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May 7, 2001  •  Post A Comment

‘Survivor’ pushes CBS into near-tie with NBC

For the week of April 30-May 6, marking the grand finale of CBS’s “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” preliminary Nielsen Media Research fast national projections show CBS and NBC finishing in a near-dead heat in adults 18 to 49. Thanks to CBS’s three-hour “Survivor II” — including its post-show reunion — the Eye Network is estimated to have posted a 4.6 rating/12 share average compared with NBC’s 4.6/13 average.

The major bump in the key adults 18 to 49 demo comes as CBS’s 4.1/11 season-to-date average (Oct. 2-May 6) marks an 11 percent year-to-year improvement, with CBS in the fourth-ranked position so far.

Moreover, CBS’s 4.4/12 average for the first 11 days of May sweeps (April 26-May 6), marks a 38 percent year-to-year jump in adults 18 to 49 and places it second behind NBC (4.8/14), which is down 8 percent for the first half of the sweeps period. However, with “Survivor II” airing a rehash episode Thursday at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET), it remains to be seen whether CBS can maintain its momentum in the 18 to 49 demo.

Claiming nightly wins Saturday and Sunday, Fox is expected to rank third for the week at a 4.1/12 average, but its second-ranked 4.5/12 season-to-date average is 7 percent ahead of its year-ago average. Fox also won the week in adults 18 to 34 (4.2/13) and teens (3.7/13), posting an 11 percent year-to-year increase in the latter demo. Fox’s Sunday lineup won every half-hour in the adults 18 to 49 demo.

ABC, on the other hand, remained in a fourth-ranked position in adults 18 to 49 (3.9/11) for the week of April 30 while its season-to-date 4.5/12 score is 18 percent off its year-ago average.

Derby gallops to high ratings: The Kentucky Derby’s 8.3 rating/20 share metered-markets average Saturday is the best overnights performance for the race since 1992, when the Derby ran up a 9.5 rating in the overnights.

The numbers are interpreted as an auspicious beginning for the Triple Crown’s five-year run on NBC, since the Derby is up 26 percent from the metered-markets average a year ago, when the Triple Crown starter finished up its run on ABC with a 6.6/17 in the overnights. Saturday’s metered-markets ratings peaked at 11.3/26.

WNBC plays ‘Power’ game: WNBC-TV, New York, started a new daily segment Monday on its morning newscast, “Today in New York,” called “Power Players.” Hosted by anchor Felicia Taylor, the segment features interviews with the city’s movers and shakers. The lineup this week includes Cathy Black, president of Hearst Magazines; Robert Johnson, chairman of Black Entertainment Television, Tuesday; and architect Ian Schrager on Wednesday. Other guests will include Donald Trump and Talk magazine Editor Tina Brown.

Fox gets Spanish-language rights to playoffs, World Series: Fox Sports World EspaÒol has acquired Spanish-language telecast rights to Major League Baseball’s fall 2001 playoffs and the World Series.

Fox Sports World EspaÒol licensed the Spanish-language station to the playoffs and the fall classic from Fox Sports, which has telecast rights to the playoffs and the Series through 2006. The latest baseball-programming acquisition follows FSWE’s 1999 acquisition of U.S. telecast rights to the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues and the Caribbean World Series.

AOL links to CompUSA: America Online and computer retailer CompUSA on Monday announced a strategic marketing alliance to bring the Internet and other interactive technologies and devices into millions of American homes. Under the agreement, CompUSA will create prominent AOL displays in 218 of its superstores, demonstrating a full range of AOL products and services to shoppers and featuring AOL as CompUSA’s preferred interactive service.

CompUSA will make special offers to new AOL members. And AOL will provide CompUSA with prominent branding and promotion across several of its interactive brands.

Kenneally heads to CAA: Ex-ReplayTV Executive Vice President Rob Kenneally joined Creative Artists Agency’s television department Monday. CAA said Mr. Kenneally will “function in all areas, including network and off-network packaging, cable, as well as marketing. … [He] will work with artists, production companies and broadcast and cable television networks to sell CAA-packaged shows that reflect an understanding of focused and inventive marketing strategies.”

