Hollywood Notes

Apr 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

NBC forges `Link’ showcase
NBC is scheduling a major showcase for its new midseason reality/game show offering, “Weakest Link,” on three consecutive nights this week beginning Monday, at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET). The network will juggle its lineup to accommodate “Link.”
Following its Monday premiere, “Weakest Link” will get an unusual 9:30 p.m.-to-10:30 p.m. Tuesday exposure, leading into a truncated half-hour version of “Dateline” (10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.) on Tuesday. Continuing to lead off that day will be an original episode of “The Fighting Fitzgeralds” (8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) followed by an original episode of soon-to-be-departing “3rd Rock From the Sun” and an original episode of “Frasier” from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Getting a one-week rest are modestly rated sitcoms “DAG” and “Three Sisters.”
On Wednesday, “The West Wing” and “Law & Order” will each move up an hour (to 8 p.m.-to-10 p.m. airings), with “Weakest Link” getting the closing hour. The acclaimed but ratings-challenged “Ed” will get a one-week rest.
Hosted by Anne Robinson-with the signature kiss-off line, “You are the weakest link … goodbye”-the quiz show import is billed as a combination of “Survivor” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
Mario Lopez joins `Other Half’
NBC Enterprises’ upcoming talk show “The Other Half” is getting a little blue now that Mario Lopez has signed to join the ensemble cast. The former “Pacific Blue” and “Saved by the Bell” star will join Dick Clark, Danny Bonaduce, and physician Dr. Jan Adams in voicing perspectives on a variety of issues from the male point of view. “The Other Half,” which will premiere on more than 75 percent of syndicated stations across the country this fall, is from the partnership of NBC, Gannett Broadcasting and Hearst-Argyle Television.
Suit spins on `Fifth Wheel’ revenues
One of the creators of Universal Television’s hit relationship show “Blind Date” is feeling like a fifth wheel. Series co-creator Matthew Papish claims in a lawsuit that he is being left out of revenue generated from Universal’s upcoming strip “The Fifth Wheel.” Mr. Papish founded Gold Coast Communications with “Blind Date” co-creator David Garfinkle, and a later agreement partnered them with Jay Renfroe. The lawsuit claims royalties stemming from any prequels or spinoffs of “Blind Date” should be divided equally.
“The Fifth Wheel,” which Mr. Papish claims is a spinoff of “Blind Date,” however, was developed by Mr. Garfinkle and Mr. Renfroe after they formed Renegade 38. Mr. Papish sued Mr. Garfinkle, Mr. Renfroe, Renegade and Gold Coast last week in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties. He is seeking his share of the revenue generated by the upcoming relationship show.
`Iyanla’ in the clear at KNBC in L.A.
Buena Vista Television finally found the third jewel in the triple crown of station markets, pinning down KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, for its upcoming talk show “Iyanla.” That takes the series’ total clearance past the 85 percent mark, including WABC-TV in New York and WBBM-TV in Chicago.
The NBC owned-and-operated station joins ABC, Gannett, Scripps-Howard, Cox and LIN stations in airing the show this fall. The series is executive-produced by Barbara Walters and her partner Bill Geddie.
`Mills Lane’ loses Paramount judgment
The trial is over for Paramount Domestic Television’s court-show strip “Judge Mills Lane.” Paramount has pulled the plug on the syndicated series, which will continue to air through the summer.
So far this season, the series has averaged a 1.7, putting it in ninth place among 11 court shows. Most recently it earned a 1.5, matching its worst rating ever and off 21 percent from last year. Earlier in the year, the Tribune stations announced they would not pick up the series for another season.