The WB unveils schedule
Los Angeles-The WB will add one drama, five comedies and two reality series to its fall schedule, which will be announced Monday in New York. The WB will move “Gilmore Girls” into the 8 p.m. (ET) Tuesday time slot vacated by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” leading into “Angel,” which will stay put at The WB.
The WB’s schedule, as of deadline, follows:
Sunday: 7 p.m. “Lost in the USA” (an alternative reality show also prepared for the slot is “No Boundaries”), 8 p.m. “The Steve Harvey Show,” 8:30 p.m. “Men, Women & Dogs,” 9 p.m. “Nikki,” 9:30 p.m. “Off Centre.”
Monday: 8 p.m. “7th Heaven,” 9 p.m. “Smallville.”
Tuesday: 8 p.m. “Gilmore Girls,” 9 p.m. “Angel.”
Wednesday: 8 p.m. “Dawson’s Creek,” 9 p.m. “Felicity.”
Thursday: 8 p.m. “Elimidate Deluxe,” 8:30 p.m. “Popstars,” 9 p.m. “Charmed.”
Friday: 8 p.m. “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” 8:30 p.m. “Maybe I’m Adopted,” 9 p.m. “Deep in the Heart,” 9:30 p.m. “Raising Dad.”
“The Misadventures of Fiona Plum” is slated as a midseason replacement. WB officials declined to confirm whether “Roswell” has been canceled. A spokesman for The WB said the show could still be in consideration for midseason.
The Family Friendly Programming Forum, a consortium of about 40 advertisers, funded script development for “Raising Dad,” starring Bob Saget. The Forum also funded the script for “Murphy’s Dozen,” which The WB is seriously considering for midseason.
TiVo cleared by FTC
Washington-The Federal Trade Commission late Friday cleared TiVo of accusations that the company deceptively tracks the personal viewing
habits of its customers while promising not to do so. The FTC told House lawmakers that TiVo is complying with agency rules and its own corporate privacy policies and that no remedial action or penalties are warranted.
The agency began reviewing TiVo’s practices in March after Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., raised concerns that the company may be secretly collecting data each day from customers when it transmits the latest TV schedules to their personal video recorders via phone lines. In a May 11 letter, the agency informed those lawmakers and Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., that TiVo has not engaged in any deceptive trade practices. TiVo says it collects only “aggregate, anonymous” data that cannot be linked to specific customers.
TBS may pay to play
Atlanta-Turner Broadcasting System executives may resort to boosting distribution of the network by paying local cable operators to carry it, Advertising Age reports. It would be the first time TBS has offered a bounty to multiple system operators to carry a Turner network, the report says.
Comcast woos Fox Family
Philadelphia-Add Comcast to the list of potential suitors for the Fox Family Channel. Other candidates include AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney Co. and Viacom. But no formal talks with Comcast or with AOL TW have been held yet, according to an executive familiar with the situation.
News Corp.’s banker, Bear Stearns, in the potential sale of the jointly owned Saban/Fox Kids’ assets, which include, in addition to Fox Family, Fox Kids, the Saban programming library and Fox Kids International, has held talks with Disney and Viacom, according to the source, who adds that Saban values the entire package at between $5 billion and $6 billion, basing that valuation partly on a comparison with the recent $3 billion sale of BET to Viacom. At press time, Bear Stearns had not returned a call asking for comment.
Meanwhile, Comcast said it will pay $500 million cash to acquire 110,000 customers of AT&T in Baltimore, which translates to $4,545 per subscriber.