TF1 aims to launch channels: French commercial network TF1 (Societe Television Francaise 1) informed regulators it would launch four to six digital terrestrial TV channels in France if the government amends laws limiting ownership of a national broadcast network to 49 percent as it recently indicated it would do. TF1 also reported that its first-quarter ad sales rose 1.8 percent (compared with a 2 percent drop for the overall market), sending total sales up 15 percent for the quarter.

ABC.com, Penney join forces: ABC.com and J.C. Penney have created a joint venture called “Out of the Closet” that lets online visitors buy J.C. Penney fashions modeled by “The View” co-host Lisa Ling. Promotion includes on-air direction to ABC.com’s J.C. Penney Fashion Photo Gallery, support by an oversized ad unit called the Big Impression on the ABC.com home page, and newsletters e-mailed to registered ABC.com visitors.

Universal Studios Networks sews up shorts initiative: Universal Studios Networks launched an initiative aimed at giving aspiring directors and producers the opportunity to make 100-second films that will be aired on Universal’s movie channels in the United Kingdom (The Studio), Germany, Italy and Spain (Studio Universal). USN expects to have an archive of more than 300 films within three years. More than 20 of the shorts have already been produced by British, Brazilian, Spanish, Italian and German filmmakers. All films have been shot on digital beta to enable them to be transmitted and downloaded easily on all forms of media.

3Com slices 30 percent of workers: Networking equipment maker 3Com said Monday it will cut its work force by 3,000 people (30 percent) as part of an effort to trim costs by $1 billion.

D’Amelio heads to Lucent: Telecommunications equipment maker Lucent has named AT&T/Bell Labs veteran Frank D’Amelio chief financial officer. He replaced Deborah Hopkins, who resigned after one year in office.

WALA catches 200th suspect: The “FBI Files” segment on Fox affiliate WALA-TV, Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., caught its 200th criminal suspect Monday.

Timothy Crenshaw, who was wanted on eight counts of child sex abuse and sodomy, surrendered at a local sheriff’s office at 6 a.m. Monday after being profiled on the “FBI Files” on May 9.

WALA General Manager Scott Wilson said the news will be reported on Monday’s 5 p.m. newscast. He thinks more news department should do the weekly segment profiling local criminals.

“Apparently he had heard he had been profiled, and I don’t know if people got to him or he got tired of running — he just walked in,” Mr. Wilson said. “[The segment] takes law enforcement to a level that local police can’t do — to take it to a mass audience.”

Miniseries centers on Andersen: The cameras are rolling on Hallmark Entertainment’s “Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairy Tale,” a four-hour miniseries from Hallmark Entertainment, set to debut on the Hallmark Channel in January.

The miniseries, executive-produced by Robert Halmi Jr. and David Picker, is shooting in Potsdam, Germany’s, Bablesberg Studios.

Study: Blacks, Hispanics watch more TV: A new breed of urban consumer is interacting with new, high-tech TV choices to drive the media business into the future.

That’s one conclusion that participants at May 10’s State of the Broadband Urban Markets Forum, to be held in Manhattan and sponsored by Horowitz Associates, will hear.

Other insights: urban culture, diverse and multicultural, is increasingly transmitted via broadband and other high-tech media service providers; Hispanics and African Americans watch more television than other population groups; urban ethnic minorities subscribe to premium pay cable services in greater proportion to their population numbers than do white,
non-Hispanic Americans; and Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans are more likely to use pay-per-view in greater proportions than other population groups.

Urban Americans, according to a study prepared for the Forum, are those who live in cities with populations of 50,000 or more. More than 40 percent them are so-called minorities.

NECN wins five Emmys: New England Cable Network won five New England Emmys, including one for its documentary “Coming Home: The John Kach Story.” NECN, a partnership between Hearst Corp. and AT&T Broadband, serves more than 2.6 million cable subscribers in 560 communities.

WPIX earns three Emmys: WB affiliate WPIX-TV, New York, took home an Emmy Sunday night for its 11-month-old morning newscast. WPIX got another Emmy for its 10 p.m. newscast and a third Emmy for the late Kathy Shepherd, vice president of production and community affairs, for outstanding public service announcement.

(c) Copyright 2001 by Crain Communications