bette” aired March 7, with the unheralded debut of Robert Hays as Ms. Midler’s new TV husband, replacing Kevin Dunn.
Series producer Columbia TriStar Television had shot 18 out of the 22 episodes CBS licensed for the series. There is one remaining produced episode, which will not make it to air. Despite the marquee power of Ms. Midler, “Bette” had been sinking steadily, averaging a 3.4 rating in the adults 18 to 49 demo and about 9 million total viewers a week this season.