Briefly Noted

Apr 30, 2001  •  Post A Comment

`NYPD Blue’ heading to TNT, Court TV
Steven Bochco is singing the “Blues” no longer.
After recently settling his case with Twentieth Television for selling his show to FX for what he considered to be below-market rates, Mr. Bochco’s company has now agreed to hand cable rights to “NYPD Blue” to both TNT and Court TV. Episodes will begin airing as early as this fall on the two cable channels, with Court TV running episodes in prime time and on weekends, while TNT will run the series in early fringe Monday through Friday. Early numbers estimate the show pulled in well more than $1 million per episode between the two cable networks. Previously, the series pulled $400,000 per episode while running on FX. Bochco subsequently sued Twentieth for not getting fair market value by selling it to the Fox channel.
Microsoft, NBC merge Web finance units
In a move to cut costs and do more with less, Microsoft Corp. and NBC said they will merge their MSN MoneyCentral and CNBC.com operations into a more comprehensive personal finance Web site by summer. The move has been expected for some time as the five-year partners seek to combine their resources to create more powerful niche services built on their successful MSN.com model.
As it does with MSNBC.com, Microsoft will manage the site from its Redmond, Wash., offices. CNBC MoneyCentral, as it will be called, will not initially carry any special charges or subscription fees for its combined 16 million monthly unique users. An editorial board representing both companies will manage the site’s content. Advertising sales will continue to be handled by the MSN and MoneyCentral organization that now handles that task for Microsoft.
DreamWorks inks film deal with Turner
Turner Broadcasting System has entered into a second major output deal with DreamWorks SKG that will give Turner Network Television, TBS Superstation, Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network access to up to 60 motion picture titles in a second basic-cable network window, supplanting a typical broadcast syndication window.
Parties on both sides declined to release a dollar value for the licensing deal, which includes 2000 Academy Award-winning best picture “Gladiator,” among other high-grossing, acclaimed films from the independent studio headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.
Augmenting a deal TBS originally sealed for DreamWorks pictures in 1998 for its first basic cable TV window, the Turner networks would have a second exhibition window after HBO’s second premium cable window, according to Hal Richardson, DreamWorks’ head of Worldwide Pay TV and International Television. Under previous movie licensing deals, the food chain of TV exhibition windows starts with AOL Time Warner-owned HBO, The Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC (broadcast window) and TBS, then back to HBO and TBS for the final two showings.
The new deal gives the Turner networks access to nearly every DreamWorks title, starting with films released theatrically between 1997 and 2007, and stretches the basic cable TV rights as far out as 2015.
Among the other pictures headed to TBS are “Cast Away,” “Almost Famous,” “The Mexican,” “What Lies Beneath,” “Galaxy Quest,” “The Contender,” “The Haunting” and “Forces of Nature.” TBS’s Cartoon Network will also get in on the action, showcasing such DreamWorks titles as “Chicken Run,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “Antz” and “The Road to El Dorado.”
TNN `Counting’ on new series
TNN: The National Network has greenlighted “15 and Counting,” a series of pop documentaries exploring some of the most memorable people and stories of our time, though the subjects may have been famous-or infamous-for just 15 minutes. Gay Rosenthal Productions, part of the creative team behind VH1’s Emmy-nominated series “Behind the Music,” will produce 13 episodes of “15 and Counting.” The series will premiere on TNN this year. “`15 and Counting’ will define TNN’s brand; it will be the network’s signature series,” said Diane Robina, executive vice president and general manager of the cable network.
CNN/SI gives two shows green light
CNN/Sports Illustrated is introducing two weekly programs, “NASCAR Plus,” which debuted 6:30 p.m. April 23, and “Sports Illustrated-Cover to Cover,” which debuts 6:30 p.m. May 3. “NASCAR Plus” offers 30 minutes of NASCAR news and features plus in-depth analysis. “Sports Illustrated-Cover to Cover” will take a closer look at the pages of the magazine, giving viewers the story behind one story in each week’s issue.